Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France

By Evelyne Lever
Translated by Catherine Temerson
Read by Lorna Raver

14.55 Hours 01/01/2006 unabridged
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Married for political reasons at the age of fourteen, Marie Antoinette was naïve, impetuous, and ill equipped for the role in which history cast her. From her birth in Vienna in 1755 through her turbulent, unhappy marriage, the bloody turmoil of the French Revolution, her trial for high treason (during which she was accused of incest), and her final beheading, Marie Antoinette’s life was the tragic tale of disastrous circumstances colliding. Drawing upon her diaries, letters, court records, and memoirs, Evelyne Lever paints vivid portraits of Marie Antoinette, her inner circle, and the lavish court life at Versailles. Marie Antoinette dispels the myth of the callous queen whose supposed response to her starving subjects was the comment, “Let them eat cake.” What emerges instead is a surprisingly average woman thrust into a position for which she was wholly unprepared, a combination that proved disastrous both for her and for France. This is the revealing story of how Marie Antoinette kept her dignity and courage when Fate turned its back and she lost everything: throne, children, husband, and—in a very public and cruel execution—her life.

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Summary

Summary

Married for political reasons at the age of fourteen, Marie Antoinette was naïve, impetuous, and ill equipped for the role in which history cast her. From her birth in Vienna in 1755 through her turbulent, unhappy marriage, the bloody turmoil of the French Revolution, her trial for high treason (during which she was accused of incest), and her final beheading, Marie Antoinette’s life was the tragic tale of disastrous circumstances colliding.

Drawing upon her diaries, letters, court records, and memoirs, Evelyne Lever paints vivid portraits of Marie Antoinette, her inner circle, and the lavish court life at Versailles. Marie Antoinette dispels the myth of the callous queen whose supposed response to her starving subjects was the comment, “Let them eat cake.” What emerges instead is a surprisingly average woman thrust into a position for which she was wholly unprepared, a combination that proved disastrous both for her and for France. This is the revealing story of how Marie Antoinette kept her dignity and courage when Fate turned its back and she lost everything: throne, children, husband, and—in a very public and cruel execution—her life.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“This spicy, unsparing chronicle reads as both a brainy bodice ripper and a fascinating morality tale.” Entertainment Weekly
“This highly readablebiography captures all the drama and pathos of Marie-Antoinette’s short life.” Amazon.com
“Lorna Raver is a pleasing narrator for navigating the intrigues and complicated settings of eighteenth-century court life…[She] matches the tone of Lever’s work by narrating rather than interpreting, leaving judgment of one of Europe’s most infamous rulers to the listener.” AudioFile
“[Lever] shines a penetrating light on the opulent Versailles subculture…This is an absorbing work of meticulous scholarship and easily supplants any recent biographies of the tragic queen.”  Library Journal
“A tempered and very accessible account…a valuable reassessment of a notorious life.” Booklist

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Evelyne Lever

Evelyne Lever, a leading French historian, lives in Paris with her husband, Maurice Lever, the author of Sade.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
Runtime: 14.55
Audience: Adult
Language: English