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The Untold Love Story: Marie-Antoinette and Count Fersen [Paperback]

Evelyn Farr
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Jan 1998
The story of Marie Antoinette and Count Fersen.

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Allison & Busby; New edition edition (3 Jan 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749003707
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749003708
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.4 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,468,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Evelyn Farr is a graduate of University College London, where she studied English with French and Italian. Her M.Phil thesis on the influence of 18th century French and English fiction in Jane Austen's novels led to her first book on Fanny Burney, and it was Burney's marriage to a French émigré that resulted in a journey through the byways of French history which have fascinated her ever since.

She is currently working on another biography for Peter Owen on Anne of Austria, mother of Louis XIV and the French Queen at the centre of 'The Three Musketeers'.

She also writes fiction - modern and historical - screenplays and poetry.

Please visit Evelyn's Facebook page for updates, photos and book news.

Product Description


'A vivid and poignant portrait' The Sunday Times

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting new angle on the life of the Queen 6 Dec 2003
By A Customer
This is a fascinating book with an interesting angle on the life of Marie Antoinette, whose relationship with Axel Fersen occupies only a few pages in the majority of biographies. It is frustrating that many primary sources have either been destroyed, altered, or are only partially extant, which forces the author to rely on recreating the most probable scenario on the basis of what material is available, without being able to state the conclusion drawn to be concrete fact. However, as the author points out, more details may one day emerge, and the aim of the book is to redress what the author calls the ‘distorted focus’ of previous biographies, in which he succeeds.
One quibble that I would have is the author’s treatment of Louis XVI, presumably to excuse Marie Antoinette’s supposed affair with Axel Fersen. As Vincent Cronin proves in his ‘Louis and Antoinette’, both the King and the Queen were human beings with faults and good points, the generally accepted very negative portrayal of the King being the result of the self-serving and not necessarily truthful reports of the Comte de Mercy to the Court at Vienna. Whilst I accept that an in-depth study of the King’s character is beyond the scope of the book in question, the consistent denigration of Louis is not only unnecessary and incorrect, but also raises questions as to the author’s objectivity in other areas. Having said this, the arguments relating to the supposedly lengthy affair between Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen are very persuasive, and I would certainly recommend this book to be read in conjunction witb other works on the period.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Marie Antionette and Count Axel Fersen-the Untold Love Story
Having read other books about Marie Antionette and of this period,I was very pleased to find this well researched book on this part of her tragic life. Axel Fersen was a great support to Marie Antionette, and a discreet and interesting character, able to help her considerably with his Swiss and French connections. Sadly he too suffered a terrible death. This was a book I couldn't put down, and which I found very informative. Highly recommended to anybody interested in this period.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Farr fails as historian and excells as a painter with broad 2 Aug 2000
By Glenn Brown - Published on Amazon.com
brush strokes. Never before have I read such conjecture...truly, I am appalled by the liberties Farr takes in construing the facts to suit her case. Indeed, I too am of the opinion that Marie Antoinette and Fersen were lovers; however nothing concrete has ever surfaced in any correspondence before and after the Queen's death to concusively determine the exact nature of the relationship. According to the publisher, Farr makes use of previously unpublished documents...really? Which ones? Did I miss something? This message is less a review to benefit other readers than a severe admonition to Farr: you have given the public nothing with this tissue of loosely woven fantasy...seemingly your fantasy. Stanley Loomis wrote the definitive book on this subject with The Fatal Friendship. Don't flatter yourself, Farr, the "story" has been told often enough (and more accurately) before you.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars ** Don't waste your money ** 19 Oct 2000
By jeanplaidyfan - Published on Amazon.com
The best thing this book has going for it is the Bibliography - because if you read that you will be enlightened as to some other books which you would be far better off investing in. Apart from that the book has a 'pretty' cover - so if you want to waste your money on a 'pretty' picture & a good Bibliography then go ahead & buy this book. Do yourself a favour - skip this one & invest in something like Joan Haslip's 'Marie Antoinette' or 'The Fatal Friendship' by Stanley Loomis, or even 'Louis and Antoinette' by Vincent Cronin.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Written for a Market 13 April 2003
By M. La Vean - Published on Amazon.com
I agree with the sentiments of reviewer who wishes that publishers would take a vacation from publishing M.A. books for awhile...sadly I am sure we will see more...
They will push authors in their stable to crank out yet another rehash...
This book is also indicative of another lamentable trend...editors are spell checkers not fact checkers...while this is not as bad as Schom's book on Napoleon which lists both dates Josepine died in the index (both are wrong) it would be nice if they could have people who know the subject give it a fact read.
I agree with the sentiment that the Fatal Friendship by Stanley Loomis is a good book, however I suggest Le Notre's biography of M.A. as a more balanced and better researched book than some of those mention...what gives Loomis balance is that he has written some "essays" (I can't say he is a biographer)in his book Paris in the Terror. It is also what gives Le Notre balance. He has done excellent biographies of Robespierre and a misnamed biography of M. F-Tinville which goes into great detail on the trial of M.A.
Castelot and Cronin are journeymen who certainly do an adequete retelling...but they were written for the popular market...as were their other biographies of Napoleon, Louis XVI, etc.
Le Notre is definately the person you want to discover...no really good library is complete unless you have a complete collection of the Le Notre books of time period...I also suggest his books on the September Massacres and the Noyades of Nantes.
Michael La Vean
Fellow, International Napoleonic Society
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the French Revolution's most passionate stories. 5 Mar 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
It's about time an author focuses on the relationship between Marie Antoinette and Count Fersen. Their relationship is as important and historic as that between Marie and the King, yet most biographies leave it to footnotes. Farr's story moves with exciting and horrifying pace. The emotional (and mortal!) costs born by those closest to Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI are conveyed to a point of agony. Count Fersen's character is most romantic, almost as good as Sidney Carton, but better because it's true.
But it's the nature of this story to be passionate. I was looking for more substantiation of their romance. I felt some of the connections were lost in Farr's story and some of the character names were confusing. Thank you for the biography in the back - indispensible. I was also disappointed by some of the assuptions made. Lost documents and correspondance incryption muddle the facts and Farr does not fully convince me that the assumptions made are true.
Even with these limitations I completely enjoyed this book (from the library) and am upset that it is not available to purchase for my library.
0 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars marie antoinette history book 3 Mar 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Dose it have pictuers? does the book speeks about her death? is the book intersting? if you read this book well you feel that you live the events? do you think when i read the book i will fell that i'm living with marie antoinette? Do you think i will like this book? please answer me back soon I'm waiting for your answer.
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