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Synopsis: The national bestseller from the acclaimed author of The Wives of Henry VIII.  France’s beleaguered queen, Marie Antoinette, wrongly accused of uttering the infamous “Let them eat cake,” was the subject of ridicule and curiosity even before her death; she has since been the object of debate and speculation and the fascination so often accorded tragic figures in history. Married in mere girlhood, this essentially lighthearted, privileged, but otherwise unremarkable child was thrust into an unparalleled time and place, and was commanded by circumstance to play a significant role in history. Antonia Fraser’s lavish and engaging portrait of Marie Antoinette, one of the most recognizable women in European history, excites compassion and regard for all aspects of her subject, immersing the reader not only in the coming-of-age of a graceful woman, buaimedt also in the unraveling of an era.

Review: In the past, Antonia Fraser's bestselling histories and biographies have focused on people and events in her native England, from Mary Queen of Scots to Faith and Treason: The Story of the Gunpowder Plot. Now she crosses the Channel to limn the life of France's unhappiest queen, bringing along her gift for fluent storytelling, vivid characterization, and evocative historical background. Marie Antoinette (1755-93) emerges in Fraser's sympathetic portrait as a goodhearted girl woefully undereducated and poorly prepared for the dynastic political intrigues into which she was thrust at age 14, when her mother, Empress Maria Theresa, married her off to the future Louis XVI to further Austria's interests in France. Far from being the licentious monster later depicted by the radicals who sent her to the guillotine at the height of the French Revolution, young Marie Antoinette was quite prudish, as well as thoroughly humiliated by her husband's widely known failure to have complete intercourse with her for seven long years (the gory details were reported to any number of concerned royal parties, including her mother and brother). She compensated by spending lavishly on clothes and palaces, but Fraser points out that this hardly made her unique among 18th-century royalty, and in any case the causes of the Revolution went far beyond one woman's frivolities. The moving final chapters show Marie Antoinette gaining in dignity and courage as the Revolution stripped her of everything, subjected her to horrific brutalities (a mob paraded the head of her closest female friend on a pike below her window), and eventually took her life. Fraser makes no attempt to hide the queen's shortcomings, in particular her poor political skills, but focuses on her personal warmth and noble bearing during her final ordeal. It's another fine piece of popular historical biography to add to Fraser's already impressive bibliography. --Wendy Smith

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Antonia Fraser
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Book Description Nan A. Talese, Doubleday, 2001. Condition: Good. 1st. Ships from the UK. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP98808500

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Fraser, Antonia
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Book Description Doubleday Canada, Limited, Toronto, ON, Canada, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. This book is in near fine condition. It has no tears to the pages and no pages will be missing from the book. The spine of the book is still in great condition and the front cover is in good shape. It has signs of previous use but overall is in really nice, tight condition. Has a signature by previous owner on first front end page. Shipping is normally same day from our Canadian warehouse. Customer satisfaction is our priority. Seller Inventory # 017180

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Book Description Doubleday Canada, Toronto, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. A fine copy in red boards with gold lettering on the spine in a fine, unclipped dust jacket showing a price $45.00. SIGNED BY ANTONIA FRASER ON THE TITLE PAGE. First edition, first printing with the number line down to "1". Please contact re shipping charges if outside of North America.This is a tight clean copy with no markings of any kind. Signed by Author(s). Seller Inventory # 000122

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Book Description Doubleday Canada, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good+. First Canadian Edition; First Printing. Tight square unmarked book in bright dust jacket with 2 cm edgetear. ; 9.60 X 6.50 X 1.70 inches; 512 pages. Seller Inventory # 37279

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Book Description Nan A. Talese, Doubleday, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Great condition with minimal wear, aging, or shelf wear. Seller Inventory # P020385257570

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Book Description Doubleday Canada, Limited, Toronto, ON, Canada, 2001. No Binding. Condition: As New. The book looks like new, unread and clean. Edges are sharp and fine. No tears or creases. No stain, writing or reminder marks. The binding is straight and tight. The book itself is very nice. Seller Inventory # 008206

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Fraser, Antonia
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Book Description Nan A. Talese, Doubleday, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: Like New. Almost new condition. Seller Inventory # P010385257570

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