MARIE ANTOINETTE, PRINCESS OF VERSAILLES by Kathryn Lasky

MARIE ANTOINETTE, PRINCESS OF VERSAILLES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Psychologically astute and packed with historical detail, this faux diary opens when Marie Antoinette [then called Maria Antonia] was a 13-year-old youngster. Despite Marie's nobility and lavish lifestyle, she comes off as an engaging and understandable adolescent though living under the tight domination of her imperious mother, the Empress of the Holy Roman Empire of the Germanic Nations, who strictly controlled her daughter's education and behavior. Readers should identify with her struggle to achieve autonomy and sympathize when she's married off to the unappealing Louis Auguste, the future king of France, at the tender age of fourteen. The particulars of royal life in the early 1770s, such as the fact that court etiquette demanded that Marie Antoinette bathe with `no fewer than eight women` present, a ritual presided over by a countess wearing `a full hooped gown,` jewels and a wig, are intricately rendered and astonishing to behold. It's hard to imagine that the sweet, down-to-earth Marie Antoinette whom Lasky portrays will turn into the frivolous materialist of history, and readers will have to make their peace with this issue. Still, a royal read that manages to both entrance and instruct. (Historical fiction. 1014)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-439-07666-8
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2000




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