The Bad Queen, by Carolyn Meyer

Halfway through the book I still couldn’t figure out why I kept picturing the Dauphin of France as Jason Schwartzman.  

Then it hit me:

The VERDICT: Historical YA fiction enthusiasts, go for it.

The Bad Queen is as interesting as it is easy to read, with great tidbits such as 18th century teeth straightening:

“I thought the canines he talked about were probably dogs, and the pelican must be some exotic sea bird, and none of it made any sense to me. Then, without a word of warning, he placed a block of wood in my mouth to hold it open, gripped one of my upper teeth in the draws of a dreadful instrument—this was the pelican—and forced the tooth into a new position.  I let out a shriek of pain and terror, my arms and legs flailing.  Several footmen rushed to pin me down and hold my head in place.  While I howled, Doctor Bourdet repeated the horrible process on the remaining canines–my pointed teeth, it turned out, and not dogs at all.”

(It gets even better when they move on to the gold wire braces.)

If you know the story of Marie Antoinette, little will come as a surprise.  Still, it’s nice to hear her story from the perspective of what she was: political pawn AND young girl.  Scapegoats for the French revolutionists, she and Louis have been labeled everything from uncaring to cruel… but really, they were probably just totally inept.¹

The Bad Queen tells that side of the story.
¹Okay, so  she had that whole Petit Trianon thing—that was a bit much.


5 Responses to The Bad Queen, by Carolyn Meyer

  1. Seriously? Braces? I think I might even have that book around here somewhere. Clearly I need to dig it out.

    Did they have some form of braces then? I know crap about that period.

    • roygirltheyounger says:

      it was actually one of the earliest forms. it’s pretty detailed in the book, and i fact checked. PAINFUL.

  2. GAH. They were bad enough when I had them — I don’t know if I could even handle thinking about early forms of braces. THE IDEA. I just assumed that they sprang, fully formed, from some orthodontist’s brain.

    • roygirltheyounger says:

      they sounded super painful. i’ll find a quote and add it.

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