Welcome to the PTTP Live Chat with Juliet Grey, author of Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow!


Welcome, one and all to the Live Chat with author Juliet Grey!!

Juliet is here tonight to celebrate the release of her second novel in the Marie Antoinette trilogy, Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow on this the 242nd wedding anniversary of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI and we are so thrilled that you could join us!
Wedding of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette
HOW CHAT NIGHT WORKS

All corresponding (questions and answers) will take place in the comments section of this post.  I will start off the Chat Night with a welcome message and a question or two to get the ball rolling and then the floor is open to whomever has a question for Juliet.  If anyone has any questions you can email me at passages to the past (at) gmail (dot) com.

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

Chat participants are eligible to enter any or all of the four fabulous giveaways that the wonderfully generous Juliet is sponsoring (open to US/Canada only). 

*To enter the giveaways, please send an email to passages to the past (at) gmail (dot) com with the subject line: JULIET GREY LIVE CHAT GIVEAWAYS and let me know which giveaway items you are interested in.  You can choose one or all...it's up to you! There will be four winners in total.

*I will accept giveaway entries until midnight tonight and the winners will be chosen and posted tomorrow*
  1. Oh-so chic Ballard jute tote with genuine leather trim, which will hold dozens of books, your groceries (far more than a baguette and a bottle of bubbly)
  2. Autographed copy of Becoming Marie Antoinette
  3. Autographed copy of Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow
  4. Boxed set of 16 CDs of the audio book of BMA, narrated by Juliet Grey, which is a rare and expensive gift (the CDs have only been made available to libraries and not directly to consumers!)

 

About Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow

Publication Date:   May 15, 2012
Ballantine Books
448p

{SYNOPSIS}

A captivating novel of rich spectacle and royal scandal, Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow spans fifteen years in the fateful reign of Marie Antoinette, France’s most legendary and notorious queen.

Paris, 1774. At the tender age of eighteen, Marie Antoinette ascends to the French throne alongside her husband, Louis XVI. But behind the extravagance of the young queen’s elaborate silk gowns and dizzyingly high coiffures, she harbors deeper fears for her future and that of the Bourbon dynasty.

From the early growing pains of marriage to the joy of conceiving a child, from her passion for Swedish military attaché Axel von Fersen to the devastating Affair of the Diamond Necklace, Marie Antoinette tries to rise above the gossip and rivalries that encircle her. But as revolution blossoms in America, a much larger threat looms beyond the gilded gates of Versailles—one that could sweep away the French monarchy forever.


Thanks to Juliet Grey for spending some time with us and to all of you who are participating!  I hope you all have a great time!

255 comments:

  1. I remembered! :)

    Hello Juliet and Amy. So glad to be here tonight!

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  2. I will in an out. Hubby just ran in for dinner before his fire meeting. I'll be back in a bit. Must feed hungry fireman

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  3. Hi Martina and Patty, so glad you could make it!

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  4. Good evening, Gillian! Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Yay is right, hi Michelle!

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  6. Who here has read Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow yet?

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  7. I don't think I quite have the hang of this. Didn't see new comments and had to close the window and then click on the link again - same problem I had when I did the chat! Hints?

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  8. So excited to be here too! Thanks Amy and Juliet!

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  9. I have not read it yet, but I've had my eyes on it, of course!

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  10. I'm reading it now. It's so fabulous - there is nothing like a book that makes you feel you're actually there living the story. Loving it!

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  11. I haven't read it yet but looking forward to it!

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  12. Gillian - if you right click on the post comment link and open a new window you can leave that box up and just refresh the page. Does that help?

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  13. Gillian, I always right click and just reload the page. Works for me! :)

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  14. Gillian, refresh the comment window every so often and you'll see new comments.

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  15. Welcome, Amanda! How is that sweet boy of yours tonight?

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  16. I made it too! from not so sunny Florida

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  17. Glad to hear it, Martina. I haven't received my copy yet but I'm looking forward to it. I loved Becoming Marie Antoinette and have always been fascinated by MA and Louis.

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  18. Hi Kathleen! Welcome to the chat...Juliet should be here shortly!

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  19. Amy, me too! MA is one of my favourite historical characters. And, I've gained so much more respect for Louis over the years.

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  20. Thanks Amy! He's doing great although right now he's crying because I'm not paying attention to him :) I haven't read DSDS yet but I loved Becoming Marie Antoinette.

