August 18, 2022


The world of science and technology

Who censored Marie-Antoinette’s letters? X-rays reveal a surprise

In late 1791 and early 1792, on the eve of the French Revolutionary Wars, queen Marie-Antoinette engaged in a secret correspondence with her confidant and rumored lover, Belgian count Axel von Fersen. Nearly 50 letters from that exchange survive at the French National Archives. But certain passages in 15 of the letters were unreadable, obscured by redactions made with swirls of dark ink. Now, researchers have revealed the words beneath 45 of these alterations using x-ray technology. They have also discovered the censor’s identity.

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Science News Source: Science Magazine

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