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The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie-Antoinette (Young Royals)

por Carolyn Meyer

Séries: Young Royals (6)

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17711118,552 (3.98)4
In eighteenth-century France, Marie-Antoinette rails against the rules of etiquette that govern her life even as she tries to fulfill her greatest obligation, giving birth to the next king, but she finds diversion in spending money on clothing, parties, and gambling despite her family's warnings and the whispers of courtiers.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 11 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I expected to love this book. I liked it well enough but parts irritated me to no end, thus the two stars. I think it can be blamed on the character of Marie. I will give this author another try though, I already picked up one more of her titles. ( )
  Jackie_Sassa | Nov 20, 2015 |
I enjoy reading anything about Marie Antoinette and this one does not disappoint! as this book caters to the younger age crowd, Marie Antoinette’s voice certainly ‘feels’’ younger. The book does a good job covering most of the main moments of her life leading up to her death. The book paints her somewhat in a sympathetic light, although ignorant and oblivious to what really is happening outside of the palace walls. Her large spending sprees and luxuries are a result of her desperate desire to please others, and to be surrounded by her friends (albeit, they all have another agenda). You can’t help but shake your head at these actions, but on the other hand, she was lonely, with no one to really talk to, and being under the constant scrutiny of others, you do sympathize and try to understand what’s she’s feeling. Her admirers and friends don’t help much in that matter either, as they just grab and take what they can. So although she’s done mistakes and she can disliked for her behavior, you can’t help but pity her as well.

The way her story is told is perfect and the writing style is superb. Although it’s a huge thick novel, I found it easy to read, and quick to read through. The setting and descriptions are well done and realistic, so everything is easily pictured. The little rules outlining the beginning of every chapter are cute but it goes to show the lengths to which Marie Antoinette was raised and how she was expected to be at court. It’s rigid and very restrictive, and you can’t blame her for wanting to break rules to suit herself and her comfort - much to the chagrin of others in the French court.

This was a great telling of Marie Antoinette tale for younger readers and I greatly recommend this for those wanting to know more about a misunderstood Queen. Those wanting to read a more adult version of this book, I’d recommend Abundance by Sena Jeter Naslund. It’s a more detailed account of her life, and also very well done. ( )
  sensitivemuse | Jan 12, 2012 |
I learned a lot from this book. About history, about the personal life of Marie-Antoinette, about human nature. There were so many facts, so many interesting ideas and concepts. So many statements that could have been true, so many affairs that might not have been true. Marie-Antoinette and her story are one big puzzle - one that will always be difficult to solve and sort through. (And one that will always be worth it in the end.) No one can know which facts are true and which are not; many have been deemed false. The most famous of Marie-Antoinette’s quotes – “Let them eat cake!” – has been studied by many historians over time and most agree that is was one of the (many) lies told about her.

Marie-Antoinette was raised in Austria until she was fifteen years old, where she grew up the youngest of fifteen children. Most had been married long before, and now was time to watch the last few sisters and brothers leave and marry the man or woman who would best protect the Austrian throne. Antonia, as she was called in Austria, is to be married off to the dauphin of France – the next in line to the French throne. With all the work to do to get Antonia presentable to her future husband, Antonia has no time – nor the desire - to think about what lies ahead.
When she is ready to be married, Marie-Antoinette is sent to France, where she begins her life as the dauphine of France. But what she finds there is not what she was expecting. At first life is rocky - adjusting to the new rules, such as wearing stays and no riding horses, and learning who it “looks good” to talk to and who it doesn’t. Then it is smooth – as soon as she gets a hang of French life, no matter how much she dislikes it, Marie-Antoinette begins to live life like she believed she was entitled to as queen of France. She builds theaters, designs lavish gardens, makes beautiful dresses and order the most expensive of jewels. She commits herself to gambling, wasting her husband’s money away for the sake of a desire that could not be quelled.

