Qty:1
  • List Price: $19.99
  • Save: $6.18 (31%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 7 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Marie Antoinette: The Las... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Great Binding. Shows some wear, but it is clean.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France Paperback – September 24, 2001

30 customer reviews

See all 10 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$13.81
$2.72 $0.01

Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$13.81 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 7 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France + Marie Antoinette: The Journey
Price for both: $26.21

Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This highly readable translation of French historian Evelyne Lever's 1991 biography captures all the drama and pathos of Marie Antoinette's short life. Born in 1755, this carefree, fun-loving daughter of Austrian empress Maria Theresa inherited neither her mother's political shrewdness nor her sense of duty. She was married off at 14 to the stolid, clumsy French Dauphin, who would not fully consummate their marriage for another seven years, at which point he was King Louis XVI and their marital difficulties were the subject of public ridicule. She consoled herself by retreating to the artificial village she constructed at Trianon, where she could be free of the court etiquette she hated and indulge in expensive amusements that only increased her unpopularity. Her rare incursions into politics were just as ill judged; she alienated the French nobility with attempts to further Austria's diplomatic goals, and from the first rumblings of revolution in 1788, she influenced Louis to take a hard line on royal power when compromise might have saved the monarchy and prevented their executions in 1793. Lever does not soften Marie Antoinette's faults or downplay her poor judgment, but most readers will finish this absorbing narrative feeling very sorry for a pretty, goodhearted, but fundamentally frivolous woman thrown into a historical moment whose demands were beyond her. --Wendy Smith --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

This romantic portrait of the queen who was reviledAand eventually executedAby the French revolutionaries transforms the woman who supposedly said "Let them eat cake" from a symbol of the cruelty of class politics into a quaint sovereign. Lever, a French historian who has written biographies of Madame de Pompadour and other figures of the French court, sees Marie Antoinette as a fashionable and frivolous victim of salacious rumors. While she admits that her subject had a "complete lack of insight into the aspirations of the majority of the French people," Lever portrays Antoinette as the novelistic heroine she always wanted to beAnot an actor on the political stage. Her "voluptuous bosom," "fleshy mouth" and "supple neck," Lever writes, were unspoiled by her "slightly protruding blue eyes," and she "knew better than any other sovereign how to bring to perfection the aristocratic art of living of prerevolutionary France." Although a compelling narrative, the book doesn't do justice to the weighty moral and political themes Marie Antoinette's life and death raise. The queen, it is clear, was a political disaster, managing to alienate both a sizeable section of the courtly aristocracy and the starving masses. Her extravagance and counter-revolutionary impulses provoked "incredibly venomous" lampoons (and, of course, her death). But Lever never takes up these components of her life. Rather, she repeatedly ascribes acts of revolutionary violence to "madness" perpetrated by "madmen." Energetically researched in Paris, Vienna, even Sweden (the home of the queen's dark, handsome beau, who also "looked exactly like the hero of a novel"), the book is evocative, but romance, rather than historical analysis, takes precedence here. 8 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW. (July)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (September 24, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312283334
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312283339
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #678,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Glenn Brown on July 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Like the reviewer who precedes me, I was not impressed with this biography of the Queen. More to the point, this book is NOT the most valuable addition to an understanding of Marie Antoinette's life since de Nolhac that John Rogister of The Times Literary Supplement would have us believe. As the title to this review indicates, I am in complete agreement with the other consumer's review...a rather surprising lack of critical facts and no feeling what so ever for the subject. In fact, Lever does little to soften what can only be the most horrible calumny of M.A.'s life: the fictitious case of incest between mother, aunt and her Louis XVII. Lever would lead us to believe that this child concocted the accusations against his mother and aunt purely of his own volition. The child's "tutor", the cobbler Simon, was no more than an imbecile, and Louis Charles, (by his mother's own admission in her admirable letter to Madame de Tourzel), had a vivid imagination. As every biographer of note before her has surmised, the "confession" was coerced from the boy. Period. Bottom line: the Queen refers to the accusation of incest clearly in her final letter, or will and testament, directly to Elisabeth herself, in the form of an apology which remarks words easily extracted from a child who does not understand what has been put to him. Yet it seems that Lever believes the child, by every account devoted to his mother, to have been a monster. Further more, Lever, like M.A. biographer Farr, makes much of Madame Royale's indifference to her mother, yet both feign ignorance that 4 year olds commonly hate, and even wish dead, the very person who prevents them from having fun, i.e., Mom.Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Dana Keish on November 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A very good biography of Marie Antoinette, which mixes both the politics of the time along with the many mistakes made by Marie Antoinette. It is fascinating to read about a woman who when presented with two choices, almost always made the wrong one.
The last few chapters of the book, about the time period after the King and Queen are imprisoned by the revolutionaries is presented in a very harrowing manner. It is hard to imagine living through what Marie did in the final years of her life. The constant turmoil and apprehension and the pure misery that must have accompanied her final days is well documented and excellently written.
I would highly recommend this biography.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
My curiousity about Marie-Antoinette and her life first came about in high school, when my French teacher would tell us about the French queen's "Petit Trianon" and her "hameau" at Versailles. When I visited these places on a trip to France, I became even more intrigued. But not until I read this book did history truly come alive for me. I pictured this queen as a one-dimensional character. But in this book, I not only learned about the real person -- who had some very bad qualities, such as selfishness and an inability to understand that her choices brought consequences, but also some good qualities, such as her dignity and regal bearing during her last days and her last moments -- but I also learned a great deal about French society and royal life during the queen's day. For instance: Did you know that the public could watch the queen give birth to her first child, so that there would be plenty of impartial witnesses to verify that this indeed was a child of royal birth? This very readable book is a great peek into an important moment of history.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By William I Moen on September 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am an avid reader of history and biography and, in this book, I found the perfect blending of BOTH!
I have complete confidence in Madame Levers'sources and in her historian/writer perspective. It was, as Carl Sandburg put it, a "cracklin' good yarn" and I am certain that I will be "reliving" it, come autumn. Thank you for a "time/travel" journey to a fascinating past!
BILL MOEN
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mr Bassil A MARDELLI on October 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Palace suspicions had kept her at arms length from the main events in France.
Marie Antoinette, the daughter of Maria Theresa of Austria (Empress of the Habsburg dynasty), was the victim of gutter press and the intrigues of ambitious lackeys, consequently was to take part of the blame that followed.
For example recent literature revealed she had never said `let the people eat cake if they don't have bread' - during the height of a bread shortage in Paris. The alleged quotation was magnified in the press to her detriment when the time for the Revolution came.

Cardinal de Rohan, France's Envoy to Austria, whose ambition to become France's Prime Minister had been blocked several times by Marie Antoinette {because some of the Cardinal's letters were intercepted in which he said he `bedded half the royal court of Austria"}. The Cardinal worked hard to tarnish Antoinette's image.
de Rohan propagated that the queen secretly sought to buy a necklace for two million Livres, but such accusation was never true.
During the trial the Cardinal was acquitted, and the Queen was condemned.

She was accused of amassing fortunes, jewels, wardrobe filled with myriads of latest fashions - extremely expensive dresses and hundreds of `shoes' -.
Her husband, King Louis XVI, whose optimism with the future of France only days before the July 14th deluge, was extremely feted as much for her magnificent presence as for his known weakness of characters.

As daughter of Maria Theresa, her fondness for France was in direct proportion to her natural love for Austria. The Queen carried soil from Vienna in a jewelled box and planted seeds in her garden. But politics and greed were indeed cruel to this young queen who married the King `boy' when she was only 14.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France
This item: Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France
Price: $13.81
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?