From Marie-Anoinette's Garden by Elizabeth De Feydeau
A horticultural tour of Marie-Antoinette’s domain, the lavishly constructed gardens at Versailles, accompanied by eighteenth-century archival illustrations. Plants, flowers, and trees were Marie-Antoinette’s passion; she transformed the Petit Trianon’s gardens into an enchanted escape from the oppressive shackles of Versailles. Based on archival documents, this book meanders through Marie-Antoinette’s estate as the queen herself would have walked it: traversing hyacinths, buttercups, and anemones in the French Gardens, via winding paths in the Anglo-Chinese Gardens, through the conifers of the Belvedere Gardens—where fabulous nocturnal parties were hosted—past the entrancing aromas of the shrubs surrounding the Temple of Love, to the wildflowers of the Garden of Solitude. This fascinating reconstruction includes descriptions of the cosmetic and medicinal uses of the garden’s plants, anecdotes from the royal court, and watercolors of the herbarium.