Marie Antoinette Online Forum

Book Club for May
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Author:  Vivienne [ Wed Apr 12, 2006 3:29 pm ]
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I just love this !!!!!!!!!!

Can`t wait to get reading and discussing. :D

Thanks Adrienne.


Author:  Therese [ Wed Apr 12, 2006 5:36 pm ]
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So do I!!!! And I am very glad you are with us, dear Vivienne!

Author:  Pimprenelle [ Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:13 pm ]
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You're right, dear Therese, we have to agree to desagree ! Maybe the word I used was too strong, "she lied"... I must do what I can with my vocabulary in English ! :wink:

Hastier points out that Campan exagerates her importance at the end of the story, for instance, she said she was with the royals at the Feuillants, while a police reports shows she was elsewhere...

This, to me, causes suspicion... and I must admit I don't like the way she portrayes Marie-Antoinette, or, at least, not all the times. :roll:

Hi, Vivienne ! I'm also very exited about all these reading chats ! That will be wonderful !

Author:  Therese [ Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:46 pm ]
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Dear Pimprenelle, your English is magnificent, much better than that of most Americans! :wink: (Forgive me, fellow citizens!)

I have no doubt that Campan exaggerated or forgot things, a lonely old woman running a finishing school for parvenues, with the glittering and tragic past filling her mind. One must read everything with care!

Yes, we will have fun, as always!

Author:  york74 [ Thu Apr 13, 2006 7:11 am ]
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Are you sure Elena Maria Vidal's "Trianon" is that good?

I have not read it, but I'm not sure, the author seems a Christian fanatic writing "Christian minded" fiction such as "Trianon" and its sequel "Madame Royale"...

Check her site:

Author:  Pimprenelle [ Thu Apr 13, 2006 10:40 am ]
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By the way, York, this "76 jours de Marie-Antoinette à la conciergerie" has many catholic concerns too. For instance, it's very important for the author that Marie-Antoinette has received confession and last sacraments. It's a little bit amazing, when you are used to writers as Castelot, for example ! :wink:

Author:  Vivienne [ Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:04 pm ]
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Thank you for welcoming me to the book club Therese and Pimprenelle.

You are so right Therese ....... Pimprenelle your command of English is superb.


Author:  Therese [ Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:52 pm ]
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Hi, York!! Vidal's books about the French royal family merely bring out the spiritual side of their struggles, showing how their faith supported them as they faced tragedy, humiliation and death. The Catholic (Christian) aspects are placed in the context of the court scandals, parties, balls, political intriques, romances, assassinations, and everything else that was going on at the time.

Many authors are not comfortable with spirituality in regards to Marie-Antoinette so they leave religion out completely. In "Trianon" and "Madame Royale" matters of faith are woven into the story as a means of making it a more authentic representation of the era. Most historians seem to agree that Louis XVI and his queen were practicing Catholics. If they had been Hindus, I have no doubt the author would have portrayed them as such.

Anyone who is repulsed by any discussion at all of the part that Catholicism historically played in the lives of those who adhered to that belief system, even as an academic exercise, then, yes, you would probably hate "Trianon" and "Madame Royale."

Having visited Vidal's website, yes, the author apppears to be Catholic and is certainly not making any secret of it. I don't know that that should be held against her, but if it is, it probably won't be for the first time. :wink:

Author:  Pimprenelle [ Thu Apr 13, 2006 4:56 pm ]
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Thanks for these so sweet compliments ! You're both so so nice ! I'm blushing.......... :oops:

Author:  Therese [ Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:30 pm ]
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"Sweets to the sweet" as Shakespeare said! Blush away! :P

Author:  Adrienne [ Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:53 pm ]
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Excellent points Therese ... and york that is precisely why we might want to read and discuss a book. Part of the book club is to cast a critical eye over what we read, investigate the point of view, prejudices and preferences of the authors and comment on the impact if any these have on their writing :)

Author:  Therese [ Thu Apr 13, 2006 10:35 pm ]
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Thank you, Adrienne. Sounds good to me. Perhaps it is like looking at various portraits of the same person by different artists, a gallery in letters, so to speak.

Author:  Pimprenelle [ Fri Apr 14, 2006 9:01 am ]
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Oh yes, I share this point of view. No one on earth will ever capture Marie-Antoinette's real essence. We all have a single peculiar aspect of her personality. So, I think it's important to exchange with others in order to enlarge our points of view. As you said, dear Therese, we don't have to agree on every subject ! I'm ready to receive other's opinions as gifts... for internet is a wonderful shortcut to knowledge !

Author:  Vivienne [ Fri Apr 14, 2006 9:11 am ]
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Dear Therese,

"A gallery in letters" that is such a good way of describing the book club.I am hoping it turns out to be just that.

I am reading a book at the moment by an author who loves the palaces of Europe and his account of Marie Antoinette`s life - for it is a biography -goes into great detail about the "bricks and mortar" in which she lived her life.
No surprise about that - as all his other books are about buildings !!

I am looking forward to learning more about MA`s life in every way. Especially her spirituality and faith - which I feel was very important to her - but doesn`t fit with her "popular" image.


Author:  Therese [ Fri Apr 14, 2006 1:13 pm ]
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Yes, Pimprenelle, we do learn from each other, and I certainly learn a lot on this discussion board.

Yes, Vivienne, I agree. The book you are reading sounds very interesting!!

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