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The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette

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Imagine that, on the night before she is to die under the blade of the guillotine, Marie Antoinette leaves behind in her prison cell a diary telling the story of her life—from her privileged childhood as Austrian Archduchess to her years as glamorous mistress of Versailles to the heartbreak of imprisonment and humiliation during the French Revolution. Carolly Erickson take Imagine that, on the night before she is to die under the blade of the guillotine, Marie Antoinette leaves behind in her prison cell a diary telling the story of her life—from her privileged childhood as Austrian Archduchess to her years as glamorous mistress of Versailles to the heartbreak of imprisonment and humiliation during the French Revolution. Carolly Erickson takes the reader deep into the psyche of France's doomed queen: her love affair with handsome Swedish diplomat Count Axel Fersen, who risked his life to save her; her fears on the terrifying night the Parisian mob broke into her palace bedroom intent on murdering her and her family; her harrowing attempted flight from France in disguise; her recapture and the grim months of harsh captivity; her agony when her beloved husband was guillotined and her young son was torn from her arms, never to be seen again. Erickson brilliantly captures the queen's voice, her hopes, her dreads, and her suffering. We follow, mesmerized, as she reveals every detail of her remarkable, eventful life—from her teenage years when she began keeping a diary to her final days when she awaited her own bloody appointment with the guillotine.


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Imagine that, on the night before she is to die under the blade of the guillotine, Marie Antoinette leaves behind in her prison cell a diary telling the story of her life—from her privileged childhood as Austrian Archduchess to her years as glamorous mistress of Versailles to the heartbreak of imprisonment and humiliation during the French Revolution. Carolly Erickson take Imagine that, on the night before she is to die under the blade of the guillotine, Marie Antoinette leaves behind in her prison cell a diary telling the story of her life—from her privileged childhood as Austrian Archduchess to her years as glamorous mistress of Versailles to the heartbreak of imprisonment and humiliation during the French Revolution. Carolly Erickson takes the reader deep into the psyche of France's doomed queen: her love affair with handsome Swedish diplomat Count Axel Fersen, who risked his life to save her; her fears on the terrifying night the Parisian mob broke into her palace bedroom intent on murdering her and her family; her harrowing attempted flight from France in disguise; her recapture and the grim months of harsh captivity; her agony when her beloved husband was guillotined and her young son was torn from her arms, never to be seen again. Erickson brilliantly captures the queen's voice, her hopes, her dreads, and her suffering. We follow, mesmerized, as she reveals every detail of her remarkable, eventful life—from her teenage years when she began keeping a diary to her final days when she awaited her own bloody appointment with the guillotine.

30 review for The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lois is behind her reviews at least a month

    This book was pretty good. I have not read much about Marie Antoinette, though I did see the movie the recent movie and liked it. This book is told from Marie's pov, which is nice. She is kind of naive, silly, but innocent. Her husband Louis is portrayed as mentally deficient-not in terms of learning but he seems to suffer from an ability to relate to others-perhaps high functioning autism? The novel does cover a long standing sexual relationship with a swedish captain. I do not know how historic This book was pretty good. I have not read much about Marie Antoinette, though I did see the movie the recent movie and liked it. This book is told from Marie's pov, which is nice. She is kind of naive, silly, but innocent. Her husband Louis is portrayed as mentally deficient-not in terms of learning but he seems to suffer from an ability to relate to others-perhaps high functioning autism? The novel does cover a long standing sexual relationship with a swedish captain. I do not know how historically accurate it was, the novel has him advocating for her when she was in the tower. The pacing was good and the action moved right along. I could not really identify with MA but I did feel kind of sorry for her.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    Carrolly Erickson does everything in her power in this book to make Marie Antoinette appear self-absorbed, insensitive, vacuous, and oversexed, then expects you to be incensed when her enemies come to the same conclusion. I was baffled why suddenly she was some Great Queen who was victimized by the cruel powers of fate. I was like, wait, I'm supposed to like her? Did I nap through the part where she did a single redeemable thing? I mean, I think she gave, like, bread to some poor people once, bu Carrolly Erickson does everything in her power in this book to make Marie Antoinette appear self-absorbed, insensitive, vacuous, and oversexed, then expects you to be incensed when her enemies come to the same conclusion. I was baffled why suddenly she was some Great Queen who was victimized by the cruel powers of fate. I was like, wait, I'm supposed to like her? Did I nap through the part where she did a single redeemable thing? I mean, I think she gave, like, bread to some poor people once, but she also spent what was left of a bankrupt France's treasury on expensive dresses--kind of like a less interesting Sarah Palin. This is far inferior to Carolly Erickson's The Last Wife of Henry VIII. Unlike that book, which was full of great characters and action, this one is spectacular in its dullness, and only tolerable in its historical setting, the French Revolution. Watch Sofia Coppola's movie Marie Antoinette instead, or if you're really pressed for time, just read about her on wikipedia and save yourself the trouble of this tedious and whiney take on yet another chick who gets her head lopped off for no good reason--unless being really freaking annoying is a crime. I kind of couldn't wait for her to just shut up and die already.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Candi