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  21. I'm here!!!! Hello everyone : )!

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  22. Amanda - poor little man! My Vedder is training for MMA fighting it feels like :)

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  23. I haven't read the book yet but I am itching to do so. So many good books out there!!!

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  24. Just saw on Facebook that Juliet can't get into the chat.

    Aww I can't wait to see photos of Vedder! I love his name!

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  25. Juliet should hopefully be here soon, she is having some difficulties getting into the chat.

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  26. I am Michelle...no sunshine though. But that is fine

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  27. I'm so excited for Amy! Having a son is so great! I speak from experience. =O)

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  28. Thanks, Amanda :) We love it too and can't wait to meet him. These last 8 weeks are going to drag!

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  29. For anyone who has already read the novel, is there any aspect that you found as a surprise? Any information that you didn't know or that shocked you?

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  30. I have not read it. I hope to, of course...

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  31. Hello, all!

    Picked up my copy of DSDS yesterday and started reading immediately! Can't wait to read more.

    I'm curious to know what you all think of it, if you've had a chance to read it, yet.

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  32. Boys are definitely a different breed of animal it seems :). My six year old is always shocking/surprising me! You are in for so much fun, Amy!

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  33. Ah, so it's not just me! I couldn't get in either when I was doing the chat and we had to do a workaround with me typing directly to you, Amy.

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  34. I love all my children but three girls were so much easier then the boy..but much qsier now that he is a man

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  35. I have always been so fascinated by Marie A. It all started with The Queen's Confession by Victoria Holt.

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  36. I'm only on page 80 - I haven't been finding enough time to read lately!

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  37. It will definitely be a big change from raising my daughter. She's almost 16 so we're pretty much starting over...I think we're a little crazy but I'm so excited!

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  38. I have not read anything about MA in a long time..

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  39. I read, read,read and read some more. My husband laughs at me.

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  40. CelticLady...what part of Florida do you live in? I am in Tampa and it is STORMING here! I am keeping my fingers crossed the electricity doesn't go out :).

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  41. Kathleen, boys are my lot and life and though I wish I would have had a girl too, I'm finding that boys are such an adventure. I wouldn't trade my two for the world! But my mom says the same as you...girls were easier.

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  42. I too love the name Vedder! How original!!

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  43. Well you will have a lot of help Amy..

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  44. I haven't read that Plaidy yet Michelle, but I own it and need to get to it soon. I am a huge Plaidy fan!

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  45. It's good to find other people that read all the time. My husband thinks I'm bonkers :). But it works....he watches sports while I read :).

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  46. Michelle, I think I read that book.

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  47. The weather must be horrible all over. I'm in Western Canada and it's SOOO windy right now! I'm worried about losing power, too :(

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  48. Kathleen - I hope so, but it's pretty tough to get her to just clean her room so I'm not holding my breath :)

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  49. I find MA so intriguing but besides what I've seen in movies and what I've read in Juliet's first book, I actually don't know much about her, which makes the books all that more exciting.

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  50. My poor hubby lives in a mini-library but I love that he's so supportive of my habit!

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  51. He loves to read too, he just doesn't do so as quickly as I do. I think he's jealous

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  52. Yes, Plaidy is great! I started the "Queen's Confession" and quite enjoyed it. Hoping to find "Flaunting, Extravagant Queen" sometime. It looks like a good read!

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  53. I only seem to see comments if I post... or get out and come back in.

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  54. I love to read and always have. Started reading a lot of Roman and Greek comedies and tragedies. Then I read The Illiad.

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  55. Mine too, Amy! Our entire apartment is overrun with bookshelves. My husband moved over 3000 books when we moved from our house. I guess you could say he's supportive!

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  56. There is a new movie out starring Diane Kruger entitled Farewell, My Queen about MA. It's all in French, I believe. Has anyone watched it? I'm dying to...

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  57. Hmmm...I'm not sure why Gillian, any one else have any ideas?

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  58. Kaitlyn, I have a copy of 'Flaunting'. It was wonderful. I hope you can find a copy!

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  59. WHEW! Bon soir mes chers amis!! What can I say, but mes apologies! Mercury is in retrograde and I couldn't manage to sign in!! Welcome one and all and I apoligize for being sooo late. Thank you all for participating tonight!

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  60. WOW....3000 books is crazy....in a good way though!

