Marie Antoinette, the phantom queen (BD)

The life and fate of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France is always a subject that fascinates and leaves no one indifferent. This is how the duo Annie Goetzinger and Rodolphe put it on stage in a BD mixing history with the fantastic. The authors use a real event that took place in the Trianon gardens on August 10, 1901: two English girls, Miss Moberly and Miss Jourdain, although alone in the park, feel a presence, that of Queen Marie Antoinette!

The story

Maud de Brunhoe, painter, draws in the gardens of Trianon on October 5, 1934, but her dog runs away, attracted by something ... and finds himself in Marie Antoinette's Belvedere where, very happy, he lets himself be caressed by the queen and her friends! Urgently called back to the castle, because the people of Paris are on their way to Versailles, they run away in the rain and that's when Maud enters and retrieves her dog, both of them very surprised.

From that day on, Maud will only have nightmares, waking up with a start each time with these words in her head "this is the day, this is the hour"! Invited to a weekend in Normandy, she will be taken by an impression and a very strange feeling during a session of spiritualism ... Through the artist painter, Queen Marie Antoinette asks for the peace of her soul, and deliverance!

They will meet again in the paint shop; Marie Antoinette, feeling confident and secure, will tell about her life, her childhood, her arrival in Versailles, the relations with her husband, her love for Axel de Fersen, her occupations until the abandonment of the castle, the flight to Varennes, the Temple prison, the judgment, the trial… then the guillotine! But his body was never buried in Saint Denis Basilica. The queen is not "really dead", she relives her life endlessly, endlessly, wandering perpetually ...

Our opinion

The use of watercolor and pastel tones are perfect for such a story. The designs are harmonious and give a vaporous, light effect, adapted to the atmosphere of the 18th century. The wigs, adornments, clothes and places such as the salons of Versailles are meticulously reproduced as well as the expressions of the faces, which can go from astonishment to horror or from joy to serenity ...

The historical facts mentioned in this comic being very real, it is certainly a good start to immerse yourself in history and thus understand more the life of one of the most famous queens in the world, that of Marie Antoinette who was above all a woman, a mother, a Queen caught in the turmoil of the French Revolution.

Marie Antoinette: The phantom queen. By Annie Goetzinger, Rodolphe Goetzinger. Editions Dargaud, September 2011.

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