The bare ends of my toes yet touch the blue silk of Austria, puddled on the
floor around my feet. Blue, blue as the Danube swirling through Vienna on a
bright blue day. I believe silk and water do have something of the same
My ladies would have me to step forth. It is the littlest toenail of the most little toe on the left foot that lastly brushes the fabric of the House of Hapsburg. All my being rushes into this insignificant toenail, not so big as a shiny sequin or a flake of trout skin. My toenail is like the loop on the letter e at the end of a word: Dauphine.
The foregoing is excerpted from Abundance, A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Naslund. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
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