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Book Categories: Marie Antoinette, Diamond Necklace Affair, Her Image, Fersen, Louis XVI, Last Days, Madame Royale, Lost Dauphin, Court & Era, Revolution, Travel, Fiction, Children's Books, DVDs, French Royalty, Habsburgs, European Royalty
Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser. Biography. Fraser makes no attempt to hide the queen's shortcomings, in particular her poor political skills, but emphasizes her personal warmth and noble bearing during her final ordeal. (Review © Amazon.com)
Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France by Evelyne Lever, translated by Catherine Temerson. Biography. For a publisher's summary of this book, information about the author, and reviews, click here.
To the Scaffold: The Life of Marie Antoinette by Carrolly Erickson. Written by a well-known royal biographer.
Marie Antoinette: The Portrait of an Average Woman by Stefan Zweig, translated by Eden Paul. A classic biography.
Marie Antoinette by Hilaire Belloc. This biography was first published in 1909.
Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution by Caroline Weber. Shows how Marie Antoinette developed her reputation for fashionable excess, and how her bold attempts to reshape royal fashion changed the future of France.
The Private Realm of Marie Antoinette by Marie-France Boyer, photographs by Francois Halard. Photos of details in the queen's rooms and homes, as well as her favorite objects. 123 illustrations, 108 in color.
How to Ruin a Queen: Marie Antoinette and the Diamond Necklace Affair by Jonathan Beckman. In 1785, a cardinal stood accused of forging Marie Antoinette's signature to steal the most expensive piece of jewelry in Europe. Revelations from the trial would send the French monarchy into a bloody revolution.
The Wicked Queen: The Origins of the Myth of Marie-Antoinette by Chantal Thomas. A look at pamphlets of Marie-Antoinette's time which portrayed her as a villain.
Marie Antoinette: Writings on the Body of a Queen edited by Dena Goodman. Essays exploring the difficulties of Marie-Antoinette's position as a woman, a foreigner, and a queen, and the waves of pornography and accusations launched against her.
Marie Antoinette & Count Fersen by Evelyn Farr examines the queen's relationship with close friend and purported lover Fersen.
Louis XVI: The Silent King by John Hardman. The author believes that, contrary to popular belief, Louis was not stupid and passive, but shy and hampered by tradition.
The King's Trial: Louis XVI Vs. the French Revolution by David P. Jordan.
Louis XVI and the French Revolution by Alison Johnson. What happened to the gentle, unassuming king; his wife, Marie Antoinette; and their two children during the French Revolution.
Traumatic Politics: The Deputies and the King in the Early French Revolution by Barry M. Shapiro. Contends that the manner in which members of the Constituent Assembly dealt with the king bears the imprint of behavior that typically follows traumatic events.
Louis XVI and the French Revolution, 1789-1792 by Ambrogio A. Caiani. How the king's domestic activities in Paris became an essential factor in the people's alienation from the new constitutional monarchy.
When the King Took Flight by Timothy Tackett. On a June night in 1791, King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette fled Paris in disguise, hoping to escape the mounting turmoil of the French Revolution. This is the story of events before and after their escape, arrest, and execution.
Threshold of Terror: The Last Hours of the Monarchy in the French Revolution by Rodney Allen. This account documents the crucial 24 hours over August 9 and 10, 1792 which led to the fall of the king and set in motion the chain of events that culminated in the Reign of Terror.
The Road From Versailles: Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and the Baron De Breteuil by Munro Price. A history of the French Revolution as seen through the eyes of the royal family. New evidence sheds light on the lives of the royals as the monarchy was stripped of its power and revolutionary fervor called for their execution.
Last Days of Marie Antoinette: An Historical Sketch by Ronald Gower.
Marie-Thérèse, Child of Terror: The Fate of Marie Antoinette's Daughter by Susan Nagel. Was the real Marie-Thérèse spirited away to a remote castle while an imposter played her role on the political stage of Europe? Using handwriting samples, DNA, and family letters, Nagel solves the mystery.
The Lost King of France: A True Story of Revolution, Revenge, and DNA by Deborah Cadbury. For centuries it was rumored that Marie Antoinette's son had survived the Revolution. Modern DNA analysis has finally solved the mystery. This book tells the story of the monarchy's downfall and reveals the fate of the boy king.
The Black Tower by Louis Bayard. A young man finds himself dragged into a dangerous mystery surrounding the fate of the son of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. (Fiction)
Before the Deluge by Evelyn Farr. About Parisian society in the reign of Louis XVI.
The Coming of the French Revolution by Georges Lefebvre and R. R. Palmer. Deals with the events leading up to the Revolution. First published in 1939.
The Private Life of Marie Antoinette by Madame Campan. The memoirs of the French queen's lady-in-waiting.
