History paints her as a shallow party girl, a spoiled fashionista, a callous ruler. Perhaps no other royal has been so maligned—and so misunderstood—as Marie-Antoinette.
From the moment she was betrothed to the dauphin of France at age fourteen, perfection was demanded of Marie-Antoinette. She tried to please everyone—courtiers, her young husband, the king, the French people—but often fell short of their expectations. Desperate for affection and subjected to constant scrutiny, this spirited young woman can’t help but want to let loose with elaborate parties, scandalous fashions, and unimaginable luxuries. But as Marie-Antoinette’s lifestyle gets ever-more recklessly extravagant, the peasants of France are suffering from increasing poverty—and becoming outraged. They want to make the queen pay.
I have read almost all of Carolyn Meyer’s books and loved every one of them. She writes such great novels about females in history and presents their stories in an intriguing and enjoyable way. The Bad Queen was no exception.
I’ve read quite a bit about Marie-Antoinette, but never a whole novel about her. The Bad Queen spanned over the course of her whole life. From the time she was a young child to her death; in which case her daughter takes up the tale. My heart went out to Marie-Antoinette because she really wasn’t a bad person. Her life was just difficult. She was married off at a young age to a boy who didn’t understand marriage and ruling at all. King Louis XVI was another character in the novel I had never read about. Meyer wrote an intriguing look at the life of one of history’s most famous couples and opened readers eyes to how difficult things were for them, especially in their final days.
Marie-Antoinette was a controversial character. Her excessive spending and arrangement of extravagant balls was obviously not a good choice, but readers can still sympathize with her because she was so oblivious to what was really going on and was dealing with a lot. Carolyn Meyer presented both sides of Marie-Antoinette and I got really attached to her by the end of the story.
The historical facts included in the story were especially interesting.
The Bad Queen was another great novel by Carolyn Meyer. It presented the famous French Queen in a new light and the facts were impressive and thorough. I highly recommend this to historical fiction fans!
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
April 12, 2010/Harcourt Children's Books/420 Pages/Young Adult