Marie Antoinette: The Journey

by Antonia Fraser

Rating: ***

On the whole, an absorbing, interesting read. The level of research and detail is second to none and after a few chapters, you are well immersed into life at Versailles. It's not a period of history that I know too much about, hence why I decided to read it. It left me feeling curiously detached and with little sympathy for Marie Antoinette, although she certainly was deserving of it, if Fraser is to be wholly believed. The book can be very dense and political in places, which is understandable. I never quite managed to grasp exactly why the French people turned so viciously against her. Yes, the extravagance but she was not the only one and many others at Court and in public life behaved far worse. The complete and penetrating hatred that she was subjected to did not seem to have an actual root cause and no-one seemed to be able to diffuse it or even try.

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