Reading guide for Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Marie Antoinette

The Journey

by Antonia Fraser

Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2001, 608 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2002, 544 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. How important was Marie Antoinette’s childhood in Austria–historical enemy of France–in influencing her career? Would it ever have been possible for an Austrian princess to have a satisfactory life in France?

  2. Was Marie Antoinette’s relationship with her mother, the Empress Maria Teresa, a damaging or a supportive element of her life?

  3. Marie Antoinette’s marriage to the Dauphin, later Louis XVI, remained unconsummated for seven and a half years. What effect did this have on her character–and her relationship with her husband?

  4. Were the accusations of extravagance and frivolity leveled against Marie Antoinette justified–both during her own lifetime and since? Marie Antoinette was also the target of numerous vicious libels about her sexuality. What part did these libels played in blackening the image of royalty in France, and how valid were they?

  5. Assess the political role of Marie Antoinette in the years shortly before the French Revolution: Should she have tried to influence Louis XVI more or was she correct to let history take its own course?

  6. Marie Antoinette was a patron of the arts and a nature enthusiast. Is philanthropy an essential part of the royal role?

  7. Once the French Revolution started, Marie Antoinette could probably have escaped by herself, or with her little son disguised as a girl. Instead she saw it as her duty to remain at the King’s side. Knowing that she was an unpopular queen, why did she make that decision?

  8. Marie Antoinette’s courage and composure at her trial and execution aroused widespread admiration at the time, even from her enemies. How much had her character changed since her youth? Or were such qualities always latent in her personality?

Reproduced with the permission of Anchor Books.

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Anchor Books. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Castle of Water
    Castle of Water
    by Dane Huckelbridge
    When a whopping 24 out of 27 readers give a book 4 or 5 stars, you know you have a winner on your ...
  • Book Jacket: Havana
    Havana
    by Mark Kurlansky
    History with flavor...culture with spice...language with gusto...it would be hard to find a better ...
  • Book Jacket: Temporary People
    Temporary People
    by Deepak Unnikrishnan
    In this powerful and innovative collection of 28 short stories, Deepak Unnikrishnan presents a ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Nest
by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

A funny and acutely perceptive debut about four siblings and the fate of their shared inheritance.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Stars Are Fire
    by Anita Shreve

    An exquisitely suspenseful novel about an extraordinary young woman tested by a catastrophic event.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Manderley Forever
    by Tatiana de Rosnay

    Bestselling author Tatiana de Rosnay pays homage to Daphne du Maurier.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y S M B, I'll S Y

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -