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The hidden diary of Marie Antoinette
Carolly Erickson
Adult Fiction ERICKSO

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Historian Erickson (Bloody Mary; To the Scaffold; etc.) makes her first foray into fiction with this invented journal kept by the notorious queen who was sent to the guillotine during the French Revolution in 1793. Recounting her childhood as Austrian Archduchess Maria Antonia, her marriage to feckless Frenchman Louis XVI and her na?ve pangs of conscience about hungry peasants clamoring at the gates of Versailles, Erickson delivers a spirited blend of fiction and fact. While Marie Antoinette's love affair with Swedish nobleman Axel Fersen is well-documented, other characters pivotal to Erickson's plot are pure fabrication: swarthy servant Eric, his jealous wife, Amelie, and the queen's confessor, Father Kuthibert. These inventions add color to the story of the ruler inaccurately linked to the phrase "Let them eat cake!" The novel's narrative engagingly reflects Marie Antoinette's progression from privileged adolescent to royal mother of four (though only one daughter and son survived into adulthood), and Erickson's descriptions of pomp and circumstance lend flavor and flair. While France's most infamous queen was clearly more sybarite than saint, Erickson's lively account reveals a woman whose bravery and resilience seem as noteworthy as the bloody details of her demise. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

At 13, Maria Antonia, Archduchess of Austria, does not realize that she will be remembered as one of the most notorious queens in history. In historian Erickson's fascinating first novel, Marie Antoinette records her life in a secret diary, revealing a vibrant and intelligent woman little known by the masses who later executed her. Instead of the frivolous, sex-crazed maniac she was labeled, this is a woman who loves her children, is fond of her husband, and feels some pangs of guilt for the poor. But as the product of her upbringing, she does not see the imminent danger in living extravagantly. She is desperate for her husband to be a leader and, later, when their lives are in danger, for him to flee. This intimate look at a misunderstood woman by the author of a biography on the same subject (To the Scaffold: The Life of Marie Antoinette) is highly recommended for all libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/05.]-Anna M. Nelson, Collier Cty. P.L., Naples, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Marie Antoinette
Age: 1755-1793
Left her home and family at 14 for an arranged marriage to prince Louis XVI; has a Swedish lover; develops an affection and loyalty to her husband; becomes bossy with her peasants; realizes the severity of the French Revolution; goes to the guillotine.

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