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The Lacemaker and the Princess
by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
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1.What kind of person was Isabelle? What did you learn about Isabelle when she tricked the kitchen boy into giving her sausages and bread? How did Isabelle change by the end of the story?
2.Were you surprised that the palace smelled so bad? What made it smell like this? Why were people allowed to walk about the palace so freely?
3.What kind of person was Therese? Why did Therese name Isabelle Cloquette? Was there anything wrong with this? Was Therese a true friend? How hard is it to be concerned about people's welfare when you are rich and powerful? Were there things about Therese's life that Isabelle didn't know?
4.Was it a good thing that Isabelle became friends with Therese? Was there any danger in this for Isabelle? Why was Maman so worried about Isabelle's friendship with Therese?
5.Why did Maman change after Grandmere died? Why couldn't she understand Isabelle's desire to see Therese? Maman called Isabelle stupid and disrespectful - did Maman understand something that Isabelle did not? Was it naiive of Isabelle to think she could become a Lady-in-Waiting?
6.Were you surprised that Maman and Grandmere worked for ten years (or more) to make enough money for a dowry. What is a dowry and why was it so important?
7.Why didn't the Queen and Therese understand that Isabelle needed to be paid for playing with Therese? Therese had no concept of work, money and paying for necessities. Do you think this is true of all well-to-do people? Did it shock you when Isabelle told Therese the truth about her working and her family? Were you afraid Therese might get angry? (92-93p.)
8.What would you have done if you were in George's place when Isabelle and Maman needed money? Do people act differently if they are hungry or starving? Do you think it is ever right to steal?
9.Ernestine's mother and the Dauphin died of consumption. What it consumption? What causes it? How do you prevent it?
10.Pierre changed candles and Isabelle made lace--just like their parents and grandparents and great-grandparents. This is one of the things the leaders of the revolution were trying to change. Why did it exist this way for so long? Why couldn't Pierre, Isabelle and George be whatever they wanted to be?
11.What was the class system in France? Isabelle thought that all the classes bossed the people lower than them, but nobody bossed the King. He answered only to God (p.13). Were you surprised that, in the end, the King had to answer to someone? Who was it?
12.Was King Louis XVI a good king? Why were the people so angry? Were the people right to revolt against him? Why is it important that leaders be good learders?
13.What was the Estates General? Why was it so important when the Third Estate walked out and declared themselves separate from the King? Did the revolution scare you?
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