Scientists Decipher Marie Antoinette’s Redacted Love Notes

"Not without you." "My dear friend." "You that I love."

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This image provided by researchers shows a section of a letter dated Jan. 4, 1792 by Marie-Antoinette, queen of France and wife of Louis XVI, to Swedish count Axel von Fersen, with a phrase (outlined in red) redacted by an unknown censor. The bottom half shows results from an X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy scan on the redacted words. The copper (Cu) section reveals the French words, “non pas sans vous" (“not without you"). (Anne Michelin, Fabien Pottier, Christine Andraud via AP)
Image via AP Photo/Uncredited

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WASHINGTON (AP) — “Not without you.” “My dear friend.” “You that I love.” Marie Antoinette sent these expressions of affection — or more? — in letters to her close friend and rumored lover Axel von Fersen. Someone later used dark ink to scribble over the words, apparently to dampen the effusive, perhaps amorous, language. Scientists in France devised a new method to uncover the original writing, separating out the chemical composition of different inks used…

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