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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacularly addictive
I watched the movie first and was intrigued to read the book that inspired the movie. I wasn't disappointed. The book was a wealth of information and provided so much insight on the life and times of Marie Antoinette and how she came to be the woman she was. I didn't realize how misunderstood she was and the utter lack of acceptance. To be always known as the...
Published on April 1 2011 by Sherry Ripper

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3.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read, but what happened to the facts?
Like all her previous historical biographies, Antonia Fraser's MARIE ANTOINETTE is extremely well written and insightful. Unfortunately, there are pages and pages of factual errors which jump out to those of us who have read almost every book written on the queen and which lead me to question one of my fellow reviewers' comments about her "impeccable...
Published on Jan. 11 2002 by Joe R. Parker


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacularly addictive, April 1 2011
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This review is from: Marie Antoinette: The Journey (Paperback)
I watched the movie first and was intrigued to read the book that inspired the movie. I wasn't disappointed. The book was a wealth of information and provided so much insight on the life and times of Marie Antoinette and how she came to be the woman she was. I didn't realize how misunderstood she was and the utter lack of acceptance. To be always known as the "Austrian woman" eventhough she was the mother of France and really tried her best to be accepted by the French people. The book was factual but had a tender touch as well. You couldn't help but love MA and even want to be her friend, which she so desperately needed and craved. The loving and close household in which she grew up and the coldness and callousness of the French court was expertly portrayed. The early years when the people were excited for the new Dauphine and the utter contempt for her during the Revolution was so vividly written. I can't imagine a more definitive book to give the reader a real sense of her early years and her untimely demise. Buy it and i guarantee you won't be able to put it down. Its just that fantastic!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let them eat cake!, July 14 2006
This review is from: Marie Antoinette (Audio Cassette)
If you enjoy historical memoirs, then Marie Antoinette will absolutely come to life through this book. Antonia Frasier creates a very sympathetic portrait of MA from the traumatic parting from her mother when she left her childhood home to marry a boy she'd never met, to the tauntings she endured for being childless for years, and of course to the bitter end at the hands of the mob. Lots of court intrigue is explored, also the myth that she ever said "let them eat cake." The author clearly came to respect MA, who apparently always had something nice to say to everyone. I'd recommend this to anyone interested in reading about women's lives or exploring why the knives really came out for MA, who had no real political power.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marie Antoinette...a misunderstood women., April 14 2009
By 
Krista Lyne (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Marie Antoinette: The Journey (Paperback)
I first saw the movie before reading the book. The movie only intrigued me to learn more about Marie Antoinette.
This book is written in typical biography form, some area's drag on a bit but it is jammed packed with information, from the begining of her life right to the end. Because it is written in biography form it sometimes gets confussing, expecially with keeping track of people names. Althought, that is to be expected.
I find Marie Antoinette be a marvelous women who was terrible misunderstood. I would recommended this book to anyone wanting to know more of this wonderful women.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Golden, May 30 2005
By 
KS (Chilliwack, BC Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Marie Antoinette (Paperback)
I loved this book!
This book was very entertaining to read about the last years of the court of Versailles. I learned so much about a very misunderstood Marie Antoinette who only lived to please other people, love her children and only want the best for the country she lived in.
This book went into so much detail about her friends, personal tastes and family that it is hard to believe that she became such a hated figure and scapegoat for France's political troubles at the time leading up to the Revolution and beyond.
Reading this book made me a little obsessed into knowing more about her ladies-in-waiting, and fate of her children to name a few.
Antonia Fraser has done a wonderful job in research here. The ending brought me to tears. It made me feel like I wanted to rescue Antoinette from the guillotine on her last day alive.
If anyone out there wants a good read on a Queen like her, you must read this book!
Thank you Antonia Fraser!
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4.0 out of 5 stars If you are into female historic figures, this is a must-read, April 12 2005
By 
Dina Lopez (Fort St. John, BC) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Marie Antoinette (Paperback)
Non-fiction literature, specially historic literature, can at times be dreadfully boring and full of confusing details. This book redeems every boring historic volume I have read to date. The author hooks you in right away, and provides vivid details of Marie Antoinette's life in her early years in Austria, her teenage and adult years in Versailles, and her last years as a prisoner of the revolution. From the fabric materials and colours Marie Antoinette prefered, to various accounts reflecting her taste in elegant simplicity, entertainment, beauty and amusement, this book gives the reader a glimpse of what Marie Antoinette was like as a person, a wife, a mother, a friend, and a ruler.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, May 19 2002
By A Customer
I have read most of her books & this was by far the best one so far! I couldn't put it down!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Whet's the Appetite for More Things French, April 3 2002
By 
L. Dann "adhdmom" (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Antonia Fraser's Marie Antoinette was a deeply affecting entre into French history. I somehow managed to elude reading works of this bloody overthrow- the rule of the mob and its atrocities, were avoided unless they were somehow part of literature and the occassional film. The characters also were repellent, vile Robbespierre, Marquis de Sade, and the unfathomable treatment of innocents. Napoleon too, seemed like a man's study, too much war, tactics, battles, generals- demanded some kind of interest that was well beyond me. However, Marie Antoinette, A Journey, reversed all previous prejudices and ignited a wave of further reading, not unlike a hunger. Alas, no other books had the seductive charm of this, but even that did not diminish my drive to know more. The incestuous rulers of Europe were, as everyone knows, breeding themselves into obsolescense. They assumed their various family lines fortified through marriage and sustained by vast wealth would ensure monarchical government across the continent and the span of the world. Their largely compromised viewpoint and egregious lack of training elicited fear and subordination in their subjects, as indeed it inspired contempt. Entering into a foreign land as the princess and queen to be, Marie Antoinette, was illequipped and destined to be the source of vicious gossip and the foreign scapegoat for tyranny and exploitation suffered by the as they say, common man. She was a pampered and overly protected child when she arrived in her new country, and was both ignorant and reckless in her spending and arrogance. As any young bride, she retained a childish preoccupation for objects and people who might satisfy her own regal hungers and somehow qualify her as the fascinating object that would stimulate her husband into a sexual performance that was denied to the would-be lovers. This failed consumation was naturally blamed on the queen already humiliated and She was simply dropped into a very dangerous court when no more than a teenager. The language and customs were so unlike her Austrian childhood memories that she was an easy target for the ruthless in and about her palace.
