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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Marie-Antoinette by Stefan Sweig

Ididn't finish this biography because I found it too wordy and old-fashioned, however, it is an important study of the French Queen. Swieg attributes much of the cause of the French Revolution to Louis XVI's early impotence and Marie-Antoinette's frustration. This led her to seek happiness in over-spending, gambling, parties and coquettish behavior with handsome young men. He appears to take an unsympathetic view and regards Marie-Antoinette as a rather silly and heedless young woman during her life who only faced her death with great dignity.

I felt that too much of this bbased on gossip and speculation and that Sweig attached too much importance to the poor Queen's behavior and not to her enemies and the American Revolution which was the real cause of the downfall of the economy.

I received this free ebook from Edelweiss in return for an honest review.

1 comment:

Hels said...

I was more fascinated by Stefan Zwieg than I was by Marie-Antoinette, but I think you are correct about the lightweightedness of the biography.

Zwieg was well published in the 1920s but it was a time of growing national violence in Europe. And this humanist and pacifist was becoming even more depressed than normal. So he retreated to a safe area of writing that everyone would love - historical biographies eg Queen Marie-Antoinette 1932.