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  61. Ooo that Diane Kruger movie sounds awesome! I'd totally watch it! What Plaidy book is about MA?

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  62. Who has read the novel? And for those who have read it, any surprises (without mentioning spoilers for those who haven't)?

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  63. Hmm. Okay, didn't see new comments in the box but on the page. But if I am fortunate enough to do this again as an author I'll definitely need a practice session!

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  64. I have piles of books around the house as well. Oh the beautiful treasures :). My husband supports my habit in that he turns the other way when the piles keep getting bigger :). He is not a reader so he just doesn't get it.

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  65. Plaidy has a French Revolution trilogy that's pretty good:

    Louis the Well Beloved (French Revolution, #1)

    The Road to Compiegne (French Revolution, #2)

    Flaunting, Extravagant Quee... Flaunting, Extravagant Queen (French Revolution, #3)

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  66. Colleen I actually live in Wisconsin but on vacation with hubby near Ft. Lauderdale. My son and daughter live here.

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  67. No problem, Juliet! I'm having issues too....alas technology.

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  68. I know! I'm book crazy!

    All I can say to Gillian is that I pull up the comment window and make it full screen. Then I right click the page at the end of the last comment and click on reload. that brings up the newest comments.

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  69. Yay, welcome Juliet! Most of us haven't read the book yet but there are a few that are reading it now.

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  70. Hi Juliet! Have not read the book yet, but I covet. =O)

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  71. I have not read the whole thing. I am not very far, maybe around page 100 or so.

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  72. I haven't read it yet, Juliet, but I loved the first one. Can you talk a little about what types of research you did to recreate Marie Antoinette's psychology, as you capture her so well?

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  73. I haven't seen the Kruger movie -- but I will probably make the sign of the cross and run for the border. I saw a lengthy interview (in French) with the director who talked about how historically accurate it is and how they wanted to correct all the historical propaganda about her. AND THEN THEY GAVE HER A LESBIAN RELATIONSHIP WITH POLIGNAC! Which was EXACTLY what all the awful, lying libelles tarnished her with!

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  74. Just a reminder, if any of you would like to enter the giveaways here is the info:

    *To enter the giveaways, please send an email to passages to the past (at) gmail (dot) com with the subject line: JULIET GREY LIVE CHAT GIVEAWAYS and let me know which giveaway items you are interested in. You can choose one or all...it's up to you! There will be four winners in total.

    *I will accept giveaway entries until midnight tonight and the winners will be chosen and posted tomorrow*

    - Oh-so chic Ballard jute tote with genuine leather trim, which will hold dozens of books, your groceries (far more than a baguette and a bottle of bubbly)
    - Autographed copy of Becoming Marie Antoinette
    - Autographed copy of Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow
    - Boxed set of 16 CDs of the audio book of BMA, narrated by Juliet Grey, which is a rare and expensive gift (the CDs have only been made available to libraries and not directly to consumers!)

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  75. Amy, I'm working on obtaining all of Plaidy's books. I'll write those titles down. Thanks!

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  76. I have not read it either.
    And i agree, the cover is pretty

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  77. I haven't read it yet but just by reading the synopsis, I don't know anything about Axel von Ferson so I'm looking forward to reading about that! And the affair of the diamond!

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  78. I haven't read the book yet, but I am dying to!!

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  79. If you click on the title of the post it will bring up just this post. When you refresh it will bring in the new comments. The comment box will not refresh until you enter a new comment unless you close it and reopen it.

    I hope this helps...

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  80. I am as well, Michelle...she was so prolific that it's quite an undertaking!!

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  81. Hi Juliet! Reading it now and it's wonderful!

    I have a question about research. Do you often visit the places you're writing about?
    And, do you have a favourite reference book pertaining to this subject?

    Martina

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  82. Juliet -- I find it interesting that you took the phimosis route in discussing Louis and Marie's problems with consummating their marriage. There are so many theories out there, what appealed to you about this one?

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  83. Oooh, the California contigent is here! C.W. I read almost every bio (that was in English) that I could get my hands on about her and Louis and Axel and all of MA's interrelationships. And I did approach many of her life choices and actions as though I were playing her. I walked in her footsteps at Versailles. I got into her head and her thoughts -- and those of the other characters, too. As you know so well, you have to get inside the minds of the characters who are also of the opposite gender.

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  84. I've not read it either but most certainly would like to. I loved the first book.

