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A day with Marie-Antoinette book review

Marie-Antoinette, that’s all you have to say and most people will know immediately that you’re talking of the Queen of France who lost her head.

She is a legend more than 200 years after her death. Famous for her fashion and her farmhouse at the Chateau of Versailles. Famous for her scented gloves and silk shoes. Known for her excesses and her frivolous life style. Remembered for having her head cut off at the guillotine.

A must read for Marie-Antoinette fans

A day with Marie-Antoinette is an English language book by Hélène Delalex, curator of heritage at the Palace of Versailles and a lecturer at the Sorbonne University. The thick glossy pages are appropriately luxurious, and it is filled with gorgeous photographs and illustrations as well as letters the Queen wrote and received, especially from her mother who could see from afar when things were going wrong.

It’s an intimate look into the life of the pampered queen revealing facts about her life and lifestyle in detail. From her love of jewels and clothes to giving birth in front of assembled courtiers at court (how horrible) to her private correspondence with those she loved, the book is full of fascinating anecdotes. There’s a wealth of previously unpublished material that offers a glimpse into the extraordinary life of a doomed queen.

The pictures are glorious, details from her wardrobe, a tiny, elegant shoe, an illustration from her boudoir at Fontainbleau, a painting she commissioned of her children but, on the death of one of them couldn’t bear to look at. She had it put away and it was only rediscovered in the 20th century. There are also iconic photos of Chanel and Dior designs inspired by Marie-Antoinette, showing her continuing influence on fashion.

It’s a gorgeous coffee table book but also a brilliant read and if you like history or have an interest in Marie Antoinette, you’ll love this book.

Published by Flammarion and available from Amazon (ISBN-10: 2080202103)

 

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