    This was a decent historical fiction novel written in a diary format, which provides a first person voice to the life of Marie Antoinette. As the author notes at the conclusion of the book, this is “a work of fiction, not fact – a historical entertainment, not an attempt at historical reconstruction.” I found the book interesting and the time period fascinating. Not having a lot of background knowledge on this subject, I tried to keep in the back of my mind that this was meant to be entertaining This was a decent historical fiction novel written in a diary format, which provides a first person voice to the life of Marie Antoinette. As the author notes at the conclusion of the book, this is “a work of fiction, not fact – a historical entertainment, not an attempt at historical reconstruction.” I found the book interesting and the time period fascinating. Not having a lot of background knowledge on this subject, I tried to keep in the back of my mind that this was meant to be entertaining, but not necessarily entirely educational. As I believe the author intended, I gained a bit more compassion for Marie Antoinette. Leading a sheltered and aristocratic life in Austria and then being thrown into the enchanting and rousing lifestyle at the court of Versailles, Marie had a lot to learn and was perhaps quite naïve, at least initially, to life outside the palace walls. I got the sense that she “grew up” over time, but I am not convinced that she had a good grasp on reality. The author succeeded in convincing me that she was a good mother who truly loved her children and suffered for the losses of those that did not survive. Though not faithful to Louis, Marie stood by his side until the end, showing devotion to her title and to him in this sense. In my opinion Louis was wimpy and I did not particularly care for him here. Marie showed more strength and perseverance. This was a fun, easy read. I was not completely captured by the story and found it to be a bit slow and sometimes disconnected, most likely due to the diary format. However, I was interested in reading through to the end, even though I knew it would not end well for this royal family. Carolly Erickson has inspired me to read a bit more historical fact rather than fiction on this topic in the future!

  4. 5 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    My second time to read a biography of the deposed Queen of France Marie Antoinette (1755-1793). The first book I read about her was Antonia Fraser's Marie Antoinette: The Journey (4 stars). I really liked it so I told myself that I wanted to read more books about this queen. If Fraser's book is told in third person, this book by Erickson is told in first person because this is supposed to be from a secret diary of Marie Antoinette that she kept prior to her death by guillotine. That made the rea My second time to read a biography of the deposed Queen of France Marie Antoinette (1755-1793). The first book I read about her was Antonia Fraser's Marie Antoinette: The Journey (4 stars). I really liked it so I told myself that I wanted to read more books about this queen. If Fraser's book is told in third person, this book by Erickson is told in first person because this is supposed to be from a secret diary of Marie Antoinette that she kept prior to her death by guillotine. That made the reading more enjoyable although I got dismayed when I learned from my friends through their review here on Goodreads that this has nothing to do with the historical queen. Although, I did see some consistency and I think Erickson's objective is to make readers with still-sketchy knowledge about the queen know her more especially what she probably felt and thought during the important points in her life: her marriage to the Dauphin of France Louis-Auguste (who later became King Louis XVI), her several miscarriages, the death of some of her children, their attempt to escape and the hours, the execution of her husband and the hours prior to her own death. I mean I enjoyed Fraser's book more because it presented the story with facts amply supported by footnotes and bibliography. However, you don't know what the characters in the story felt and thought. Here, Erickson provided those missing links to make the queen more of a human than a cold historical character. Nice one, Ms. Erickson!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Anna Gibson

