Marie Antoinette: The Journey

Marie Antoinette: The Journey☆ [PDF / Epub] ★ Marie Antoinette: The Journey By Antonia Fraser ✩ – Brilliantly written a work of impeccable scholarship An utterly riveting and intensely moving book by one of our finest biographersNever before has the life of Marie Antoinette been told so intimately Brilliantly written a work of impeccable scholarship An utterly riveting and intensely moving book by one of our finest biographersNever before has the life of Marie Antoinette been told so intimately and with such authority as in Antonia Fraser's newest work Marie Antoinette The Journey Famously known as the eighteenth century French ueen whose excesses have become legend Marie Antoinette was blamed for instigating the French Revolution But Marie Antoinette: PDF/EPUB ² the story of her journey begun as a fourteen year old sent from Vienna to marry the future Louis XVI to her courageous defense before she was sent to the guillotine reveals a woman of greater complexity and character than we have previously understood We stand beside Marie Antoinette and witness the drama of her life as she becomes a scapegoat of the Ancien Regime when her faults were minor in comparison to the punishments inflicted on herThe youngest daughter fifteenth out of sixteen children of Austrian empress Maria Teresa and Francis I Marie Antoinette was sent on a literal journey by her mother from Vienna to Versailles with the expectation that she would further Austrian interests at all times Yet Marie Antoinette was by nature far from interested in state affairs and much inclined to exert a gracious philanthropic role patronizing the arts especially music as royalty would come to behave in the nineteenth century Despite this the French accused her of political interference and wrote scandalous tracts against her mocking her lack of sophistication Meanwhile longing for a family and the birth of an heir who would have cemented the Franco Austro alliance the French ueen had to endure than eight years of public humiliation for her barren marriage before the delivery of her first of four childrenAs these problems unfold Antonia Fraser also weaves a richly detailed account of Marie Antoinette's other poignant journey from the ill educated and unprepared girl who sought refuge in pleasure as a consolation into a magnificent courageous woman who defied her enemies at her trial with consummate intelligence arousing the admiration of even the most hostile revolutionaries. This was my second Antonia Fraser book the first being The Wives of Henry VIII Thorough research and minute attention to details is the clear mark of both Personally I found the writing of Marie Antoinette The Journey to be lucid and less confusing Perhaps this passage in the Epilogue best sums up the book “A scapegoat was in fact what Marie Antoinette became Among other things she would be blamed for the whole French Revolution by those who optimistically looked to one “guilty” individual as a way of explaining the complex horrors of the past”I am inclined to think that Marie Antoinette probably had a lethal fault in her stars that put her in the wrong place at the wrong time Be that as it might she and for that matter the French aristocrats could have used common sense and curbed hertheir appetite for pleasure seeking and extravagance at a time when most French commoners were seen to be poverty stricken These vested interests were simply blind to the public’s seething disgust for their hereditary privileges like exemption from taxes among other things Added to this apparent obtuseness on the part of the royalty was the rapaciousness of France’s monarchic neighbors including Austria the ueen’s homeland who had been prowling on her borders and waiting for her domestic troubles to explode in her face It would not be surprising under these circumstances to see the “Austrian woman” as Marie Antoinette came to be called becoming the receptacle of the French people’s full wrath through the vicious manipulation of public opinion by power hungry demagogues This biographical work on whom one might term as “the most slandered French ueen in the history of France” also reminds one of how deadly calumnious propaganda can turn out to be Wicked lies if repeated often enough can very easily become verity in the minds of the less enlightened It also brings to mind how little we’ve advanced in terms of achieving social euality and fairness since those revolutionary days Next Saturday October 16th will be her 217th Death Anniversary On that same day 217 years ago Marie Antoinette or Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna 1755 1793 was executed by guillotine She was convicted of treason Nine months prior to that her husband King Louis XIV was executed These all happened at the height of the French Revolution 1789 1799Marie Antoinette was a victim from birth to death Her marriage to King Louis XIV was a move to forge alliances among the warring countries included in the Seven Years War Included in these countries were Austria where Marie Antoinette was an Archduchess and France where Louis Auguste who became King Louis XIV was a Dauphin Prior to their marriage France was used to be Austria's traditional enemy Even at the time of her execution peasants were shouting Hang the Austrian woman Long live France Marie Antoinette did not dream of becoming a French ueen She just followed the wishes of her mother Empress Maria Theresa who she did not have a good relation as the later had her favorite Marie Antoinette's younger sister Maria Carolina Thus leaving Hamburg for Paris to live in Versailles was Marie Antoinette way of ending her jealousy of being the less favoured daughter