Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette: review

Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette: by Carolly Erickson

From Publishers WeeklyHistorian 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 naïve 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.

I have mentioned it a few times, and I will say it again, I love reading books from back in the day. Might be my favorite!

This book showed a different side of Marie Antoinette, more than just the popular phase we all think of when we hear her name... " Let them eat Cake". Which is a perfect motto to live by if you ask me!

Loved this book and I am going to give it 4 out of 5 stars!

This book falls into these reading challenges, take a peek maybe you can find your next read on one of my lists.

Until next time...
Happy Reading!


naida said...

this sounds very good, and I like the cover. great review :)

pirate penguin said...

I agree! I love books based on historical settings...Marie Antoinette always striked me as interesting. Have you ever read any Jane Austen books?