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Marie Antoinette Reviews

Marie Antoinette by John Hardman

Marie-Antoinette: The Making of a French Queen

John Hardman

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1 review

Imprint: Yale University Press
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 10 Sep 2019
ISBN: 9780300243086

A new look which fundamentally overturns our understanding of this famously "out of touch" queen

4 stars out of 5
Gareth Russell
19 Oct 2019

"a thought-provoking portrait of a brave, well-intentioned, if often misguided queen."

Most modern accounts of her life have portrayed Marie Antoinette as “the scapegoat of an irrational age suffering a nervous collapse”, a figure whose ultimate sufferings were out of proportion to her earlier frivolities. It has been a long time since anyone seriously believed that she extolled the virtues of cake, or brioche, a stupidly brutal quip that would have been wholly out of character. Hardman goes farther and makes the case that Marie Antoinette was also a political player who sincerely attempted to reach a compromise with certain revolutionaries, which might have produced a constitutional monarchy that would have spared the French people much of the coming bloodshed.