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Marie-Antoinette is one of the most fascinating and controversial figures in all of French history. This volume explores the many struggles by various individuals and groups to put right Marie's identity, and it simultaneously links these struggles to larger destabilizations in social, political and gender systems in France.
Looking at how Marie was represented in politics, art, literature and journalism, the contributors to this volume reveal how crucial political and cultural contexts were enacted "on the body of the queen" and on the complex identity of Marie. Taken together, these essays suggest that it is precisely because she came to represent the contradictions in the social, political and gender systems of her era, that Marie remains such an important historical figure.
Illustrations. Credits. Acknowledgements. Introduction: Not Another Biography of Marie-Antoinette! A Select Chronology of Marie-Antoinette's Life. Biographical Sketches of Principal Figures in the Life of Marie-Antoinette 1. Hapsburg Letters: The Disciplinary Dynamics of Epistolary Narrative in the Correspondence of Maria Theresa and Marie-Antoinette 2. The Portrait of the Queen 3. The Diamond Necklace Affair Revisited (1785-1786): The Case of the Missing Queen 4. The Heroine of the Crime: Marie-Antoinette in Pamphlets 5. The Many Bodies of Marie-Antoinette: Political Pornography and the Problem of the Feminine in the French Revolution 6. Pass as a Woman, Act Like a Man: Marie-Antoinette as Tribade in the Pornography of the French Revolution 7. Ambiguous Identities: Marie-Antoinette and the House of Lorraine from the Affair of the Minuet to Lambesc's Charge 8. Marie-Antoinette Obsession 9. "We're Just Little People, Louis": Marie-Antoinette on Film 10. Terrorizing Marie-Antoinette Afterword: The (Ab)uses of Marie-Antoinette. Notes on Contributors. Index