Various Sources on Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI



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Various Sources on Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI
1. “Catherine de Medici, Cleopatra, Agrippina, Messalina, [her] deeds have surpassed yours, and if the memory of your infamies still provokes a shudder, if its frightful detail makes the hair stand on end and tears pour from the eyes, what sentiments will issue from knowledge of the cruel and lascivious life of Marie-Antoinette…barbaric Queen, adulterous wife, woman without morals, soiled with crime and debauchery, these are the titles that are [her] decorations.”

--Pamphlet against Marie Antoinette, 1783

(Source: Simon Schama, Citizens, Alfred A Knopf: New York, NY, 1989, p. 224).
2. “Our lascivious Queen, with [the Count of] Artois [the brother of the king] the debauched, together with no trouble, commits the sweet sin, but what of it, how could one find harm in that? This fine pair has certainly convinced us that the great King of France is the perfect cuckold. But what of it, how could one find harm in that?”

-- Pamphlet against Marie Antoinette, 1781

(Source: Simon Schama, Citizens, Alfred A Knopf: New York, NY, 1989, p. 221).
3. “It is said that Marie Antoinette was very extravagant. One day, so the story goes, people were protesting at the gates at the palace. The Queen asked a servant what the fuss was about. ‘Madame’, the servant answered, ‘the people have not bread.’ To which the Queen replied, ‘Well, let them eat cake!’”

--Popular story about Marie Antoinette which has been proven by historians to be false


4. “Marie Antoinette was made of sterner stuff. To the memory of no other woman…has the verdict of time and history been so unjustly and vindictively destructive…[T]he fetid odor of scandal hangs about her name…Didn’t she say of the starving people “Let them eat cake”? No, she did not. The one who said that was the wife of Louis XIV, Marie Antoinette’s husband’s great-great-grandmother.”

(Source: Warren Carroll, The Guillotine and the Cross, Trinity Communications: Manassas, VA, 1986, pp. 11-12).


5. Look at what your text book says on pp. 66-67, as well as the box entitled “Two Views of Marie Antoinette” on p. 67.
6. “What I should like most is to be loved.”

--Louis XVI


7. Also look at what your text book says on Louis on p. 64, as well as the box entitled “Character Portrait” on page 65.


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