When The King Took Flight Essay

1071 WordsJan 30, 20125 Pages
When The King Took Flight; a Historic Book Review By Ashley Landry Timothy Tackett provides us with a well-researched novel explaining how King Louis XVI sealed his own fate, in his story about the flight of the royal family during the hard times of the French revolution. When the King Took Flight is the story of the King and his family trying to escape the turmoil of Paris, and his Jacobin enemies. However, the family’s plan is foiled, are returned to Paris, and soon after put to death at the guillotine. Throughout his novel, Tackett is trying to prove to his readers that the flight of the royal family was unsuccessful due to the King’s indecision on the departure date, changes in the common people’s attitude during the revolution, the King’s failure to absorb the grand scale of the revolution. The author gives evidence of many times when Louis shows indecisiveness, and making decisions overshadowed by influence from members of court all throughout his life. At a young age the King relied on the advice and knowledge of mentors, most notably two elder councillors, counts Maurepas and Vergennes. When it comes time to finally plan the escape, King Louis takes much time to ponder over the idea, so long that Marie and her partner Fersen had already started planning before finally receiving the King’s consent. Their escape was ready with the departure planned for May, however, the King continues with his indecision and postpones the date. Louis does not just postpone the date once, but five more times and finally they depart on the twentieth of June. Tackett argues that if the family had left earlier, it would increase their chances at a safe getaway. This was such a large scheme and by prolonging it, they increased the opportunity for the conspiracy to be leaked. Finally he argued that by delaying the trip, German cavalry, that were stationed at specific relay

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