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Sort order. Shelves: biography-autobiography , read-in , european-aristocracy. Things I learned from this book: 1 King Louis had a medical condition known as phimosis that made is excruciatingly painful to ejaculate. It required a painful surgery to correct, and it was until 7 years into their marriage he finally opted for this surgery. It was actually a political statement meant to grant Things I learned from this book: 1 King Louis had a medical condition known as phimosis that made is excruciatingly painful to ejaculate.

It was actually a political statement meant to grant all levels of society an equal method of execution. Commoners had only torturous methods of execution available to them. People urinated and defecated in stairwells, brought and dumped their garbage in the gardens, those that lived in the palace simply tossed their refuse out the windows. It smelled so fetid in the palace that Marie Antoinette kept dozens of fresh cut flowers in her quarters in an attempt to mask the odor.

In fact when they did decide to flee, they would have made it to safety had the carriages Marie Antoinette had chosen been less luxurious in nature and more hardy in nature. As it was, one of the carriages broke down, and had to be repaired delaying the party. When the royal party did arrive, the guards were either nowhere to be found or too drunk to escort them. Their cover was blown and they were turned back.

Everyone was in debt.

In fact the more in debt someone was, the richer they were considered to be. For a while I was certain I was reading a modern time account. An excellent account of the life of Marie Antoinette and King Louis.

The Song At The Scaffold by Gertrud von le Fort

I would encourage anyone who is interested in this era to read this book. Jul 22, Ann rated it it was amazing. This is one of the most riveting biographies I've read. After reading the biography of Napoleon Bonaparte, I picked it up AGAIN this is my third time reading it in order to refresh my memory of what layed the groundwork in France for the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon.

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Undisciplined, LAVISH spending by Marie Antoinette and the royal family and courtiers during a time in France when their economy was on the verge of bankruptcy, led to wide protest and unrest. Burdensome taxes were d This is one of the most riveting biographies I've read. Burdensome taxes were draining the hard earned resources from the common people already suffering from hunger and privation following natural disasters that had nearly wiped out the wheat crops.

Jealous and intriguing courtiers were spreading wild and mostly unfounded rumors that the Queen was behind the deprivation Marie Antoinette and Louise became the scape goats of all that was desperately wrong with France. While there was a desperate need for reform in the government, the people did not allow the political process to come up with a way to reasonably address the problems. The result was a populace that became inflamed to revolution The general populace went wildly out of control indiscriminately rioting and pillaging and accusing many people of crimes they did not commit and ultimately sentencing thousands to be executed.

The unbridled blood lust and violence unleashed during the French Revolution was horrifying When they came and took away the king to be beheaded my heart ached but the last days of the queen were filled with unconscionable suffering. The revolutionaries took her young son away from her the heir to the throne and put him in the care of an especially repugnant revolutionary who was to re-educate him and erase from his head all thoughts of his royal heritage.

The mother in me grieved with Marie Antoinette as she suffered this last and final horror before she was tried and a judge finally read a list of some of the most grievous and far fetched charges against her May God save us from ever repeating the mistakes of this period of history. I think that the first sentence in the book description What was done to this family was brutal.

Jun 30, Emily Ross rated it it was ok Shelves: reviewed , reading-challenge , history.

This book was okay. Its not the best biography of Marie Antoinette ever written, but at least it is pretty readable. Its good for people who know nothing about her and want to learn. The title is pretty misleading, because its titled To The Scaffold, and the trial and the lead up to the scaffolding is the most rushed and vague part of the book. It was incredibly brief. It focused much more on her childhood than anything else. My major gripe about this book was that it read more like f This book was okay. My major gripe about this book was that it read more like fiction than a biography. All the people were cast into molds, ie.

Louis XVI was a lazy slob, Madame Du Barry was a pretensious prostitute who relied on men, the Lamballes and Polignac's were golddiggers, and the suthor wrote as if they never deviated from these. A more informal feel to this than other Marie Antoinette biographies I've read.

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I appreciated the footnotes and kept my bookmark at the appropriate place to easily flip back to refer to them for each chapter. A good mixture of personal and court details and the broader political picture of a troubled France. Recommended to anyone interested in the French Revolution or Antoinette, even if you've read other biographies. Feb 20, Michelle Davila rated it liked it Shelves: biography. It is by no means the best chronicle of this woman. It talks endlessly about the queens growing up and life, but not much about the trial.

So the tittle is missleading. Nov 11, M. I read this back in highschool - this book was a chance discovery as I wandered among the shelves at my school library, looking for something to read. This book looked interesting, so I picked it up, and I was not disappointed. Not only does Ms. Erickson offer a glimpse into Marie Antoinette's life, but she also gives a background of French history which is vital to understanding the French Revolution and the circumstances that stripped the royal family of their powers and led to Louis and Mari I read this back in highschool - this book was a chance discovery as I wandered among the shelves at my school library, looking for something to read.

Erickson offer a glimpse into Marie Antoinette's life, but she also gives a background of French history which is vital to understanding the French Revolution and the circumstances that stripped the royal family of their powers and led to Louis and Marie's deaths I found this book to be wonderful.

I love history and am a sucker for these books. I found this book and the few other books of hers that I read well-researched, and Ms.

The Song At The Scaffold

Erickson makes it interesting, instead of some boring, dry old account. So many people liked to detract Marie and slam her and blame France's problems on her much like historians liked to slam the infamous Empress Dowager Cixi [] and blame China's problems on her when in reality China and the Qing Dynasty had been struggling for long before she became the Emperor's concubine , but this book shows that France's problems ran more deeply and that Marie was a scapegoat.

Sure, she wasn't perfect, but she was more of a victim of circumstance than her detractors would say, and this book is very eye-opening. Overall a informative and enjoyable read.

Nov 27, Paige rated it it was amazing. This is a good crash course on the life of Marie Antoinette and the circumstances that led to her death. Erickson is a highly sympathetic author, but she doesn't whitewash the monarchy's absurd extravagance she notes in one chapter that the cost of maintaining the royal household was, at one time, fully a sixth of the national budget. On the whole, she does an excellent job telling the story of how the French monarchy refused to change with the world around it.

It doesn't read like fiction, bu This is a good crash course on the life of Marie Antoinette and the circumstances that led to her death. It doesn't read like fiction, but she moves along at a good clip. If you're interested at all in Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution, this is a good place to start. Mar 29, Dolores Marconi rated it it was amazing. Great read; well researched story.

Marie Antoinette was nothing like she has been generally portrayed; her famous quote "Let them eat cake", in this account, meant to allow them what she herself could eat.


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The teen aged King and Queen were untrained in business but good hearted. Sep 26, Megan rated it really liked it Shelves: 18th-century , 4-star , bourbons , france-historical , uni , kings-queens-and-royalty , non-fiction , biography , history , read-in Read for a uni assignment on the French Revolution.

Jan 19, Sa Schmidt rated it really liked it. It is a good read. I would agree that she had been mistreated historically. Her and her King were not well prepared at all for royal duties prior to their coronation. And the Kings who was to do that was not an effective or good king at all.

He is as much to blame in if not more , in my view, for this financial fiasco as the royal family that paid with their lives. His incessant preoccupation with Madam Du Barry who was not a lady. And her antics helped France nothing and invested in its future It is a good read.