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The Secret Diary of a Princess: a novel of Marie Antoinette
 
 

The Secret Diary of a Princess: a novel of Marie Antoinette [Kindle Edition]

Melanie Clegg
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

'Melanie Clegg writes with a refreshing, unpretentious style and an eye to detail that shows her familiarity and expertise with the subject material and giving us a glimpse into the world of a much-misunderstood woman.'

'A wonderful first offering. Unputdownable – the passion of the author for her subject material is compelling and touching, and makes for an emotional read. It completely drew me in and I read it in one sitting.’

'The story drew me in from the start, with the atmosphere of the Imperial court at Schonbrunn drawn so vividly that I could smell the hot chocolate and violet perfume.'

'What does it feel like to grow up in a royal palace, to be forever aware that so much is expected of you, to be married at 14 years old to a boy prince, potential King of France, whom you've never even met? Melanie Clegg's book answers these questions and so many more by creating in her Marie Antoinette a solid, engaging and entirely believable character.'

'A page turner.'

'It really made me realise that being a Princess was not such a fairy tale...'

The dramatic and often tragic years of Marie Antoinette’s early life, told in her own words. This book for young adult readers follows her privileged childhood and adolescence in the beautiful palaces of Vienna as the youngest and least important of the daughters of the all powerful Empress Maria Theresa of Austria and invites the reader to share the long journey, both emotional and physical that ended with her marriage to the Dauphin Louis of France at Versailles.

This is the unforgettable story of a charming, fun loving and frivolous young girl, destined for greatness, coming to age in one of the most magnificent and opulent courts that the world has ever seen.

Product details


More About the Author

Melanie Clegg is a blue haired art history graduate, casual historian, GIN taster, lapsed goth, failed Parisienne, Versailles obsessive, proud Ripperologist, Georgette Heyer fanatic and Victorian Prostitute re-enactor who lives in deepest darkest Bristol with her family.


You can find out more by visiting Melanie's popular art, history and writing blog at www.madameguillotine.org.uk.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and entirely believable. 24 Mar 2011
By Arbie
Format:Kindle Edition
What does it feel like to grow up in a royal palace, to be forever aware that so much is expected of you, to be married at 14 years old to a boy prince, potential King of France, whom you've never even met? Melanie Cleggs book answers these questions and so many more by creating in her Marie Antionette a solid, engaging and entirely believeble character. The book takes the form of a diary written by Marie Antionette herself and is a skillful blend of historical fact, warm and lively characterisation and vividly sensual descriptions of the colours, tastes and fashions of the Hapsburg court. Having finished the book, I miss her like an absent friend!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book 9 Mar 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I think the sign of a good historical novel is that you can get lost in another world, and The Secret Diary of a Princess is perfect for that. It's wonderful - buy it today!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing and well written 4 April 2011
By Sharon
Format:Kindle Edition
If you love history, particularly the lavish 18th century, then this book is a must. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, even though I knew very little of the Austrian Archduchess who was to become Marie Antoinette. The well written detail and diary form style is very absorbing and I found myself getting lost in Marie's world, so much so, that I didn't want it to end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating! 4 April 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I love fiction based on historical fact and the amount of detail in this book is just incredible. The descriptive passages really bring the era to life and I really appreciated the historical accuracy. It's very easy to fall completely into this book and I ended up reading it in a very short amount of time. Plus, it's about twenty times better written than half the historical fiction out there!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical 24 Jun 2013
By izzie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was wonderful. A really good historical fiction novel and you really get to know the charecters, especially Marie Antoinette. My only fault would be that the ending left me in tears. But honestly a really good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 10 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really good book which gives great clarity into the life and times of people during that era.
Very enlightening with regards to MA childhood and how this really shaped her as a person.
Always thought she was rather shallow but not necessarily true!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly enticing and beautifully written 1 Sep 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Well I was remarkably pleasantly surprised with this novel! For a novel about a period and a person who I have no real knowledge/interest in, it was fantastic. I am a sucker for epistolary novels, especially those in diary format and so I fell for Antonia immediately. From her first innocent entry to the very last, I found her completely endearing and wonderfully characterised. I love a novel where I can almost smell and feel what's going on and the lavish descriptions of the parties and balls did this for me.Antonia's cheeky naughtiness is wonderfully crafted and I love the numerous entries which were composed of one or two lines such as:
"Wednesday, 3rd July.Wednesday, 3rd July.It was I who put the mouse in Countess Brandeis' shoe."
Such entries reinforced the fact that our narrator is a youg, mischievious and thoroughly likeable child. Similarly the tragic events of her life are treated with empathy and subtlety and her grief and sadness, portrayed beautifully.As the novel progresses and Antonia is betrothed to French Dauphin, I couldn't help but feel bad for her. All her childhood wishes and dreams seem dashed and she seems confined to the same fate as her siblings. As someone who knows nothing about this period, the novel has made me want to learn more and also peaked my interest in this genre in general. The diary format teamed with a beautifully crafted and naive protagonist made this a thoroughly enjoyable read!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good 29 Aug 2011
By Misfit TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Before she was Marie Antoinette, she was Maria Antonia, daughter of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria and Emperor Francis I. As the title suggests, young Maria Antonia keeps a secret diary which gives the reader an intimate look at her thoughts, her family relationships and the daily life of an archduchess and the duties and responsibilities that go with it. I really liked Maria's voice and loved her impish sense of humor,

