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on March 16, 2003
I had recieved an advanced copy of Elisabeth:The Princess Bride in November, 2002 from the author and I just recently bought the book from B&N. Let me just say that the only disappointing part about this diary is that it is cut down to a meager 93 pages of diary, and then has 60 pages of historical info and pictures (although that informtaion is very helpful and revealing of the Austrian court). Elisabeth is the 15 year old daughter of Duke Maximilien and Princess Ludovica, the Duke & Duchess of Bavaria. Life at serene and calm Possenhofen in the Bavarian outskirts of Munich is paradise for Sisi(Elisabeth's nickname). Sisi spends time writing trememendous poems and sonnets, riding her beloved chestnut horse, Punch, and of course spending time with her beloved Poppy. Elisabeth is not your average future empress. She goes around wearing peasant's clothes and frolicking like her Poppy, like a peasant. However, Sisi must tag along with her older sister, Helene, and her mother, Ludovica, when Helene is en route to Bad Ischl to meet and be wed to Emperor Franz Josef of the Holy Roman Empire. However, Franz Josef takes a much more appealing interest in young Elisabeth, and asks for Sisi's hand in marriage! The whirling world that Sisi watched Helene experience as she was preparing to be Empress (even though she wasn't even betrothed yet) suddebly moves onto Sisi. Possenhofen is no longer calming and serene, but a bustling small city-like a beehive. As Sisi prepares for her flight from Posse forever, she suddenly realizes what she is doing and come sout of her day dreams of her future husband. And as she is walking down the aisle to an uncertain future in the last entry, she suddenly realizes the family, friends, pets, home, and life she is leaving behind for a malicious, gossipy court...forever.
The epilogue shows the result of this unconsidered marriage: near-divorce, annorexia, depression, loss of children to her Aunt Sophie and to death, seclusion, obsession, and of course....assassination. This volume was an excellent contribution to this fantastic series of stories of women who shaped the history of the world by their royal powers. No one will be disappointed with buying this book and will leave with knowledge of a lonely and upset Empress, who experiences the same things that teenagers today do...but also so much more.
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on July 15, 2005
I loved the front cover of this Royal Diary and it was just as good as it looks!!Well done Barry, on a wonderful addition to thie series!This is the story about the beautiful princess, Elisabeth.

Elisabeth, nicknamed Sisi, is a lovely princess who was the chosen bride of the honourable Emperor of Austria.The original bride was her beautiful but steady-minded sister, who wanted to be the Empress, and was crushed when her younger sister was chosen.

Elisabeth, is devastated about all the rules in the Austrian Palace, it has no bathroom, but chamber pots, and no proper sitting room.Elisabeth will be drawn out of her care-free life into the strict and disciplinary one in the Austrian Palace.

Well done Barry!!An exceptional addition to this famous series!I sure loved this beautiful life that spiritual Elisabeth lead!!I found her life story amazing and her death story- tragic.Another great book from the Royal Diary Series!
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on March 13, 2003
I just bought this book ... The cover may be demeaning and well...unattractive, but the book is extroidanary. The characters are so alive, the settings are so real, the serene surrondings of Posenhoffen Castle and the crowded corridors of Hofburg Palace--you feel like you are right there. You sympathize Sisi and her poor sister Helene, you hate Aunt Sophie, and you love Poppy. This book was so good, you get caught up in it and don't realize it's over until you notice this book was shorter than the normal Royal Diaries. I'd say the only disappointments about this book are the cover that shows not even half of Sisi's beauty, and the size.You will not be upset with buying this book and the epilogue, pictures, historical notes, are very excellent editions to this melancholy but also serene story of the beautiful, intelligent young Empress of Austria who left her life behind and suffered a horrible life that was abrupted by a fatal and tragic death. If only Barry Denenberg would continue with the Royal Diaries series.....
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on October 11, 2005
I was disappointed in this book.

I found that the author introduced some interesting historical facts and then failed to follow through on these in favour of a more simplistic storyline. For instance, Elisabeth is chosen by the Emperor over her older and(arguably more suitable) sister, to be his wife. This is something I would have liked explored. The strain some of the realities of royality puts upon regular family roles. Yet, the author glances over this and has Elisabeth focus on more mundane and stereotypical things like fashion and her weight.

A second storyline, only hinted at in the book, is the hypocritical stand of the Emperor's mother towards her future daughter-in-law. Since this woman also played a domineering and cruel role in Elisabeth's future (rearing her grandchildren in place of Elisabeth and even naming the grandchildren, this would have been an interesting story.

