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Marie Antoinette

Versailles, Revolution and 18th Century French History
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Anne Vallayer Coster: Painter to the Court of Marie Antoinette
by Eik Kahng (Editor), et al
Listed under Women Artists

Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France
by Evelyne Lever, translated by Catherine Temerson
This highly readable translation of French historian Evelyne Lever's 1991 biography captures all the drama and pathos of Marie Antoinette's short life. Born in 1755, this carefree, fun-loving daughter of Austrian empress Maria Theresa inherited neither her mother's political shrewdness nor her sense of duty. She was married off at 14 to the stolid, clumsy French Dauphin, who would not fully consummate their marriage for another seven years, at which point he was King Louis XVI and their marital difficulties were the subject of public ridicule. She consoled herself by retreating to the artificial village she constructed at Trianon, where she could be free of the court etiquette she hated and indulge in expensive amusements that only increased her unpopularity. Her rare incursions into politics were just as ill judged; she alienated the French nobility with attempts to further Austria's diplomatic goals, and from the first rumblings of revolution in 1788, she influenced Louis to take a hard line on royal power when compromise might have saved the monarchy and prevented their executions in 1793. Lever does not soften Marie Antoinette's faults or downplay her poor judgment, but most readers will finish this absorbing narrative feeling very sorry for a pretty, goodhearted, but fundamentally frivolous woman thrown into a historical moment whose demands were beyond her. --Wendy Smith -
Hardcover: 352 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.17 x 9.32 x 6.41
Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux;
ISBN: 0374199388

Marie Antoinette: The Journey
by Antonia Fraser
In the past, Antonia Fraser's bestselling histories and biographies have focused on people and events in her native England, from Mary Queen of Scots to Faith and Treason: The Story of the Gunpowder Plot. Now she crosses the Channel to limn the life of France's unhappiest queen, bringing along her gift for fluent storytelling, vivid characterization, and evocative historical background. Marie Antoinette (1755-93) emerges in Fraser's sympathetic portrait as a goodhearted girl woefully undereducated and poorly prepared for the dynastic political intrigues into which she was thrust at age 14, when her mother, Empress Maria Theresa, married her off to the future Louis XVI to further Austria's interests in France. Far from being the licentious monster later depicted by the radicals who sent her to the guillotine at the height of the French Revolution, young Marie Antoinette was quite prudish, as well as thoroughly humiliated by her husband's widely known failure to have complete intercourse with her for seven long years (the gory details were reported to any number of concerned royal parties, including her mother and brother). She compensated by spending lavishly on clothes and palaces, but Fraser points out that this hardly made her unique among 18th-century royalty, and in any case the causes of the Revolution went far beyond one woman's frivolities. The moving final chapters show Marie Antoinette gaining in dignity and courage as the Revolution stripped her of everything, subjected her to horrific brutalities (a mob paraded the head of her closest female friend on a pike below her window), and eventually took her life. Fraser makes no attempt to hide the queen's shortcomings, in particular her poor political skills, but focuses on her personal warmth and noble bearing during her final ordeal. It's another fine piece of popular historical biography to add to Fraser's already impressive bibliography. --Wendy Smith -
Hardcover: 544 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.69 x 9.57 x 6.66
Publisher: Doubleday; (September 18, )
ISBN: 038548948X

Marie Antoinette: The Portrait of an Average Woman
by Stefan Zweig, translated by Eden Paul
Book Description: Life at the court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette has long captivated readers, drawn by accounts of the intrigues and pageantry that came to such a sudden and unexpected end. Stefan Zweig's Marie Antoinette: The Portrait of an Average Woman is a dramatic account of the guillotine's most famous victim, from the time when as a fourteen-year-old she took Versailles by storm, to her frustrations with her aloof husband, her passionate love affair with the Swedish Count von Fersen, and ultimately to the chaos of the French Revolution and the savagery of the Terror. An impassioned narrative, Zweig's biography focuses on the human emotions of the participants and victims of the French Revolution, making it both an engrossingly compelling read and a sweeping and informative history. "Certainly no one can arise unmoved from the reading of this powerful work." -- The New Republic "Excellent biography." -- The New York Times
Paperback: 476 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.25 x 9.03 x 6.01
Publisher: Grove Press;
ISBN: 0802139094