    It's no secret that I enjoy historical accuracy when it comes to historical fiction, particularly when it's about my favorite subject, Marie Antoinette. But in the end when it comes to accuracy, I ask myself: "Could this book/the events/the characterization have been plausible, and was it a good read?" The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette, unfortunately, was neither of those things for me. The author strays so far from historical accuracy that I'm left to wonder... why write this book about "Mar It's no secret that I enjoy historical accuracy when it comes to historical fiction, particularly when it's about my favorite subject, Marie Antoinette. But in the end when it comes to accuracy, I ask myself: "Could this book/the events/the characterization have been plausible, and was it a good read?" The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette, unfortunately, was neither of those things for me. The author strays so far from historical accuracy that I'm left to wonder... why write this book about "Marie Antoinette"? There seems to have been no effort by the author to write about Marie Antoinette's actual life, and the book may as well have been titled "The Hidden Diary of a Queen" with the names and places changed. The only good thing I can say about the book is that Louis XVI managed to come across as surprisingly sympathetic, though even this bright spot was tarnished by Erickson constantly having Marie Antoinette insult him, and making his last words to her an "a-okay" for her to marry Fersen after he's dead.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    First of all, this a fiction book, nothing to do with Marie Antoinette's biography. Secondly, the story is based on the assumption that Marie Antoinette's had written a diary telling her whole life, from her youth in Austria until her execution by the guillotine. Since the true story of this historical character is being very well described in the literature, this book doesn't bring any new fact among the already known destiny of Marie Antoinette, her husband, Louis XVI and their children. I've rea First of all, this a fiction book, nothing to do with Marie Antoinette's biography. Secondly, the story is based on the assumption that Marie Antoinette's had written a diary telling her whole life, from her youth in Austria until her execution by the guillotine. Since the true story of this historical character is being very well described in the literature, this book doesn't bring any new fact among the already known destiny of Marie Antoinette, her husband, Louis XVI and their children. I've read better books on this subject like Marie Antoinette: the journey by Antonia Fraser and Pintora de la Reina, La Fovorita de Maria Antoineta by Geneviève Chauvel.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    The author calls this book a historical entertainment -- which means she invents characters to interact with historical figures. If I'm going to read historical entertainment, having to guess who is real and who isn't, I'd better at least be entertained. Not so much. Pretty bland, nothing special, felt like I was reading bad chick lit from the 1700s. The author calls this book a historical entertainment -- which means she invents characters to interact with historical figures. If I'm going to read historical entertainment, having to guess who is real and who isn't, I'd better at least be entertained. Not so much. Pretty bland, nothing special, felt like I was reading bad chick lit from the 1700s.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    Loved it! Mrs. Antoinette was born before her time - she would definitely be giving Paris Hilton a run for her money right now.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Marie Antoinette is my favorite historical personage and I will read anything about her. While this isn't the most impressive out there in terms of writing quality (nothing groundbreaking or life-changing), it was a lot better than I expected it to be and was actually a really pleasant guilty pleasure novel. I liked the tone of voice used for Marie in her diary entries, and I thought a lot of it went with what I know of her character. I wasn't sure whether I liked the added fictional characters Marie Antoinette is my favorite historical personage and I will read anything about her. While this isn't the most impressive out there in terms of writing quality (nothing groundbreaking or life-changing), it was a lot better than I expected it to be and was actually a really pleasant guilty pleasure novel. I liked the tone of voice used for Marie in her diary entries, and I thought a lot of it went with what I know of her character. I wasn't sure whether I liked the added fictional characters or not, as they're so obviously fictional, but they do actually have a purpose in the plot so I ended up not minding them. I'd recommend this novel to anyone looking for a fun historical fiction experience, as long as their standards aren't too exacting.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. If you enjoy books that are written in Diary format, this is a must read. I really enjoyed the perspective we're given of Marie Antoinette through 'her own eyes' in this fictional diary. I found the portrayal of Marie Antoinette fairly believable, an incredibly strong woman who comes across to others as a callous, selfish queen. Someone who buries her fears and doesn't let them be seen, save with Axel, and the pages of her diary. Throughout, there is a slight disconnect as well that lends itself If you enjoy books that are written in Diary format, this is a must read. I really enjoyed the perspective we're given of Marie Antoinette through 'her own eyes' in this fictional diary. I found the portrayal of Marie Antoinette fairly believable, an incredibly strong woman who comes across to others as a callous, selfish queen. Someone who buries her fears and doesn't let them be seen, save with Axel, and the pages of her diary. Throughout, there is a slight disconnect as well that lends itself to the depiction's believability; she constantly gives pity to and sometimes takes up collections for the less fortunate, and then will turn around and order a new wardrobe to replace clothes that have been worn once, spend a small fortune building a villa, and have a number of parties. I also found the portrayal of King Louis very interesting. Despite knowing how the story was going to end, I couldn't help but be intrigued by the book, and in several places, I almost wondered whether the author was going to pull a switch at the end of the story and try to spin a way in which Marie Antoinette escaped her fate, and someone else was mistaken and beheaded in her place. I was hooked throughout the story. I loved reading about her affair with Axel (though it added to my opinion of her carelessness as a dauphine and queen), and was touched by the entries concerning her children, her relationship with Louis, and her concern for her countries (both France and Austria) - despite being fairly powerless to help either of them. I was appalled by some of the scenes with the people storming the castle, the depictions of beheadings and corpses all over the floor with flies swarming them, and I grieved when she had to witness the mobs parading about with LouLou's head and genitals posted on sticks. I liked the way that some of the good deeds she did in her life came full circle - how the Gardner she'd employed for some time and felt horrible about letting go of came back to help her and her children escape the mobs, and how the boy she'd saved from her brother in law's beatings came back to watch over her when the family was all but imprisoned. This was a very good book, and I loved the details between Marie and Louis' relationship, how at the end, when he was going to his death, he revealed that he'd known of the affair with Axel all along and gave her his blessing to go away and be with him. All in all, this was a very touching, human, and sometimes very graphic fiction of who Maria Antoinette may have been, as well as of the French Revolution itself.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I just started reading this book, actually I am on page 49 and I don't think I can continue to read this. While I love historical fiction I believe the author should stay true what history tells us about the person. The first thing that bothered me about this book was that there is no way a high born princess would have been left to traipse around in the woods in a cave having a make out session with the stable boy. I was also bothered by the fact that there was no mention of the process that Ma I just started reading this book, actually I am on page 49 and I don't think I can continue to read this. While I love historical fiction I believe the author should stay true what history tells us about the person. The first thing that bothered me about this book was that there is no way a high born princess would have been left to traipse around in the woods in a cave having a make out session with the stable boy. I was also bothered by the fact that there was no mention of the process that Marie went through before she entered France, she couldn't take anything into France from a foreign court, they stripped her down and gave her a French makeover. I would think Marie would have mentioned something about that in her diary but not this diary, she arrives with her dogs and her lover stable boy. I also noticed that Louis and Marie somehow misplaced the whole coucher process of undressing and getting tucked in to bed in this diary, Louis comes in and removes his own dirty clothes and Marie is letting her own hair down and borrowing and putting on a negligee. These folks didn't dress themselves, they didn't comb their own hair, Marie wasn't even allowed to reach for anything, it was to be handed to her. Those kind of things shouldn't be changed the author could have stayed true to what we do know about Louis and Marie and still written a good work of fiction. It would have been a far better diary if she would have had Marie talking about some of the customs of the French monarchy that she wasn't used to. So if you want to know more about the real Marie Antoinette don't read this book, Marie was a fascinating woman and her real story is far better than any fictional tale.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Page (One Book At A Time)

