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Becoming Marie Antoinette (Marie Antoinette #1)

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,997 Ratings  ·  492 Reviews
This enthralling confection of a novel, the first in a new trilogy, follows the transformation of a coddled Austrian archduchess into the reckless, powerful, beautiful queen Marie Antoinette.

Why must it be me? I wondered. When I am so clearly inadequate to my destiny?

Raised alongside her numerous brothers and sisters by the formidable empress of Austria, ten-year-old Maria
Kindle Edition, 482 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 16, 2011 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an electronic galley of this novel from the publisher.

This is a straightforward novel about the young Marie Antoinette, covering the period from her preteen years to her becoming Queen of France. I found Marie engaging and sympathetic, and her budding relationship with her husband was presented quite sensitively.

My primary objection to this novel is that it simply isn't the tour de force it's made out to be by the publisher. Marie Antoinette is what's referred to in the publishing ind
I am a huge Philippa Gregory fan, and I thought it was time to broaden my horizons a bit as I've only ever read about the British monarchy. I was fascinated by some of the facts in this book, as I knew absolutely nothing about Marie Antoinette as a young girl or about this period in history. Although the writing was not as captivating as Philipa's I will definitely be reading the rest of this series, as I think it is a very nice introduction her life.
Maia B.
Jul 25, 2011 Maia B. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Desperately bored people
So disappointing. SO disappointing! I should have known by the yucky cover that it would be a disappointment.

The book clumsily maps the life of Marie Antoinette from the time she was about ten, when she was an archduchess in the Austrian court, to twenty-one or so and had just become queen. I'm not going back to check. "Toinette," as she is called by her family in Austria (she was actually called Antoine. Juliet Grey, check your sources), is an immature, frustratingly unintelligent girl who ends
Dec 09, 2011 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This was one of those novels where I began the book with doubts and ended it as a fan. That's always a pleasant experience, and I was glad to find out that this was the first book in a series.

I thought that at the outset, Becoming Marie Antoinette is a little heavy on the historical detail. I felt a little as if I were reading a history book dressed up as a novel, but not enough that I wanted to stop reading. Marie Antoinette is an interesting historical figure, and I was fascinated by the detai
Barbara  Lynn
Jul 04, 2011 Barbara Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ten-year-old Maria Antonia has just been told by her mother, the empress of Austria, that she was to become the bride of the dauphine of France, where she will one day become the Queen of France.

By the time she is fourteen years old Marie Antonia has had a complete makeover: she has learned to walk and dance properly, has had her teeth straightened, has learned to be fluent in Frence and learn a little French history. She has several trunks filled with the most glamorous silk dresses she has ev
This book is exactly what it says on the tin: how Maria Antonia of Austria, daughter of Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis I, was molded into Marie Antoinette, Queen of France. It was an arduous process that began when she was ten years old; that was when the first overtures came from Louis of France proposing a match between his grandson the Dauphin and the appropriately aged daughter of the Austrian court. From that day Antonia's life took a swift turn from a rather carefree childhood i ...more
Judith Starkston
This first of three projected novels about Marie Antoinette is getting a good deal of buzz among readers and reviewers of historical fiction for its detailed portrayal of the period and its in-depth characterization of the future French Queen. In interviews Juliet Grey has pointed out that with this series she is interested in redeeming a much maligned historical figure, who, while usually portrayed as “heedless to headless” was, in fact, a much more sympathetic character. As Grey points out, th ...more
Find the enhanced version of this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

Marie Antoinette is a hard personality for me to like. In most of the literature I’ve come across, she is depicted as something of a twit. Becoming Marie Antoinette is no exception; in point of fact, this particular incarnation describes herself as “no more talented than a parrot or a trained monkey.” As a reader I find it incredibly frustrating to follow a character as dense and frivolous as Grey's M
Jul 23, 2011 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was fortunate enough to be selected to receive an Advance Reader's Edition of Becoming Marie Antoinette: A Novel. I was thrilled to be selected because I have always found Marie Antoinette to be an interesting person in history. Many have portrayed Marie Antoinette as self-absorbed and dimwitted. I was quite intrigued to see how Juliet Grey would present her in this novel.

