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 biographies of marie antoinette 

Which biography do you prefer?
Antonia Fraser 38%  38%  [ 11 ]
Stefan Zweig 14%  14%  [ 4 ]
Carolly Erickson 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Lever Evelyne 10%  10%  [ 3 ]
Haslip Joan 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
André Castelot 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
others 31%  31%  [ 9 ]
Total votes : 29

 biographies of marie antoinette 
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Interesting! I had forgotten some of that....

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Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:09 am
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evelyne lever's biography is the one i am reading at present (as well as the only biography i have ever read on marie-antoinette).

i want to read antonia fraser's, however i wanted to read something less-known before i read a very well-known biography.

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Sat Mar 31, 2007 4:46 pm
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I would recommend Desmond Seward or Hilaire Belloc's for English. The best one of all is Nesta Webster's.

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Sat Mar 31, 2007 5:09 pm
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The Fraser's book is very good!

But if you can read translation of memories like those of Campan, Tourzel, Besenval, Boigne, Weber, it is also very interesting because it contains a lot of information :D

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Sat Mar 31, 2007 5:10 pm
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I did not like Lever's Bio on MA....

Seward's was the first MA biography I ever read and I think it painted the most accurate picture of her. I am so glad I lucked out and read it before any of the others.
One thing I've been trying to remember lately...in Carolly Ericksons's bio of MA it talks about how MA knew about her fathers affairs and how it hurt her mother right?

BTW another good reccomendation is Vincent Cronnin's "Louis and Antoinette" ( I actually never finished it...It was due back at the library and I never got around to re-checking it out, but from what I remember I liked it.)

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Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:01 am
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I agree, Seward's is one of the best in English.

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Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:43 am
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Here's E.M. Vidal's book review on Fraser's biography of La Reine:

http://teaattrianon.blogspot.com/2007/0 ... urney.html


Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:53 pm
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lol I just finished reading it and her review is very accurate.

Althought I think she mistook the "Gay Icon" statement. Many Gay Icons are not actually Gay as Wikipedia defines it
Quote:
A gay icon is an historical figure, celebrity or public figure who is embraced by many in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) communities. In particular, they are figures perceived to be strong or brave individuals who have wrestled with psychological demons, issues of sexuality, have suffered publicly or met an early tragic end.

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Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:43 am
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There seem to be so many bios that I have not read .. I must do so :D

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Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:10 pm
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i heard a Madame Campan (i think) wrote MA's memoirs.... is that true? and does it still survive so i may be able to pick up a copy???


Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:10 pm
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Indeed Campan wrote her mémories, and it is available! :D

Here the french :

Image

This is a very good book, even if Campan exaggerates or invents per moment :wink:

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Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:27 pm
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ooo yay!!! and i wanted to know if a book of MA's letters was published.... i looked for them but could only find ones in German or French... i need English! :(


Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:44 pm
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Ah...in english I don't know sorry...but I'm sure that people here will be able to inform you :wink:

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Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:49 pm
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Has anyone read Hortense Dufour's biography of MA? I am reading it at the moment. After a poor start it is getting rather good, despite certain statements which seem inaccurate. (She places the fateful 1789 Etats généraux procession, attended by the Royal family, in Paris and not in Versailles) It is at least at the moment resolutely anti MA, but certainly food for thought. It shows just how much division there is about our Queen even now, and how frustrating it is that no-one can say that they are keepers of the final truth. All we can do is try to give our assumptions some documentary weight and there is always someone to give a contradictory view, at least concerning her, sometimes equally well argued. This is a dense book, written in a novelist style but with all of the famous quotes I have seen from the other biographies, adn some new ones. Like the last word from the popular minister Turgot to Louis after MA finally succeeded in getting him removed from the court:

Never forget, sire, that it was weakness that put Charles 1st's head on the block."

How premonitory and how ironic, when one considers Louis' favourite reading at the Temple...Hume's "History of England" and especially the chapters concerning this unfortunate monarch, with whom without doubt he empathized at the end. I shall revert later with certain comments...they will no doubt spark comment here.

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Fri May 25, 2007 9:48 pm
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Post Re: biographies of marie antoinette
Being the first serious biography I have read about her, I find Zweig’s amazing. I have read a few books by Freud so far and I am very interested in his work, I don’t underestimate his conclusions and I would love someone to analyze me that way! From this point, I didn’t mind that approach.
I like the way it is written, I agree with many conclusions although I thought he was very unfair to Louis XVI. Personally, I am not such a big fan of him, it is still hard for me to determine is my affection just of pity or I really appreciate the man, but I was very disappointed the way he was treated because his sexual problems. Of course that it couldn’t remain private but was it really fair to blame him for that, repeating that he was not a man and so on… For me, it was like you blame a woman for disability to have children, due to stress or some physical problem. I don’t know is it just my impression, but I found the way he was treated for it, after so many years, awful. I though that we have, but again the time it was published, abandoned the opinion that a man with sexual difficulties is not a man and therefore should be humiliated for it… At least I saw the elements of mocking and underestimation connected strictly to it. There was that example with Napoleon... I don’t find it Freud’s approach but men approach! That is so common!
All together I really like it, again with some remarks.
I am interested in one thing hoping not to start the argument all over again so I will try to put the question like this – Did Zweig use the accurate letters while discussing their affair (M.A and Fersen)? There were many sentimental letters and quotes, maybe possible to be written to a friend, in a spirit of the time, but still very questionable. And is it true that she had sent him the ring with the engraved Italian words “Tutto, a te mi guida”? I could write some letters in English but I am interested did you even get the feeling that he used some false information to back up his theory? I don’t suggest that Zweig is lying but I was confused, I thought that we agreed only about Fersen’s feelings without any real evidence or strong indication that she felt the same. Now, seems impossible to deny her feelings too so the only question remains was their love physical too, did she sleep with him!? I am more confused about it than I've ever been.
This biography revealed many things to me, for example, I didn’t know about the details of Louis-Charles accusation! I don’t mean on the Zweig’s interpretation and view but on the facts what actually happened. Not a single documentary I watched mentioned it.
Even Zweig talks about her character as average, even he is it not clear in the beginning does he actually likes her or not, it is later clear that feeling of admiration that we all feel. Even he is not completely objective I still think he managed to be as neutral as one could be and I appreciate that. I was impressed with his study of Mirabeau, I was very thrilled with his study of people in general, especially of all the other people who were maybe not crucial but connected to the situation.
I got the impression now, reading the beginning of the topic about M.A. and Fersen, that we sometimes tend to put him down in order to make their relationship impossible, from every single aspect ( he wasn’t good looking, he was a womanizer, Louis was kinder…) forgetting his abnormal sacrifice for the queen and how truly heroic he was. I was moved by his suffering after her death.
Anyway, in order not to make this post any longer, I’ll just say that this way of writing suits me. I’ll see what else I could find from her biographies.
I hope you can help me with my doubts.

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Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:42 am
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