    I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know much about Marie Antoinette. And, what I do know probably comes from the movies. She usually isn’t portrayed very kindly there. I had built this image of a young women who liked parties, clothes, and basic extravagance. This book took an extreme opposite view. It touched on the rumors surrounding the Queen, but I never got a good feel for how the Queen felt about this. The book seems to down play all of that, when in fact that malicious gossip eventua I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know much about Marie Antoinette. And, what I do know probably comes from the movies. She usually isn’t portrayed very kindly there. I had built this image of a young women who liked parties, clothes, and basic extravagance. This book took an extreme opposite view. It touched on the rumors surrounding the Queen, but I never got a good feel for how the Queen felt about this. The book seems to down play all of that, when in fact that malicious gossip eventually made the people of France hate her. She had to have realized that but she seems really detached from her people and her country. I’m sure the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Although, I’m sure we will never know the whole truth surrounding all the gossip. I did really enjoy the format of the book. The diary entries made it seem like more of a possibility that this was who the Queen really was. I learned a few things I did not know. Plus, it made me want to read more historical fiction about Marie Antoinette. Some seem to complain about some characters being made up, but I able to take that in because I know it is historical fiction. I know that not everything is fact. Overall, and interesting read, but I feel it’s steeped more in fiction than in fact.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lexie

