First of all, this a fiction book, nothing to do with Marie Antoinette's biography.
Secondly, the story is based on the assumption that Marie Antoinett...moreFirst of all, this a fiction book, nothing to do with Marie Antoinette's biography.
Secondly, the story is based on the assumption that Marie Antoinette's had written a diary telling her whole life, from her youth in Austria until her execution by the guillotine.
Since the true story of this historical character is being very well described in the literature, this book doesn't bring any new fact among the already known destiny of Marie Antoinette, her husband, Louis XVI and their children.
Location 1139: “Man is born free but is everywhere in chains,” wrote Jean-Jacques Rousseau in The Social Contract in 1762.
Location 1160: Slavery was one...moreLocation 1139: “Man is born free but is everywhere in chains,” wrote Jean-Jacques Rousseau in The Social Contract in 1762.
Location 1160: Slavery was one thing for the empire, however, and another thing entirely within France itself.
Location 1236: Everything is free in a Kingdom where liberty is seated at the foot of the throne, where the least subject finds in the heart of his king the feelings of a father.… No one is [a] slave in France.”
Location 1240: The problem was not slaves in France. The problem was blacks in France.
Location 1362: In late-eighteenth-century France, the term “American” was usually used synonymously with “man of color.”
Location 1372: Louis XVI’s government supported the Americans to get back at England for France’s humiliating defeat in the Seven Years’ War— for the loss of French North America and humiliation in French India.
Location 1860: The Estates-General got its name from the traditional division of France into three “estates”: clergy, nobility, and commoners.
Location 1897: Yet on July 14, instead of doing their job and defending the Bastille, the French Guards joined the rioters, and would soon declare themselves the National Guard.
Location 1924: It is said that when the mayor first presented the cockade to the king, it was only red and blue. Then Lafayette stepped in to propose adding the Bourbon color white to acknowledge the king’s gesture of accepting the Revolution.
Location 2010: These words were written by Lafayette, with the help of Thomas Jefferson, then serving as American ambassador in Paris, and formed the preamble to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, approved by the National Assembly in that tumultuous month.
Location 2040: The hall’s strange, narrow design, with tiered seating on both sides, caused the deputies to divide themselves according to their political opinions: radicals to the left of the Assembly’s president, conservatives to his right, the origin of the political terms “left” and “right.”
Location 2101: For the first time Louis used his new title, “King of the French”— not “King of France”— thus symbolizing his duty to the people.
Location 2395: The government had already begun experimenting with a new system for recruiting fighting men based on an archaic French model dating back hundreds of years: the “free legions,” units independent of the regular army that could be called up in war and disbanded during times of peace.
Location 3730: He was disturbed by the generals’ growing idolization of General Bonaparte.
Location 3781: The man the Austrians called the Black Devil continued to rout them out of the Adige River Valley.
Location 3831: Napoleon also gave Dumas a new nom de guerre, hailing him as “the Horatius Cocles of the Tyrol”— high praise indeed in that era.
Location 4081: He (Napoleon) was a dictator, a destroyer, and a harbinger of totalitarian leaders to come; he was also a liberator from a tyranny that had stalked Europe for a thousand years.
Location 5147: France had a new government, with Napoleon appointed first consul at the head of a ruling body of three consuls.
Location 5151: The decade of French republicanism and democracy— the age of seemingly infinite emancipation, with all its expansive horrors and hopes— was over.
Location 5460: Citizens! The Revolution is made fast to the principles which began it; it is finished.”*
Location 5779: And of course Napoleon is ultimately the man behind Edmond Dantès’s suffering and imprisonment;
This is a splendid historical research work performed by Tom Reiss revealing the military career of Dumas' father - the Black Count. (less)
This is the story of the Regent diamond, one of the biggest in the world, which belonged to William Pitt's grandfather, Louis XIV, Luis XV, Louis XVI,...moreThis is the story of the Regent diamond, one of the biggest in the world, which belonged to William Pitt's grandfather, Louis XIV, Luis XV, Louis XVI, and Napoleon.
