Written by Christian Duvernois
Photographed by Francois Halard

©2008 Rizzoli, New York



Marie-Antoinette has been idolized as the height of eighteenth-century French style and vilified as the spark that ignited the French Revolution. This book departs from such traditional interpretations of the infamous queen’s reign and chooses to reflect on the humanistic aspects of her private realm. To escape the formalities and royal obligations of Louis XVI’s court, Marie-Antoinette created a private realm of pleasure for herself at the Petit Trianon and Hameau, where she planted the first Anglo-Chinese garden; created a trysting grotto; a working farm; and revolutionized architecture and gardening trends for the century to come. Marie-Antoinette’s entire private domain and its story are told in beautiful photographic detail by François Halard for the first time since its recent restoration and accompanied by well-researched texts by garden expert Christian Duvernois.


“In his delightful book, landscape designer and historian Christian Duvernois notes that the passionate gardener can transform an ordinary piece of land into a sensitive portrait of an epoch and a major work of art.” -Town & Country

“The author champions Marie-Antoinette, documenting the evolution of the queen and of the Petit Trianon….(which) has been lovingly restored and is presented here as the “Arcadian Idyll,” seductively photographed by Francois Halard.” -Veranda

“Flipping the page is like taking another step further in the glorious maze of the palace at Versailles.” -Romantic Homes