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  85. Yes, Juliet! I completely agree. I was DISGUSTED with the preview I saw of the movie. Complete rubbish!

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  86. Martina, I did visit Paris and Versailles and Schonbrunn and the Hofburg in Austria. Some of the palaces referred to in DAYS OF SPLENDOR, DAYS OF SORROW (like the Tuileries) are no longer standing).

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  87. !! A lesbian relationship? Wow, I can't stand when movies/books blatantly make up stuff. Good to know!

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  88. Juliet, have you been interested in Marie A. all your life?

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  89. Was there anything in particular about the young MA, or the part of her life in this second book, that was unexpected for you? Sometimes, these characters surprise us!

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  90. Oh gosh, I would absolutely LOVE to visit Versailles...I don't think I would ever leave!

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  91. Another thing I do in my research is learn how my characters walked and dressed. I know how many layers they wore and what it felt like. I've also done the Versailles Glide (the unusual, rolling
    three little maids from school" walk that only the noblewomen at Versailles did) IN the halls of Versailles! My poor husband!

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  92. Damn, I didn't know they were making that movie with the lesbian 'twist'. I was really looking forward to it, too.. :(

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  93. What a trooper he must have been! I on the other hand would have loved to travel to Versailles and experience what life might have been like.

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  94. We can try the trollop trot at Hampton Court.

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  95. Amanda, what makes the lesbian relationship in the move SO egregious is that is was one of the major things that Marie Antoinette was accused of (and it was false) and the propaganda was one of the things that dogged her for her reign. The most disgusting, lewd caricatures were sold of her with the princesse de Lamballe and the duchesse de Polignac, and that convinced the populace that it was true. And for a 21st c. FRENCH filmmaker to play into 2 centuries of known bullsh*t (and THEN have the temerity to state that he's finally telling the propaganda-free story) makes me angrier than you can imagine.

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  96. Versailles Glide, Trollop Trot... and people say history is boring! Haha

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  97. Martine, WHAT is the Trollop trot? I have a feeling it's on the other end of the social spectrum from the Versailles Glide!

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  98. Indeed, it makes me angry too. Centuries later and she is still portrayed as a frivilous --pardon my French, haha--- whore.

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  99. The trollop trot is my own invention - you and I will perfect it at Hampton Court in September.

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  100. Fascinating Juliet! I will be boycotting that movie for sure! Unbelievable.

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  101. Gillian, take some video. THIS I need to see! lol

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  102. He probably figures it will help sell tickets to his movie

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  103. Does anyone recommend a GOOD movie or documentary on Marie Antoinette?

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  104. HA! The trollop trot! Love that.

    I actually saw the controversial MA film, but as I didn't know that it was a libelous accusation, I found the girl-on-girl twist interesting. Of course, I never expect accuracy in film, as far as the history goes. I do have to say, slanderous accusations aside, the movie itself is gorgeous, as is Diane Krugeur as MA. The gowns, the jewels, the setting: sumptuous.

    The Versailles glide was an astonishing evolution of fashion, too, how these women adapted themselves to the restrictions of their clothing. What we won't do for a silhouette!

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  105. Allison, that's a very interesting question. Marie Antoinette came to France at the age of 14 and from that point on was in her mind a Frenchwoman. She never even spoke a word of her native German again. But in the minds of the French she was never accepted because she was always the enemy, the outsider, the other, "l'Autrichienne" (a play on words that translates to "the Austrian bitch"). Austria and France had been enemies for about 950 years before her arranged marriage, but it couldn't automatically make the French adore Marie Antoinette. And 7 childless years caused tongues to wag. She wanted children more than anything and channeled her frustration into things that ultimately pissed people off (the excesses of shopping, dancing till all hours, gambling -- and all without her husband because she and Louis didn't share the same interests)

    By the way, MA did NOT bankrupt France. France was already bankrupt by the time her hsuband ascended the throne -- due to several factors we can get into, if people are interested.

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  106. I would think one of the challenges about writing about Marie Antoinette - especially for three books! - would not be playing the end of the scene at the beginning, to put it in theatrical terms. Because all your readers know how her life ended (don't they?)

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  107. be back. hubby leaving for fire meeting. must send him off with the macarons

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  108. Juliet, I'm definitely interested in hearing about the bankruptcy.

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  109. It kind of seems that no matter what MA did, the French aristocracy would have been in trouble sooner or later.

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  110. I hate when people say MA caused the revolution. I knew she was never accepted.

