Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette

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Description

Still a controversial figure - as well as a celebrated one - Marie Antoinette's dramatic life story arouses mixed emotions. To many, she is 'la reine mechante', whose extravagance and frivolity helped bring down the French monarchy, her indifference to popular suffering epitomised by the (apocryphal) words: 'let them eat cake'. She was accused of personal profligacies and sexual excesses. Others are equally passionate in her defence: to them, she is a victim of misogyny. She remains one of the genuinely romantic and ill-treated characters in history. A compassionate queen and devoted mother, she did little to deserve her tragic destiny. She was born in 1755, one of 16 children of the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa. At 15 she was to be the bride of the French Dauphin, heir to his grandfather Louis XV. The Dauphin came to the throne as Louis XVI in 1774 and for more than ten years the French court at Versailles glittered under its young, beautiful and artistic queen, in what was seen afterwards as the last throes of the Ancien Regime. In this stunning biography Antonia Fraser examines her influence over the king, the accusations and sexual slurs made against her, her patronage of the arts which enhanced French cultural life, her imprisonment, the death threats made against her, rumours of lesbian affairs, and her trial (during which her 7-year-old son was forced to testify to sexual abuse by his mother) and eventual execution by guillotine in 1793.show more

Product details

  • Audio cassette
  • 105 x 138 x 34mm | 236g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Abridged
  • 0752847309
  • 9780752847306

About Antonia Fraser

Antonia Fraser is the bestselling author of The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Mary Queen of Scots and Cromwell: Our Chief of Men. She has written two highly praised books focusing on women in history: The Weaker Vessel: Women's Lot in Seventeenth-Century England and The Warrior Queens: Boadicea's Chariot. She is married to playwright Harold Pinter. Lindsay Duncan won the Olivier Award for Best Actress and a Tony nomination for her role in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, the Evening Standard Best Actress Award for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and a nomination for Private Lives. Her reading of Marie Antoinette is acclaimed.show more