Science-Fiction, 'The Decameron' and other letters to the editor

Many famous biographies and stories – including those of Hilaire Belloc (1909), André Castelot (1957), Stanley Loomis (1972), Claude Manc...


Many famous biographies and stories – including those of Hilaire Belloc (1909), André Castelot (1957), Stanley Loomis (1972), Claude Manceron (1974), Desmond Seward (1981), Simon Schama (1989), Evelyne Lever (2000) , Antonia Fraser (2001), Munro Price (2014) and John Hardman (2019) – examined the evidence for an affair and, while entertaining different theories about the extent and nature of the couple’s relationship, all agree that the historical record does not allow any conclusion. Contrary to what Goldstone claims, the recent decryption by a team of French researchers of eight correspondences between Marie-Antoinette and Fersen does not change this fact. Like Le Monde reported in June 2020, these letters “confirm the thesis, so long invoked, of an emotional relationship [relation sentimentale], without however making a shocking revelation [révélation fracassante] on the subject. The newspaper went on to quote a curator from the National Archives of France, who said: “These new documents do not constitute erotic correspondence, nor even, strictly speaking, romantic correspondence.

There is new research that goes directly to Goldstone’s claim to the dolphin’s paternity but which I only learned about after writing my review. It is a study published in 2019 in the International Journal of Sciences by French scientists who compared the DNA of a lock of hair belonging to Louis-Charles to the DNA of Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI. In conclusion, the researchers write: “Many rumors, from the beginning, have questioned the paternity of Louis XVI of his children. We show here that Louis-Charles (Louis XVII) is indeed the son of Louis XVI.

As to the charge that I aimed to “belittle” Dr. Linda Gray, the Connecticut pediatrician whose answers to Goldstone’s questions about Louis XVI’s behavioral eccentricities became, in Goldstone’s analysis, evidence that the King was autistic, I would just like to reiterate the point I made. in my review, which is that Gray’s responses cannot be considered a proper professional diagnosis since Louis XVI died almost 230 years ago and was never personally examined by Gray.

For the publisher:

Oh my! Why didn’t Dana Spiotta mention “The Decameron” in her praise review from Gary Shteyngart’s new book, “Our Country Friends” (November 14)? This would seem an obvious reference for a book about a group of young people decamping in the countryside during a plague. Shteyngart must know him.

Claudia Carr-Levy
New York

A December 5 review of “Magritte: A Life” by Alex Danchev and Sarah Whitfield, using information from the book, misrepresented René Magritte’s age at the time of his death. He was 68, not 69.

??

Last Sunday’s Editors’ Choice column misrepresented Greta Garbo’s age when she arrived in Hollywood. She was 19, not 22.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Science-Fiction, 'The Decameron' and other letters to the editor
Science-Fiction, 'The Decameron' and other letters to the editor
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