Cover image for The private realm of Marie Antoinette
Title:
The private realm of Marie Antoinette
Author:
Boyer, Marie-France, 1942-
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Lieux de la reine Marie-Antoinette. English
Publication Information:
New York : Thames and Hudson, [1996]

[©1996]
Physical Description:
111 pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780500016909
Format :
Book

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NK947 .B6813 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Marie Antoinete has been romanticized as the matyred queen and vilified as the Austrian whose extravagance and foreign sympathies fired the French Revolution. She has also been admired as the personnification of the 18th-century style: in retreat from the stifling protocol of the French court and in pursuit of her own personal tastes, she created her own personal domain, cultivating a new royal style that was the epitome of elegance


Reviews 1

Booklist Review

The ill-fated consort of King Louis XVI of France--she, like he, executed by guillotine at the height of the Revolution--is the subject of two new books, which approach Marie Antoinette's life from different but complementary avenues, the first book, in effect, setting the stage for the second. Boyer is Paris correspondent for World of Interiors magazine, and her collaborator, photographer Halard, is a colleague. Their book is about the retreats Queen Marie Antoinette created for herself away from the crowded, protocol-ridden atmosphere of official court life at Versailles. Through lively text and luscious photographs, we tour these settings, familiarizing ourselves with the queen's decorating taste. An interesting but ancillary addition to French history collections. The second book is a birth-to-death biography for general readers, but its presentation is far from superficial. Born an Austrian archduchess, daughter of the famous empress Maria Theresa, Marie Antoinette married the heir to the French throne at age 15. "Never was a couple so mismatched," avers Farr, who proceeds to show us the consequences of this mesalliance. The author sympathetically observes the decline in Marie Antoinette's public image and, simultaneously and with the same sympathy, follows her long-term romantic involvement with Swedish count Axel Fersen. Marie Antoinette's liaison with adored Count Fersen is related here not as a story of a sordid affair but as one of true, mutual, abiding love. History buffs, particularly ones new to French Revolution history, will find this edifying reading. --Brad Hooper