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The secret letters of Marie Antoinette between love and loneliness

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The secret letters of Marie Antoinette between love and loneliness

In the next few days the interested reader will be able to find a rich and evocative volume in bookstores. This is the “Secret Correspondence of the Queen of France Marie Antoinette and Count Axel von Fersen”, which, after three years of work by the Rex team aimed at decoding the letters which until now had been blackened, encrypted or written with invisible ink, the scholar Isabelle Aristide-Hastir now makes it available to readers.

We expected to find above all tender words and phrases of love, and instead two years of political correspondence emerged revolving around the attempt to save a kingdom and its queen. In fact, the approximately sixty letters allow us to better understand the challenges that were looming for the French crown on the eve of the Revolution.

Revealed for the first time in its entirety, this exchange of letters between the count and Marie Antoinette, full of events commented on by herself, paints the touching portrait of an isolated queen who tries to understand, in reality now too late compared to the inexorable logic of history, the changes in the world in which he finds himself moving. Fersen does everything to rekindle hope in the heart of the desperate and abandoned sovereign, but fate will not leave the two lovers time to experience the intimacy only mentioned in these letters.

The beautiful edition by the Ippocampo publishing house is accompanied by illustrations of the original letters and introduced by a long unpublished essay by the great scholar of eighteenth-century French culture Benedetta Craveri.

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