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Marie Antoinette


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Film directed by Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation) and starring Kirsten Dunst is in post-production 2 November 2005 is the 250th anniversary of Marie Antoinette's birth Antonia Fraser is one the world's best known historians and was made CBE in 1999 The Six Wives of Henry VIII sold over 150,000 copies in hardback alone All of Antonia Fraser's books have been Sunday Times bestsellers Antonia Fraser's books have won many awards, including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Wolfson Award for History 'There has long been the need for an authoritative biography of France's last queen. Now, finally, Antonia Fraser has completed the task' Amanda Foreman, Observer 'Antonia Fraser writes beautifully, with impressively shrewd judgement...This is a fine book and a very good read' Daily Mail

About the Author

Since 1969, Antonia Fraser has written many acclaimed historical works which have been international bestsellers, including Marie Antoinette, Mary Queen of Scots (James Tait Black Memorial Prize), Cromwell: Our Chief of Men, The Six Wives of Henry VIII and The Gunpowder Plot: Terror and Faith in 1605 (St Louis Literary Award; CWA Non-Fiction Gold Dagger). Antonia Fraser was made CBE in 1999, and awarded the Norton Medlicott Medal by the Historical Association in 2000. She is married to the playwright Harold Pinter and lives in London.


Marie Antoinette will always be a historical figure whom one either likes or dislikes, hates or admires, regardless of what new information or insights come to light. However, Fraser's latest work does an exemplary job of painting the woman, mother, and monarch. Marie's mother was the powerful Empress Maria Theresa of Austria-Hungary, who artfully arranged the marriages of all of her children to sustain and enhance the Hapsburg position of power. As the 15th of 16 children, and the youngest daughter, Marie seemed unlikely to marry significantly and thus enjoyed a carefree childhood untroubled by the rigors of reading and studies, filled instead with dancing and merriment. The unfortunate death of an older sister suddenly thrust Marie, at 14, into prominence as a bride for the future King of France, Louis XVI. Her lack of education and training quickly caught up with her and hampered her efforts to become an effective queen. More suited for life as landed gentry, raising children and crops, Louis and Marie were the least likely pair to be successful monarchs during the volatile years of change leading up to the French Revolution. Yet, in death, she displayed a nobility and dignity that transcended the ludicrous and unwarranted charges brought against her. Narrated by Donada Peters, this is highly recommended for both academic and public libraries. Gloria Maxwell, Penn Valley Community Coll., Kansas City, MO Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Great news, we're reprinting already. Antonia's events have been going brilliantly with Edinburgh, Cheltenham and Sheffield Festivals still to come. Antonia is being interviewed for the GUARDIAN profile by Nick Wroe which will runon either the 24 or 31 August. She has also done an excellent interview withthe SUNDAY HERALD to publicise her event at the Edinburgh Festival in Augusttogether with one in the September issue of GOOD HOUSEKEEPING. Reviews have been wonderful and the has had numerous selections in the newspapers's summerreading round-ups: 'Fraser's book not only rescues the queen's battered reputation, it also offers a spellbinding portrait of life in the stultifying atmosphere of Versailles and goes a long way towards explaining the inevitability of the French Revolution.'THE MAIL ON SUNDAY 'This excellent biography'Ian Pindar, THE GUARDIAN 'this impeccably well-informed biography does justice tothe maligned Marie Antoinette.'Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, THE FINANCIAL TIMES ''it is in the weird detail of her (Marie Antoinette) life at court that many of its pleasures are to be found.'THE INDEPENDENT 'Antonia Fraser's credentials and experience as a biographer are undeniable.'THE SUNDAY TRIBUNE 'Antonia Fraser has written an absorbing, richly detailed and pleasingly illustrated new study of the French queen.'THE GOOD BOOK GUIDE 'The whole story, rivettingl

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