Thursday, October 18, 2012

October 16th, 1793: The death of Marie Antoinette

A compilation of excerpts from historical fiction novels, all dealing with the death of Marie Antoinette.

The Knight of Maison-Rouge by Alexandre Dumas (trans. by Julie Rose)
Marie Antoinette felt that infamous hand flutter at her neck; she made a sudden movement and stepped on Sanson's foot as he was busy, unbeknownst to her, tying her to the deadly frame. Sanson pulled his foot away.
 "Pardon me, monsieur," said the Queen. "I didn't do it on purpose."
Those were the last words uttered by the Daughter of the Caesers, the Queen of France, the widow of Louis XVI. The quarter hour after midday rang out from the clock at the Tuileries. And at that very moment Marie Antoinette fell into eternity.
Marie Antoinette by F.W. Kenyon:
She had the strangest feeling that all this had happened before. She grew more convinced of it as the executioner tied her hands and clipped off her hair, as she drove through the crowded streets, as she reached the Place de la Revolution. She knew she had heart the laughter before, the gay light-hearted laughter of a young girl dressed in white, a girl with red-gold hair, a pretty face with a promise of beauty in it, and so much haughtiness. She searched the scaffold. Surely such a girl had been dancing there. A delusion, n more. But she could see Louis, his cheeks tear-stained, his lips mouthing the words, Faith in God, lift up your eyes to heaven. And Axel too, waving at the end of a corridor.
Hands reached out roughly. She found herself lying face down on a plank. She heard the voice of the preist whose services she had refused.
 "Courage, courage..."
"Courage" she echoed indignantly. "I need it no longer. Have courage yourself. It is life that calls for courage, not death." 
Versailles: a novel by Kathryn Davis
 Antoinette. Antoinette.
He cut my hair, I stepped on his foot.
When you look up, clouds; when you look down, the same. Blue sky and clouds, suddenly, water. Suddenly against the blue sky a spray of jewels.
Pardon, monsieur, I said. I did not mean to do it.
 Abundance, Sena Jeter Naslund:
I kneel in order to lie upon their board, and they help my body to lie straight. So lay my noble husband nine months ago; I but follow. … The sled slides forward—the basket—no need to hold on—I open my hands resting on the small of my back—the basket—I had friends, loving friends (I am not afraid)

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