What fraser does quite well with regard to a popular biography is scrupulous discipline with regard to research and organization. One needn't memorize facts or personalities because they are so integrated into her subject that they are simply a part of the story and thereby easily absorbed. Her perspective of Marie is similar, to the sympathetic and equally tragic biography of Mary Queen of Scots, another absorbing and thorough study. As a woman of her time, Marie had no real power other than to bestow favoritism and spend freely. Her fate was to be marginalized by her sex as well as her foreign birth. She had limited resources of her own, her brothers who rose to the throne in Austria were essentially unreliable for purposes of soldifying her position. Her last tragic months and the terrifying death were managed without the frivolous, histrionic manner by which she's been reviled, but as a mature and royal personage who even in the midst of this bloody period, was utterly dignified. The book is full of the kind of details of dress, furniture and adulterous deceits that are of interest to certain readers. It allows a fair amount of historical detail that enhances the story's progress and, for me at least, long for more.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Tedious, April 3 2002
By A Customer
I heard so many wonderful things about this book, so was disappointed to find it so tedious. Fraser obviously did exhaustive research on her subject and I'm dying to learn more. But I'm finding the book very dry. I keep putting it down and have read several books (including David McCullough's "Mornings On Horseback" and Kazuo Ishiguro's "When We Were Orphans") while trying to get through Fraser's Marie Antoinette. I'm not sure if I'll make it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars They Love Her Or Hate Her, March 31 2002
I read many reviews of this book and other works on this Queen, certainly one of history's more controversial Monarchs. This was the first major biography I had read and I was surprised by the intensity of feeling this woman arouses, she either has enthusiastic admirers or others whose feelings are just as intense but negative. I think this book is reasonably evenhanded, if it does favor one view of the subject I would say the author is more favorably disposed toward Marie Antoinette. This work in no manner is a fawning biography of a person who was without faults. Her failings are identified, but they are not sensationalized.
One matter that struck me was the outrageous pamphlets that were printed and circulated about her. Compared to the tabloids of today what you pass at the supermarket checkout is extremely mild. This woman as Queen was accused with graphic drawings of every imaginable offense that came to the printer's salacious minds. This public humiliation that was routine years before she was imprisoned provided fertile ground for the fictions that were heaped upon her at her, "trial".
She certainly may have been guilty of errors but most would seem to be errors of omission rather than conspired strategy. As a 14-year-old semi-literate child she was married to another adolescent and then spent 7 years waiting for the marriage to be consummated. As customary as certain rituals may have been, being required to give birth in front of a crowd is demented. She was accused of having an affair with a certain Duke, so what? If she did not she would have been an exception to the rule. When a King had a favored mistress she was given a place at court.
I thought, "The Affair Of The Necklace", was well documented and put that accusation against the Queen to rest. As to the, "let them eat cake", comment, I don't believe she was clever enough to utter what was a well-known phrase long before she was even born. When the charges that were leveled at her including crimes against her children, it is clear this crowd that paraded heads about the city was interested in adding hers. Whether she was guilty of any crime was hardly proven, and rarely was there any evidence given.
At least from this reading I would surmise that the vilification of this woman was largely invented or spectacularly exaggerated. To the extent she did cause mischief it is hard to identify what it may have been, for distortion and not truth was the currency of late 18th Century France.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Overblown Fan Letter, March 4 2002
By A Customer
Enormously imbalanced look at this possibly misunderstood historical figure. Ms. Fraser should know so much better than she appears to with her fawning approach and refusal to deeply examine the character of Marie Antoinette. It is hard to believe that historians up until now have so overlooked all of her seemly endless good qualities according to this author. So close to sainthood M.Antoinette appears, one would think Ms. Fraser had been commissioned by her heirs. Shame on you, Mrs. Pinter.
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Marie Antoinette: The Journey
Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser (Paperback - Sept. 12 2006)
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