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Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia…
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Marie Antoinette: The Journey

by Antonia Fraser

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2,233None2,867 (3.87)84
  1. 00
    Madame de Pompadour by Nancy Mitford (nessreader)
    nessreader: I know these represent two different generations at Versailles, but both books are about women at the french court, and are as readable as novels
  2. 00
    Catherine the Great: Love, Sex, and Power by Virginia Rounding (bookcrushblog)
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Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
This was initially a good, fast read, but as I got further into the book I found myself tiring of Marie Antoinette and wanting to read something else. It became a bit of a chore. I was disappointed because I'd always had an interest in finding out more about her since I saw a documentary on Blue Peter was I was very young. ( )
1 vote Fluffyblue | Jul 5, 2013 |
I've got to admit with all the things we have heard about Marie Antoinette through History, it was always with an unsympathetic edge - indicating that both she and Louis deserved their decapitation. Most of us know her for being extravagent and for the saying - let them eat cake - which according to this book by Antonia Fraser, was never her saying. This is a sympathetic view of the trials and tribulations of one of France's most well recognised historical figures. I enjoyed reading it and have to admit after reading it my feelings towards the Austrian Queen are more sympathetic. In some ways I didn't want it to end with her beheading - which we all know happened and history can not change this. It's an enlighting read into her life and well worth checking out the story of a Queen who was targeted by the French people from the very beginning.
  ninadangelo | May 12, 2013 |
Marie Antoinette is one of the most unfairly vilified women in history. She was a scapegoat, as so many women have been through the ages. I really liked this biography because it was a chance to get to know her for herself, not for her role, not for her reputation.

The book is very meticulously researched, and so you can sometimes get lost in a thicket of dukes and counts, all of whom have more names than they know what to do with. But it’s still quite riveting. I would recommend it to any history buff, or to anyone who wants to know what the unluckiest queen of France was really like.
( )
  astrologerjenny | Apr 24, 2013 |
Fiquei com vontade de ler esse livro após ver o filme de Sophia Coppola. Maria Antonieta me interessa muito, principalmente após ler a biografia escrita pelo Zweig: Maria Antonieta - retrato de uma pessoa medíocre.


Em alguns aspectos Fraser discorda de Zweig. Ele reputa como lenda a história da frase dita por Louis XVI após a morte do avô, e acredita que o rei era impotente, enquanto Fraser acha que ele era apenas inexperiente. A maioria dos historiadores hoje em dia concorda com ele no primeiro caso, e com ela no segundo.
Ela não tem a elegância do Zweig, mas o livro é muito interessante, toca em aspectos que o dele não toca, e é atualizado. Porque, ao contrário da falta de senso comum, os livros de história também mudam.


Sophia Coppola segue o livro ao apresentar Maria Antonieta como uma menina comum, que gosta da natureza e foi jogada no luxo e na etiqueta de Versalhes. Alguns detalhes do filme são anacronicos de forma proposital, notoriamente a trilha sonora (excelente), as roupas e a linguagem. Outros são erros, e Coppola poderia ter tido uma acessoria melhor. Há uma certa confusão entre o Conde de Provence e o Conde D'Artois, a Ópera Garnier não existia ainda, um dos filhos de Maria Antonieta e do Rei Louis XVI não é mostrado.
Mas o filme de Sophia Coppola, infiel em tantas coisas, criticado por não mostrar a revolução, é fiel a si mesmo, e funciona bem como cine-biografia, que só mostra os acontecimentos à medida em que afetam o biografado. Eu gostei muito do modo como retrata Maria Antonieta.

( )
  JuliaBoechat | Mar 30, 2013 |
My Amazon review:
Wow, another (also her Mary Queen of Scots) outstanding female biography of a very misunderstood person of history. I think Fraser struck a good balance between speculation and fact. You cannot write a biography that holds much human interest without make some forays into the speculative arena. So maybe she was 'with' Fersen, maybe not. Does it matter all that much? Fraser does her best to present the whole person of Marie Antoinette, but she emerges from these pages as a real heroine, standing in awesome dignity amidst the increasing abuse heaped upon her. Think about it, married into the insanity of the French Court at 15 and expected to figure all that out AND grease the wheels of 18c international diplomacy? So she escaped into her Trianon and some other fairly harmless episodes (like love?) at times. But I think the evidence is convincing that she treated people with fairness and respect through her life of ups and unimaginable downs and was a loving mother and probably a true wife. My only real criticism is that the book could have used a name glossary and possibly a date chronology. There were way too many Counts and Duc's names that were almost as bad a Russian history! Knowing that a particular Duc is a brother to the King would help a lot. Altogether though I came away with great sadness. The French Revolution was despicable in so many ways but the murder of Louis and Antoinette was just indefensible on any human level. Was there ever a King murdered (much less a Queen) killed for less? As a symbol? Yikes, aren't people fun?
1 vote PCorrigan | Jan 19, 2013 |
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Book description
blurb: France’s ironic queen, Marie Antoinette, wrongly accused of uttering the infamous ‘Let them eat cake,’ was alternately revered and reviled during her lifetime. For centuries since, she had been the object of debate, speculation, and the fascination so often accorded illustrious figures in history. Married in mere girlhood, the essentially lighthearted child was thrust onto the royal stage and commanded by circumstance to play a significant role in European history. Antonia Fraser’s lavish and engaging portrait excited compassion and regard for all aspects of the queen, immersing the reader not only in the coming of age of a graceful woman, but in the culture of an unparalleled time and place.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385489498, Paperback)

In the past, Antonia Fraser's bestselling histories and biographies have focused on people and events in her native England, from Mary Queen of Scots to Faith and Treason: The Story of the Gunpowder Plot. Now she crosses the Channel to limn the life of France's unhappiest queen, bringing along her gift for fluent storytelling, vivid characterization, and evocative historical background. Marie Antoinette (1755-93) emerges in Fraser's sympathetic portrait as a goodhearted girl woefully undereducated and poorly prepared for the dynastic political intrigues into which she was thrust at age 14, when her mother, Empress Maria Theresa, married her off to the future Louis XVI to further Austria's interests in France. Far from being the licentious monster later depicted by the radicals who sent her to the guillotine at the height of the French Revolution, young Marie Antoinette was quite prudish, as well as thoroughly humiliated by her husband's widely known failure to have complete intercourse with her for seven long years (the gory details were reported to any number of concerned royal parties, including her mother and brother). She compensated by spending lavishly on clothes and palaces, but Fraser points out that this hardly made her unique among 18th-century royalty, and in any case the causes of the Revolution went far beyond one woman's frivolities. The moving final chapters show Marie Antoinette gaining in dignity and courage as the Revolution stripped her of everything, subjected her to horrific brutalities (a mob paraded the head of her closest female friend on a pike below her window), and eventually took her life. Fraser makes no attempt to hide the queen's shortcomings, in particular her poor political skills, but focuses on her personal warmth and noble bearing during her final ordeal. It's another fine piece of popular historical biography to add to Fraser's already impressive bibliography. --Wendy Smith

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:37 -0400)

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Biographical sketch of Louis XVI's Queen consort.

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