Mayapple Books  and I are happy to announce the publication of Marie-Antoinette, Daughter of the Caesars: Her Life, Her Times, Her Legacy, available internationally from Amazon. It is my first non-fiction book. Whenever possible I have let the historical persons speak for themselves out of memoirs and letters. I try not repeat too many of the well-known anecdotes that are rehashed in other books but if I do, it is to look at the incident from a different angle. I will cite other biographies as well throughout the course of the book. As for the subtitle, Daughter of the Caesars, I think it is important to see Marie-Antoinette in light of her Imperial heritage as a child of the Habsburg dynasty. The Habsburgs assumed the crown of the Holy Roman Empire in the 1400’s, the crown which had originated with Charlemagne in the year 800, seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire of the West. The Habsburgs and their allies kept the Muslims from overrunning Europe at both the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 and at the battle of Vienna in 1683. Indeed, the four crowns which adorn the tombs of the Habsburgs in the Capuchin crypt in Vienna are the crowns of the Empire, of Hungary, of Bohemia, and of Jerusalem, the latter being a throwback to the days of the Crusaders. In those four crowns are symbolized much of the history of Christendom. The fall of Marie-Antoinette, as both Queen of France and the youngest daughter of the Imperial Family, is indicative of the end of Christian civilization and the birth of the secular state, which was the object of the French Revolution. Through her death, Marie-Antoinette has been dubbed “Martyred Queen of Christian Europe” for in killing her the revolutionaries also symbolically killed all that she represented, the ancient heritage of Christendom.

Daughter of the Caesars succeeds in dispelling many of the most persistent myths and misconceptions about Marie Antoinette. It is an engaging, conversational read that clears away the pervasive pop culture image of Marie Antoinette and instead places the maligned queen back into the context of her life as an 18th century consort. A must-read for anyone with an interest in Marie Antoinette or her times. —Anna Gibson of Vive la Reine

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