What I like most about the Royal Diaries series is that these books tell us about the privileges and responsibilities of princesses. It is easy for young girls to imagine princesses have it easy but these diaries demonstrate that this is not always true: while princesses typically live a life of luxury, they also have to live up to (and under) royal responsibilities.

I think Elisabeth of Hungary had a better story to tell in the royal diaries rather than the trite, stereotyped nonsense that this author settled for! As I said, I was disappointed.

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on February 19, 2005
I checked this book out because I'm Austrian and I wanted to read more about my heritage.

Even though it was very short, it was an awesome read and I would buy it any time.

The epilogue is tragic, but hey, that's what happened.

With regards to it just being about her marriage, that may have been one of the only things exciting in her life and I'm glad the author picked out that subject.

As to the fact that she writes things like her figure, yellow teeth and stuff like that; royal figures in those days had a much higher standard of elegance and appearance than we would probably realize. Looks were everything to a good first impression to your subjects. I happen to be related to an Austrian baroness, so I know what that's all about.

Anyways. This actually is a very good book, and I'm looking forward to buying it.
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HALL OF FAMEon March 13, 2003
Fifteen-year-old Princess Elisabeth, called Sisi, is the daughter of Duke Maximilian Joseph of Bavaria and his wife, Princess Ludovica. She has had a carefree childhood in the Bavarian countryside. She spends as much of her days as possible horseback riding, her favorite pastime. But everything changes in the summer of 1857. Sisi's older sister, Helene, has been chosen to marry their cousin, Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria. Their mother is taking Helene to meet Franz Joseph, and has decided to take Sisi along in hopes of finding a husband for her as well. But when Franz Joseph meets Helene and Sisi, he decides it is Sisi he wants to marry. Sisi becomes engaged to Franz Joseph, but she is far too young for the responsibilities she suddenly finds herself facing as the future Empress.

This is not one of my favorites from the Royal Diaries series, but it was still a very good book that I recommend to fans of the series. I only wish it could have been a little longer, as Elisabeth's diary is only 93 pages. Also, some parts really could have used more detail.
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on September 30, 2006
I liked this book. It was a lot of fun to read it. It is about a girl who will marry the Emperor of Austria and become the Empress. I liked how the book described the complex personality of Elisabeth. She likes animals (especially horses), but she also likes looking beautiful. I found her love for the Emperor believable. It was different from other books in the Royal Diaries series because most of the books gloss over girls wanting to look pretty. However, I thought it could have elaborated on her relationship with her mother more. The length was short, but it shouldn't stop you from reading this interesting book.
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on April 22, 2003
After reading Elisabeth: The Princess Bride, I had a bad impression of the novel. Princess Elisabeth of Austria, is in a whirlwind of activities, ranging from horseback riding, to meeting with her sister's fiancee and eventualy marrying him. I just thought this diary wasn't as good as his previous books. His 60 pages of reasearch, however, stole the show and left me with a great impression of the epilogue to the end of the book. He goes into meticulous detail and provides lots of photos to help enhance the picture section. All in all. My final ranking of this book is 4 stars. The diary may not be very good, but the book is still worth getting.
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on December 18, 2003
Author Barry Denenberg picked a fascinating woman from history for his contribution to the Royal Diaries series. In this book, though, he doesn't have enough. He doesn't go into enough detail to make this a fabulous read. He hints at a few things once or maybe twice, but then just forgets about it. There are so many more thing that he could have written more about, like her obsession with her figure, something we now realize was most likely anorexia, and her thirst for freedom.
It does shed some light on Elisabeth's life, but really not enough.
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on May 11, 2004
Elizabeth never meant to catch the eye of Franz Joseph 1, emperor of all of Austria. He was meant as a bride for her sister, Helene, herself for his younger brother. Yet when Joseph passes over Helene and proposes to Elizabeth, she feels she has no choice to accept. This is the story of Elizabeth's life from days just before the proposal up until their wedding day, and the emotional journey of Elizabeth herself, destined to be Empress and rule beside the husband she never expected to have.
Told through Elizabeth's eyes in the form of a journal, this book, in my opinion, was too short and utterly pointless. Half of the entries were Elizabeth writing that she had no time to write, and character's relations to each other were hard to work out. There wasn't enough description, and there were a lot of background references that weren't explained, leaving you in the dark to what was going on earlier in her life.
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