Maria Antonia grew up in Austria always knowing that one day she would be a "sacrifice to politics". Her mother, Maria Ther
Anna  Gibson
*This review is for an ARE edition*

I can still remember when Becoming Marie Antoinette first popped up on search results, with no cover, no summary, and nothing but the title and the author. Then, as more details emerged, it was revealed to be the first in an upcoming trilogy about the (in)famous French queen. The cover was revealed, a book trailer released, and now the AREs are making the rounds. I received my copy in the mail with a mixture of excitement and, to be honest, nervousne
Jun 21, 2011 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gr-giveaways
I won a copy of this through Goodreads first reads and I'm grateful because it's a book out of my normal realm of reading. The story was interesting and enchanting. It was eye opening to see what life was like back when Marie Antoinette lived! The language was difficult at times switching from Austrian to French to English and back again. Strangely enough stumbling through the language didn't make me toss this book aside. In fact I was left wanting more!
Thank you, Juliet and Goodreads - it was m
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
I love novels that humanize notorious figures so I was eager for Grey's take on Marie Antoinette. From the first page, I immediately liked our famously despised heroine. Starting with her childhood, Grey introduces us to the pretty, jubilant young girl who is sacrificed to her mother's political aims. There's a staggering amount of research in this novel -- and it shows. The novel is written in first person, as Maria Antonia (as she's known in Austria) is polished and shaped and improved for her ...more
Jun 20, 2016 Susana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: periodbooks
Juliet Grey traz-nos um fresco sobre a Rainha mais infame da história de França.
Nascida no seio de uma família severa e ambiciosa, os Habsburgos, Maria Antonieta sabia desde tenra idade que o seu casamento seria uma vantagem política para o seu país.
Escrito com humor e dinamismo, Juliet Grey relata o quotidiano de Maria Antonieta enquanto jovem na bela Áustria, a sua relação complicada com a mãe e as intrigas e problemas que a corte de Versalhes lhe apresentava.

Para quem quer conhecer um pouco
Tara Chevrestt
Simply wasn't for me. I found the writing to be be eloquent and well done, but the story too drawn out for my taste and boring. Really, I guess there isn't much you can do with this particular woman in history though. Her character, in other books, as well as this one is ditzy and frivolous.

I thought this was a YA novel when I first heard of it so was expecting more action. Not sure how I had gotten that impression. Perhaps all the pink on the cover. :)

I'm passing this ARC on to someone who I h
Christy English
Aug 30, 2011 Christy English rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A charming portrayal of the doomed Marie Antoinette long before her fate came to claim her. A lovely novel written in lovely prose. The young Marie Antoinette speaks in a clear voice, never losing her sweetness as she navigates the wilds of Versailles and the French court.
Maria Antonia finds herself destined to become the future Queen of France, and she goes through endless training and remonstrances from her elders about how a Dauphine needs to conduct herself, and yet also navigate the touchy and treacherous minefields of diplomacy.

That's difficult for someone who is not an avid book-learner like Maria, but she understands her role and does the best she can. Upon meeting her husband (already wed by proxy, of course), she despairs what her future will be, but tr
Apaixonada pela história das famílias reais europeias, Juliet Grey pesquisou tudo o que havia para pesquisar sobre as uniões, as intrigas e os segredos dos reis e rainhas que durante séculos, em salas fechadas ou salões de baile, decidiram o destino de vários povos e nações por actos de dedicação ou puro egoísmo mas, houve uma rainha que suscitou na escritora uma admiração que a levaria a escrever um livro sobre a sua vida. Desde princesa mimada a rainha guilhotinada, do Império mais poderoso da ...more
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Enjoyable and fun history romp. Full review later.

Becoming Marie Antoinette is the first of the author's planned trilogy about the woman baptized as Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna of Austria, but remembered and historically vilified as Queen Marie Antoinette of France. Chronicling her all-too-short years from adolescence to her ascension to the throne of France in 1774, a well-rounded, human version of the woman emerges from the pages of this easy-to-read historical fiction. The later books in t
I've had an ongoing fascination with the much maligned Marie Antoinette but have read very little of her life prior to becoming Dauphine of France at the age of 14. Juliet Grey's novel aussages my knowledge deficit with exquisite attention to detail, chronicling the young Austrian archduchess's childhood, her betrothal to Louise Auguste, the Dauphin of France and the personal transformation required to deem her worthy of the position.

“And don’t think for a moment that she would hesitate to relie
I'm a bit of a sucker for history. I particularly love learning about the women of history. They fascinate me. These women are more than pawns to be married off or bear children. They are intelligent and witty and far more important than some people would like to portray them.

