Customer Reviews for

Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

fine historical fiction

In 1769, Father Kunibert demands that thirteen years old Archduchess Maria Antonia called Antoinette to confess her sins by writing them down in a journal. Thus starts a record of her life through her eyes that she maintains until her last entry while residing in Conci...
In 1769, Father Kunibert demands that thirteen years old Archduchess Maria Antonia called Antoinette to confess her sins by writing them down in a journal. Thus starts a record of her life through her eyes that she maintains until her last entry while residing in Conciergie Prison in Oct 1793. Early on at fourteen, she is to save Austria by marrying the Bourbon heir to the throne of France. Over the next two decades she takes lovers, but supports her husband King Louis XVI. When the peasants storm the palace, she is as unprepared as the other nobles especially her spouse. As she realizes they will get their pint of blood and more, she keeps her head up until she meets Madam Guillotine. --- Using real historical events over the latter half of the eighteenth century, Carolly Erickson provides a provocative fictionalized autobiography of Marie Antoinette. Fans obtain a taste of how the royal court perceived life including their take on the peasant class. Though there is too much titillating tease about Maria┬┐s affairs that takes away from the insightful look at the events and misinterpretation of these incidents that lead to the downfall of royalty, THE HIDDEN DIARY OF MARIE ANTOINETTE remains a fine work of historical fiction. --- Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on December 9, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

A reviewer

I'm a huge fan of historical fiction and, though a history buff, I can ignore historical inaccuracies for the sake of a good story. However, this was, quite possibly, THE WORST story I have ever read. The plot is simplistic and trite, the characters are all unsympat...
I'm a huge fan of historical fiction and, though a history buff, I can ignore historical inaccuracies for the sake of a good story. However, this was, quite possibly, THE WORST story I have ever read. The plot is simplistic and trite, the characters are all unsympathetic and I was quite glad that Erickson's incredibly evil National Assembly condemned them all to death. She ignored the complexities of the people and the time period and instead chose to invent characters and events that were incredibly inane and were much more boring than what actually happened. The author very obviously did not bother to do much research and her account of the French Revolution reads like royalist propaganda. Robespierre, who historically was a soft-spoken idealist called 'the Incorruptible' shows up as The Source of All Evil, whom we are supposed to hate because he has pockmarks 'he didn't' and he blames Marie for quite rightly conspiring with Austria. Marie herself is horribly unsympathetic and I wanted to hit her over the head with a shovel. She is stupid, vapid, irritating, and selfish. It is remarkably easy to make Marie Antoinette sympathetic. Who wouldn't feel sorry for a 14-year-old princess taken away from everything she holds dear to the very bewildering court of Versailles? However, by zeroing in on the flippant, frivolous twit who ramped up the national debt because she just *had* to have a new diamond necklace, Erickson made Marie Antoinette one-dimensional and thoroughly boring when she wasn't thoroughly irritating. Erickson offers no motivations for any of her characters' actions, offers an incredibly vacuous view of a highly complicated time and completely ignores historical people and events for invented, trite, boring, and incredibly stupid characters and actions that she made up entirely. This was a terrible, terrible book, and I hope Carolly Erickson will learn to a. research before attempting an historical novel, and b. learn that people have motivations for actions and are seldom one-dimensional. I wish I could have a refund, and/or give this book zero stars. It was really that bad.

posted by Anonymous on October 15, 2007

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2007

    A reviewer

    I'm a huge fan of historical fiction and, though a history buff, I can ignore historical inaccuracies for the sake of a good story. However, this was, quite possibly, THE WORST story I have ever read. The plot is simplistic and trite, the characters are all unsympathetic and I was quite glad that Erickson's incredibly evil National Assembly condemned them all to death. She ignored the complexities of the people and the time period and instead chose to invent characters and events that were incredibly inane and were much more boring than what actually happened. The author very obviously did not bother to do much research and her account of the French Revolution reads like royalist propaganda. Robespierre, who historically was a soft-spoken idealist called 'the Incorruptible' shows up as The Source of All Evil, whom we are supposed to hate because he has pockmarks 'he didn't' and he blames Marie for quite rightly conspiring with Austria. Marie herself is horribly unsympathetic and I wanted to hit her over the head with a shovel. She is stupid, vapid, irritating, and selfish. It is remarkably easy to make Marie Antoinette sympathetic. Who wouldn't feel sorry for a 14-year-old princess taken away from everything she holds dear to the very bewildering court of Versailles? However, by zeroing in on the flippant, frivolous twit who ramped up the national debt because she just *had* to have a new diamond necklace, Erickson made Marie Antoinette one-dimensional and thoroughly boring when she wasn't thoroughly irritating. Erickson offers no motivations for any of her characters' actions, offers an incredibly vacuous view of a highly complicated time and completely ignores historical people and events for invented, trite, boring, and incredibly stupid characters and actions that she made up entirely. This was a terrible, terrible book, and I hope Carolly Erickson will learn to a. research before attempting an historical novel, and b. learn that people have motivations for actions and are seldom one-dimensional. I wish I could have a refund, and/or give this book zero stars. It was really that bad.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 24, 2011

    Disappointed

    This book was a complete disappointment. It wasn't until the very end that the author decided to acknowledge it's fabricated. I knew some of it would be imaginative, but believed most would be based on fact. It was a waste of my time and money.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2011

    One of the Best Books I've Ever Read

    This book is one you won't be able to put down!!!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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