on Tour March 13-24 with
Marie Antoinette’s Darkest Days: Prisoner No. 280 in the Conciergerie(history – nonfiction) Release date: December 1, 2016 at Rowman & Littlefield 392 pages ISBN: 978-1442254992 Website | Goodreads
This compelling book begins on the 2nd of August 1793, the day Marie Antoinette was torn from her family’s arms and escorted from the Temple to the Conciergerie, a thick-walled fortress turned prison. It was also known as the waiting room for the guillotine because prisoners only spent a day or two here before their conviction and subsequent execution. The ex-queen surely knew her days were numbered, but she could never have known that two and a half months would pass before she would finally stand trial and be convicted of the most ungodly charges. Will Bashor traces the final days of the prisoner registered only as Widow Capet, No. 280, a time that was a cruel mixture of grandeur, humiliation, and terror. Marie Antoinette’s reign amidst the splendors of the court of Versailles is a familiar story, but her final imprisonment in a fetid, dank dungeon is a little-known coda to a once-charmed life. Her seventy-six days in this terrifying prison can only be described as the darkest and most horrific of the fallen queen’s life, vividly recaptured in this richly researched history.
It's really well written and very accurate, the author has done a perfect job search. I knew only superficially the story of the death sentence of Marie Antoinette, thanks to this reading I have been able to deepen her last days and learn more about this ambiguous historical figure.
The author has made a great job at providing a detailed but impartial description of the last days of Marie Antoinette. She was imprisoned with her children, then she also was separated from them and taken to solitary confinement in a damp prison, below the level of the Seine. Despite the death sentence, many people have continued to love her and have organized several attempts to save her. I really loved her dignity that she had never lost despite the physical and mental suffering and the degradation in which she is forced to live, she had always lived in prosperity.
It was a very interesting and fascinating reading, never boring, even if it is a non-fiction can be read as a romance. The descriptions are very detailed and thorough that truly seemed to be there locked up with the queen. Very useful even the pictures and maps provided.
This book is perfect for those who love history and French history in particular.