I fell in love with Marie Antoinette (and Louis) while I was researching their marriage for NOTORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES one of my works of nonfiction, written under the name Leslie Carroll. The more I read about them, the more it became apparent that they have truly been misrepresented and misinterpreted by historians. They say history is written by the winners, and Marie Antoinette and Louis were the two greatest victims of the French Revolution.
What sparked BECOMING MARIE ANTOINETTE specifically is how little has been told about her childhood years and the incredible makeover she had to endure at the hands of a small army of experts before she was judged acceptable marriage material, while the clock was ticking and a vitally strategic international alliance hung in the balance. The preadolescent Marie Antoinette was worked over by a hairdresser who reconfigured her hairline so that her forehead would not appear too prominent; a dentist who realigned her teeth with orthodontia, a pair of actors who became dialect coaches for her pronunciation of French; a notable dancing master who taught her the “Versailles Glide,” the walk that was unique to the women of the Bourbon court; and a gentle cleric who came to tutor her in academics. My novel also shows just how much the young Austrian archduchess Maria Antonia was a political pawn, moved about the European chessboard by her mother, the formidable Hapsburg empress Maria Theresa, and King Louis XV of France.