I tend to gravitate towards English history. I particularly enjoy Tudor history (because, who doesn't?!?). So, my knowledge of Marie Antoinette is sadly lacking. She's always just been a poor girl who likes cake and got her
Margo Tanenbaum
I am a bit obsessed with the tragic tale of Marie Antoinette, the epitome of the doomed Queen, and I'm clearly not the only one; her fascinating life continues to inspire novels, movies, and more. The newest novel about her is the first in a planned trilogy by debut novelist Juliet Grey. The first novel begins in 1766 at the court of Maria Theresa of Austria, the Hapsburg empress who was Marie Antoinette's mother, and ends in 1774 with the ascension to the throne of France of two teenagers, Mari ...more
Aug 21, 2011 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My rating should actually be 4.5 stars, I enjoyed it so much but there was one small area that I wished had more emphasis. `Becoming Marie Antoinette' is the first book of a trilogy. I have decided to read the whole set because of the tremendous amount of research and uncovering the truth that the author, Juliet Grey has put into it. The writing is clear, never bogs down or gets boring. This first book covers the time that Marie Antoinette was a child of eleven to when her father-law, "Papa Roi" ...more
Wicked ♥  (Wickedly Bookish Reviews) aka Bat-Jess
Reviewed For Wickedly Bookish

Marie Antoinette gets a revival and a more flattering coat of paint in this first installment of the new Marie Antoinette series by Juliet Grey.

What can I say? I have always been fascinated with a handful of historical leading ladies and Marie is one of the top 5. When I thought of her before this book, I pictured lush, scrumptious desserts and wispy cotton candy hair piled high on an overly pampered and exceedingly empty head. Th
Amanda J
Jun 23, 2011 Amanda J rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amanda J by: Goodreads Giveaway
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Set during the early years of Maria Antonia's life, this novel is a quick read and well-paced. It has a light and charming quality about it, much like the young protagonist herself. The bad thing about this book is that you really grow to like Marie Antoinette and in the back of your mind you are always aware of her inevitable fate. I look forward to reading the other books when they come out.

In compliance with FTC guidelines, I am required to disclose that I received this book
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
A nice change from your normal MA book as it focuses on the time before she became queen, exploring her relationship with her mother & siblings. 1st book of a series and I’ve been led to believe it historically fairly accurate. I’m looking forward to the sequels.
Kathy Rudolph
Totally not my pick of genres, but 5 chapters in and I'm thinking it's not the worst thing I've ever read. How's that for a glowing endorsement?!?!
Carole Rae
May 29, 2015 Carole Rae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ooooh! What a bittersweet book. It was so hopeful and happy and left me with smile. However, 'tis a bitter smile because I know what is going to happen in the next two books. This book just takes place during her early life. Before marriage and a couple years into her marriage. So this is the point when everyone loves her and France is in an "okay" state. Peasants are still, well, peasants and poor. However, there is hope and things are okay and happy!

My favorite of all her portaits

My se
Jun 30, 2011 Phoebe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Telesa, Melissa, Joany, Lisa
Recommended to Phoebe by: Deborah
An outstanding piece of historical fiction, detailed, intriguing, and poignant. I have read quite a bit on the subject of Versailles, Marie Antoinette, and Louis XVI and I can tell you the author did her research. The story opens during MA's tenth year and provides a marvelously rich account of her life in her intimidating mother's court. We follow MA as she is groomed for her future role as dauphine, as she leaves home forever, and is transformed, just before entering France, into a Frenchwoman ...more
Aug 14, 2011 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I loved this book! What drew me in the most was the character of Marie... Marie Antoinette was such a likable character; a very charming child that grew into a young wife determined to please her indifferent husband. She had grace, humor, generosity, and style. She didn't want to offend anyone and was acutely aware that she had it better than the commoners.

And when I read what happened to her immediately following her marriage, what her husband would not do, I couldn't help but have sympathy for
Allison  Macias
Oct 26, 2012 Allison Macias rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marie Antonia, the youngest Austrian Archduchess knows that her carefree life won't last forever. One day, her mother will decide who she is to marry for political value only. When Antonia learns she is to marry Louis Auguste, the dauphin of France, she struggles to realize the full implications of this decision. When she is declared unfit to become the French Dauphine, work begins transforming the naive Antonia into the French Dauphine, Marie Antoinette. Lessons in French, dancing and walking l ...more
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Juliet Grey has extensively researched European royal history and is a particular devotee of Marie Antoinette. She and her husband divide their time between New York City and Washington DC.
More about Juliet Grey...

Other Books in the Series

Marie Antoinette (3 books)
  • Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow (Marie Antoinette, #2)
  • Confessions of Marie Antoinette (Marie Antoinette, #3)

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