Marie Antoinette & Count Fersen
by Evelyn Farr
Publisher: Dufour Editions; (January 1, )

Marie Antoinette Paper Dolls
Listed under Paper Dolls

The Private Realm of Marie Antoinette
by Marie-France Boyer, Francois Halard

Threshold of Terror: The Last Hours of the Monarchy in the French Revolution
by Rodney Allen
Book Description:
This heart-rending story of human and political tragedy should be required reading for anyone gripped by the drama of the French Revolution and wishing to learn more about one of the key turning points in European history.

The Road From Versailles: Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and the Baron De Breteuil
by Munro Price
Book Description: What becomes of leaders when absolute power is wrested from their hands? How does dramatic political change affect once-absolute monarchs? In acclaimed historian Munro Price's powerful new book, he confronts one of the enduring mysteries of the French Revolution---what were the true actions and feelings of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette as they watched their sovereignty collapse?

Dragged back from Versailles to Paris by the crowd in October 1789, the king and queen became prisoners in the capital. They were compelled for their own safety to approve the Revolution and its agenda. Yet, in deep secrecy, they soon began to develop a very different, and dangerous, strategy. The precautions they took against discovery, and the bloody overthrow of the monarchy three years later, dispersed or obliterated most of the clues to their real policy. Much of this evidence has until now remained unknown.

The Road from Versailles reconstructs in detail, for the first time, the king and queen's clandestine diplomacy from 1789 until their executions. To do so, it focuses on a vital but previously ignored figure, the royal couple's confidant, the baron de Breteuil. Exiled from France by the Revolution, Breteuil became their secret prime minister, and confidential emissary to the courts of Europe.

Along with the queen's probable lover, the comte de Fersen, it was Breteuil who organized the royal family's dramatic dash for freedom, the flight to Varennes. Breteuil's role is crucial to an understanding of what Louis and Marie Antoinette secretly felt and thought during the Revolution. To unlock these secrets, The Road from Versailles draws on highly important unpublished and previously unknown material.

Meticulously researched and utterly fascinating, The Road from Versailles provides fresh insight into some of the most controversial events in modern history.
Publisher: St. Martin's Press;

Marie Antoinette: Writings on the Body of a Queen
edited by Dena Goodman
Book Description: Marie-Antoinette is one of the most fascinating and controversial figures in all of French history. Married to the heir to the French throne at age fourteen, Marie-Antoinette was at the center of public attention during the final tumultuous years of the Old Regime and the French Revolution. For a variety of reasons explored in this volume - all of which revolved around her gender - Marie-Antoinette came to represent the monarchy as it came under increasing attack. As both a woman and queen, she became a privileged site of the political contestation and criticism that characterized the end of the eighteenth century in France. Rather than retell the story of her life, the contributors to this volume reveal how crucial political and cultural contests were enacted "on the body of the queen" and on the complex identity of Marie-Antoinette. They explore the difficulties of Marie-Antoinette's position as a woman, a foreigner, and a queen in the final decades of the eighteenth century and help us to understand the waves of pornography and accusations of lesbianism, incest, and treason launched against her. Taken together, these essays suggest that it is precisely because Marie-Antoinette represented the contradictions in the social, political and gender systems of her era that, through her, we can both learn about the French past and shed new light on questions of gender, sexuality, and female power that continue to trouble us today.
Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (March 1, )

The Wicked Queen: The Origins of the Myth of Marie-Antoinette
by Chantal Thomas
Paperback: 256 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.56 x 8.57 x 5.59
Publisher: Zone Books; (October 1, )
ISBN: 094229940X

Last Days of Marie Antoinette: An Historical Sketch
by Ronald Gower
Publisher: AMS Press; (June 1986)
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Marie Antoinette 1938  VHS
Norma Shearer, Robert Morley, John Barrymore

The Affair of the Necklace 2001 DVD
Hillary Swank, Joely Richardson.
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