This is only the beginning – the beginning of her downfall. While she trying to build herself up, Marie-Antoinette only paves the way for a major failure. After falling in love with Count Axel von Fersen but staying faithful to her husband (or so this book claims), the country begins to decline. The people of France are poor, they have no bread, and they blame it on the gambling, wasteful queen, Marie-Antoinette. The rumor on the streets is that when asked what to do with the poor, starving French men and women at the gates of Verseilles, the bad queen answered, “Let them eat cake!” The people are furious, enraged, and they are going to have vengeance.

The story does not end happily. If you are looking for sappy romance with an ending that makes everyone warm and fuzzy inside, please…do not read this book. However, I highly recommend it. For those of you who like historical novels, this is a treat. And for those of you who dislike historical novels but like romance, adventure, and intrigue, this is a treat. The only thing that I would say against this book is that it is probably not a young man’s first pick…but that’s ok. Not every book is. And this book, while being excellently written and planned out, is not for young readers. Marie-Antoinette’s life is very PG-13…from the things she did to the things that people said she did to the things that happened to her. Not only is this book fairly violent (more than I was expecting, that’s for sure), but it holds some mild sexual comments and issues that should be considered. Marie-Antoinette’s married life and court life mostly revolved around the fact that her husband would not visit her bed, and how she didn’t become pregnant until she’d been married for around seven years. Her husband’s lack of desire and actual fear of “the act” (as it is called) is often discussed; and Marie-Antoinette’s almost-affair with Count Fersen is touched up on a bit. Menstrual cycles and other couples’ happiness in marriage (or unhappiness, for that matter) are alluded to. These topics are crucial to the story and the facts of Marie-Antoinette’s life, and Meyers handles them with great care. However, because they are more mature topics, I think this book is geared toward teens fifteen and older.

If I could sum up this entire book in one word, I’d choose the word chilling. It was excellent, but it made my heart race and goosebumps form on my arms. Especially the end. I couldn’t believe the incredible ability with which Carolyn Meyers relates the last few years of Marie-Antoinette’s life. It was cold, depressing, and full of sorrow. It really happened. The life of this bad queen was not meant to end happy, and the way Carolyn Meyers portrays it is so realistic that I cannot help but believe that this is almost exactly how the queen of France and her family must have felt as she and her husband faced their deaths at the dreaded Madame la Guillotine. ( )
1 vote yearningtoread | Nov 24, 2011 |
Carolyn Meyer's historical novel The Bad Queen, is a story about how Marie Antonia became Marie-Antoinette, queen of France. The point of the book was to show possible instructios she must follow to be queen. Before she becomes so, she must be a full woman, able to bear children. Most of her feelings recorded int he book were most likely assumed by the author. After becoming queen, many of her decisions of how she spends her allowance cause problems and become major factors to the downfall of the French court. the money started to go to her and her needs and not to the people of France. Overall, this book was a very interesting read. If you like historical non-fiction, I would recommend you read this book. ( )
  ahsreads | Feb 18, 2011 |
Marie Antoinette has never been my favorite queen in history - mostly because I'm not a fan of French history in general. I picked up this book because the cover & title were intriguing, and I liked the way each chapter was titled by a rule. The story itself has tons of details regarding court life at Versailles, and has a feel of authenticity to it that is sometimes lacking in historical fiction. The read was easy, though by the end it was a bit more difficult to read - just knowing how it was ...more Marie Antoinette has never been my favorite queen in history - mostly because I'm not a fan of French history in general. I picked up this book because the cover & title were intriguing, and I liked the way each chapter was titled by a rule. The story itself has tons of details regarding court life at Versailles, and has a feel of authenticity to it that is sometimes lacking in historical fiction. The read was easy, though by the end it was a bit more difficult to read - just knowing how it was going to end, you know? The story is told from Marie Antoinette's perspective, but switches over to her daughter, Marie Therese's voice right when things get bad. It's an interesting method, and it worked very well. ( )
  RivkaBelle | Aug 3, 2010 |
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In eighteenth-century France, Marie-Antoinette rails against the rules of etiquette that govern her life even as she tries to fulfill her greatest obligation, giving birth to the next king, but she finds diversion in spending money on clothing, parties, and gambling despite her family's warnings and the whispers of courtiers.

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