The Royal Forums Coat of Arms

Join The Royal Forums Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-31-2016, 11:16 PM
Sun Lion's Avatar
Serene Highness
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 1,322
"Marie Antionette The Journey" by Antonia Fraser.

So many details in this book, creating a rich picture of both Marie Antoinette and the French Court of her time, but also the Austrian Court and her equally interesting mother Maria Teresa.

*The young Austrian Archduchesses on sleds carved as swans and gilded with gold, dressed in fur-trimmed velvet, their diamonds sparkling, all lit by torch-light.

*Twenty thousand horses needing to be posted along the route for the two and a half week journey from Vienna to Versailles, as the entourage had so many coaches, dignitaries and attendants.

*The "Versailles Glide" which Marie Antoinette mastered to the extent of becoming the "supreme exponent". (A way for the ladies of the Court to walk without lifting their feet from the ground.)

*The use of, (almost scarlet), rouge, as a precise circle on each check - not so much for vanity, but to denote rank. (Non-nobles were forbidden to use it, though the market women copied them by staining their cheeks with red wine.)

*The pressing into service of people such as the King himself, Louis XV, and the musician Gluck, to report to Austria on Marie Antoinette's menstrual cycle.

*The presence of some people at the Court who had been there from the time of Louis XIV and were still in service there - from childhood to old age - through three reigns.

*The use of sniffer dogs to round up the vagrants who would find a nook or cranny to home themselves in, as Versailles was so open - and there was a tradition of the people being able to see their monach - and people would just take up residence there.

*The handicap of being "The Austrian Woman" was accompanied by being descended from Lorraine through her father - both a black mark against Marie Antoinette at the French Court, and people with connections to Lorraine tried to use her, harming her standing.

*"Let them eat cake" was in use a hundred years before Marie Antoinette arrived at Versailles - used to discredit other foreign born princesses.

*Marie Antoinette had some physical drawbacks such as her shoulders being of different heights, which was disguised with padding in her clothing. Her hairline was un-even but again, this was diguised by a French hair-dresser sent to Austria before her arrival in Versailles. Even her teeth were adjusted by a French dentist using wire, again before her journey to France.

A very easy to read book as Antonia Fraser is such a skilled writer. Thoroughly engrossing.

Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2016, 05:41 AM
WreathOfLaurels's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 472
I have a copy of this, it is one of my favourite books. I'm glad you like it too. Have you seen the Sofia Coppola film based on the book? What do you think of that?

Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2016, 09:45 AM
Moonmaiden23's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Los Angeles, United States
Posts: 7,996
I have owned "The Journey" for at least five years but I have not gotten around to reading it. I began reading biographies of Marie-Antoinette when I was about 12 years old, have actually lost count of the number now.

Antonia Fraser is one of my favorite biographers. I have read her biographies of Mary Queen of Scots and the Wives of Henry VIII and I also have "Royal Charles," her study of the life of Charles II, but I've not got around to that one yet either.

The Sofia Coppola film was a bit giddy for my taste, but it was beautiful to look at.
"Be who God intended you to be, and you will set the world on fire" St. Catherine of Siena

"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice". Martin Luther King Jr. 1929-1968
Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2016, 03:38 PM
Sun Lion's Avatar
Serene Highness
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 1,322
Originally Posted by WreathOfLaurels View Post
I have a copy of this, it is one of my favourite books. I'm glad you like it too. Have you seen the Sofia Coppola film based on the book? What do you think of that?
I dragged my husband along to that WreathOfLaurels and he actually enjoyed it - though I don't think he "got" the modern music track.

It was exactly how I expected it to be and I loved it.

I'm only interested in entertainment from the cinema - for education or insight I'll watch a documentary or read a book.

(A bit like the film "Moulin Rouge" with Nicole Kidman/Ewan McGregor - for me, pure entertainment to be immersed in. So many people criticised that too at the time, for similar reasons.)

I have seen the old black and white Norma Shearer movie a few times on TV. That is worth watching if you ever get the chance.

And yes Moonmaiden23, this book has sat on my shelves for a few years - really enjoying reading a bit every day now I've started it.

So good to get into something well written and insightful.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2016, 09:11 PM
WreathOfLaurels's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 472
I've seen the Norma Shaerer version when it was on tcm once. It was a shame they could not have filmed in colour due to cost constraints as it's pretty amazing to look at and the final scene with MA going to the guillotene is heart wrenching. That was based on stefan Zweigs bio so both books and films are fun to compare.
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
King Fernando VII and Wives (Queens Maria Antonia, Isabel, Josepha & Maria Cristina) Marengo Spanish Royal History 10 07-15-2016 10:48 PM
Flora Fraser, 21st Lady Saltoun (1930- ) Robbie_B British Royals 9 09-08-2015 02:25 PM
Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria (1869-1955) and Wives (Maria Gabriele and Antonia) Marengo Royal Families of Austria and Germany 10 10-12-2014 07:49 PM
"Majesties" - Enjott Schneider: 2 CD set, 2013 ["a royal musical journey"] Warren The Electronic Domain 1 03-13-2013 12:41 PM

Popular Tags
antony armstrong-jones british royal family camilla carl gustaf charles chris o'neill crown princess elisabeth crown princess victoria current events current events thread dailyfail duchess of calabria duchessofsussex dutch royal family family fashion general news helena hereditary grand duchess stéphanie hereditary grand duke guillaume hereditary princess sophie infanta cristina infanta leonor infanta sofia iñaki urdangarín juan carlos king felipe king felipe vi king philippe king willem-alexander letizia meghan markle news parliament porphyria prince alexander prince charles prince daniel prince gabriel prince guillaume prince harry prince harry of wales prince louis prince nicholas prince oscar princess estelle princess leonore princess madeleine princess of asturias princess of belgium princess victoria queen letizia queen mathilde queen maxima royal royal ancestry royal geneology royal wedding smith spanish royal family state visit stephanie sweden swedish royal family theatre van belgië victoria wedding wedding of prince harry windsor castle

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:29 AM.

Social Knowledge Networks

eXTReMe Tracker
Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2018
Jelsoft Enterprises