    Do you think she loved Louis? Did Louis love her?

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  111. Thanks, Patty, your instructions worked!

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  112. Didn't they also accuse her of molesting her son when she was on trial? Such a vile thing to do!

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  113. Yes, Juliet. I would be interested in learning what bankrupted France, although I think I already have an inkling.

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  114. I'm curious to see how her relationship with Louis blossoms. I've always believed they loved each other. What is your belief on that, Juliet? Did you come across any interesting opinion of their relationship in your research?

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  115. I also find it interesting that she was considered an "older" mom.

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  116. Michelle, I have always been interested in Marie Antoinette, but until I started researching her for a chapter on her marriage for my nonfiction book NOTORIOUS ROYAL MARRIAGES (written under the name Leslie Carroll), I hadn't realized justhow malignd she (and Louis) have been by history and historians. And it made me so hungry and thirsty to tell her story. And there is so much to tell that I knew it could never fit in a single novel.

    I had previously had a lot of the misconceptions that the history books feed us in shcool -- the image of the bubbleheaded spendthrift who went from heedless to headless (only one short vowel separates them, but there are three novels worth of material in between)! :0

    So let me ask mes amis ici: what were or are your opinions about Marie Antoinette? (Before you read these, may I say, thoroughly researched, novels -- and did they change your mind?) And if you haven't read the books -- if I just say the name "Marie Anoinette," what words or phrases or character traits come to mind?

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  117. I, for one, would love to hear about the various misconceptions, such as her bankrupting France, as I don't know that much about her. Especially some of the crazier ones(I already knew she wasn't the cause of the French Revolution, for one, but I had no idea they accused her of molesting her son!).

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  118. Just making it in by the skin of my teeth. Hello! Glad to have made it this time Amy even if so late...sorry!

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  119. So sorry to be late to this chat. :o( Just was able to get away to join. Need to catch up with the comments, but glad to be here. :o)

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  120. C.W., Gillian and I are going to Hampton Court when we're in London at the end of September, to worship the portraits of Nell. You're welcome to do the Trollop Trot with us while my husband once again blushes and averts his gaze.

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  121. Hi everyone! The weather is lovely here and I'm happy to soak it in and take part in this chat. *waves*

    Juliet - that Marie Antoinette never spoke German again after coming to France is a startling fact. It's very telling how much she wanted to embrace her "new" French self but equally telling how it takes more than language to identify with a culture.

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  122. That we will definitely have to get on video!

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  123. Before I was well read, MA=cake.
    Now, a poor woman abused by her people and history. History recently has been a little kinder to her.

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  124. Welcome to the chat, Margaret, Giveaway Roundup and Na! We started a little late so you aren't too far behind!

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  125. For me, from the little I have read of her, I would say my opinion of her was of a sad, lonely young girl in a strange place who indulged in parties, fashion, etc. to fill the void of love missing in her life.

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  126. I'm so thrilled to find out that you are also Leslie Carroll! I had no idea!

    I have always felt that Marie A. was falsely accused and unfairly maligned. Like you said, she was Austrian and so was not accepted from the start and they just used her actions (in her loneliness and frustration) to make her a scapegoat. In every story, whether film or book, even though I know her fate, I cry at the end. I can't help it.

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  127. Before I read a little about her I would have said: fashionable, flippant, tragic, and maybe ignorant?

    The more I read about her I think: maligned, mother, and possibly tragic in that had she not been royalty she probably would have been just happy living in the country and raising her children. Maybe?

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  128. I think it must have been very difficult for any young girl who was sent off to a dynastic marriage in a foreign country. Reading about Catherine of Aragon's arrival in London in 1501 and all the celebrations, I just want to say "Go back! Get out before it's too late!"

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  129. I had never thought of Marie Antoinette as being as bad as history portrayed her, even before I really started knowing about her.

    But yes, I too, believed that she was selfish and frivilous, at first. Now I know that this is not the case at all. She's a very maligned figure for sure.

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  130. When I think of MA I think of a woman who was way over her head and completely misunderstood.

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  131. Great! Just catching up on the comments. I do remember a movie that both the title and main actress escape me right now lol! I think it is the necklace or Red Necklace. It is very good! It tells the story of a young french woman who tricks the makers of a necklace into selling it to MA but in fact it is to her. Not sure if anyone has seen it.

