Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France

Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France

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by Evelyne Lever
     
 

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In MARIE ANTOINETTE, Evelyn Lever draws on a variety of resources, including diaries, letters, and firsthand accounts, to write this sumptuous, addictive delight. From family life in Vienna to the choke of the guillotine, this gripping work combines a fast-paced historical narrative with all the elements of scandalous fiction: Marie's wedding at Versailles to

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Overview

In MARIE ANTOINETTE, Evelyn Lever draws on a variety of resources, including diaries, letters, and firsthand accounts, to write this sumptuous, addictive delight. From family life in Vienna to the choke of the guillotine, this gripping work combines a fast-paced historical narrative with all the elements of scandalous fiction: Marie's wedding at Versailles to Louis XVI, the French court, boredom, hypocrisy, loneliness, allies, enemies, scandal, intrigue, sex, peasant riots, the fall of the Bastille, mob rule in Paris, imprisonment, and, finally, execution.

From primary source documents Lever fashions an insightful glimpse into the French court at Versailles. The characters of court are expertly drawn. There is the dashing Axel Fersen, Marie's great love; Maria Theresa, the scheming mother trying to place her daughter on the Hapsburg throne; the legendary Madame du Barry, lover to Louis XV; and, of course, Marie herself.

Luxuriously evocative of the Versailles court, historically sharp and witty, and detailing the compelling story of Marie Antoinette's life, Evelyn Lever's biography entrances readers.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312283339
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
09/24/2001
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
1,345,582
Product dimensions:
5.47(w) x 8.23(h) x 0.98(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Evelyne Lever is a leading French historian. Marie Antoinette is her first book to be published in the United States. She lives in Paris with her husband, Maurice Lever, the author of Sade.