    As I'm obsessed with French culture - especially the Revolution era - I really liked this book. We all know the story of Marie Antoinette, but this was a light read that tried to bring her perspective to the situation. This book also showed a different side of Marie Antoinette, as someone who is looking for love, even outside of her marriage to Louis. As I'm obsessed with French culture - especially the Revolution era - I really liked this book. We all know the story of Marie Antoinette, but this was a light read that tried to bring her perspective to the situation. This book also showed a different side of Marie Antoinette, as someone who is looking for love, even outside of her marriage to Louis.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    Read in one day. We all know the outcome, but written as a diary is an interesting way to lead up to it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Natasha Hurwitch

    I love Marie Antoinette's story, but I was not a fan of this book. I will often skip titles when I'm reading, unless they are interesting, but in a book like this, titles cannot be skipped. I would get very confused as to what year it was because some sections would jump months between them. In addition to that, the story didn't always feel linear. This could have been the fact that some points were written through a teenage girl's perspective, but I still think that a wider lens could have been I love Marie Antoinette's story, but I was not a fan of this book. I will often skip titles when I'm reading, unless they are interesting, but in a book like this, titles cannot be skipped. I would get very confused as to what year it was because some sections would jump months between them. In addition to that, the story didn't always feel linear. This could have been the fact that some points were written through a teenage girl's perspective, but I still think that a wider lens could have been used.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    4.5 stars. Love, love, loved it!!! I haven't read anything on Marie Antoinette, only watched movies really.... so I found this very interesting. I gobbled it up in 2 days; I would have read it even quicker had I not had a busy schedule! If you are a historical fiction buff, you'll probably like it. Vaguely reminds me of Phillipa Gregory's writing, only no where near as sexual. Side note: I can't help but picture marie as Kirstin Dunst (sp) from the movie Marie Antionette.... personality and looks 4.5 stars. Love, love, loved it!!! I haven't read anything on Marie Antoinette, only watched movies really.... so I found this very interesting. I gobbled it up in 2 days; I would have read it even quicker had I not had a busy schedule! If you are a historical fiction buff, you'll probably like it. Vaguely reminds me of Phillipa Gregory's writing, only no where near as sexual. Side note: I can't help but picture marie as Kirstin Dunst (sp) from the movie Marie Antionette.... personality and looks.... THIS is a far cry from THAT

