Marie Antoinette – Fictional Account

vendredi, le 25 septembre 2009

Marie Antoinette was taken from her home in Austria to be married to a man in France who seemingly had no desire for her. To ease the lack of affection from her husband, to deal with his impotence, she went on lavish shopping sprees, investing in beautiful dresses, shoes to match and wigs that caused heads to turn wherever she went.

But she also instituted positive changes in the court, she did away with segregated dining spaces, heavy make-up and opted for a more simple feminine look. She had little influence over her husband, the by now King, and he didn’t discuss matters of importance with her. He shut her out. To still her agitated mind, she kept herself busy, she read avidly and tried to learn a foreign language, with little success.

She was, however, instrumental in the appointment of a popular Minister of Finance, but when the bread prices soared, the Minister was sacked. The rioting Parisians took to the streets and stormed the Bastille. Most of the royalists fled France, but Marie Antoinette stayed behind to support her husband. Despite her life being in danger. Despite his impotence, despite his shutting her out.

France declared war on Austria and Marie Antoinette was officially seen as the enemy of all of France. When the monarchy was officially ended, the King was separated from his family, tried by the Revolutionary Tribunal and executed.

Marie Antoinette’s health began failing. She was taken to the Conciergerie and resolutely declined all plots for her escape. She chose to face the consequences of her choices.

Given no time to prepare, her trial was mostly a farce and in a Kafkaesque kind of a way. Someone had been telling lies about Marie Antoinette and, one morning, she was executed. The liars were the libelles.The most ridiculous accusation was that she sexually abused her son. She emotionally turned to the women in the courtroom, but despite the support of the market women who once bayed for her entrails, the outcome of her trial had already been decided.

Wearing a simple white dress she was taken to the Place de la Révolution. She accidentally stood on the executioner’s foot as she was led to the guillotine. Pardon me Sir, I meant not to do it were the last words she spoke before being beheaded.

My fascination with Marie Antoinette? I often jokingly say I was Marie Antoinette in a previous life. The reason why I am so angry and disgruntled in this life, is because I was beheaded on the basis of lies.

I moved from a city I loved to be with a man whose pretense of Frenchness did not go unnoticed. Despite his impotence and shutting me out, I stuck with my king. I spent excessively. I tried to bring about change, but all to no avail. When the money ran out and the party was over and the creditors were banging on the door, my king led himself away. Wearing a simple black dress, I was led to slaughter.

But I remember well the happy days. If I do not return to them in this lifetime, then maybe another.

(The towers of the Conciergerie and beautiful, simplistic Parisian lampposts. The ornately decorated lampposts on what is today Place de la Concorde with the ever present Tour de Eiffel.)

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