©2001 Antonia Fraser; (P)2001 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
"The portrait is drawn delicately, with pleasant touches of humor...Fraser's approach is controlled and thoughtful." (Publishers Weekly)
"Absorbing as ever. Fraser's blend of insight and research persuade us that this unfortunate queen deserves neither the vilification nor the idealization she has received." (The New Yorker)
"Donada Peters...excels at injecting subtle irony into seemingly flat narrative. She handles the snotty comments and the lewd scandal-mongering of the court with equal aplomb. Fraser is one of the most highly respected and best-selling biographers of our time, and it's easy to see why in this enlightening glimpse into the turbulent France of the 1770s." (AudioFile)
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.
Wife, Mother, Daughter, Believer, Bibliophile, Dreamer
Donada Peters did an incredible job narrating this book! I listened to it through a second time. I'm so intrigued with M.A. and I think Fraser did an amazing job portraying her class and beauty.
The second best book I have read through Audible. The first was The Presidents Club
As usual Antonia Fraser tells a well known subject but has a different and well researched twist.
Mfarie Antoinette of course
There were several
I have read other books by this author and always enjoyed them
I have read the hard copy of this book a few times and felt silly for downloading the audible version (at first that is). I enjoyed hearing the story so much. Donada Peters gives a wonderful voice to this book. Since I have never studied French, I was not sure about some of the proununciations which the narrator smoothed through nicely. The author gives quite a bit of detail I never knew about Marie Antoinette and the time she lived in. Even though I knew how the story would end, I found myself very sad at the conclusion of the book. An enjoyable listen that I will listen to again.
LOVED the book, and i had no problem with the narration; tho that may be because my Mom is British and I'm used to the accent. Don't let it stop you from purchasing.
Very informative and very interesting at the same time. There is an overflow of interesting information about Marie Antoinette and those close who were close to her that isn't well known. Alot of scandal and juicy details. It's hard to believe that this all really happened. There is a lot of reference information dropped causually, which adds to the credability of the book. Antonia Fraser did an excellant job helping the reader/listenter comprehend the complexity of the subject without losing interest. Infact, at times it's jaw dropping. The narrator is perfect for the job. Very well spoken and uses different accents in order help imagine the people she spoke of.
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