By Jonathan Beckman
In How to smash a Queen, award-winning writer Jonathan Beckman tells of political machinations and large extravagance; of kidnappings, felony breaks, and assassination makes an attempt; of hapless French police in conceal, reams of lesbian pornography, and a duel fought with poisoned pigs. it's a detective tale, a court drama, a tragicomic farce, and a research of credulity and self-deception within the Age of Enlightenment.
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Extra info for How to Ruin a Queen: Marie Antoinette and the Diamond Necklace Affair
He used to be taken to the Hôtel-Dieu, the paupers’ health facility adjacent Notre Dame. the possibility of restoration there has been minimum: as much as six humans have been stuffed in each one mattress, the infectious jostling opposed to the convalescent, clammy with every one other’s sweat because the shudders of the loss of life despatched tremors in the course of the residing. It didn't take lengthy for Jacques to run out, with Jeanne available to checklist his final phrases: ‘My expensive baby! I worry my behavior will reason you a lot distress sooner or later; yet enable me beg you, lower than each misfortune, to recollect that you're a VALOIS! Cherish, all through lifestyles, sentiments of that identify and not overlook your beginning! – I tremble . . . I tremble on the considered leaving you within the care of the sort of mom! ’ this can be very not likely that Jacques de Saint-Rémy ever uttered those phrases, doused in unctuous sentimentality. He did not defend his eldest daughter from the violence of her mom in the course of his lifestyles and, from the little that may be extrapolated of his personality, upholding the acceptance of the Valois used to be now not his primary motivation. that are meant to now not, besides the fact that, vague the harrowing influence of Jacques’s demise on Jeanne and its reverberations over the process her existence. Her father would possibly not have lived as much as the relations identify, yet Jeanne declaimed it whenever she went out begging. From a tender age, she may have marked the distinction among her lineage and the capability to which she have been diminished to aid her kin. ‘[T]he noble blood of the Valois flowing inside my veins oppos[ed], like an angry torrent, such degradation,’ she recalled. Jeanne’s next ambition can in simple terms be understood within the mild of her desire to comport herself like a Valois. In March 1762, 3 months after Jacques’s demise, Marie and her little ones moved to Versailles. Jeanne resumed begging, yet pre-empted respectable harassment through ingratiating herself with the relatives of the executive of police, Monsieur Deionice. His spouse and daughter lavished her with foodstuff, toys and spare switch, notwithstanding her good fortune most likely relied extra on Deionice’s general visits to Marie’s bed room – whilst Marie took up with Jean-Baptiste Ramond, a good-looking Sardinian soldier, Jeanne came upon herself not welcome within the Deionice family. The couple married and settled in a dosshouse in Chaillot, simply to the west of Paris. The newlyweds shared the mattress; the youngsters slept at the flooring on straw pallets. In Ramond, Marie had stumbled on a associate extra suited for her style for violence. Jeanne, bearing Marguerite on her again, used to be recommended to deliver again ten sous every day – and twenty on Sundays and vacations. This used to be a powerful goal. A lacemaker or woolspinner couldn't count on to make greater than 8 sous, and an agricultural labourer not more than ten. whilst Jeanne did not gather adequate cash, she was once ordered to sleep within the streets. If she attempted to stay away from her mom and stepfather, Ramond might hunt her down and drag her domestic, the place Marie beat her with a vinegar-soaked rod which tore her again with splinters. Ramond moved to Paris with Jacques, in order that the children’s profitability could be maximised.