MARIE ANTOINETTE by Manuel and Odette Komroff


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The self-imposed strictures of juvenile biography seem to demand a heroine as subject, and Marie Antoinette lends herself uneasily to the role. The gay, graceful girl who could not, would not learn to write properly, makes her symbolic entrance into France with aplomb; thereafter her frivolity and foolishness mount until she becomes the central figure in an all-encompassing extravaganza--yet we know she was a menace to husband, family and France. When events overtake her, when she is imprisoned and humiliated, the authors strike hard for sympathy--yet we know she scorned and schemed all uncomprehending, and resigned herself only to the inevitable. The Komroffs do best with the grooming of the young archduchess for her future role and the elaborate ceremonies of the French court; they abdicate into details of intrigue and other discreet superficialities when the consequences of her action become apparent. With its weaknesses, this is still superior for older girls to the romanticized Kielty and Vance biographies, and a reasonable, readable recreation of the period.

Pub Date: March 20th, 1967
Publisher: Messner