This diamond was discovered in India in the end of the seventeenth century and was bought by the governor of the East India Company, Thomas Pitt.
It was his son who brought it to London where a Jewish diamond cutter took two years in order to shape it in one the greatest gems that ever existed.
The narrator of this story is the Count Las Cases who starts to write the Diamond's story while he was living on Saint Helena where he was writing the memoirs of Napoleon exiled life.
Detail of Napoleon's portrait with sword:
As a historical background, the reader can follow the French revolution period, the death of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, Napoleon’s coronation as emperor of the new empire and his marriage with Josephine and later on, with Marie Louise.
**spoiler alert** FRom BBC Radio 4: It's Paris in 1785. The cemetery of Les Innocents is the oldest in the city, but it is overflowing and can no longe...more**spoiler alert** FRom BBC Radio 4: It's Paris in 1785. The cemetery of Les Innocents is the oldest in the city, but it is overflowing and can no longer hold on to its dead. Newcomers to the quarter are overpowered by the smell. It taints the breath and food of the locals. And some believe it can even taint the mind.
By order of the King, the church and cemetery are to be destroyed and every last bone rehoused. The place is to be made sweet again. It shall be made pure.
Charged with the task, Jean-Baptiste Baratte - a young engineer from Normandy - arrives in Paris. And thus begins "A year of bones, of grave-dirt, relentless work. Of ... chanting priests. A year of rape, suicide, sudden death. Of friendship too. Of desire. Of love...A year unlike any other he has lived."
A re-read with Catie, Hayes, Geevee, Kim, Marialyce, Laura, MichelleCH, Jemidar, Margaret, Jeannette, Dawn and Sylvia.
Page 1: It was the best of times...moreA re-read with Catie, Hayes, Geevee, Kim, Marialyce, Laura, MichelleCH, Jemidar, Margaret, Jeannette, Dawn and Sylvia.
Page 1: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way— in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
Page 1: There were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a plain face, on the throne of England; there were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a fair face, on the throne of France. In both countries it was clearer than crystal to the lords of the State preserves of loaves and fishes, that things in general were settled for ever.
Page 10: A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it!
Page 25: The time was to come, when that wine too would be spilled on the street-stones, and when the stain of it would be red upon many there.
Page 79: Sadly, sadly, the sun rose; it rose upon no sadder sight than the man of good abilities and good emotions, incapable of their directed exercise, incapable of his own help and his own happiness, sensible of the blight on him, and resigning himself to let it eat him away.
Page 93: The leprosy of unreality disfigured every human creature in attendance upon Monseigneur.
Page 97: The water of the fountain ran, the swift river ran, the day ran into evening, so much life in the city ran into death according to rule, time and tide waited for no man, the rats were sleeping close together in their dark holes again, the Fancy Ball was lighted up at supper, all things ran their course.
Page 331: Crush humanity out of shape once more, under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms. Sow the same seed of rapacious license and oppression over again, and it will surely yield the same fruit according to its kind.
Page 335: "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."
I read many books on the French Revolution but Dickens was able to write a splendid and unforgettable book about this tragic historical period.(less)
This is my first book written by Marilyn Harris and I do not regret at all, on the contrary.
This is the first book of a series of 7 books and describe...moreThis is my first book written by Marilyn Harris and I do not regret at all, on the contrary.
This is the first book of a series of 7 books and describes the love story between Marianne Locke, a fisherman's daughter from Mortemouth and Lord Thomas Eden, fifth Earl and Thirteenth Baron of Eden Point.
This is the story of Bernardine Eugénie Désirée Clary, he daughter of François Clary, a wealthy silk manufacturer and merchant, and his second wife, F...moreThis is the story of Bernardine Eugénie Désirée Clary, he daughter of François Clary, a wealthy silk manufacturer and merchant, and his second wife, Françoise Rose Somis. Her sister, Julie Clary, married Joseph Bonaparte, and later became Queen of Naples and Spain.