  17. 4 out of 5

    Maria Jose Valera-Brush

    Do you want to read a great book? Feel unexplicable emotions? My best advice is to DROP THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW. This book was probably one of the worst I've ever read. The most frustrating thing was that it has very poor historical accuracy of the actual facts that did happen and to me, this was beyond annoying and it made me want to drop the book right there and then, but I have a policy that whenever I start a book I must finish it. The story was not entertaining, it seemed as if a modern aged teen Do you want to read a great book? Feel unexplicable emotions? My best advice is to DROP THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW. This book was probably one of the worst I've ever read. The most frustrating thing was that it has very poor historical accuracy of the actual facts that did happen and to me, this was beyond annoying and it made me want to drop the book right there and then, but I have a policy that whenever I start a book I must finish it. The story was not entertaining, it seemed as if a modern aged teenager was writing the whole diary- even when Marie Antoinette was an adult about to die. The whole 'fighting with Amelie' was just so over-played and it made it seem like a mexican telenovela and it centered the whole book in the rivality between them two- again, super dull.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Twinkle

    Let me begin by saying I wanted to like this book, I really did. I love reading about Marie Antoinette. I actually kept trying to read this, and I am definitely one of those unfortunate people who HAS to finish a book no matter how much they suffer. But I hate to say *sigh* I gave up. There were too many historic liberties taken in my opinion to make it enjoyable, the characters left me wanting more from their one or two dimensions they were allowed, the writing at times was redundant. To be hon Let me begin by saying I wanted to like this book, I really did. I love reading about Marie Antoinette. I actually kept trying to read this, and I am definitely one of those unfortunate people who HAS to finish a book no matter how much they suffer. But I hate to say *sigh* I gave up. There were too many historic liberties taken in my opinion to make it enjoyable, the characters left me wanting more from their one or two dimensions they were allowed, the writing at times was redundant. To be honest I'm not here to bad mouth the book or the author but I really just couldn't swallow the pill, and we will leave it at that.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    I really liked the idea of presenting the life of Marie Antoinette in the form of a diary written in her own hand. While it was entertaining enough, I couldn't really enjoy it due to the problem with historical accuracy. Or rather, the problem with the lack thereof. Yes, I know it's fiction and the author intended it to be read for entertainment, not as a factual account, but it still drove me mad. I just prefer my historical fiction, especially when based on the lives of real historical figures I really liked the idea of presenting the life of Marie Antoinette in the form of a diary written in her own hand. While it was entertaining enough, I couldn't really enjoy it due to the problem with historical accuracy. Or rather, the problem with the lack thereof. Yes, I know it's fiction and the author intended it to be read for entertainment, not as a factual account, but it still drove me mad. I just prefer my historical fiction, especially when based on the lives of real historical figures, to stick a bit closer to facts - too much invention in this for me.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brandy

    I really enjoyed reading about Marie Antoinette. I love Historical Fiction, and they always make me want to find out more about their lives and the world they had to live in. I could not imagine being married off at 14 (and younger), by no choice of my own to only lord know who, or walking to my death, by having my head chopped off, with everyone standing around watching and cheering it on. what a brutal way to go for the people of that time... *shiver*

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tiffeny

    Such a fun read! I've always been fascinated by Marie Antoinette, and this fictional take on her life just made me wish again that maybe this time, she wouldn't lose her head. I forgot to pay attention to the details of the book when I ordered it, though, and I bought the large print edition - kinda made me feel like the book was yelling at me. Such a fun read! I've always been fascinated by Marie Antoinette, and this fictional take on her life just made me wish again that maybe this time, she wouldn't lose her head. I forgot to pay attention to the details of the book when I ordered it, though, and I bought the large print edition - kinda made me feel like the book was yelling at me.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hoover Public Library