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Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
DavisJ More than 1 year ago
I am a highschool sophmore and I had to read this book for a reasearch project. Not only was this book very educational and resourceful but it was also a very good read. I loved the way the author wrote the book because she made it more like a story book rather than a nonfiction book. I was really intrested throughout the whole book and was able to aquire all the neccsary information I needed to complete my project. I also liked this book because it is not bias. I felt like the author expresses every possible perception of each character and does not show any prefrance. The author also includes lots of details about everything, and I felt that since she did this I was able to understand the book better. The only thing i did not like about this book was the fact that I will never be able to read it for the first time again. I really enjoyed my time reading this book and hope you all will too. I would suggest this book to any one who is intrested in the last queen of France or just wants a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After visiting Versailles I found this book to be quite vivid in imagery. Lever makes all the historical figures come to life. It was a fascinating read.  She also provides enough historical context to fully understand all the players involved in this monumental story in world history. I highly recommend this book. 
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was very informative. It was always my understanding that Marie Antoinette was a selfish, elitist Queen who deserved what she got. This books really shows that she was a real person, with feelings, loves, sorrows, and empathy for her subjects that would eventually lead to her downfall and of course her violent death.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a high school sophomore student who had to do a research project on Marie Antoinette. I was told by my English teacher that this book was used for the same research project in past years and it was very helpful, and I have to agree. Evelyne Lever wrote an incredible book. This book tells a fascinating story about Marie Antoinette's life, which includes the power she has, her personal life with her husband, and politics. This book is very educational and clear in detail. No details are ever left out by Evelyne Lever. This biography explains, in depth, how Marie Antoinette starts out as queen, the many mistakes that she makes, and the outcome of her mistakes which eventually leads to her trial and beheading. Overall, it is a somewhat easy book to read, but some parts are confusing to read or understand. This book provides great historical information on Marie Antoinette and her life as queen. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Marie Antoinette.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Most might know the young Marie Antoinette as the naïve queen who heartlessly replied to her starving subjects by saying, ¿Let them eat cake¿. This however is not the case. Marie Antoinette was born into a royal family, destined to be married off by her work-aholic mother so that Austria might gain more powerful alliances. Her entire childhood was meant to prepare her for her duties as a good wife. Just as planned the young girl of just fourteen was married to the strange young Louis XVI, Dauphin of France. She was thrust upon the glamorous and exciting life of a future ruler at a young age, and with no idea of what to do its no wonder she got wrapped up in the gossip and exciting life of spending plenty of money on unnecessary things. Many might say that losing her popularity was all on her shoulders considering all of the silly things she did and bought, not to mention the rumors of her with man after man after man. However, one must ask oneself what one would do in her situation. This poor young girl was trapped in a loveless marriage with a husband who couldn¿t match up to his ¿conjugal¿ duties and sat around playing with locks, and hunting the majority of his days. She also found herself in the midst of many fake friends and ministers sent by her mother telling her to practically run the country. She was forced to have children with a man she did not love and worst of all, she even found her true love but could not be happy with him. It¿s no wonder she turned to gambling and overly extravagant parties to keep herself sane. The tragic ending is one that any could have guessed, revolution. The final chapters leave the royal family in a situation running for their very lives. This tale is a tragic one. When Marie Antoinette first heard the citizens of France cheering for her, she had no idea that one day they would fatally turn on her. Her tale is none too different from our own. We all have been thrust into a new life, whether it be high school, a new city, state, or even a new country. We all have had good times in a new life style but we all have been turned upon just as quickly as we were accepted. I believe this novel can be enjoyed by anyone for just this purpose. We can relate closer to this lost soul than previously thought.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a high school sophomore and I had to read this book for a research project. There were some things I liked  and did not like in this book. I enjoyed the book's detailed description of Marie Antoinette's life since it covered both her personal life and the history of France. Another reason why I liked the book was because the author did not write biased opinions and only gave facts about Marie Antoinette life, which I found interesting. For example, Comtesse de la Motte-Valois, who pretended to be one of the Queen's best friends, disguised herself as Marie Antoinette, and bought an expensive diamond necklace. Unfortunately, Marie Antoinette had to pay for the necklace, but she did not have enough money. Therefore, it caused France a huge bankruptcy that made the French people suffer. The parts of this book that I did not like was the repetitive information the author gave to the readers. For example, "Fersen went to see Marie Antoinette every day." was mentioned several times in the book. Also, it could have been better if the book used French words less frequently. Before I read the book, I knew some of the facts about Marie Antoinette but I did not know why she was not a good queen. After I read it, I learned the reasons why Marie Antoinette was the last queen of France and why she was assassinated by Parisians. It was because she spent a lot of money with useless things and she did not want to take responsibility for her actions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a sophomore in high school and was required to read this book for a research project. I enjoyed reading this biography because Evelyne Lever did a fantastic job bringing Marie Antoinette's story to life. In every chapter, I was able to vividly imagine all of the events happening because of the great details included. Lever is sure to include detail about all aspects of Marie Antoinette’s life. The book showed Marie Antoinette in a positive light but did not shy away from stating her troubles and mistakes. By the end of the biography I felt as if I knew the queen personally, the description of her tragic death made me pity her and question what the future could have held for the queen. Lever focuses on making sure the readers understand the queen and the life she lived, publically and privately. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about the fascinating life led by the last queen of France.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a high school sophomore and I chose to read this book for my project. I enjoyed the amounts of detail that was put into this book, which gave me a description of everything around these historical characters, and the events that were happening that made me feel as if I was actually in the book, interacting with these characters. Towards the end of the book I was most interested in the details about the jail cells they were locked into, the trials that the King and Queen were sent to, and later beheaded. It was strange to know that a while back, people were punished so severely by different types of torture, for the King and Queen; they were beheaded in front of all who came to watch. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to read biographies, and wants to learn more about the life of Marie Antoinette because I was fascinated throughout this entire book. Many people know Marie Antoinette for her charm and beauty, but this book reveals all; her mischievous ways, how inconsiderate she was to her husband, and how she used her charm to get what she wanted no matter who she hurt in the process.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a high school sophomore and I chose to read this book for my research project. I enjoyed reading Marie Antoinette the Last Queen of France. I liked it because it is very fascinating. Evelyn Lever did a great job writing the book. While I was reading it I did not feel like I was reading a history book or a web page. I felt like I was reading a novel. I like how the author describes Marie at the end of the book. Lever writes about the change in Marie and how she wore plain white dresses and she did not throw any balls anymore. Lever's description helps to see how drastic Marie's change was. The thing I do not like about the book is that it is full of a lot of description. All of the description makes the book long and hard to read at some parts. I did not understand some chapters because the description was overpowering. As I was reading the chapter about the diamond necklace affair I was confused. There is so much description that I could not understand it. I had to search the internet to understand the diamond necklace affair. Also names of people are introduced randomly. I would like it better if the author explains who each character was fully. I also would have liked if the author gave specific dates for what part the book she was discussing. It was hard for me to make a timeline in my head of when events were occurring. I am glad I chose this book to read for my research project. I read a lot of information in this , but was not able to get all of the information I needed.. Even though it was a long read I will probably read it again in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is a tragic tale of power,politics,and love.