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Books download offered by Project Gutenberg
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Author:  york74 [ Wed Dec 21, 2005 8:04 am ]
Post subject:  Books download offered by Project Gutenberg

Marie Antoinette by Jeanne Louise Henriette Campan
http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/3891

The Life of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France by Charles Duke Yonge
http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/10555

The Story of Versailles by Francis Loring Payne
http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/14857

Memoirs of the Comtesse Du Barry
http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/2082

Author:  Pimprenelle [ Thu Dec 22, 2005 4:09 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thank you so much, York74 ! I'm really interested in Barry's ones. I'll try to load it down as soon as possible.
I've got Campan, already, in French (I speak French). Some historians say you can rely on her book, some don't, because she exagerated her own importance. I personally have problems with the woman and her style... She sounds like the best one at school, you see ?
So, I suspect her to give a wiser portrait of Marie-Antoinette than what she really was. Because of her temper, and of the time (Restauration, where the queen was sanctified).
Did you read Fraser's bio ? I like it very much. Antonia Fraser shows us Marie-Antoinette's failure, and explains them. That's important to me ! We don't need a saint. We need to search for the real person, who, thanks god, wasn't perfect ! But so touchingly human...

Author:  york74 [ Fri Dec 23, 2005 8:56 am ]
Post subject: 

I was not overly impressed by Fraser's bio. I consider her Mary Stuart bio excellent, but her Marie Antoinette book has a disturbing soap operish approach I did not like at all. Don't get me wrong, it's a good book, but my hopes were maybe too high considering her terrific Stuart work.

Other Antoinette bios I like:
Zweig, outdated but very enjoyable
Castelot, very professional and documented
Chalon, his book is so moving, personal and passionate
and Bertière, whose book is very modern and balanced, much better than Fraser's in my opinion.

I did not like Campan either. I loved how Chantal Thomas makes fun of her in her novel Les Adieux à la reine.

I recently purchased duchesse de Tourzel's Memoirs (I'm Italian, but I read English and French as well). I always liked her.

There is a very good book, recently published in Italy, called "Amanti e regine. Il potere delle donne" (Lovers and Queens. The power of women)

http://www.internetbookshop.it/ser/serd ... 8845919994

which features a terrific chapter on Marie Antoinette based on Fraser's and Bertière's bios. If you read Italian I'll be happy to send you a pdf file of the text.

Author:  Pimprenelle [ Fri Dec 23, 2005 4:07 pm ]
Post subject: 

Oh, yes, please, do, dear York74, send me a text of it ! I don't read Italian, but I teach latin, and I've studied Spanish, so, I'll manage ! You know, with a good dictionary, we can do miracles !
And Marie-Antoinette did love Italian, didn't she ? !

What do you mean about Fraser ? I'm really interested. What I liked in her bio is the empathy she feels for her character. It's very human, to such details as dogs. I know it's no crucial information to learn about Mignon doggy, but I also love dogs.

I'm interested in Marie-Antoinette as a woman first of all, in her friendships, her children, her tastes, her artistic talents, her temper, her psychology, her scritpture... These I found in Fraser bio.

I agree with you Bertière's is a very very good one. Maybe the best.

Castelot is well documented. His concerns is to put events back in an historical perspective. It sounded cold to me.

But I disagree with you about Chalon and Zweig. Chalon because, in wanting to sanctify his queen, he misquotes Marie-Antoinette in one of her letters to Madame de Polignac. How did he dare ?

Zweig because of his too freudian interpretation. He focuses on her allegued desire for compensation, which, in my opinion, is wrong. She would have enjoied easy pleasures and fashions anyways ! Moreover, she went on even after her childbirths...

I also loved the passage you refer to in "Les Adieux". Chantal Thomas is my favourite. She's the most sensitive and intuitive, I guess... qualities that can be usefull while dealing with history !

Do you know Philippe Delorme's bio ? It's very peculiar... And Evelyne Lever's ? All you can wait about a general bio !

Thank you for your so interesting comment.
Amicalement,
Pimprenelle

Author:  jimcheval [ Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Books download offered by Project Gutenberg

I'd be careful with the Dubarry work - I believe it's a titillating period fabrication:
Quote:
LAMOTHE-LANGON, £tienne Leon, baron de] Memoirs of the Comtesse Du Barry, with
minute details of her entire career as favorite of Louis XV. ...

http://books.google.com/books?ei=W8nsSdK_OJ6utAOzt8D1AQ&ct=result&lr=&q=%22Memoirs+of+the+Comtesse+Du+Barry+%22&btnG=Search+Books

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