Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette

The Journey

Book - 2001
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Random House, Inc.
An utterly riveting and intensely moving book by one of the world’s finest biographers.

Never before has the life of Marie Antoinette been told so intimately and with such authority. The eighteenth-century French queen whose excesses became legend, Marie Antoinette was blamed for instigating the French Revolution. In this lavishly illustrated biography, best-selling author Antonia Fraser portrays a woman whose journey from palace to guillotine was doomed by her innocence and the manipulations of the ancien régime.

Antonia Fraser takes us behind the scenes to tell the story of the fourteen-year-old Archduchess of Austria’s arrival at the French court of Versailles, betrothed to the future King Louis XVI. Hostage to her mother Empress Maria Theresa’s foreign policy, Marie Antoinette was immediately accused of political interference by the French, yet she was not interested in state affairs, preferring to play a gracious, philanthropic role, patronizing the arts, especially music.

Fraser weaves a richly detailed account of Marie Antoinette’s journey from an innocent, unsophisticated young girl into a magnificently courageous woman who, in the last days of the ancien régime, defied her enemies at her trial with consummate intelligence, arousing the admiration of even the most hostile revolutionaries.

Brilliantly written, Marie Antoinette is a work of impeccable scholarship. Drawing on a wealth of letters and other archival materials, Antonia Fraser successfully avoids the hagiography of some of the French queen’s admirers and the misogyny of many of her critics.

Publisher: Anchor Canada Paperback, c2001
Edition: 2002
ISBN: 9780385257756
0385257759
Characteristics: 512 pages ; cm

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t
TLOrr
Feb 14, 2015

place on hold

p
pwalmsley
Nov 10, 2011

An incredibly well researched, and thoroughly engrossing book. Great insight into not only Marie, but her husband, family, and inner circle.

debwalker Apr 30, 2011

"Antonia Fraser is an expert on royalty, having penned 11 biographies on regal subjects. While they are all worthy reads, her 2001 biography of Marie Antoinette is the most suitable to celebrating Kate Middleton's becoming a princess (as well as a bride). Marie Antoinette: The Journey is widely considered to be the most thorough and balanced book about the controversial Queen of France available."
CBC Books

r
ryner
May 31, 2007

Antonia Fraser's well-researched work details the known facts in the life of Marie Antoinette ? from her grand childhood as the daughter of an empress, to her marriage to Louis XVI and her life as France's queen, to her tragic and ultimate downfall with the start of the French Revolution.

Although I would recommend it to history fans, the book took me longer to complete than a book of this size normally would, partly because there was simply so much information to digest. I was also occasionally bored with the more political details. However, I find it amazing that we do know so much about Marie Antoinette and these events that occurred more than 200 years ago.

Compared with Abundance, a work of historical fiction published in 2006 by Sena Jeter Naslund which complements this one fairly well, Fraser's Marie Antoinette is a more sympathetic character. In a rather stark contrast to popular opinion, both of her contemporaries and her reputation persisting through history, she is painted very nearly as an innocent victim of circumstance. I suspect the truth lies somewhere in between.

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