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 Book Club for May 

Which book will our club focus on for the month of May?
Poll ended at Sun Apr 16, 2006 3:30 am
Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser 25%  25%  [ 1 ]
Marie Antoinette: The Portrait of an Average Woman by Stefan Zweig 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France by Evelyne Lever 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Trianon: A Novel of Royal France by Elena Maria Vidal 25%  25%  [ 1 ]
Farewell, My Queen: A Novel by Chantal Thomas 50%  50%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 4

 Book Club for May 
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Post Book Club for May
As this is our first book discussion I'm giving us quite a long lead in and plenty of time to read and talk about which ever book it is we choose.

This poll will remain open for the next week. I've chosen a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction texts from which to choose, and probably ones that many of us have already read. Once the poll has closed and the text been selected I'll open up a discussion topic which will run for the rest of April and May. That is a very long time to have the discussion run, but it should give anyone who doesn't have a copy of the text and hasn't read it an opportunity to read and then comment. We'll make the choice on the next book mid-way through May and begin the discussion in June.

Never fear if your preferred text isn't chosen this time around, I'm sure we'll get to it at some stage and there are heaps more not in this poll for us to get around to. Suggestions for future polls can be sent to me via private message, the more widely available they are the more likely they'll make our lists.

Some of these texts are available in a variety of translations or editions. Use one that you are comfortable with, it may be interesting to discuss the differences between translations.

For now, vote away!

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Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:30 am
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Farewell my Queen is the most wonderful book I have ever read about Marie-Antoinette ! I just love the queen portrayed by Chantal Thomas... she describes her moving like a dancing flame...

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Sun Apr 09, 2006 6:25 pm
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I don't know if I can change my vote but maybe I can re- vote for Chantal Thomas' book, since it comes so highly recommended. I have been wanting to read one of her books and never have.

Maybe one month we could do a novel and the following month a biography and then a novel again. There are so many Marie Antoinette novels now, one could almost have a Book Club just on fiction.


Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:07 pm
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Oh yes, dear Therese... Or maybe we can talk about one book, and then, another, even if the month is not finished yet ! :wink:

I would be happy to read about books I havn't found in Belgium !

"Farewell my queen" just touched my heart, because of its describing the poor queen wandering all alone in deserted halls of Versailles, searching for her friends and finding their doors locked. The narrative focuses on these few days when the palace sank like a huge ship, and royals with it.
The people can enter the castle, hey walk everywhere and talk, so vulgar, so full of hate, while Marie-Antoinette is slowly drowning into despair, each hour more, after having tried to escape and having failed to convince Louis.

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Mon Apr 10, 2006 2:18 pm
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Maybe we could even compare two novels at the same time, such as "Trianon" and "Farewell, My Queen." "Trianon" (first published in 1997) also looks at the last days of the monarchy, in the first part of the book, that is, with the queen walking through her gardens, thinking about her little boy who died, her friends who are gone, while trying to deal with the dread of what is going to happen next. It sounds like they might be similar, but with a different emphasis. I am curious to read Chantal's interpretation, and maybe others can read "Trianon" if they can get copies of it. Just a suggestion, dear friends.....


Last edited by Therese on Mon Apr 10, 2006 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Apr 10, 2006 2:33 pm
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BTW, I originally voted for Lady Fraser's book, but I am willing to renounce my vote in favor of the novels.


Mon Apr 10, 2006 2:35 pm
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It would be a good idea to talk about "Trianon", dear Therese... I havn't read it however, but I'd like too ! For the moment, I'm reading "les diamants de la guillotine", a romanced life of Marie-Antoinette, and "les 76 jours de Marie-Antoinette à la conciergerie". I'm so passionate I could read a thousand books in the same time ! :mrgreen:

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Mon Apr 10, 2006 2:46 pm
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Yes, I have several books going at the same time, too! There are not enough hours in the day to read all the books that one wants to read. :cry:

Chantal's book I can get from the bookstore or even my local library or Amazon.com. "Trianon" is available from Amazon.com at a discount price, I believe. I know of some Irish and English people who have ordered it directly from the publisher (http://www.neumannpress.com), so I am sure that other Europeans, as well as Australians and Asians probably could, too! :)


Mon Apr 10, 2006 3:07 pm
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I'll check it, Therese ! :D Have a nice evening, or day ? :shock: It's 5.30 PM in Belgium, and I'm going to the movie !

But I'll be back tomorrow ! I love all these chats ! You really are an erudite person, no kidding ! I've learned a lot from you... and I love learning things about Marie-Antoinette !

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Mon Apr 10, 2006 3:24 pm
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It is 11:30 in the morning here and I need to get myself going. Have a great time at the cinema, Pimprenelle, and I learn a lot from you, too!


Mon Apr 10, 2006 3:29 pm
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You can of course change your vote Therese, I shall try and adjust the poll but if not I'll make a note to remove a vote from the bio and add it to Farewell My Queen.

I would like to stick with just one book at a time, of course if you want to make comparisons to others that is just fine and there is nothing to stop people reading other books if they want to *laughing* I do like the idea of a bio then a novel though, which is partly why I included both in this first poll.

I hope the film was good Pimprenelle! ;)

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Mon Apr 10, 2006 11:01 pm
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That sounds wonderful, Adrienne. I would not mind doing "Farewell" in May and "Trianon" in June, or vice versa, however the others vote, I am open to either book. Thank you, this will be fun and interesting.


Tue Apr 11, 2006 1:16 am
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Oh, yes, dear Adrienne, I enjoyed that movie very much ! It was the last Chabrol, with Isabelle Huppert. I just love Chabrol ! :D

I have checked on the net for ordering "Trianon", but didn't find it on sites I know that are easy and quick (alapage, priceminister...). It's only availabe on amazon.com, so I'm afraid it will take time to get it ? :shock:

So, maybe, for a discussion, it would be better to wait a bit ? Wouldn't it ? :shock:

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Tue Apr 11, 2006 6:55 am
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Yes, perhaps we can read "Trianon" for June or later, so that people have time to order it. "Farewell" is probably easier to come by. I am looking forward to reading it.

So glad you enjoyed the film, Pimprenelle!


Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:16 am
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Yes ! Let's order our books and "faisons la course" (? let's have a run to see who's first ?) ! :lol:

By the way, I'm reading "les 76 jours de Marie-Antoinette à la conciergerie". It's a novel telling the queen's last days, very lively and well written. It's very well documented, but, as it is a novel, it's difficult for me to see fiction from history. And I would like to know more about Antoinette's imprisonment.

For instance, the author says she had her carlin with her in her cell, Baps. I have never heard about that ? :shock: Nor this name ? Does anyone know ? :shock:

I thought her dog Mignon (a present from Madame de Lamballe) was not allowed in the conciergerie... :shock:

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Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:24 pm
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