"Marie Antionette The Journey" by Antonia Fraser.
So many details in this book, creating a rich picture of both Marie Antoinette and the French Court of her time, but also the Austrian Court and her equally interesting mother Maria Teresa.
*The young Austrian Archduchesses on sleds carved as swans and gilded with gold, dressed in fur-trimmed velvet, their diamonds sparkling, all lit by torch-light.
*Twenty thousand horses needing to be posted along the route for the two and a half week journey from Vienna to Versailles, as the entourage had so many coaches, dignitaries and attendants.
*The "Versailles Glide" which Marie Antoinette mastered to the extent of becoming the "supreme exponent". (A way for the ladies of the Court to walk without lifting their feet from the ground.)
*The use of, (almost scarlet), rouge, as a precise circle on each check - not so much for vanity, but to denote rank. (Non-nobles were forbidden to use it, though the market women copied them by staining their cheeks with red wine.)
*The pressing into service of people such as the King himself, Louis XV, and the musician Gluck, to report to Austria on Marie Antoinette's menstrual cycle.
*The presence of some people at the Court who had been there from the time of Louis XIV and were still in service there - from childhood to old age - through three reigns.
*The use of sniffer dogs to round up the vagrants who would find a nook or cranny to home themselves in, as Versailles was so open - and there was a tradition of the people being able to see their monach - and people would just take up residence there.
*The handicap of being "The Austrian Woman" was accompanied by being descended from Lorraine through her father - both a black mark against Marie Antoinette at the French Court, and people with connections to Lorraine tried to use her, harming her standing.
*"Let them eat cake" was in use a hundred years before Marie Antoinette arrived at Versailles - used to discredit other foreign born princesses.
*Marie Antoinette had some physical drawbacks such as her shoulders being of different heights, which was disguised with padding in her clothing. Her hairline was un-even but again, this was diguised by a French hair-dresser sent to Austria before her arrival in Versailles. Even her teeth were adjusted by a French dentist using wire, again before her journey to France.
A very easy to read book as Antonia Fraser is such a skilled writer. Thoroughly engrossing.