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Marie Antoinette : the journey

Author: Antonia Fraser
Publisher: New York, NY : Anchor Books, 2002.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : 1st Anchor Books edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The Barnes & Noble Review: Was she a sexual predator, political meddler, wastrel, and traitor? Or was she a scapegoat for a corrupt and bankrupt nation, who went with superb dignity to the guillotine, the victim of a vindictive judicial murder? The tragic life of Marie Antoinette, rich in conflicting detail, remains a biographer's challenge, and Antonia Fraser's richly human yet evenhanded account is a reader's  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Biography
Named Person: Marie Antoinette, Queen consort of Louis XVI King of France; Marie Antoinette, Queen consort of Louis XVI King of France
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Antonia Fraser
ISBN: 0385489498 9780385489492
OCLC Number: 50957297
Description: xxii, 512 pages, [48] pages of plates : illustrations (some color), map ; 21 cm
Contents: Part 1: Madame Antoine --
Chapter 1: Small archduchess --
Chapter 2: Born to obey --
Chapter 3: Greatness --
4: Sending an angel --
Part 2: Dauphine --
Chapter 5: France's happiness --
Chapter 6: In front of the whole world --
Chapter 7: Strange behavior --
Chapter 8: Love of a people --
Part 3: Queen Consort --
Chapter 9: In truth a goddess --
Chapter 10: Unhappy woman? --
Chapter 11: You shall be mine --
Chapter 12: Fulfilling their wishes --
Part 4: Queen and mother --
Chapter 13: Flowers of the crown --
Chapter 14: Acquisitions --
Chapter 15: Arrest the cardinal! --
Chapter 16: Madame deficit --
Chapter 17: Close to shipwreck --
Chapter 18: Hated, humbled, mortified --
Part 5: Austrian Woman --
Chapter 19: Her majesty the prisoner --
Chapter 20: Great hopes --
Chapter 21: Departure at midnight --
Chapter 22: Up to the emperor --
Chapter 23: Violence and rage --
Chapter 24: Tower --
Part 6: Widow Capet --
Chapter 25: Unfortunate princess --
Chapter 26: Head of Antoinette --
Chapter 27: Epilogue --
Notes --
Sources --
Index.
Responsibility: Antonia Fraser.

Abstract:

The Barnes & Noble Review: Was she a sexual predator, political meddler, wastrel, and traitor? Or was she a scapegoat for a corrupt and bankrupt nation, who went with superb dignity to the guillotine, the victim of a vindictive judicial murder? The tragic life of Marie Antoinette, rich in conflicting detail, remains a biographer's challenge, and Antonia Fraser's richly human yet evenhanded account is a reader's delight. In 1770, Marie Antoinette, aged 14, wed the awkward 16-year-old who in 1774 became Louis XVI. The marriage was intended to strengthen the Austrian-French alliance and produce sons to continue it. Marie Antoinette was of little use in the first endeavor; she lacked political power. Louis was of only occasional help in the second; he suffered from phimosis, an inhibiting physical condition. While the pair wandered through their doomed lives, fury built up in bankrupt France, exploding in the ferocity of the Revolution. Everybody criticized Marie, who was known both as l'Autrichienne (the Austrian woman) and l'autruche chienne (the ostrich bitch). She was regarded as extravagant ("Madame Deficit"), pro-Austrian, and childless for too long. But, as Fraser demonstrates, Versailles demanded extravagance, and in politics Marie Antoinette was more pawn than player, pushed by wily Austrian diplomats and blocked by shrewd French ministers. Fraser draws upon a huge range of sources to present a dazzling cast. Mozart, Gluck, Jefferson, Paine, Franklin and numerous others cross her pages. Fersen, the queen's discreet, devoted Swedish lover, looms large. The author succeeds brilliantly in describing how the once-vibrant Marie and the decent, despised, and irresolute Louis transformed themselves as the Revolution took its murderous course. Love of family gave them courage; love of France gave them nobility. The horrific fate of Marie Antoinette, physically abused by the canaille, viciously libeled by the blood-soaked false prophets of liberty who condemned her, reminds the reader of just how thin the veneer of civilization is - and how often revolutionaries are worse than those they condemn.

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