Week 6. Marie Antoinette. Best Books about the French Queen.


Marie Antoinette's life was so extravagant and tragic that her story inevitably attracts and inspires creative minds to this day. Today I am featuring some of the best books that gives us an intimate and fascinating portrait of the famous French Queen. Later I will share with you the most memorable representations of Marie Antoinette in art and popular culture.

I LOVE reading historical fiction, but to my own surprise, I have yet to read anything about Marie Antoinette, except for bits and pieces from French history books and encyclopaedias.  I asked a few friends (and GoodReads!) to help me to create a list of the most interesting fiction and non-fiction publications about Marie Antoinette.

Click the cover to read more about the book or to buy it.


Top 5 books about Marie Antoinette

1. One of the most well-known and appraised biographies of Marie Antoinette is Antonia' Fraser's Marie Antoinette: The Journey. This is the number one book recommended by users on Goodreads and Amazon about the Queen of France, and I am certainly going to read it as soon as I can! ( I just need to finish the Outlander books first :))

"Antonia Fraser’s lavish and engaging portrait of Marie Antoinette, one of the most recognizable women in European history, excites compassion and regard for all aspects of her subject, immersing the reader not only in the coming-of-age of a graceful woman, but also in the unraveling of an era".



2.  Despite some historical inaccuracies, Juliet Grey's Marie Antoinette trilogy is an enjoyable read and full of fun details.

"This enthralling confection of a novel, the first in a new trilogy, follows the transformation of a coddled Austrian archduchess into the reckless, powerful, beautiful queen Marie Antoinette".



3. Abundance by Sena Jeter Naslund  is another highly rated novel that gives us an unexpected fresh new look at Marie Antoinette as a vulnerable young woman and a human with a very extraordinary destiny.

"Like everyone, I am born naked."
With this opening line of Naslund's compelling new novel, a very human Marie Antoinette invites readers to live her story as she herself experiences it. 





4. A Day with Marie Antoinette by Hélène Delalex is one of the prettiest books I have ever seen! I noticed it at the Rizolli bookstore in NYC, and could not put it down! It is not a novel and neither is it a dry biography. Rather it is a lovingly designed book full of rare illustrations, interesting facts and photographs from Versailles and Marie Antoinette’s life.

"Featuring personal correspondence, lavish illustrations, and a wealth of unpublished material, this handsome slipcased volume reveals an intimate portrait of Marie Antoinette, her personal collections, and Versailles".


5. Even one of the most famous writers in history, Stefan Zweig, also couldn't stay indifferent to the story of the ill-fated Queen. He wrote one of the most detailed biographies of Marie Antoinette - Marie Antoinette: The Portrait of an Average Woman. 


“... the biography to end all biographies on Marie Antoinette ... [Zweig's book] possesses all the qualities of the excellent biography — directness, frankness, full exposition, picturesqueness, characterization, color and delectable readableness.” — The New York Times


Have you read any of these books? Can you recommend other fascinating reads about M. Antoinette? Let me know in the comments below or on our FACEBOOK page (LIKE please!)