Pamela (Lavish Bookshelf)'s Reviews > Marie Antoinette: The Journey

Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser
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Apr 06, 2012

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Read in June, 2010

Marie Antoinette…the mere mention of the name conjures up images of privileged decadence and royal excesses, not to mention the famous “let them eat cake” line and an unfortunate end at the guillotine. She lived large in an age when living large was an art form, to be sure. Marie Antoinette was a historical figure at a crucial time in French history, but what else did she do, think or say? Did she contribute much more to history? Should anyone care?

Antonia Fraser’s Marie Antoinette: The Journey attempts to bring one over-the-top life into focus. It’s definitely an interesting read with more information packed into the book than seems humanly possible. In fact, that is exactly the problem with the book. The book is interesting and educational. For example, Fraser argues that Marie Antoinette did NOT say “let them eat cake” at all. That statement alone spurred me to read about 100 more pages than I should have. Overall though, the book is filled with too many facts and unsubstantiated innuendos. In fact, it’s safe to say this book is CRAMMED with facts and statements as if Fraser was trying to break some sort of world record for the most words shoved into one book. Dare I say it? This book had TOO MANY WORDS! Mercy! I mean really, did we need to read pages and pages about Marie Antoinette's nose?

This book is like a plate of veggies offered to a child. It’s good for you with its historical and cultural information. “Marie Antoinette: The Journey” really is a treasure trove of facts and figures relating to 18th century European royal life. However it is truly detestable with its wordiness and endless rabbit trails of nonsensical trivia.

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