Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France

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Macmillan, Sep 24, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 368 pages

In MARIE ANTOINETTE, Evelyn Lever draws on a variety of resources, including diaries, letters, and firsthand accounts, to write this sumptuous, addictive delight. From family life in Vienna to the choke of the guillotine, this gripping work combines a fast-paced historical narrative with all the elements of scandalous fiction: Marie's wedding at Versailles to Louis XVI, the French court, boredom, hypocrisy, loneliness, allies, enemies, scandal, intrigue, sex, peasant riots, the fall of the Bastille, mob rule in Paris, imprisonment, and, finally, execution.

From primary source documents Lever fashions an insightful glimpse into the French court at Versailles. The characters of court are expertly drawn. There is the dashing Axel Fersen, Marie's great love; Maria Theresa, the scheming mother trying to place her daughter on the Hapsburg throne; the legendary Madame du Barry, lover to Louis XV; and, of course, Marie herself.

Luxuriously evocative of the Versailles court, historically sharp and witty, and detailing the compelling story of Marie Antoinette's life, Evelyn Lever's biography entrances readers.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - beadinggem - LibraryThing

Historical biographies often come out heavily laden with so much facts that the authors lose the narrative. Not so with Evelyne Lever, a French historian who writes with a deft touch. Catherine ... Read full review

Marie Antoinette: the last queen of France

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Lever is a noted French historian who has written several biographies on major players in the turbulent events of late 18th-century France, and this is her first book to be translated into English ... Read full review

Contents

Daughter of Maria Theresa
3
Great Expectations
11
A Royal Marriage
20
The Versailles Court
27
Madame la Dauphine
36
End of a Reign End of an Era
46
A Happy Accession
54
Little TwentyYearOld Queen
61
Fersens Return
147
Last Illusions
155
Scandal in the Air
163
The Diamond Necklace Affair
173
Madame Deficit
183
My Fate Is to Bring Bad Luck
191
The Last Summer at Versailles
216
The Tuileries
233

The Coronation
69
The Queens Circle
77
Venus and Vulcan
87
The Queens Intrigues
95
The Brothers Visit
104
Motherhood
113
Fersen
122
Queen of Trianon
129
Birth of a Dauphin
138
The Varennes Drama
250
The Last Show of Strength
269
The Death of the King
285
Trial and Death of the Queen
299
Abbreviations
313
Bibliography 33
326
Index
345
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Evelyne Lever is a leading French historian. Marie Antoinette is her first book to be published in the United States. She lives in Paris with her husband, Maurice Lever, the author of Sade.

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