Thursday, October 16, 2008

Vatene in Pace Alma Beata e Bella

As Lauren reminded us today, it is the sad 215th anniversary of Marie Antoinette's execution. For the best visual of how horrible this experience was for her I would recommend reading, My Lady Scandalous by Jo Manning, who paints a horrifying picture of how awful this execution really was (blood, guts, stink, the whole bit).

As you can imagine, Georgiana was distraught when she heard of her friend's death. She was haunted by the image of her final moments:

"The impression of the Queen's death is constantly before my eyes, how anxious I am to know how my dr sister will bear it.* Besides the admiration that is universally felt for her and the horror at the barbarians, her answers, her cleverness, composure, greatness of mind blaze forth in double splendour, and the horror of making the child appear against her is what one shd have hop'd that the mind of man was incapible of..."

*Harriet met MA while she got her education in a French Convent and was also close to the queen.


  1. So sad! I like reading her thoughts, this is an appropriate moment for,
    Sad Gee

  2. Haha, yes a real one tho!

    In her letters, Georgie keeps mentioning Marie's children
    and how they had to testify against her, she was really disturbed by it.
    ...She was also in exile for her affair at the time and hadn't seen her children in over a year.

  3. My Lady Scandalous by Jo Manning is a wonderful book.

  4. Don't you love it!? It's just packed with so many good tid-bits of useful information.

  5. Just saw this blog and I want to thank you, Heather and Elizabeth, for your kind words about My Lady Scandalous!

    What happened to Marie Antoinette was horrific; what happened to her little son was even worse. Read a book a couple of years ago about his fate, or one speculation -- very well done -- about his probable fate. Title eludes me right now, but you should be able to find it. In the meantime, let me look for it.

    I just completed a manuscript set in the late Victorian era, a children's book (fiction), You Can Be Happy Without A Man. It's with my agent now. Many of my fingers are crossed.

    Cheers, and thanks again,
    Jo Manning

  6. Hi Jo!
    Thank you for stopping by, it's such a joy to hear from you! I've gushed about your book before and I know that one reader, Julia, became a huge Grace fan after reading it. She even found an old edition of her memoirs which caused me to turn pea-green with envy.

    You manuscript sounds enticing, I'll be crossing my fingers for you!