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The Royal Diaries: Marie Antoinette, Princess of Versailles, Austria-France, 1769 (The Royal Diaries) Hardcover – April 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 830L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Royal Diaries
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Inc.; 1st ed edition (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439076668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439076661
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"I look up now into the oval mirror and see barely a trace of the mud-splattered girl tearing through the woodland on her horse, or the barefoot girl wading at Schonbrunn... I have become what Mama set out for me to be. Majestic. A Dauphine and eventually a Queen."

So writes the headstrong 13-year-old Maria Antonia--future Queen of France--in her diary on October 23, 1769. In this engrossing addition to the Royal Diaries series (Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor, Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile), Kathryn Lasky invents a diary of the young Marie Antoinette in 1769--the year she is to be married off to Dauphin Louis Auguste, eldest grandson of the French king Louis XV. Arranged marriages were common in that day and age--as the Empress Theresa (of the Holy Roman Empire of the Germanic Nations) sought to consolidate power among nations by marrying off her children. Thus, the future of Austria and France falls upon Maria Antonia's young shoulders.

To prepare her for this awesome responsibility, she must be trained to write, read, speak French, dress, act... even breathe. Things get even more grim as she is shipped off to the court of Versailles and introduced to her puffy, awkward future husband and confronted with the court's ridiculous customs. Marie--an opinionated and insightful young woman--mocks the court of "impeccable etiquette and manners" that makes up nasty rhymes about those they hate, but panics when her hair is mussed. Lasky has done an excellent job of creating a very human character in the young Marie Antoinette--one whom young readers will want to learn more about. Fortunately, her story is given plenty of context with an epilogue describing the history of the young Queen after 1769, a historical note offering an 18th-century context, a Habsburg-Bourbon family tree, and various portraits of the royal family. (Ages 9 to 13) --Karin Snelson

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-Lasky takes historical fact and weaves it into a sympathetic account of an adolescent Marie Antoinette. Antonia's diary begins shortly before her politically arranged betrothal and marriage to Louis Auguste, Dauphin of France. It describes her struggles with strange new customs, in particular the elaborate French Court etiquette. The descriptions of Versailles and palace life hold true to fact and fit well into the diary of the Dauphine experiencing her new country. The diary also does a believable job of taking Marie Antoinette from a girl of 13 to a young woman of 15. Antonia goes from playing childhood games to become Marie Antoinette, future queen, playing political games with Madame du Barry. At the conclusion of the novel, an epilogue continues the story to its historical completion. Notes and a family tree are useful for readers who know little of 18th-century royalty and politics. This will be a popular addition for readers who favor the diary format in historical fiction. An excellent companion to this series is Milton Meltzer's Ten Queens (Dutton, 1998).
Carolyn Janssen, Rockford Public Library, IL
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Hi Readers! Thanks for coming by my author page. I've written all sorts of books - from fantasy about animals to books about science. One of my favorite animal fantasy series, Guardians of Ga'Hoole, is a major motion picture. I liked writing about Ga'Hoole so much that I decided to revisit that world in a different series, Wolves of the Beyond. I've recently added a new Guardians book: The Rise of A Legend, the story of Ezylryb, the great sage of the Ga'Hoole Tree. Another new book just came out, the first in the Horses of the Dawn series. I think of it as an equine retelling of the Spanish conquest of the New World. Visit my website, www.kathrynlasky.com for the latest news. All my best, Kathryn

