"Marie-Antoinette's Darkest Days", by Will Bashor

Marie Antoinette's Darkest Days:Prisoner No. 280 in the Conciergerie - Will Bashor

Prisoner No. 280 in the Conciergerie

This unique account of an intriguing period of history is meticulously researched to give us the most accurate version of the events and is so cleverly crafted it manages to read like a novel. Drawing from records Mr. Basher has captured what Marie-Antoinette may have endured during the two and half month imprisonment prior to her execution.

The book begins on the 2nd of august 1793 the Marie- Antoinette was escorted from the temple to the Conciergerie, known as the “waiting room for the guillotine”. The depiction of this horrible place is felt throughout the Queen’s ordeal: worm infested straw mattress, acrid and musty smell, filthy environment where rats loved to nibble on you (just to name some discomfort). The perilous situation Marie-Antoinette found herself is brilliantly and vividly captured with images, drawing and supportive footnotes. There were failed plans to rescue her with terrible consequences for those who attempted. Even kindness towards her was a death warrant.

The Reign of Terror is a fascinating period in history. Mr. Bashor relates in details the Queen’s daily life of confinement from her elongated stay in the infamous waiting room of the guillotine, to her trial and the fatal tumbril ride through the streets that ended on the scaffold. She was well surrounded with thousands of people some innocent and some not too much facing the public executioner and the “National Razor”.

Thank you to Rowan & Littlefield and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review this book.