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In December 1795, seventeen-year-old Marie-Therese, the only surviving child of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, fled Paris's torious Temple Prison. Kept in solitary confinement after her parents' brutal execution during the Terror, she had been unaware of the fate of her family, save the cries she heard of her young brother being tortured in an adjacent cell. She emerged to an uncertain future: an orphan, exile and focus of political plots and marriage schemes of the crowned heads of Europe. Susan Nagel tells a remarkable story of an astonishing woman whose life was shrouded in mystery, from her birth in front of rowdy crowds at Versailles, to her upbringing by doting parents, through to Revolution, imprisonment, exile, Restoration and, finally, her reincarnation as Saint and Matriarch.
Susan Nagel is the author of Mistress of the Elgin Marbles, a critically acclaimed biography of Mary Nisbet, the Countess of Elgin. A professor in the humanities department of Marymount Manhattan College, she lives in New York.