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  132. Kaitlyn, I think Marie Antoinette and Louis came to know each other as friends first, a dynamic I explore in the first book, BECOMING MARIE ANTOINETTE, and this speaks directly back to the question C.W. asked me about how I get so much inside my characters. I start with the facts. We KNOW Louis dutifully visited MA's bed regularly in those early days, weeks, and months. And we know he thought she was beautiful and we KNOW that "rien" was happening in the boudoir. So SOMETHING else was happening. And what that was, in my view, was conversation. These two teens who were thrown togetehr by dynastic necessity and political expedience, eventually bonded and that stood them in good stead as they eventually stood up to other courtiers and it made them a strong married couple. But I don't think she ever had a sexual passin for Louis the way she did for Axel von Fersen. I also believe that it's entirely possible to love two people at the same time and in two entirely different ways. Axel was Marie Antoinette's Grand Passion. But she was also completely bonded to Louis and knew her role and her duty and family always came first. And I think that as the years went on, she realized how much Louis needed her, emotionally. And she finall came, after more than 20 years of marriage, to feel that way about him.

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  133. I've read several wonderful books about MA. The worst I've read is The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette by Carolly Erickson. Horrible drivel mostly. Juliet, your books and the one by Sena Jeter Naslund have been the best I've read so far.

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  134. I'm back. Sorry I've been so in and out

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  135. BTW, I can stay late, Amy, since I got here so late!

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  136. A rather ghoulish side note - when I went to Madame Tussaud's, I noted that the best waxworks were the very old ones - the ones Madame did from real heads! -- and the new ones that make use of computer technology. There was one - I think it was David Beckham - that I wasn't sure werent a person. The middle ones were largely quite bad.

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  137. Affairs of the Necklace with Hillary Swank, I believe Margaret.

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  138. Colleen, I have a similar impression of MA. Her life seems to be a sad one and that of a lonely lady and yet she seemed to possess quiet strength. I imagine she would need it to deal with all she has.

    I like that these books is bringing MA in such a vibrant light and in a world of elaborate gowns and couture (wow) instead of just the politics.

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  139. Wonderful, Juliet...we can wrap things up around 8:30.

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  140. Do you believe she and Fersen had a sexual relationship? (I'm not far enough into the book yet to know if you covered that)

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  141. Yes that's it thank you Alison

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  142. Gillian, visiting Madame Tussaud's is on my bucket list. I have seen only the pictures but the wax figures are oh so lifelike! It's stunning the talent and eye for detail it takes for each creation. I'd make it a point to take a picture with many of the figures.

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  143. I find it fascinating reading this chat how many similarities they are between MA and other foreign-born queens of France. They just couldn't catch a break and were blamed for everything that went wrong.

    I'd always seen MA as a giddy, helpless, slightly daft princess, whiling away the hours with parties and dresses while France crumbled just outside her gates. "Becoming MA" was such a marvelous discovery for me, because she emerged as someone quite different, yet with some of her characteristic traits - only you understand her much better and want to see her succeed. It reminded me that for her, as so many royal brides, life was full of vicissitude and danger. Nothing was easy.

    I'd love to go to Hampton Court to do the trollop trot. Now, that would be a video! Plus, I adore Hampton Court, one of the most beautiful palaces in the world. But I'm going to Paris right after the HNS conference.

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  144. Martina - I really need to read the Naslund novel on MA, I hear it was really good

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  145. The American Revolution went a long way in bankrupting France....

    MA was still a child when she went to France and I think history forgets that. Louis never expected to rule and truly didn't want to. They were supremely ill equipped.

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  146. Yes, Affair of the Necklace with Hillary Swank! I actually remember liking that one.

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  147. To answer Gillian's question: "I would think one of the challenges about writing about Marie Antoinette - especially for three books! - would not be playing the end of the scene at the beginning, to put it in theatrical terms. Because all your readers know how her life ended (don't they?)"

    Yes, it is a challenge. And I have to roll my eyes, NOT to Gillian, but to readers who have posted on blogs that maybe they enh-I-dunno-if-I-wanna read the 2nd and especially the last book in the trilogy because it'll be sad, or because MA dies. News flash: ALL of the people we write about who lived centuries ago are dead. And some of them died horribly. Does this mean you won't pick up the next Anne Boleyn book? I didn't think so. Do we still go to productions of Hamlet? Of course. We know how the story ends. But it's in the telling. And with my novels there are a lot of fact-based events that haven't been in other versions or novels as well. And my interpretation of MA and Louis and some of the other major characters is different from the way they have been depicted by other novelist or in movies, beacuse I put on my actress's hat and shoes and walked in their heads and analyzed the whys of what they did and the hows of the way things made it into the historical record.