of the empressUnfortunately King Louis XIV did not love her and it took time for their marriage to be consummated They had 4 children and two of them died at their young age Their eldest survived Marie Therese Charlotte 1778 1851who later became Dauphine of France upon ascension of her father in law to the throne of France in 1824 After the death of the first son who died at the age of 7 the second son third child was born Louis XVII 1785 1795 He too died but this time during the imprisonment of her parents in the palace tower The line let them eat cake with them being the hungry French peasants because of bread shortage has not been proven to have come from her It first appeared in Jean Jacues Rousseau's Confessions but Rousseau did not name who the great princess was Marie Antoinette was never a political animal She had no power and was content in playing her role as a ueen attending social functions and doing civic works Her unhappy marriage resulted to her becoming frivolous She dressed herself up extravagantly and wanted to have all the luxuries despite the poor economic condition of the country She was accused of everything from lesbianism occult and having incestuous relation with her own sonThis is a heartfelt biography of a misunderstood famous figure in French history She is said to be one of the 4 world famous French figures in the history following Napoleon Bonaparte Joan of Arc and Charles de Gaulle According to Wiki Fraser's depiction of Marie Antoinette here is kind For me that's baloney This work presented the balanced view of Marie Antoinette and is well documented as Fraser has all the footnotes and cross references Is anybody here a mother? was her heartfelt line during her trial when her accuser brought up her alleged incestuous relation with her own son Pardon me Sir I meant not to do it were her last words addressing her executioner when Marie Antoinette accidentally stepped on his toes on her way to the guillotine Oh yes like her king husband he faced her trial and execution with grace Those last words that should have come from the people who condemned her in my honest opinion Her being a political pawn and scapegoat was too tragic A ueen killed by her own people was too sad Excellent writing though Well researched Amazing biography As a former French major in college I really enjoyed this book and learned so much about this period of time and the dynamics of the monarchy in France While at times it was difficult to keep all the characters straight since they had multiple namestitles I found that the overall narrative was compelling Most people today have little sympathy for this ueen but I came away from this book with a much altered impression of her character and personality She was truly in an impossible positiona ueen in a country where the royalty was expected to live in a certain fashion where in fact the people demanded it and yet where the resentment for that lifestyle would eventually be her demise It reminded me of the hero worship of athletes and entertainment celebrities yet the gratification many feel when they are brought down It's as though we want them to be bigger than life and put them in that place yet resent it at the same time Anyway an interesting read for the history buff You will most certainly come away with a much greater understanding of and sympathy for Marie Antoinette Not only does Antonia Frasier dispell the rumor that Marie Antoinette ever uttered “let them eat cake” when told that the French were starved for bread she gives a fuller picture of the ueen that shows her than just an extravagant self involved royal out of touch with reality Frasier packs in gossipy details that keep this from being a dry readMarie Antoinette is born to be a pawn in her mother’s Hapsburg Empress Maria Theresa bid to expand Hapsburg power and influence At the age of 14 a deal is cut for Antoine to marry the future king of France sealing an alliance between the two empires Immediately preparations begin to prepare her for the marriage Since birth Marie Antoinette like all good royal girls is groomed to be a feminine and submissive royal wife with lessons in dance music and etiuette unfortunately she is otherwise poorly educated even by 18th century standards At 15 she is wed to the French dauphin and shipped to France where she is expected with not so gentle prodding by her mother and the French royal court to deliver a future king Until she delivers her position in France is uncertain Frasier details the early struggles of the teenage couple’s marriage and the years it took them to finally consummate it while painting a vivid picture of royal life with the full court Marie Antoinette is dressed by ladies in waiting who get to help based on rank The royals are crazy – her mother through Antoinette’s servants monitors her monthly periods others knew the details about when the ueen and king tried or had sex When she finally gives birth it’s before a gathering of those invited based on rank Of course in 18th century France these were all matters of national importance indicating the future direction of the country It goes a long way to explaining why Marie Antionette and Louis XVI were so unprepared when they became king and ueen They were born to rule – via a trusted circle of advisers of course – but when the rules changed after the French Revolution neither Louis nor Marie Antionette who apparently had little influence in her husband’s political decisions were bright enough politicians or visionary enough to see a new role for the monarchy and instead fought every measure to limit their power eventually even trying to get Austria to send in troops to help restore them to the throne By the time