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The Wicked Queen: The Origins of the Myth of Marie-Antoinette Paperback – Aug 24 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Zone Books (Aug. 24 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 094229940X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0942299403
  • Product Dimensions: 3.9 x 14 x 21.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #845,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
Unfortunately publishers feel that a book on Marie Antoinette will sell every couple years, so like clockwork we see an avalanche of pro royalist, sympathetic, out of context garbage. Most of them repeat the same legends...They base their accounts of the flight to Varennes on Carlyle and talk about her martydom...With the exception of Le Notre not one of her biographers has also done a biography of one of the leaders of the Revolution. Most demonstrate an alarming lack of understanding of basic events such as the the Bread March on Verseilles, September Massacres, the Necklace Affair or even how official Court appointment were made.
This is the first book in sometime that has put Marie Antoinette back into the context of her time...unfortunately for Royalist Mythology she was commonly referred to as the Austrian .... By her actions she precipitated the Revolution...she was provocative and weak...a flammable combination.
As for the reader who's sensibilities are offended by the "riding the penis" cartoon...you obviously haven't seen the several thousand cartoons of time that are available...the one you refer to IS tame...you should see the ones where she is dressed like a nun....You should also read the pamphlets sold at the Palais Royale...
While Hebert did indeed make things up in her indictment, it is hard to get around the fact that she has to shoulder a lot of responsibility for the revolution...
I recommend this book as one of the best books on Marie Antoinette in last 20 years...it has also prompted me to seek out the author.
I think the book is well researched, devoid of sentimentality and attempts to place Marie Antoinette back into the context of the tapestry of her times.
Michael La Vean
Fellow, International Napoleonic Society
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By A Customer on Jan. 10 2002
Format: Hardcover
The author should study her history and get the facts!
This book was a joke. I was rather furious and more than disappointed. Marie Antoinette's name was drug through the mud over 200 years ago based on hearsay and false accusations.
Isn't it time she is given the credit due her by now?
Read your facts author!
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Format: Hardcover
This book was a disappointment. I ...was very interested. I am a 'fan' of Marie Antoinette and have been fascinated with her life since reading Castelot's biography of her.
This book however, though it has some interesting pamphlets of historical interest, is more like a scrapbook. The writing is poor and has no direction. The pamphlets reproduced in the book are mostly pornographic lyrics and droll poetry of the Queen. The worst of which is Marie Antoinette riding an erected penis as if it were an ostrich.
If you want to learn about the Queen, her children, or the French Revolution, this is not the book to find it in. If you are very familiar with the Queen's life, this may offer you a little insight as to the people's attitude at the time, but that's it. I read it once, and it has been on the shelf since.
For a truly amazing book about Marie Antoinette, I suggest 'The Fatal Friendship'.
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By Glenn Brown on Aug. 2 2000
Format: Hardcover
Another book regarding Marie Antoinette, hmmmm, the Queen must be experiencing a revival of popularity? Too bad she isn't here to enjoy it (sarcasm). I'd first like to comment that I was shocked when I read the publisher's review of this book. Friends, Marie Antoinette was not betrothed to Louis XV, but his grandson, Louis XVI. She did not come to France in 1771, but 1770. How embarrassed you should be! How poorly you serve both author and subject! As to that author, Chantal Thomas: while it is indeed unique to devote an entire book on the pamphlets and propaganda used as an attack on the monarchy through the reputation of the Queen, I hardly think it necessary. The subject matter makes an interesting college thesis, nothing more. The slander and hatred directed at Marie Antoinette, its effects on the monarchy's demise, blah, blah, blah, have been adequately covered by numerous authors, notably Simon Schama in his wonderful account of the French Revolution, "Citizens".
Stanley Loomis, Andre Castelot, and many more biographers of the Queen have all made clear the nature and consequences of "The Pamphlets". I resent when an author is lauded with praise for a "discovery" that was hardly their's! The pamphlets are kept in a special room of the Archives called "l'enfer", a name which aptly describes its contents. I have a laundry list of biographers and scholars who have made use of the same documents kept there just as Thomas has. These printed attacks on the Queen and their importance in any understanding of Marie Antoinette or the French Revolution have long been recognized. Really. Printing a few examples of this filth and belaboring the point does not a scholar make. It's a pity that publishers and authors don't read these consumer reviews... Please, wake me from my sleep when something truly new, and relevatory is published about Marie Antoinette.
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