Religion may not be a part of some contemporary lives but it certainly played a part in the lives of many historical characters. To ignore or downplay the faith of characters in a historical novel is to destroy the integrity of the characters as well as thwart an authentic representation of the past. Share
I have read several reviews claiming the books are too religious and/or over-idealize the protagonists. I only want to say that the devout faith of Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette and Madame Royale is well-documented, and it would not be realistic to ignore or downplay the role of Catholicism in their lives. Nor do I think the royal family are over-idealized. Their spiritual journeys are presented as hard and painful and they struggle with human failings along the way. Against his conscience, for instance, the King signs the Civil Constitution of the Clergy under duress, an action he later bitterly repents. Before maturing gracefully into a noble wife and mother, Marie-Antoinette is portrayed as a kind, charming, but imperfect young girl, apt to be headstrong and rash. Marie-Thérèse's rigidity and refusal to compromise the divine right of kings, coupled with her cold manner (although these are understandable results of her early traumas), contribute to alienating many from the cause of the Catholic monarchy. Nonetheless, the fact remains that she, like her parents, ultimately attains a high degree of spiritual heroism.