2D Macro-XRF to reveal redacted sections of French queen Marie-Antoinette secret correspondence with Swedish count Axel von Fersen

Anne Michelin
During the French Revolution, Marie-Antoinette, queen of France and wife of Louis the XVIth, maintained a highly secret correspondence with the Swedish count Axel von Fersen, her close friend and rumored lover. An unidentified censor later redacted certain sections of the exchanged letters. This presumably sensitive content has been puzzling historians for almost 150 years. We report on the methodology that successfully unraveled this historical mystery. X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy was used in macro scanning mode...
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