A compelling new analysis of a love affair that rocked the French throne to its foundations. Daughter of the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa, Marie-Antoinette was married at fourteen to the Dauphin of France. The vivacious and charming Archduchess had absolutely nothing in common with her husband, crowned Louis XVI in 1774, who was unable to consummate their marriage. The young queen laughed off her loneliness in a hectic social life and looked elsewhere for love and sympathy. This book portrays her transformation from reckless teenager to the majestic and misunderstood queen of the Revolution and maps out in detail her enduring relationship with Axel von Fersen. Their liaison, based on deep affection and mutual passion, began long before revolutionary storm clouds gathered over France and had fateful consequences for them both. Evelyn Farr draws on fresh evidence from archive sources – including decoded secret correspondence – to reveal the startling truth about the queen’s great love affair and its major impact on the destiny of the French Royal Family.