- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Ballantine Books (May 15 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345523881
- ISBN-13: 978-0345523884
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.5 x 20.4 cm
- Shipping Weight: 322 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #329,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow: A Novel of Marie Antoinette Paperback – May 15 2012
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Praise for Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow
“Charming….Juliet Grey creates an unforgettable tapestry of court intrigue, royal scandals, and dangerous romances all set against the spectacular background of Versailles. Grey spoils her readers with her deliciously descriptive details of eighteenth-century fashion.” —Bookloons.com
“It’s a mixture of sober historical fiction and fluff that will appeal to many readers.” —Seven Days
“This engaging voice, coupled with vibrant descriptions of clothing, palaces, masques, and dinners, really thrusts the reader into the story…Exceptionally well done!” —Historical Novel Review
“Grey has the gift of truly bringing Marie Antoinette to life. Many authors have written about the Queen of France, but no one has managed to give her such a voice as Grey. —Examiner.com
“This is a full and rich look at Marie Antoinette’s life as queen….Grey really does offer the best portrayal of Marie Antoinette in historical fiction.” —Pittsburgh Historical Fiction Examiner
“Juliet Grey is an absolute master at bringing 1700’s Versailles alive.” —Book Drunkard
“Tells a good story, using her imagination to fill in the gaps of the official history. Her story is filled with the pageantry of the times and provides a glimpse of a lavish and intrigue-filled period in history.” —Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star
"Grey’s characterization of Marie Antoinette is complex, making her such a multi-layered and interesting woman." —Amoxcalli
"Juliet Grey does a wonderful job of crafting the world of this much maligned queen. " —Bippity Boppity Book
"I enjoyed the exceptionally detailed look at Marie's life as Queen of France." —The Eclectic Reader
"Grey has put a great deal of research into this book as you can feel the tension, love, and sorrow as if you were there." —The History Nerd
"Every little detail in this book is delectable, and I savoured it thoroughly. Written in good taste, nothing is amiss, and everything is possible." —Enchanted by Josephine
About the Author
Juliet Grey is the author of Becoming Marie Antoinette. She has extensively researched European royalty and is a particular devotee of Marie Antoinette, as well as a classically trained professional actress with numerous portrayals of virgins, vixens, and villainesses to her credit. She and her husband divide their time between New York City and southern Vermont.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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When it comes to Marie Antoinette, I continue to be fascinated by her story. There have been numerous novels written about the life of this fascinating woman. What makes this book different than the others is that it portrays Marie Antoinette in neither a good light nor bad. Juliet Grey has done a marvellous job of showing us her faults and errors, as well as her naïveté and inexperience in a non-judgmental way. And because her life story is presented in a trilogy format, readers are able to understand this heroine in a deeper, more meaningful way. An example of this is how the author dealt with Marie's affair with Axel Ferson ' she portrayed the passion, guilt, and shame intricately and in a way that truly makes the young, unhappy queen seem real and vulnerable. Her foolishness in relentlessly gambling away money was portrayed very well ' the losses were truly astounding ' and her lack of remorse or worry truly shows us many of her less desirable qualities. Her frivolous spending was depicted as well as some of the queen's more generous acts of charity or kindness. The novel is told in first person narrative in Marie's voice. This engaging voice, coupled with vibrant descriptions of clothing, palaces, masques, and dinners, really thrusts the reader into the story.
Although I did not have the opportunity to read the first book in the series, I was able to follow the story easily without having to struggle to remember characters and situations. Power and great wealth can truly corrupt, especially in the hands of a very young woman thrust into the role of queen. For those wishing an indepth interpretation of Marie Antoinette's life, this trilogy is perfect. Exceptionally well done!
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Ms Grey gives excellent insight into the events that transpired leading up to the Revolution, and also, which was particularly interesting, how those events were linked to the American Revolution. I found the debate concerning the aid given to the American colonists very interesting; Louis XVI wished to help America against France's long-time enemy Britain, but had concerns about helping a people who were rebelling against their monarch. As a monarch himself, and one even more autocratic than George III of England, I am surprised that he chose to give so much aid to the American revolutionaries. He virtually bankrupted his own country, which of course had disastrous effects. I was given a strong sense of Louis tempting fate troughout this novel.
As for Marie Antoinette herself I feel as though Ms Grey has given great insight into her character, and gives reasons as to why she acted in the ways she did. History has cast Marie Antoinette in such a negative light, putting words in her mouth that she never uttered (she never said "let them eat cake!") This is not to say that this novel shows Marie Antoinette as an innocent angel, but rather it shows her as merely human; with faults like we all have, but none of which made her evil or uncaring. She loved her children greatly, and did spare a thought for those less fortunate than herself. However, she had absolutely no control in government and therefore was completely helpless to help those who needed it. Strange really, considering that she was blamed for almost everything.
All in all I this was a well-written novel that portrayed events concisely, allowing the reader a clear perspective of such a turbulent time period. The characters were enjoyable to read of, as they are created to be shown as real people with both faults and strengths, instead of historical figures to be kept at a distance. A great novel, and I can't wait for the next one.
(Added September 2013: the third novel in the trilogy is no longer called 'The Last October Sky' but is 'Confessions of Marie Antoinette').