"Consequently, I did not learn very much today."

"It was I who put salt in the Countess Brandeis' hot chocolate. I am very sorry."

"It was I who put a grasshopper down the back of Countess Brandeis' dress during the concert. I am not sorry."

Princesses must grow up and marry where they are told, and the book continues through Maria Antonia's betrothal to the dauphin of France, the transformation required to bring her up to snuff with the French (including wearing braces to straighten her teeth), and then leaving her old life behind to begin the long formal journey to France to join her new husband and the French court.

"Every single item about my person was to be removed and replaced in an act that symbolised my domestic transformation from Austrian Archduchess to French Dauphine."

I really enjoyed this, despite the diary format (admittedly not a favorite of mine). Clegg does a good job of setting the scene and giving the reader a good sense of time and place without clubbing you over the head with heavily detailed descriptions of every last button, shoe and petticoat. Recommended for those interested in the early days of Marie Antoinette, and would also be suitable for young adult readers. Don't quote me, but I believe The Secret Diary of a Princess is only available as an e-book at this time. 4/5 stars.

Book purchased for Kindle via Amazon US.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish
the story only covers her childhood and tobehonest I was sick of.."she wears her pink velvet dress with flowers blah blah" over and over again, total padding!! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secret Dairy of a Princess
I love this author, the way Melanie Clegg brings to life her subject is fascinating. There are few books on the early life of Marie Antoinette and this one is wonderful very well... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Elizabeth Head
5.0 out of 5 stars great story
am so pleased I bought this book,great insight into her life and her family,couldn't put it down once I started it
Published 6 months ago by patricia reid
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely!
A wonderful peek into her childhood and young adulthood,also a great introduction to marie Antoinette,as I am about to read a more historical record!
Published 6 months ago by Deborah Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars A good interesting book.
I had not read this author previously to this book but I shall certainly be reading more by her. I hope there is a sequel to this book. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mrs. S. Morgan-davies
3.0 out of 5 stars A great read
A lovely read, with some excellent period and biographical detail. Small niggles with editing (Mops is male, then female, then male again), and grammar, but an assured piece of... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Versailles
3.0 out of 5 stars Diary
I enjoyed this book as a "holiday read". Light but well written - definitely catches the feel of a young girl writing her secrets but as I said light and fluffy. Read more
Published 9 months ago by A. E. Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely
A very easy read which I thoroughly enjoyed, shed a few tears, has made me want to find out more about Marie Antoinette.
Published 15 months ago by Bella12
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secret Diary of a Princess
I stumbled across this book by chance after randomly coming across Melanie Cleggs excellent blog Madame Guillotine. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Lenora
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
A bit of a page turner. Very easy to read, wonderfully atmospheric, good colourful descriptions, and a good incitinsight of Marie Antoinette.
Published 17 months ago by Teddy
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