Eugénie was introduced to Napoleon Bonaparte by his brother, Joseph Bonaparte who met her by chance when she was trying to release her brother Etienne, who was arrested in her father's place by the revolutionary authorities. It was Napoleon who suggested that Joseph should become engaged to her older sister Julie instead, while he should be engaged to Désirée. In less than a year, Napoleon met Joséphine de Beauharnais and broke his engagement with Eugénie.
When Désirée moved to Paris in order to live with her sister and her brother-in-law, she received a marriage proposal by Coronel Junot. She then met and married Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte, another French general.
The author magnificently describes Désirée's life through her diaries which were addressed to her father and which were written since she was fourteen years old.
It was amazing to learn how a daughter of a simple silk merchant of Marseilles became engaged to Napoleon Bonaparte, married Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte - Charles XIV John, king of Sweden and Norway, and then became Queen Desideria of Sweden and Norway.
Page 137: "As long as we had General Bonaparte in Italy we won all the battles and the Austrians begged for peace. As soon as he's away to carry our glory overseas everything is upside down.' Strange, the impression Napoleon's campaign has made on simple people."
Page 220: "A movement of startled surprise went through the ranks of spectators. Napoleon had broken the pre-arranged crowing ritual and had crowned himself!
Page 298: "Your Royal Highness," the young man continued, "as a Chief Chamberlain of His Majesty King Charles XIII of Sweden I beg to report that the Parliament of Sweden has unanimously elected the Prince of Ponte Corvo to be Heir to the Throne. His Majesty King Charles XIII wishes to adopt the Prince of Ponte Corvo and to welcome him in Sweden as his beloved son."
Page 418: Napoleon himself was at Fontainebleau with 5,000 men of his Guards regiments. Caulaincourt negotiated for him with the victors. On April 4th (1814) he signed his declaration of abdication.
A movie Désirée (1954) was made based on this book, with the unforgettable actors Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Merle Oberon and Michael Rennie.
This book is the most complete biography of Marie Antoinette I have ever read.
First at all, the author made a huge research work in order to bring the...moreThis book is the most complete biography of Marie Antoinette I have ever read.
First at all, the author made a huge research work in order to bring the historical facts which surrounded the Marie Antoinette's life.
In the first part of the book, Antoinette is described as a young monarch which her main concern, once she married Louis XVI, is to enjoy life as much as possible. In the meantime, the Habsburgs are trying to guide her destiny specially when she became Queen of France. Due to Louis' impotence in the first years of their marriage, her brother Joseph acted as a counselor in order to save the alliance with France.
In the meantime, the book also describes her love affair with the Swede Count Axel von Fersen who played an important role in the attempt to escape from Paris but then the royal family was captured in Varennes. A movie La nuit de Varennes (1982), directed by Ettore Scola with Jean-Louis Barrault, Marcello Mastroianni, Hanna Schygulla was made based on this escape to Varennes.
In the following pages, the author describes the execution of Louis XVI and the imprisonment of Marie Antoinette in the Conciergerie. Her execution is also described and until now, nobody knows where she is buried.
The unforgettable tale of the Scarlet Pimpernel wrote by this magnificent author. Many other authors tried to wrote the same story by just adding some...moreThe unforgettable tale of the Scarlet Pimpernel wrote by this magnificent author. Many other authors tried to wrote the same story by just adding some more romantic figures into the plot, without any sucess as the original story.
It took me some time to go through the plot of this book. The beginning was a little boring since Antoinette's story wa...moreJust arrived from US trough BM.
It took me some time to go through the plot of this book. The beginning was a little boring since Antoinette's story was interlaced quite a lot with her mother's letters. The plot flows more naturally after Marie Therese death. Since I've already read Antonia Fraser's book, both stories are complementary in the sense that in Fraser's story, Antoinette biography is ended by the Royal family escape to Varennes and in Naslund's her prison and execution is described in details. Another interesting point not mentioned in Fraser's book is her relationship with Elisabeth Vigee Lebrun, a famous painter and portraitist who managed to escape to the fury of the French Revolution.(less)