Fine introductory French history emerges from an exciting biography of the French Queen who started her life in splendour and ended it in horror. Remarkably well , the author seems to have recreated her period, and there is a feeling of personal entry into the Austrian court with the little doll-princess Antoinette first knew, and later, the gloss of Versailles. There are , too, the concrete examples that build a sense of the amazing contrasts in Marie Antoinette's life. Where she was the epitome of galety, of fashion, of the heedlessness that has come down to us as a marked cause of the revolution, she was also part and parcel of the political juggling going on all over Europe, and then the symbolic enemy of the people- to be threatened for terrible months with her husband Louis XVI and finally killed. The cross currents of political and social events and the suspense make this especially good reading.