We see how too often at royal courts the innocence of children was not spared, all depending on the vigilance of whoever was in charge. The little Infanta-Queen is cared for by the prudent Madame de Ventadour, the royal governess who saved the life of Louis XV when he was an infant. The three other children, Louis XV and the Prince and Princess of the Asturias, are older and not attended to so diligently. They encounter problems that they do not have the emotional maturity to handle. We are shown the enormous capacity for emotional and physical damage involved in such child “marriages,” which in the end benefit neither the countries nor the individuals.
This review originally appeared in the August 2015 edition of The Historical Novels Review.
(*NOTE: The book was sent to me by the Historical Novel Society in exchange for my honest opinion.)