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Marie Antoinette - The Journey - By Antonia Fraser

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Christina
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Location: Yorkshire, England
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Marie Antoinette - The Journey - By Antonia Fraser

Postby Christina » Thu November 6th, 2008, 5:35 pm

Of all the biographies of Marie Antoinette, this is one of those, I think, that stays with you forever. The understanding and love the author has for her subject(s) is so obvious and the work completely dispels the myth of the simpering, careless little queen and protrays her development from a lost child in a foreign country to a gracious and courageous wife and mother.
How utterly harrowing are the descriptions of the 'trial' and the forced accusations made against her by the son whom she loved. How moving, too, is the devotion that - after years of amicable infidelity - M-A declined the opportunity to escape and stayed with her husband.
This wonderful book, read alongside Vincent Cronin's "Louis and Antoinette", gives the fullest, most tender picture of these unfortunate and courageous victims of 'the terror'.

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Spitfire
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Location: Canada

Postby Spitfire » Thu November 6th, 2008, 6:40 pm

I haven't read this one by Fraser. I have read Abundance by Naslund which is a very good HF take on M. Antoinette. I think she is often misconstrued in novels, from her famous quotation (that she did not make) "Let them eat cake" to being a simpering spoiled brat.
Only the pure of heart can make good soup. - Beethoven

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Catherine Delors
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Location: Paris, London, Los Angeles
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Postby Catherine Delors » Fri November 7th, 2008, 1:13 am

Actually she never said "Let them eat cake."

http://blog.catherinedelors.com/2008/03/19/let-them-eat-cake.aspx

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Spitfire
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Location: Canada

Postby Spitfire » Fri November 7th, 2008, 3:37 am

"Catherine Delors" wrote:Actually she never said "Let them eat cake."

http://blog.catherinedelors.com/2008/03/19/let-them-eat-cake.aspx


That's right! That is why I said it is the famous quotation that she never made. Probably missed it in the brackets. :p
Only the pure of heart can make good soup. - Beethoven

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Catherine Delors
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Postby Catherine Delors » Fri November 7th, 2008, 8:27 am

I think the real explanation is that I was too tired to participate meaningfully in any threads last night... ;)

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Spitfire
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Location: Canada

Postby Spitfire » Fri November 7th, 2008, 4:43 pm

"Catherine Delors" wrote:I think the real explanation is that I was too tired to participate meaningfully in any threads last night... ;)


Ha, ha! Been there, done that! :D
Only the pure of heart can make good soup. - Beethoven

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Laura
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Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil
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Postby Laura » Fri November 7th, 2008, 4:55 pm

I agree Christina, I also loved AF´s book but not the movie which was quite disappointed even made by Sophie Coppola. I intend to read other books by Fraser.

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Catherine Delors
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Postby Catherine Delors » Fri November 7th, 2008, 5:38 pm

Re: Sofia Coppola's MA.

Laura, it depends on what you expect from a historical film. I thought it was very appealing visually. But as a realistic depiction of Marie-Antoinette, it was a complete failure. Kirsten Dunst was wrong for the part, the guy who played Louis XVI was a walking disaster. Rip Thorn (sp?) was good as Louis XV, though.

The whole idea behind the film, the Marie-Antoinette the all-American teenager concept was off. Even the much-vaunted costumes were beautiful, but they didn't fit Marie-Antoinette's tastes. As an adult she wasn't into pinks and powder blues, she liked deep reds and dark blues, in addition to white of course.

The worst was to cut the whole end of Marie-Antoinette's life, when she became so active politically, and showed such energy and courage. That wouldn't have fit the sugar-coated tone of the film, I guess.

Again visually and musically it is very cute, but it wasn't right to slap Marie-Antoinette's name on it.

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Telynor
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Location: On the Banks of the Hudson

Postby Telynor » Sun November 9th, 2008, 7:01 am

I hated Coppola's take on Marie Antoinette; complete rubbish as far I am concerned. But Lady Fraser's bio is wonderful, and very balanced.

Catherine -- Have you seen the book Versailles: A History of the Palace?

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Volgadon
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Location: Israel
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Postby Volgadon » Sun November 9th, 2008, 9:45 am

Haven't read this one, but Antonia Fraser is superb.
Catherine, that is a very interesting point you make about tastes and colours.


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