A new blog on the Affair of the Necklace

Marie Antoinette Vigee-Lebrun

It is titled The Queen’s Diamonds. All right, the diamonds of the famous necklace were never Marie-Antoinette’s, but they were so closely associated with her by public opinion that the name is appropriate. The necklace itself became known as the Queen’s Necklace.

Elizabeth begins with portraits of some of the main characters, and she confesses to being hooked by Frances Mossiker’s remarkable book. I certainly relate to that. Elizabeth is also writing a historical novel on the Affair, with Mademoiselle d’Oliva as the central character.

An excellent choice, by the way, because the young prostitute remains as much a mystery to me as any other character in this dauntingly complex plot. Mademoiselle d’Oliva had come to the notice of the La Motte couple because of her uncanny resemblance to Marie-Antoinette.

The La Mottes hired Mademoiselle d’Oliva to impersonate the Queen and took her, dressed in royal finery, to Versailles in a hackney. There, in the Grove of Venus, she handed a rose to a great lord, who was in fact the Cardinal de Rohan…

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