Customer Reviews for

Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette

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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 14, 2012

    Best book i ever read

    Amazing.. truly amazing. Please read you will not be dissapointed. Great emitional depth and character development. Hands down the best i have read and my official new favorite.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2012

    Nadia

    Another great book that held my attention from beginning to end.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommend!

    If you love history and don't mind that this is a true yet fictional story. What I mean is Marie Antionette never had a diary, however all the events in the book happened as they are described.

    I personally love this book-it is one of my favorites!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2010

    Loved it

    I very much enjoyed this book. This is one that I will keep and read again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing!!!

    The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette is my all time FAVORITE book!!! It's an amazing read! I just love the book and the author!

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  • Posted December 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting perspective...

    This book gives the reader a whole new perspective on a well-known character in history. While a novel, it makes the reader think of Marie Antoinette as more of a person with feelings and dreams, than just of a doomed character in history. While she may have made mistakes in her short life, she was still a young woman in a role of postion and influence. Most people are quick to judge and maybe not as aware of her insecurities as a woman. A very good and well written story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Voracious reading

    I ate through this epistolary novel in three days. Excellent development, gives you a brand new, positive look at this much-maligned queen.

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  • Posted February 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A refreshing perspective

    I have read just about every book on Marie Antoinette and by far this is one of the most entertaining. Carolly Erickson has given identities to these historical people she doesn't leave out feeling or the reality that these people did exist and it was traumatic for them.
    Though the Hidden Diary is a historic fictional piece I had to remind myself several time while reading it that it was indeed that, fictional. I was swept away in the thoughts and personality of Marie Antoinette, too many times she is portrayed as a clueless, self indulging, careless girl that let what happened happen it was refreshing to hear her thoughts and pretend that maybe just maybe she was simply a girl who didn't know what to do. It is delightfully romantic, playfully smart, and tragically heart breaking. A good read, a quick read, and an all around entertaining and beautiful book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2008

    amazing

    this book like nothing you have ever read

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2008

    A reviewer

    This book is quite long but I finished in in just two weeks or so (quick since I have a young son). I was enthralled by the historical information mixed in with the fiction. I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good historical read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2008

    Very Beautiful and accurate

    This novel was wonderful! It truly captured and intrigued the young, tender hearted, and beautiful queen. What those people did to her and her family was disgusting, the people of France were nothing short of savages. The accuracy also was unbelievable, i am truly overwhelmed and impressed with compassion for Ericksons work. With Marie it just goes to show that wealth, beauty, and happiness are very envious things.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2008

    Wow

    This book was the best one i have ever read. It is amazing and no other book is better than it.The movie is horrible compared to this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2007

    Absolutely amazing!

    I wasn't a fan of historical fiction and I didn't know diddly about Marie Antoinette until I read this book. The cover is what initially caught my eye while browsing the fiction section of my local bookstore. I picked up the book and was hooked from the very first page. I bought 'The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette' and I finished it in 2 days. I could not put the book down!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2007

    You will love this book&hearts

    If you like reading just stories or learning about past European kings and queens you will love this book. It's the best I've read in a long time and I could not put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2007

    IT WAS A GREAT BOOK TO READ!!!

    I love history so when i pick this book up I thought it look relly good . guss I was right . i never wanted to put it down . one day I never put it down it great . i also have read the child diary but i think this one is way better !!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2007

    A Great Read!

    This was the first book I ever read about Marie Antoinette. I read it in 3 days. ( That's good for me.) It really made me want to find out more about her.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2006

    Well Worth Reading

    Queen Marie sets in her prison cell waiting for her execution. She is known only as prisoner 280. She has lost everything. Her husband King LouisXVI has been beheaded and her children taken from her. The only thing she has left still is her journal. Marie starts keeping her journal when she is a young girl of 13. In it she records her life. The earliest recording is watching her older sister Josepha die from the black pox alone hidden away from everyone. She learns at 15 years old she is to marry dauphin Louis, heir to the throne of France. She tells Eric, her friend, she truly doesn't want to marry Louis because he is fat and ugly. She does though and with in a few years becomes Queen of France. Marie spends 7 lonely years before becoming intimate with her husband. Pressure is put on Marie because she needs to have a male heir to the throne. She does eventually become pregnant. She has 4 children, 2 of which die young. She suffers many losses including the death of her mother and brother. She also enjoys playing the Queen. She wears only the most expensive clothing, jewerly. She is constantly redecorating her apartments. Things start going bad for the King and Queen when debts cannot be repaid and the people of France are starting to revolt because the are starving. Although written in a fictional account, it was an excellent account of the facts surrounding Marie Antoinette life. Carolly Erickson does and excellent job of keeping a reader mesmerized and reading up to the sad ending. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2006

    wonderful!!!

    I had to choose a book from atleast 200 years ago for my history book project. When my mom recommended this book for me to read, I thought it should be interesting and enjoyable to read. Well, once I got started I couldn't stop. It was so much better than what I thought it was going to be. As I was reading I soon fell in love with this book. When I finsihed it, I felt as if I had been there beside Marie the whole time during her life.Carolly really captures you in this novel and you become endulged in this book from the very first page! She gives you so much detail and information throughout the whole story so you always feel connected to the story line.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2006

    Most Truthful Historical novel

    I loved this book. It really made me feel like I was standing there beside her watching all these events fall into place. It helped me see the other view of her other than the peasants thoughts of her. I would very much recommend this book to everyone even if their not history fans. Thanks Ms. Erickson for this woundreful novel.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2006

    Wonderful!

    After reading this book I felt like I actually knew Marie Antoinette! It was not a normal read since it was written as a diary to take you right to the heart of the Queen of France. I really enjoyed this book and hope to go visit Versailles after reading her story!

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