Monday, December 13, 2010

Versailles by Kathryn Davis

Liberty is a bitch who must be bedded on a mattress of corpses.

A wondous slender book about Marie Antoinette's career as the Queen of France and the scourge of the French Revolution.

Davis style -- of a compressed descriptive narrative in Marie Antoinette's voice, an omnisciene "brochure voice" describing the structural achievement of the palace, and the natural spectacle of the gardens, as well as little dramatic "playlets" featuring other characters from the period before and during the Revolution -- has an awesome cumulative effect, that took me by emotional surprise at the end of the novel. I cared for Marie Antoinette, cared for her one little voice piping up from the crush of a humanity in revolt.

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