    For someone who really enjoys historical fiction, this book is a must. Written as a diary, it covers everything from when Marie first meets Louis, all through their marriage, through the French Revolution, right up to her execution. It is well written, exciting, poignant. Absolutely one of my favorite books as well as authors.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This book was great..makes me want to learn more about Marie Antoinette!! I would definitely recommend it!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I absolutely loved this book. It is a bit of fiction placed in an amazingly accurate historical account of Marie Antoinette's life. I have read it 3 times! I absolutely loved this book. It is a bit of fiction placed in an amazingly accurate historical account of Marie Antoinette's life. I have read it 3 times!

  25. 4 out of 5

    MichaelAnn

    Easy read. Fun. Worth the read even if you saw the movie.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sofie Sehested

    I actually really liked this interpretation of Marie Antoinette and her life from when she was 10 till her death when she was beheaded by the French revolutionaries! The story is told in diary form and I think this is a brilliant idea. I just had to keep reading the next dates to see what happens to them all! It is very romanticized and her relationship with King Louis the 16th but also others are enhanced,maybe a little to much for some, but since I am a romance reader it doesn’t matter to me🥰! I actually really liked this interpretation of Marie Antoinette and her life from when she was 10 till her death when she was beheaded by the French revolutionaries! The story is told in diary form and I think this is a brilliant idea. I just had to keep reading the next dates to see what happens to them all! It is very romanticized and her relationship with King Louis the 16th but also others are enhanced,maybe a little to much for some, but since I am a romance reader it doesn’t matter to me🥰! I must say that the story gets very bloody and can be hard to read from the middle of the book! You kind of start hoping that they get away even though you know they don’t🥺! It is a tough fate they suffer! Before you start reading this book you just have to know that it is an historical fiction with emphasis on FICTION! There is fabricated characters and events but don’t get discouraged because the author actually knows a lot about the history and events from the 18th century and have studied a lot on Marie-Antoinette and her life😊! If you want to know which characters and events are real or fake read the very last page because the author describes her cause of action to the story there👍😊! I can definitely recommend this book👏👍❤️!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Taylor