the revolution rolls around Frasier has drunken the kool aid and is fully on the King and ueen’s side explaining why the royals did what they did Whether it be trying to preserve the King’s power or their eventual failed escape from Paris she paints a picture of a king and ueen who were devoted to their children and believed the future of France was best served by keeping the king in power It would have been interesting to get perspective on the problems going on in the country and whether the King and ueen were totally disconnected as at least Marie Antionette seemed to be The French Revolution was bloody and eventually led to leaders killing previous leaders in a near continual cleansing and it’s easy to believe that by the time of King Louis’ execution and then Marie Antoinette’s that revolution leaders had gone too far Even Thomas Paine argued that the family should be allowed to leave the country and resettle in America Because Frasier seems to be so behind the royal cause doomed to history it’s hard to feel like an impartial observer and I at times ended up arguing with the book for its characterization of the King and ueen’s actions which comes off as a defense Frasier gives great insight into Marie Antionette’s life and experience up to the end but she doesn’t apply her critical eye to their actions leading to the revolution and during it At the same time she rightfully doesn’t spare the revolutionaries Marie Antoinette 0 385 48949 8I love reading and learning about Marie Antoinette as a historical figure she had such a fascinating life and was such an interesting person but I could not have been disappointed with this book I'm really surprised that it has so many high ratings so take my review with a grain of salt but I just found this book to be a complete chore to wade throughIt's really frustrating to see Fraser take such a fascinating historical figure and rob her of all interest with some of the dullest writing and bald assertions I've ever seen in a biography I'm sorry to say that the book reads like the worst of high school history books dryly vomiting up names and dates with very little context and jumping about the map to cover events chronologically with very little effort made to tie events to one another with any sort of compelling or competent narrative Fraser seems to regard name dropping and uote dropping as being most crucial details and thus she never hesitates to drop in random uotes from various philosophers sooth sayers and poets even when doing so is distracting and detracts from the narrative flow Too much bald assertion is used here and to ill effect For example Fraser insists that Marie Antoinette's memorable re dressing ceremony was simply not bothersome or traumatic to the young woman because it was the fashion of the time not unusual at all and that she had after all been treated as a doll to be dressed up in this and that at the adults' whim since childhood; this was just one example of that process This may be personal preference but I dislike this style of writing in biographies either tell us how the subject felt through actual historical sources OR tell us how they might have regarded an experience based on conjectures from personality documented through actual historical sources Do not however just attempt to channel the spirit of the biography from the depths of time and tell us how they felt because it's just not accurate it's one woman's opinion The entire book is written in this vein and you just never get the impression that you're reading actual history but rather Fraser's version of how she has decided it must have been Whether you trust her to be the expert and know what she is talking about is another matter I recommend avoiding this book As a source for Marie Antoinette I found it sadly lacking as much of what Fraser asserts as truth is undocumented at best As reading material I was repulsed by the turgid prose and by the jump around the map cram everything in without context and drop a lot of cool sounding uotes approach to history Ana Mardoll This is an interesting and extremely readable biography of the late ueenThis somewhat removes the ueens actual power and agencyAs the monarchy failed under Louis XVI Marie Antoinette stepped up politicallyShe was a major player in revolutionary events For details check out John Hardman's 'Marie Antoinette The Making of a French ueen which focuses almost exclusively on her actions leading up to and during the revolutionHer death is memorialized in every detail Yet many of my ancestors no doubt died at her and her husband's hands chattel slavery in Haiti was unbelievably awful Where are their names?Where is the story of their deaths?What effort has been made to restore their treasures to their descendants?Government is responsible for it's crimesThere was gross mismanagement of resources causing massive poverty and starvation throughout FranceSure some poor folks had it harder in other nations but that's in effect irrelevantWhen an individual or a family choose to be monarchs they know this is a possibility Just like presidents and prime ministers are aware of political assassinations Don't be a corrupt leaderDon't be married to oneDon't be the child of oneHold your family to account for their behaviors and choices if you do belong in the family of a highly placed government official I don't have a problem morally with the death of the royal family🤷🏽‍♀️ Many died because of their ineptitude I am not a history buff so it's hard for me to judge if this book is historically accurate What I can attest to is that Antonia Fraser knows how to write a very engaging non fictional narrative And from my limited experience with non fiction it is