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The Hidden Diary of Marie Antionette Paperback – 18 Sep 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Saint Martin's Griffin,U.S.; New edition edition (18 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312361505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312361501
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.3 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,287,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"I read THE HIDDEN DIARY OF MARIE ANTOINETTE in two days, and when I finished it, I reread the final pages, as hungry for more as a child scraping the last crumbs of chocolate cake off her plate with her fingers. I thrilled to Marie Antoinette's every incarnation.... A very human and multi-textured portrait of a queen who all too often has been reduced to a historical on-liner." Judith Warner, The New York Times Book Review"

About the Author

Distinguished historian Carolly Erickson is the author of "Rival to the Queen," "The Memoirs of Mary Queen of Scots," "The First Elizabeth," "The Hidden Life of Josephine," "The Last Wife of Henry VIII, " and many other prize-winning works of fiction and nonfiction. Her novel "The Tsarina's Daughter" won the "Romantic Times" Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction. She lives in Hawaii.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Jarvis on 4 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
This book could have been superb. Carolly Erickson knows her stuff not only on Marie Antoinette, but on the whole historical period in general. This is quite evident but not fully taken advantage of. Erickson perhaps had a good plan and layout of her story, keeping to certain accuracies and adding in fiction where appropriate. Unfortunately, Erickson's problem is at the very core of novel writing.

Erickson basically seems unable to write a novel. She writes in the form of a diary - such a form is restrictive in the first place and Erickson may have felt that writing in Marie Antoinette's voice instead of her own could give her a justified excuse to write in a bland, amatuerish way throughout the whole novel (as if Marie Antoinette was unintelligent!) It doesn't work. I wouldn't believe in a million years that the French queen would have written in her diary in such a mind-numbing, boring way. Surely she had more command of language than Erickson makes out. I could not believe how childish it all was. This fictional diary starts when she is twelve years of age, right until her death, but the difference in voice between that time is minimal.

Historical fiction has a hard time of it, as many people interested in history want to read them, only to find that the fiction is not historically accurate, or things have been drastically changed. Some people accept this for what it is, but one of the main reasons why I forgive writers like Phillipa Gregory for her soap opera drama like novels is because she describes the times so well. You can dive into the world of yesterday and read what the world could have been like mentally and physically. This is another drawback of this novel. It's a diary.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Clare VINE VOICE on 15 Mar. 2007
Format: Paperback
This book comes with a disclaimer by the author in tha this is a work of fiction, with that in mind this book is a wonderful work of fiction. As far as historical fiction goes the era of Marie Antoinette is not my strong point, there is very little I previously knew of her life which may have made this a better read for me, maybe.

Whilst it is a work of fiction there are obviously some facts here that are true, and with that in mind I read this book primarily to find out much more of Marie Antoinette, it has certainly whetted my appetite to read more about her.

Its a very easy to read book, some may say amateur-ish but, in my opinion I found it engrossing and read it at every moment I had, I really enjoyed it and this is the first book of Carolly Erickson's I have read, it certainly won't be the last.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Durston TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 Jan. 2007
Format: Paperback
The Hidden Diary of Marie Antionette comes with a disclaimer at the back. Whilst the same author has written a biography of Marie Antionette, this is strictly a novel and contains characters and events that have been created for dramatic effect.

The result is a fast paced and very enjoyable historical novel (too bad you know how it will end!!) It brings the personality of the Queen to life and explores her loves, her relationships with her servants and the King and the realities of the time very much to life.

Take with a large pinch of salt and enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Thorneycroft on 10 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love Marie Antoinette, and this book really brought her to life. What an amazing and remarkable woman.. Great read
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By Ellen on 10 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written about the queen's journey from a teenager to her last days as queen in her own imagined diary. Entertaining and gory in parts. You sympathise with her in parts and begin to understand the choices she made.
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