MARIE ANTOINETTE by F. W. Kenyon

MARIE ANTOINETTE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The story of Marie Antoinette holds reasonably closely to the known facts of history while accepting the fictional adjuncts in conversation, interpretation and occasional distortion of characterization. While one sees the young queen, pleasure loving, unwilling to curtail her own conception of a queen's rights, disillusioned in her sexual relations with a virtually impotent and cowardly consort, one senses in her a slow but steady maturing, a reluctant recognition of personal responsibility. It is a compassionate picture, without being sentimentalized. Fersen emerges as virtually a knight in shining armor, selfless in his devotion, only at the last moment yielding to passion when separation is inevitable. The portrait of the court, of the machinations within and without, of the building surge of violence and revolution, of the wave of terror that engulfed the country -- this provides a half-realized background for the story of Marie and Louis and Fersen. Neither great biography nor great historical recreation, this nonetheless is a thoroughly readable piece of biographical fiction which would have been strengthened by more careful editing and copy reading. Less successful, in this reader's opinion, than her Royal Hetty-Go Round which it follows chronologically.

Pub Date: Feb. 16th, 1955
Publisher: Crowell