a hard thing to do Marie Antoinette doesn't appear to be an overly objective book the tone of it is very involved and I guess that's what makes it so readable Fraser paints a very sympathetic portrait of Marie Antoinette who at some point in French history was the most hated woman in the country and was accused of being sexually deviant to the point of incest an Austrian spy an enemy of French people of bankrupting the country the list goes on Fraser's French ueen is extremely likable Not raised for the high throne lacking education and crucial understanding of politics Marie Antoinette is a tragic figure than anything else She marries French Dauphin at the age of 14 almost by default when her sister dies Without proper tutoring with her marriage unconsummated for over 7 years Marie Antoinette keeps herself busy by frivolous occupations she organizes parties she dances she gambles she buys jewelry and dresses She is kept in the dark about politics and current events her first obligation is to be a decoration not to rule French people who are struggling under heavy taxes As the years pass Marie Antoinette becomes a mother and a great mother at that She is still apolitical and yet strangely held responsible for everything bad happening in the countryMarie Antoinette's political awakening finally happens when France is taken over by the revolutionary forces When her husband as inexperienced in politics as she is finds he has no courage or ability to make decisions about their future it is Marie Antoinette who takes charge and attempts to salvage monarchy for her son Unfortunately due to the lack of clear understanding of politics she is unable to make the right decisions and her entire family eventually meets an awful demiseMarie Antoinette is an interesting and sad story of a woman whose only aspirations are her family and peaceful life She is thrown into the world of politics without any preparation and is uickly consumed by it Recommended to those readers who are interested in history and biographies of royalty I am giving for stars to this book which I cannot in conscience recommend to anyone Fraser's extensive research and brilliant discernment ultimately prove beyond a doubt that Marie Antoinette was a non entity who did not affect the cataclysmic events of her era either one way or the other Fraser's nominal objective was to show that was made the scapegoat for the sins of several generations of the Bourbon dynasty of which she bore none of the responsibility However Marie Antoinette's critics were so highly disreputable and such obvious liars that it is uestionable that any defense of hers was ever needed A strong point of Fraser's book is the remarkable portrait of the elaborate protocols and rituals of the Bourbon court that prevented Marie Antoinette and her husband Louis XV I from seeing what was happening in the world Fraser is similarly brilliant at describing the how the courtiers at Versailles swarmed about Marie Antoinette extracting privileges and appointments for their family members while giving nothing in return neither warning her of the approaching dangers nor doing anything to save her once the revolution had begun Although uite aware Fraser neglects to point out that the elaborate rituals and practices of the Bourbon court had been created to undermine the power of the aristocracy of France by Louis XIV By calling the nobles to his court he cut them off from their power bases and through his complex protocol he had them scurrying about like rates in a labyrinth Unfortunately his dimwitted grandson Louis XVI fell into the trap created for the nobles and perished Fraser does however spend a great deal of time on the incompetency of Louis XVI in bed and the psychological distress that it caused Marie Antoinette Anyone who enjoys good writing about sex will enjoy this bookA major thesis of Fraser is that the extravagance of Marie Antoinette has been exaggerated since her day to the present time Her spending was uite in line with the traditions of both the Bourbon dynasty and her own Habsburg dynasty The spending of the Versailles court accounted for a modest 7% of the Royal Budget The real problem was that the interest on the debt created to fund the Seven Years War and the American Revolution ate up 41% of revenuesThe depth of the research and the uality of insight make Marie Antoinette an excellent book The problem for me was that Marie Antoinette truly was not a player of any significance in the great events Fraser demonstrates clearly that she was badly treated by her family her husband her friends and her adopted country Moreover she was unjustly blamed for many things by the propagandists of the Revolution and by later historians All of this makes her a victim not a person of historical importance And it only took me 11 years to finish it This was a good for a beach ready kind of history Fraser's good in terms of readability but she bends over backwards to explain how Antoinette was misunderstood without really coming to terms with the complexity of her public face I would have liked footnotes although I'm probalby not the target audience in that regard I REALLY would have liked some editing not just in terms of overall repetitiousness but in terms of readability Fraser writes engagingly and well most of the time but every now and then you arrive at these sentences that make no sense at all I prefer histories that try to stir up an argument or some kind of engagement with the reader I felt like I was being handed a bill of goods

Marie Antoinette: The Journey Kindle ç Marie
  • Paperback
  • 564 pages
  • Marie Antoinette: The Journey
  • Antonia Fraser
  • Italian
  • 15 November 2014
  • 9788804513117