Marie Antoinette's dramatic life-story continues to arouse mixed emotions. To many people, she is still 'la reine mechante', whose extravagance and frivolity helped to bring down the French monarchy; her indifference to popular suffering epitomised by the (apocryphal) words: 'let them eat cake'. Others are equally passionate in her defence: to them, she is a victim of misogyny. In this biography Antonia Fraser examines her influence over the king, Louis XVI, the accusations and sexual slurs made against her, her patronage of the arts which enhanced French cultural life, her imprisonment, the death threats made against her, rumours of lesbian affairs, her trial (during which her young son was forced to testify to sexual abuse by his mother) and her eventual execution by guillotine in 1793.
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