I was hoping for dialogue between characters. I had just finished a series on Louis XV's mistresses where there was more dialogue and I guess I assumed this would be written the same way. Though this book had great information and insight into Marie Antoinette's life it could be dull at times as it just read over facts of her life. If the preview option would have been in the middle of the book instead of the introduction, I probably would not have purchased the book since my expectations were different from the product. Overall though I did enjoy the book.
I learned a lot from this book and enjoyed it. The material was well researched and clearly explained. I liked the narrator. Her diction was very clear (even up to 1.5 speed) and her inflections kept it interesting without being too dramatic. I disagree with the other reviewers who criticized her. If you are interested in this subject, do not miss this book.
I am horrified and deeply saddened by the atrocities that plagued this woman's life. What a tragic saga. I hate life. Also I hate the guillotine. F**king gross, France. Gross. Um good narration. I enjoyed this woman's voice. Another insightful historical novel I will recommend to anyone.
Antonia Fraser writes a detailed account of Marie Antoinette's life supported by primary sources of differing perspectives. As a history teacher, I was delightfully surprised to learn so much more about circumstances surrounding the Queen's life and Europe as a whole during this time period. At times, the story seemed to move a bit slowly because of the detail, but it didn't impact my overall enjoyment. Also, I appreciated the epilogue, which resolved many unanswered questions about MA's legacy.
I was also very satisfied with Donada Peters' narration, especially after reading such critical reviews from others. I love that she used different voices and accents to personalize the LARGE number of people cited in this story, which made it much easier to put everything in context while listening.
I purchased this book for a trip to France with my family. I wanted to immerse myself in French history. It was so interesting listening to this then seeing Versailles with my own eyes, visiting the Petite Trianon, and Marie Antoinette's little play farm.
This book humanized her. This book helped me to understand her at a different level, away from the layers of historic baggage. In many ways she lived a life of luxury, rich beyond my imagination. In many others, she was terribly neglected by the people in her life. The end, as we know, is tragic for her. I found myself weeping for a woman who essentially failed at everything in life, largely through the whims of fate, and her own lack of skills. A woman whose husband was killed, and who had two children die, and then was killed knowing that her two remaining children were left to a terrible fate.
I loved how the author used so many first person quotes, this history is so well documented, it is fascinating to hear what the players thought at the time.
The last chapter was especially well done, when the author examines how Marie Antoinette was treated differently than her husband, and how that was due mostly to sexism. I wish she would have gone a little further to explore how Marie Antoinette has been portrayed in history, because I think there is significant misogyny in the way she is portrayed even today. Still, when visiting the excesses of Versailles, and the very odd farm that emphasized how utterly clueless she was as to how most people lived, I had sympathy for those who executed her. Even though she was a scapegoat, a symbol of many years of history.
Many people have criticized the reader. I wasn't bothered. I liked how she changed her voice for different people in the book, and although she often pronounced "Marie Antoinette" "Mary Antoinette". Definitely listen to the sample before purchasing.
What a tragic history. This book gave a full account of the facts and misconceptions of a queen victimized by tabloids. It was a great read.