Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Marie Antoinette...Looking good for 255!

by guest blogger Nicole

November 2nd marks the 255th anniversary of Marie Antoinette’s birth. In the last several years, a number of books have been released that explore the life of the French Queen and dispel many of the myths that have arisen about this legendary historical figure. For example, did you know that while historians agree that Marie Antoinette likely never uttered the infamous line “Let them eat cake,” in regard to the plight of starving peasants, she was indeed highly extravagant and celebrated her 21st birthday by gambling for three days straight? Or that her marriage to Louis XVI was not consummated until after seven years of matrimony?

Here are a few of my favorite titles about one of the most notorious Queen consorts of France:

Marie Antoinette: the journey
by Antonia Fraser

Marie Antoinette: the journey is considered by many to be one of the most balanced and accurate biographies of the queen, and inspired the 2006 Sofia Coppola film Marie Antoinette. “Fraser weaves a richly detailed account of Marie Antoinette's other, more poignant journey: from the ill-educated and unprepared girl who sought refuge in pleasure as a consolation into a magnificent, courageous woman who defied her enemies at her trial with consummate intelligence, arousing the admiration of even the most hostile revolutionaries.” - Inside jacket.

The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette,
by Carolly Erickson

“Imagine that, on the night before she is to die under the blade of the guillotine, Marie Antoinette leaves behind in her prison cell a diary telling the story of her life, from her privileged childhood as Austrian Archduchess to her years as glamorous mistress of Versailles to the heartbreak of imprisonment and humiliation during the French Revolution.” - Inside jacket

Queen of Fashion: what Marie Antoinette wore to the Revolution,
by Caroline Weber

“Marie Antoinette has always stood as an icon of supreme style, but surprisingly none of her biographers have paid sustained attention to her clothes. In Queen of Fashion, Caroline Weber shows how Marie Antoinette developed her reputation for fashionable excess, and explains through lively, illuminating new research the political controversies that her clothing provoked.”- Publisher description

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