Customer Reviews

Marie Antoinette : Princess of Versailles Austria-France,is a wonderful book.
Danielle
This book is very interesting and gives a great picture of what it was like during that time period.
Tweety
This book was jammed-packed with information and therefore is one of my favorites.
lindsey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Julia on March 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is great. She was married at 13! My favorite part tells about Marie Antoinette in France and she thinks the French etiquette is sometimes too much. I agree. She teaches her husband lots of Austrian things he has never heard of. Overall this book deserves the best rating. I recommend this book for book worms and girls ages 10-14.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Athena on June 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
"Marie Antoinette, Princess of Versailles" is a wonderful edition of the Royal Diary Series. Kathryn Lasky went all out on research and detail.
Born Maria Antonia, Marie Antoniette was the daughter of the Empress Maria Theresa of Habsburg. This book recalls her years before and during the early parts of her marriage with the Dauphin, Louis Auguste (soon to be Louis XVI). She loses many friends on her journey to become the future Queen of France, not knowing she would be the last.
This time in her life, depicts Antonia's (affectionately named by her mother and austrian friends) childhood in a naive carefree way such as it is with many young rich royals. The fussing of her marriage to Louis Auguste. The politics and the resentment given to Madame Du Barry, mistress of Louise Auguste's grandfather, King Louis XV. Lasky tells all, the culture, the fashion, the politics, and the ridiculous etiquette of the court at Versailles.
Marie Antoniette could have been a spoiled child as many thought but she was all too naive about the realistic world. She could have very well turned into that rueful Queen because of the arstictocrats and hypocrites at Versailles. Even though the story has 'happy' beginning, Toinette (affectionately named by Louis Auguste) will lead a tragic life to uprise the revolution of France and to end the French Moncarchy.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Herman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The year is 1769; the place, Austria. The pressure is on thirteen-year-old Maria Antonia, youngest daughter of the Empress Maria Theresa, to excell so that she will be chosen to marry the future king of France. Antonia, as she is called, must learn French language, fashions, customs, and etiquette so that she can impress the king's messengers. She is given no time to act her age; when she does attempt to enjoy life as a girl should, she is severely punished. When she is sent away to France, her life is little better - she makes enemies of the mistress of the current king, who is the grandfather of her husband-to-be. She is forced to observe customs she can barely keep straight. And she is having a hard time getting along with her fiance. I viewed Marie Antoinette differently after reading this book. It was obvious from the book and the afterword that Marie and her husband were not trained well by their parents and teachers on how to become good rulers, and Marie had been taught from the time she was young that the most important thing was to look good. This is most likely why they became such bad rulers and ended up losing their lives.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Anna Comnena on April 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is the "diary" of Marie Antoinette, from the time she is 13, known as Antonia, and only archduchess of the Holy Roman Empire. At the end of the book, she is fifteen, dauphine of France, and wife of the future Louis XVI, who comes complete with a bad complexion. At first she hates the French court, and all the fake people, especially Madame du Berry, a former prostitute and now the King (Louis XV)'s mistress. This book was good, and gave me a good impression of Marie Antoinette. She was a bad ruler for the times, especially because she seemed to have no sense of the common Frenchman's plight. A good read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on August 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I personally thought this book shows how much pressure girls and boys go through when they're heir to the throne. Marie Antionette, orginally named Maria Antonia in Versellies but had to change it to fit France's expectatatons, loved being a child. Riding horses without having to sit side-saddle, splashing in mud, and wading in the fountain was always something to look forward to for her. But then she is to be wed she can no longer be seen as a child. With help from her sister Elizabeth, she is able to overcome the tough things that crossed her path on changing from a little girl to a young lady. Marie Antionette had to deal with sad deaths in the family, and a close friend, and finding out who she really was deep inside. When she makes her way to France, and then finally meets the Dauphine, her fiance, she is greatly disappointed. But then she realizes it's inside that makes you really love someone. Marie Antionette is a book I will gladly read again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Relena Darlain on June 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Marie is a young lady who is being married off to Louis XVI in France. She spends her time learning to dance, talk, walk, curtsy, French, and other things on how to act as a lady in the French court of Versailles (nothing like math or financial things, which eventually led to her demise due to her inexperience in ruling). But Marie is alone and is moved to Farnce without anything or anyone she knows (except her dog) and is entered into a world where she is looked down upon because she is foreign and is in rivalry with Madame Du Barry the kings mistress. But while being stubborn in not talking to the mistress she introduces Louis XVI to wonderul things. I enjoyed the book though there were dull moments(not many though).
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