Marie Antoinette's dramatic life-story continues to arouse mixed emotions. To many people, she is still "la reine m chante", whose extravagance and frivolity helped to bring down the French monarchy; her indifference to popular suffering epitomised by the (apocryphal) words: "let them eat cake". Others are equally passionate in her defence: to them, she is a victim of misogyny.
Antonia Fraser examines her influence over the king, Louis XVI, the accusations and sexual slurs made against her, her patronage of the arts which enhanced French cultural life, her imprisonment, the death threats made against her, rumours of lesbian affairs, her trial (during which her young son was forced to testify to sexual abuse by his mother) and her eventual execution by guillotine in 1793.
Read by Lindsay Duncan
(p) 2001 Orion Publishing Group
An excellent book. Brilliantly read by Lindsay Duncan. This is Antonia Fraser at her best. She takes us through the life of Marie Antoinette from her birth in Austria to her sad end in Paris. I have listened to this many times and still enjoy it. If you are interested in history - get it, you won't be sorry.