title: Marie Antoinette: The Journey
author: Antonia Fraser
published: November 12, 2002
genre: non fiction/historical/biography
first lines: On 2 November 1755 the Queen-Empress was in labour all day with her fifteenth child.
rated: 5 out of 5 stars
France’s beleaguered queen, Marie Antoinette, wrongly accused of uttering the infamous “Let them eat cake,” was the subject of ridicule and curiosity even before her death; she has since been the object of debate and speculation and the fascination so often accorded tragic figures in history. Married in mere girlhood, this essentially lighthearted, privileged, but otherwise unremarkable child was thrust into an unparalleled time and place, and was commanded by circumstance to play a significant role in history. Antonia Fraser’s lavish and engaging portrait of Marie Antoinette, one of the most recognizable women in European history, excites compassion and regard for all aspects of her subject, immersing the reader not only in the coming-of-age of a graceful woman, but also in the unraveling of an era.
I have been immersed in the life and times of Marie Antoinette for the past few weeks. I knew next to nothing about the French Revolution or Marie Antoinette prior to reading this book so when a co-worker and retired teacher, finished reading this one she raved to me about it and lent me her copy. When I would hear the name Marie Antoinette I would think of those famous lines, “Let them eat cake”.
Author Antonia Fraser starts off with the birth of Marie Antoinette in 1755 who was one of fifteen children, through her execution in 1793 at the age of 37. Like I mentioned, I really did not know much about Marie Antoinette prior to reading this book but I did know that she has gone down in history with an infamous reputation for extravagance.
Antonia Fraser is obviously a fan of Marie Antoinette, her detailed biography of the former Queen of France made me see her in a different light.