Farewell, My Queen by Moishe Black
A Novel

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Synopsis

A woman whose function it once was to read books aloud to Marie Antoinette is haunted by the memory of her last days at the French court of Versailles, when Louis XVI's magnificent palace succumbed to the irrepressible forces of revolution. Now exiled in Vienna, Madame Agathe-Sidonie Laborde looks back twenty-one years to the legendary opulence of Versailles and, overcome with nostalgia and remorse, discovers the full measure of her fascination with the Queen she served. Madame Laborde takes the reader within the palace, meticulously reconstructing the 14th, 15th, and 16th of July 1789feverish days when the servants have disappeared and many of the courtiers are fleeing. Versailles' miniature universe, sparkling with every outward appearance of happiness and beauty, is brilliantly juxtaposed with the chaos that erupts. We witness the unraveling of the palace's dawn-to-dusk ritual and the rising panic of the court as Versailles edges closer and closer to collapse. With the revolutionaries virtually at the gates of the palace, Madame Laborde herself flees the night of the 16th, escaping with members of the once-powerful de Polignac family. Transporting us to revolutionary France with the knowledge and insight of an historian and with the skill of a consummate storyteller, Thomas evokes this historical moment more powerfully than any historical analysis can.
 

About Moishe Black

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Moishe Black is emeritus professor of French at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. He is the translator of Farewell, My Queen by Chantal Thomas. Moishe Black is emeritus professor of French at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. He is the translator of Farewell, My Queen by Chantal Thomas.
 
Published May 17, 2003 by George Braziller Inc.. 239 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Farewell, My Queen

Kirkus Reviews

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A former reader to Marie-Antoinette recalls July 1789, in an edifying and masterly first novel, winner of the Prix Femina.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Farewell, My Queen: A Novel

The Guardian

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Farewell, My Queen by Chantal Thomas, translated by Moishe Black 256pp, Weidenfeld, £9.99 "I am determined to set this down in writing," declares the ageing Mme Agathe-Sidonie Laborde, looking back with starry-eyed nostalgia to the last days of Louis XVI's court at Versailles before the French...

Jan 10 2004 | Read Full Review of Farewell, My Queen: A Novel

Spirituality & Practice

Sidonie's eyes become those of a voyeur as she is ordered to bring the Queen's lover Gabrielle de Polignac (Virgine Ledoyen) to her.

| Read Full Review of Farewell, My Queen: A Novel

The Hollywood Reporter

Historical drama set in the early days of the French revolution is intelligent Euro eye candy at its most lavish.

Feb 09 2012 | Read Full Review of Farewell, My Queen: A Novel

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