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  148. Do you believe that MA and Louis could have ever survived the revolution?

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  149. Hmmm, Affair of the Necklace...adding that to my list to watch!

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  150. Going back to my previous question, Juliet, did anything about MA surprise you? We do all this research and strive to get into the character's skin, then, bang! something totally unexpected happens. They come alive in a way or ways we hadn't anticipated. Did that happen with your MA?

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  151. Margaret, yes you are thinking, as Colleen mentioned of the Hilary Swank movie. It's wildly inaccurate historically (quelle surprise) and I find Swank woefully miscast. DAYS OF SPLENDOR, DAYS OF SORROW devotes a lot of page time to the real story, but in fact it is so complicated that I told the truth but not the whole truth, which would take a trilogy of its own.

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  152. Thank you, Juliet. Yes, I agree that they needed each other. They were thrown together at such an awkward time and were both uneducated in sexual matters, so it's not hard to see why there were problems in the bedroom.

    @virginiebarbeau Yes I completely agree! That was a terrible book. Yes, Naslund's was quite enjoyable. I believe that is the best representation of MA I've read up until now aside from Juliet's :)

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  153. I'm sorry. I have to go. The goats need to go in the barn and I have soap to make.

    Thanks for another great chat night Amy and Thanks Juliet for what I am sure is a fantastic second chapter in MA's life.

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  154. Na, MA did more than just cease speaking German in order to become "French". She was also reluctant to push Austrian political interests with her in-laws, much to the chagrin of her mother the empress of Austria and her eldest brother, Joseph.

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  155. I would like to think MA and Louis could have survived, and if they had wonder what would have become of them. Exile comes to mind though and I think MA would need to be as resourceful and strong as ever.

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  156. I heard that the NF book on MA from Antoinia Fraser is awesome...yet another one that I need to get to. So many books, so little time!

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  157. I agree with the comments earlier about her most likely being a very sad woman. I think her being a lesser royal and not expected to marry a king probably made her quite ill equipped to be a queen as well contributed to her sadness. I get the feeling she was not really accepted by her peers in France.

    Interesting about the American revolution...wars have bancrupted so many countries I never considered that.

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  158. Thanks, Patty! Have a great night and tell the goats we said hello!

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  159. Patty, I make soap too! Nice to meet a fellow soap maker!

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  160. Me too Amy I've got mine on my shelf waiting patiently....

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  161. C.W. we're going to Hampton Court before the conference - the exhibit closes on Sept. 30!

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  162. Did the Seven Years War before the American Revolution also contribute to the bankruptcy? I have no clue, just asking.

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  163. C.W. One thing that surprised me was that she was SO much more astute politically and adept than anyone might have imagined. This is all in the third book, but I was surprised at how she rose to the occasion and developed nerves of steel when called for. One thing that I loved about having the opportunity to tell her story in a trilogy was to allow for character development to happen organically rather than cram such a transformation into 400pp (or a mere 950, if you're Margaret George). I'm reviewing the manuscript for THE LAST OCTOBER SKY, the third novel, now, and I see glimpses on occasion of the girl inside the woman who has been through so much, but wow, has she come a long way since BECOMING MARIE ANTOINETTE. And in DAYS OF SPLENDOR, DAYS OF SORROW, you can feel her undergoing all these transformations. It was like she had the ruby slippers all along, but never used them -- even when she was being urged to do so as a teen. That surprised me.

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  164. I wish I could meet you all in London this year, but I'm hoping to make the conference in St. Pete, FL next year.

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  165. Juliet, Hollywood usually makes mess of historical movies lol! I agree on Hilary I think they could have cast a better choice for that role.
    Although I do like her in some of her other films.

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  166. Man, I wish I could write. The lives you authors lead - Versailles, Paris, Hampton Court....sigh.

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  167. The film, The Affair of the Necklace, I believe is based on a non-fiction book called The Queen's Necklace by Frances Mossiker. If anyone is interested. =O)

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  168. Oh Juliet, I LOVE the title to the third novel!!

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  169. It will be great to meet you next year, Amy.

    What great titles, Juliet/Leslie!

