on 14 June 2014
I enjoyed the story behind the fashion trend set by Marie Antoinette. And it struck me the terrible fact that from an unbelievable luxury and gorgeous dresses (why on Earth she felt that she had to discard them once worn? What a waste!), she ended looking ragged, haggard, older beyond her age and subjected to a denigrating execution, totally dispossessed from her queenly tittle, her family, her dignity as a mother after such horrendous accusation and her dear friends. But hers is also a lesson about the dangers of living into a pink bubble and ignoring the main priorities of life. When I just got a look at the quantities spent just for her wardrobe, I had almost a heart attack!
on 29 March 2015
For most people popular history means accounts of well-known battles or gossipy tell-all biographies, but Caroline Weber approaches the infamous French queen with both understanding, experience, and a brilliant cultural approach. Through the scintillating costume politics of the time, the writer builds an image of the queen that joins royal iconography, French politics and gender theory. While Marie Antoinette is often dismissed as a frivolous and clueless figure, Weber achieves a well-referenced and intense image of her that shows her as a savvy in court circles, if not an aware sovereign of her own country, she was a member of a rarefied and intricate world which we discover through Weber's pages. While this is not a conventional biography, and may not answer the needs of someone who wants to know more about the life of the famous queen in the more conventional sense, it is definitely an insightful and unusual book, fruit of a sophisticated and talented historian.
on 7 March 2014
Having previously read other benchmark works about the life and death of Marie Antoinette, I was half-expecting to feel deja-vu throughout the book - but the feeling never came. A wonderful re-working of her life, approached through the legendary range of her clothing changes, this book kept me enthralled throughout. I especially appreciated the descriptions of her outfits, clearly seen through the eyes of a fellow fashionista... Highly recommended.