    When I picked up this book at my used bookstore, I looked skeptically at the cover. It looked to me like another fluffy, shallow book about a princess or queen, who is portrayed in a fancy dress with her head cut out of the frame (so inventive). However, I reminded myself that you cannot judge books by their covers, and bought it anyways. Sadly, my suspicions were completely accurate. This is the fictional diary of Marie Antoinette, beginning just a little before she is engaged to the dauphin Lou When I picked up this book at my used bookstore, I looked skeptically at the cover. It looked to me like another fluffy, shallow book about a princess or queen, who is portrayed in a fancy dress with her head cut out of the frame (so inventive). However, I reminded myself that you cannot judge books by their covers, and bought it anyways. Sadly, my suspicions were completely accurate. This is the fictional diary of Marie Antoinette, beginning just a little before she is engaged to the dauphin Louis XVI of France. Marie continues writing in the journal, about her marriage to a dry, piteous boy who she develops a friendship with, her affair with a dashing count, the birth of her children, and her eventual betrayal and imprisonment as the Revolution washes over France. I love the French Revolution, but this book captured almost none of it. Rather, we see the excessively decadent lifestyles of Marie and the ladies of her court that led to, or at least helped speed up, the ruin of France's finances and economy. By the time the book starts mentioning the revolutionaries, we still know very little about them. If I had known nothing of history and this book was my first introduction to anything French Revolution, I would have assumed that a mob of citizens simply gathered together to execute Marie Antoinette, and that was all there was to it. Normally, I dislike the diary format. Maybe it is just because there were SO many of them when I was in middle school (Dear America, My America, Dear Canada, Royal Diaries, and many many more), but I almost always find them childish. And this one was no exception. If Erickson had written this book without the diary style, I think it would have been just slightly better - half a star better, maybe? "The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette" is implausible, weak, contrived, and simply uninteresting. Look all you want for a strong, solid portrayal of the infamous queen that takes you "deep into the psyche of France's doomed queen," as the back cover promises, but expect to be disappointed. In fact, 'deep' is the precise opposite word I would use to describe this book. Every character was sketchy and badly written, predictable, and lifeless. Marie was painted as being spoiled and vain in the beginning, and senselessly ignorant (but in a good way!) in the end. The author's method of illustrating her heroine's mistake of being so selfish and lavish was extremely obvious. Marie would write in her diary "Today I ordered everyone to wear feathers, and a few hours later, the shops were all sold out. We had to hide the palace birds to protect them..." Or "I have no idea what all of our palace balls cost, but I'm sure it's a lot!" These are not actual quotes, as I didn't take note of them while reading, but I am writing them from memory. The author would slip in these passing side notes as if she was counting pages and had made a note to herself saying: "Write something about Marie's spending every 5 pages." It seemed robotic and completely lacking in genuineness. Louis, Marie's odd and anti-social husband, was the only character that worked, in a very small way. He is reclusive, and does not appear in the story all that much. This was the only reason he was half-way - no, quarter-way - believable. The lack of getting to know him fit his character, luckily for the author. The character of Amelie, Marie's traitorous chambermaid, was laughable. Literally. I couldn't decide between groaning or laughing at the way Erickson wrote her. I am extremely surprised that none of the other reviews I have read even mention her. It was just ghastly. She was really that bad. For most of the book, Amelie is just like a Mean Girl in high school. Marie hates her and is jealous of her, but is also afraid of her and finds herself longing for Amelie's approval. Must all shallow books have a snotty Mean Girl and return to high school? Well, I suppose that that is this book's level. But anyways, by the end of the book, Amelie has joined the revolutionaries and is guarding Marie in her prison cell. She jabs clumsily written insults at Marie, always 100% the bad guy. When her husband dies, she "smiles and doesn't care." She also seems to be some high ranking person, because everyone follows her orders, though in reality a young woman would never have had the authority to do all the things she does. Amelie will be joining my list of 'Worst Villains of All Time.' We never see any character. Even a corny 'I Am Doing These Evil Things Because My Mommy Hit Me' speech toward the end would have made it just a bit better. Marie's romantic interests, first in her servant Eric and later in Axel, were tedious to say the least. There was a lot of eye rolling from me. In the beginning, I thought that the author was simply writing it this way to illustrate how immature Marie was, but by the time we reach the end, where Erickson is very obviously portraying Marie as grown up, strong, etc etc, she is still the same silly girl. The whole thing with Axel confused me. I was very sure that Erickson was setting him up to the be a bad guy later. He makes careless remarks often, most notably when he laughs about a group of peasants fighting to the death over a few crumbs, and then says "You should see the really poor ones." However, maybe the author forgot she had this idea. Or maybe she really does think that peasants killing each other over bread crumbs isn't really that bad. Whatever the reason, Axel is the hero of the story. There was also some pointless sidetracking about Axel's former mistress finding Marie, telling her that if she loves him, she will break up with him, blah blah blah, Marie doesn't do it, and there are no repercussions. It was funny how Marie and her court were 'The Good Guys' and the revolutionaries were all 'The Bad Guys.' Crisp black and white lines were drawn, which is always unrealistic, inaccurate, and insensitive. With this ridiculous attempt at "history," Erickson is an author I hope to never come across again.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Parvu Andreea

    Nice and easy reading. It keeps you alert and willing to see how the action evolves. It is a fiction, but has some historical references.

  29. 4 out of 5

    claire elizabeth

    3.5⭐️ very quick read- read with my 15 year old daughter- looking forward to watching the sofia coppola/kirsten dunst version with her👑

  30. 4 out of 5

    MEMG

    Found myself on the journey with Marie Antoinette. While she a kind and thoughtful she did have her head in the ground sometimes. The author did a good job writing in a diary style and I though I was sneaking a peak into her diaries.

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