Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette

The Journey

Book - 2002
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Describes the life of Marie Antionette from her betrothal as a fourteen-year-old girl to the future King Louis XVI, through her life in the French court, to her courage in the face of revolutionaries who sent her to the guillotine.
Publisher: New York, NY : Anchor Books, 2002.
Edition: First Anchor books edition.
ISBN: 9780385489492
0385489498
Branch Call Number: 944.035 F862A
Characteristics: xxii, 512 pages, 48 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), map, genealogical table ; 21 cm

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l
lukasevansherman
Jan 14, 2020

"Oh my God! If we have committed faults, we have certainly expiated them."-Marie Antoinette
A stirring, thoroughly researched, and beautifully written biography of the iconic Queen of France, who is celebrated and reviled in equal measure. Fraser clears away a lot of the debris to offer up a more rounded, nuanced, and even sympathetic portrait of the Austrian woman who married Louis XVI as a teenager, was expected to immediately start birthing heirs, endured all manner of slander, only to have her life end at the guillotine. You don't have to be a royalist to find her more a victim of history than the monster that she's sometimes made out to be. She never even said "Let them eat cake." Fraser has an advantage over many historians in that she is a luminous and witty writer. She was also married to the playwright Harold Pinter and Sofia Coppola's derided "Marie Antoinette" used this as a source. Fraser has also written books on Mary, Queen of Scots and Oliver Cromwell.
"It was a case of violence and rage on one side, feebleness and inertia on the other."-M.A.

LPL_SarahM Oct 13, 2019

Incredibly detailed. Found myself hoping she'd meet a different fate than what I knew was coming. She didn't even want that ugly necklace anyway!

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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