Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France (Paperback)
by Evelyne Lever
What I liked: I liked a history from a French perspective. I’d read too many from Brits and Americans and that can skew a girl’s perspectives.
I also liked the little details i hadn’t yet read, like her spats with Madame de Polignac regarding Lomenie de Brienne.
What gave me pause: I don’t think she liked Marie Antoinette much (I’m going to get in trouble for saying that, but I couldn’t ignore the feeling that she really disliked Marie Antoinette. I even felt sorry that she had to spend so much time with a character that I felt she disdained.). And I feel like, as an historian, she didn’t look critically enough at sources for certain issues (such as Marie’s supposed affair with Axel von Fersen. For the record, I hope the two did have an affair, but I question some of the sources Lever gave weight to).
Should you read it? Sure. If you are only going to read one bio, I’d recommend Antonia Fraser’s The Journey, only because I feel it is more broad and thorough and while it is sympathetic, it is more balanced. If you are going to read 3 or more biographies, you should totally include this one.
What are your thoughts? Am I completely off base? Is there something I am missing that would help me appreciate it more? I’d love to know your opinions.
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