Marie Antoinette's Head: The Royal Hairdresser, the Queen, and the Revolution by Will Bashor. Charts the rise of Leonard Autie from country barber to hairdresser for Queen Marie-Antoinette. His life included seduction, espionage, theft, exile, and possibly execution.
A Scented Palace: The Secret History of Marie Antoinette's Perfumer by Elisabeth de Feydeau, translated by Jane Lizop. Offers a new look at the world of Marie Antoinette through the story of her perfumer, Jean-Louis Fargeon, who served her for 14 years and remained loyal until her execution.
The Exceptional Woman: Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun and the Cultural Politics of Art by Mary D. Sheriff. Biography of the successful artist who painted many well-known portraits of her friend Marie Antionette.
Anne Vallayer Coster: Painter to the Court of Marie Antoinette edited by Eik Kahng. This lavishly illustrated book, the first devoted to Vallayer-Coster in over 30 years, presents an array of the artist's still-life works, many of which have never before been reproduced in color. Recently rediscovered works, including three royal portraits from the collection of Versailles and a hitherto unknown pastel of Marie Antoinette, are published here for the first time.
The Crisis of the Absolute Monarchy: From the Old Regime to the French Revolution edited by Julian Swann and Joël Félix. Essays on the origins of the Revolution by leading experts from France, Britain and the United States.
The Days of the French Revolution by Christopher Hibbert. Author Hibbert writes for general reader unfamiliar with Revolution history, introducing them to Marie Antoinette and others. Maps, illustrations, a chronology of principle events, a glossary, and a list of major sources supplement Hibbert's text. (This review © Amazon.com.)
Overture to Revolution: The 1787 Assembly of Notables and the Crisis of France's Old Regime by John Hardman. The Assembly of Notables in 1787 was the first link in a chain which led to the French Revolution.
The Cultural Origins of the French Revolution by Roger Chartier and Lydia G. Cochrane considers the causes of the revolution.
The Oxford History of the French Revolution by William Doyle. Covers the entire reign of Louis XVI and its aftermath.
The British Monarchy and the French Revolution by Marilyn Morris provides a different angle on royalty and the revolution.
Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution by Simon Schama and Luann Walther. A thorough, well-illustrated history. Somewhat dry; not a good introduction to the subject.
A Companion to the French Revolution edited by Peter McPhee. Twenty-nine essays by historians reassessing the origins, development, and impact of this great turning point in modern history.
Preserving the Monarchy: The Comte De Vergennes, 1774-1787 by Munro Price. Studies Vergennes' role in the debate on the monarchy in the two decades before the Revolution. His financial reforms, fully examined here, were the last attempt to restructure the monarchy in accordance with its traditional principles. The failure of this undertaking accelerated the collapse of the royal government.
The Fall of the French Monarchy by Michel Vovelle. Covers the years 1787 through 1792.
The Old Regime and the Revolution, Volume I by Alexis De Tocqueville, translated by Alan S. Kahan. Written in 1851, this book focuses on the meaning and origin of the French Revolution. Volume II: Notes on the French Revolution and Napoleon is also available.
Revolutionary Commerce: Globalization and the French Monarchy by Paul Cheney. How the growth of France's Atlantic economy in the 18th century helped to bring down the constitutional monarchy.
Revolutions and the Collapse of the Monarchy: Human Agency and the Making of Revolution in France, Russia and Iran by Zhand Shakibi. Why were Louis XVI, Nicholas II, and Mohammad Reza Pahlavi all overthrown? This is a comparative study of the implosion of the monarchical regimes in Bourbon France, Romanov Russia, and Pahlavi Iran.
Walks Through Marie Antoinette's Paris by Diana Reid Haig. This beautifully illustrated little book tells Marie Antoinette's story and takes readers on a tour of sites associated with her life. It's worth reading even if you're not planning to go to Paris.
The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette: A Novel by Carrolly Erickson. Marie Antoinette tells the story of her life, from her privileged childhood as Austrian archduchess to her years as mistress of Versailles to the heartbreak of imprisonment during the French Revolution.
Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey. First book in a trilogy about the coddled Austrian archduchess who became the reckless, powerful, beautiful queen of France. The other books in the series are Days of Splendor, Days of Sorrow and Confessions of Marie Antoinette.
The Queen's Lover: A Novel by Francine du Plessix Gray. Fictional account of the love affair between Swedish aristocrat Count Axel Von Fersen and doomed French queen Marie Antoinette.
Vive Madame La Dauphine by André Romijn. Marie Antoinette is an inexperienced 14-year-old when she arrives at Versailles. With an unconsummated marriage, how will she avoid being sent home? This is the first novel in a planned trilogy.
