Summary (Masterplots: Revised Category Edition, European Fiction Series)
The Countess Jeanne de La Motte Valois, a descendant of the fallen royal house of Valois, aspired to return to favor in the court of Louis XVI. Suffering extreme poverty, she was honored by a visit from the queen, who gave her money and promised her assistance.
The queen was always a victim of intrigues by her enemies. Even on the night when she had, with the assistance of Andree de Taverney, made a charitable visit to the Countess de La Motte, one of her enemies had whispered into the king’s ear that her majesty had gone on a nocturnal mission of doubtful purpose. Her honesty and proud demeanor put the king to shame, however, and as a conciliatory gesture he offered her a fabulously expensive necklace, which she refused on the grounds that France needed a new battleship more than the queen needed jewels.
Andree’s brother, Philippe de Taverney, was favored by Marie Antoinette for his courtesy and grace. He promptly fell in love with her. At a court reception Philippe was thwarted in his love by perceiving that Count de Charny had won the queen’s favor. It was Andree’s fate to have fallen in love with de Charny also, and she jealously watched the queen’s innocent flirtation.
While Jeanne de La Motte was plotting to gain entrance to the royal court, Cardinal de Rohan, disliked by the queen because of his former disapproval of her marriage to King Louis, was also hoping to win a place at court. These two hopefuls decided to...
(The entire section is 1366 words.)
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