At the beginning of the financial crisis in 2007, I began to think about how it is possible to have an innocently destructive lifestyle. Most biographers do not see Marie Antoinette (1755-93) as a particularly bad person. She was known for her devotion to her family, for trying to escape from involuntary detention and for her interest in creating an idealized woman and nature-centered world. Marie and Louis more or less happened upon the Revolution.

Maureen Shea