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  170. I like both historical novels and movies but I have to say books have the upper hand. Casting is pretty important too. It's all in the details!

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  171. Oh, crap. I'm arriving in the UK on the 28th, just in time to get my butt to the reception!

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  172. THE LAST OCTOBER SKY is an amazing title!! And, I can't wait to see the cover :o

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  173. Amanda, it sounds glamourous but at least for me 99.5% of the time it's not. Extremely hard to get the books written and I'm not yet making a living at it.

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  174. I love that you are doing a trilogy instead of a massive chunkster and leaving things out. I feel like the three books are more accessible and not as intimidating to pick up.

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  175. I'm hoping to make it to Florida next year too, Amy. It would be so great to meet you and everyone who loves HF as much as I do!

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  176. I would have to agree with you Amanda

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  177. Yes, it would be amazing Gillian!

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  178. I'm hoping there'll be a convention in Canada one day... haha

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  179. Amanda, yes, the Seven Years War absolutely bankrupted Louis XV's treasury, so France was broke befoer Louis XVI got there. AND don't forget, only the Third Estate (the bourgeoisie and laborers) were taxed. The first two Estates (the clergy and nobility) never paid taxes! And they were the only 2 entities who had any money. Bad harvests also contributed to the bad economy. And the court kept spending like mad. Other members of the royal family (like Louis XV's daughters , Mesdames) all had satellite courts, for example. And they were ALL spending on credit and never paying their bills to the tradesmen who were the only people paying taxes!

    Also, during Louis XVI's reign, he added to the financial distress of his own treasury by giving massive financial aid to the American colonies during OUR revolution with the intent of weakening France's age-old enemy, England. Unfortunately, France also sent noblemen and generals to command regiments here and they came back with the seeds of liberty and equality planted in their Gallic bellies.

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  180. I am so excited for the conference in St. Pete! They never seem to come my way so I am jumping at the chance to go then :). I hope you can go, Amy, as I would love to hang out with you! And I'm excited to meet all the other "friends" I've made online in bookish internet world!

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  181. I am so excited for the conference in St. Pete! They never seem to come my way so I am jumping at the chance to go then :). I hope you can go, Amy, as I would love to hang out with you! And I'm excited to meet all the other "friends" I've made online in bookish internet world!

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  182. I would love that, Michelle! I hope we can both make it!

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  183. Michelle, Frances Mossiker's book was great research for DAYS OF SPLENDOR, DAYS OF SORROW, but I can't tell you all how much I HATED the movie!!!! And to answer Amy's question: I have never seena movie about Marie Antoinette that I liked and that includes anything I might have seen before I learned so much about her. Anyone want to film my trilogy? I get casting approval!

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  184. Colleen - you better go, you're so close! If you don't, I'll just have to kidnap you :)

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  185. Well, it's 7:20 here and I have to feed my boys who just came in from outside ravenous! thanks for the great chat, Amy and thank you Juliet for some wonderful answers to our questions. Your love for MA is obvious. I can't wait to read your books!

    Good night my other HF friends!

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  186. Yes, the title is so appropriate and I loved the cover art for BECOMING MARIE ANTOINETTE and I love it for DAYS OF SPLENDOR, DAYS OF SORROW as well. Can't wait to see what it will look like for the last book!

    Just a question on the cover for DAYS OF SPLENDOR, DAYS OF SORROW: is that Louis or Axel standing next to Marie on the balcony? I thought it was Louis but I wasn't sure exactly...

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  187. Who would you cast as MA, Juliet?

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  188. That's marvelous, Juliet, about MA transformed for you. I love it when characters take on their own lives. And yes, I agree: doing a trilogy is a privilege, because you get to work with that gradual, organic development. So few of us have that chance, which is why I've started to not tackle entire lives but rather focus on portions that are transformative. It really is too much to get everything into 400 pp; it can be done, I did it with Catherine de Medici, but it really is not easy. But a trilogy: now, that gives room to explore and breathe. Which is why I'm loving your MA books. I'm reveling in the luxury.

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  189. Have you ever thought of writing a trilogy, Christopher?

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  190. Your trilogy made into a movie would be a dream come true, Juliet. I've been waiting for so long to watch the perfect MA film. I thought perhaps it might be Farewell, My Queen. But, not if it has the lesbian stuff in it. Not that I'm against lesbians, I just don't believe MA did that.

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