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The Untold Love Story: Marie-Antoinette and Count Fersen Paperback – 3 Jan 1998
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'A vivid and poignant portrait' The Sunday Times
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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.
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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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.