The Queen's Necklace by Antal Szerb, translated by Leonard Rix. A 1943 Hungarian novel about French queen Marie Antoinette, translated into English for the first time.
The Queen's Confession by Victoria Holt (who was also Jean Plaidy). Novel in which the queen narrates her life story.
Flaunting, Extravagant Queen by Jean Plaidy. At the age of 15, Marie Antoinette is plunged into the intrique of Versailles. This is the final book in Plaidy's French Revolution trilogy. The first two, both about King Louis XV, are Louis the Well Beloved and The Road to Compiegne.
Books by Alexandre Dumas
The Queen's Necklace by Alexandre Dumas is about the Diamond Necklace Affair. This is the third book in Dumas' series about the charlatan physician Cagliostro, a real historical character who was popular among the French nobility. The first two books are Joseph Balsamo and The Memoirs of a Physician.
The Knight of Maison-Rouge: A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Alexandre Dumas, translated by Julie Rose. The first and only modern translation of this classic work by the author of The Three Musketeers.
Farewell, My Queen by Chantal Thomas, translated by Moishe Black. Novel in which a woman who once worked at Versailles is haunted by the memory of her last days at the French court.
Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund. This enjoyable novel shows Marie Antoinette's life through her own eyes, from her arrival in France as an innocent, romantic bride to her chilling final days as a prisoner of the French Revolution. Although disappointed by her shy husband, she remains devoted to him and her royal duty. She leads a dreamlike existence amid the pleasures and tedium of Versailles, detached from the reality outside the palace gates until it's far too late.
Versailles: A Novel by Kathryn Davis. Stream-of-consciousness literary novel tells the tragic story of Marie Antoinette.
Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution by Michelle Moran. Wax sculptor Marie Tussaud becomes tutor to the sister of the king of France, then faces the demands of powerful revolutionaries as the French Revolution unfolds.
The Queen's Dollmaker by Christine Trent. Dollmaker Claudette Laurent befriends France's Queen Marie Antoinette and is lured into a web of deadly political intrigue.
Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola. This book features elements of the screenplay for the Sofia Coppola movie "Marie Antoinette," as well as stills, the director's personal photos, and original designs for costumes and sets.
Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors. An aristocratic young woman falls into poverty and eventually becomes the mistress of a Revolutionary Tribunal judge. This book doesn't contain much royal content, but it's an excellent novel. Read my full review here.
Secret Memoirs of Princess Lamballe: Her Confidential Relations With Marie Antoinette by Princess Lamballe, edited by Catherine Hyde. Princess de Lamballe, a friend of Marie Antoinette, was fated to be a victim of the Reign of Terror. This is a journal of her experiences and reflections. (I'm having trouble finding information about this book, but presumably it is fiction.)
Who Was Marie Antoinette? by Dana Meachen Rau, illustrated by John O'Brien. From the palaces of Austria to the mirrored halls of Versailles, Marie Antoinette led a charmed life, but her taste for excess ruffled many feathers. For children ages 8 to 12.
Marie Antoinette by Jane Bingham. Biography for children ages 9 to 12.
The French Revolution: The Fall of the Monarchy by John M. Dunn. For children ages 9 to 12.
Marie Antoinette, Queen of France by Mary Englar. Biography for children ages 9 to 12.
Marie Antoinette and the End of the French Monarchy by Nancy Lotz and Carlene Phillips. Biography for children ages 9 to 12.
Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and the French Revolution by Nancy Plain. Also for children ages 9 to 12.
Fiction and Paper Dolls
Moi and Marie Antoinette by Lynn Cullen, illustrated by Amy L. Young. Marie Antoinette's dog tells the story of the princess's life, from her childhood in Austria to her marriage and the birth of her children. For children ages 4 to 8.
The Lacemaker and the Princess by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. Novel about a young lacemaker who befriends French queen Marie Antoinette. For children ages 9 to 12.
Marie Antoinette Paper Dolls by Tom Tierney.
Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles, Austria-France, 1769 by Kathryn Lasky. A novel for children ages 9 to 12. In this engrossing addition to the Royal Diaries series, Kathryn Lasky invents a diary of the young Marie Antoinette in 1769. Lasky has done an excellent job of creating a very human Marie Antoinette -- one whom young readers will want to learn more about. (This review © Amazon.com.)
The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie-Antoinette by Carolyn Meyer. Fiction. From the moment she is betrothed to the dauphin of France at age 14, perfection is demanded of Marie-Antoinette. As her lifestyle grows recklessly extravagant, the peasants become outraged. They want to make her pay. For young adult readers.
The Time-Traveling Fashionista at the Palace of Marie Antoinette by Bianca Turetsky. A modern teenager finds herself swept up in palace life, fancy parties, and enormous hair as a member of the court of Marie Antoinette.
Movies and Documentaries