Monday, July 20, 2020

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Marie Antoinette's World: Intrigue, Infidelity, and Adultery in Versailles by Will Bashor


on tour July 20-August 14 with 
  Marie Antoinette's World    

Marie Antoinette’s World: Intrigue, Infidelity, And Adultery In Versailles

[history/biographical nonfiction] Release date:
June 15, 2020 Postponed due to Covid-19: July 30, 2020 at Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Hardcover and ebook, 320 pages


This riveting book explores the little-known intimate life of Marie Antoinette and her milieu in a world filled with intrigue, infidelity, adultery, and sexually transmitted diseases. Will Bashor reveals the intrigue and debauchery of the Bourbon kings from Louis XIII to Louis XV, which were closely intertwined with the expansion of Versailles from a simple hunting lodge to a luxurious and intricately ordered palace. It soon became a retreat for scandalous conspiracies and rendezvous—all hidden from the public eye. When Marie Antoinette arrived, she was quickly drawn into a true viper’s nest, encouraged by her imprudent entourage. Bashor shows that her often thoughtless, fantasy-driven, and notorious antics were inevitable given her family history and the alluring influences that surrounded her. Marie Antoinette’s frivolous and flamboyant lifestyle prompted a torrent of scathing pamphlets, and Bashor scrutinizes the queen’s world to discover what was false, what was possible, and what, although shocking, was most probably true. Readers will be fascinated by this glimpse behind the decorative screens to learn the secret language of the queen’s fan and explore the dark passageways and staircases of endless intrigue at Versailles.


The throne is debased by indecency. . . .Versailles has become the palace of perfidy, hatred, and vengeance; wrought by intrigues and personal views, it seems that all sense of honesty has been abandoned there.
Florimond Claude, Comte de Mercy-Argenteau,
Austrian Ambassador to Versailles
By focusing on the enigmatic Versailles from the reign of Louis XIII to Louis XVI, distinctive traits of social mores and behavioral patterns can be identified that had been handed down from generation to generation and institutionalized at the court of the last queen of France. Such an expanded angle of vision provides a guide for navigating the labyrinth of Marie Antoinette’s psyche.
As we will see, her psyche will become intertwined with the Château of Versailles’s raison d'être, where the closed society and court life of Versailles only amplified traits inherited from generation to generation, making them more apparent and more easily discernable; this is called emotional genealogy when family behavior patterns are transmitted.
Although the palace was initially constructed as a hunting lodge, it soon served as a retreat for scandalous intrigues and rendezvous—all hidden from the public’s eye. In later reigns, the royals would need to find other nearby retreats or hideaways for liaisons, of which the Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon, and the Parc-aux-Cerfs would become most notorious.
The story of Versailles. The plot of this narrative has always been simple: a foreign princess is betrothed to an heir of the throne of France. The characters, however, are all far from simple when playing their roles in this pervasive, inherited environment, which included royal possessions of land, immense wealth, palaces, titles, and even the Cents-suisses, the mercenary Swiss Guard who served the French court as royal bodyguards for almost four hundred years.
Very strict social norms also evolved at court to regulate the personnel of royal households for the education of the monarchs' heirs. Ages of majority were set at the age of thirteen, but princes were taken from governesses and put in the society of males with their own apartments by the age of seven.

Until the age of seven, however, a governess kept watch over a future monarch’s health and welfare, swearing an oath to shape his predilections and provide him with guiding principles. She was called “mama” by tradition and held the post for life. As we shall see, Louis XIV’s governess would take her rank to the next level when it came to the instruction of the young prince’s education in the royal bed.

Will Bashor picture 


  Will Bashor is the author of the award-winning Marie Antoinette’s Head: The Royal Hairdresser, the Queen, and the Revolution and Marie Antoinette’s Darkest Days: Prisoner No. 280 in the Conciergerie. He holds a doctorate in international studies from the American Graduate School in Paris and is professor of global issues at Franklin University. He lives in Barcelona, Spain. Visit his website, or connect with him here:
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You can enter the global giveaway here or on any other book blog participating in this tour. Visit/Follow the participating blogs on Facebook/Twitter, as listed in the entry form below, and win more entry points!


Tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time! [just follow the directions on the entry-form] Global giveaway open to all 9 winners will receive a copy of this book



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I thought Marie Antoinette's World: Intrigue, Infidelity, and Adultery in Versailles was an interesting read. I have been fascinated by Marie Antoinette since I was a kid and Will Bashor does a wonderful job bringing her world to life. This is probably my favorite book I have read about her. I learned quite a bit about her – some of it really shocking and some of it I never knew before. I was captivated from page one all the way to the very end. I could not put it down until I finished.

I am giving Marie Antoinette's World: Intrigue, Infidelity, and Adultery in Versailles a very well deserved five plus stars. I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy reading about those that were part of Royal French History. I thought it was a great read.

I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.



  1. Wow, so glad you learned more about Marie Antoinette. Will is definitely the expert, and he writes so well. I highly recommend you read his other 3 books on her. Fascinating: one on her hair and hairdresser, really captivating. And one on her last days, when she was imprisoned. And you will need to add a visit to her prison in Paris to see what he writes so well about!
    Thanks for your wonderful review and for posting an excerpt

  2. I've seen the movie starring Kirsten Dunst.