Marie-Antoinette was the Queen of France from 1774 to 1791 and the wife of the ruler of the country during the French Revolution. As a queen who did everything she could to stay out of politics, preferring instead to entertain friends at Versailles, she was not a particularly popular ruler, and her image took a hit with the Affair of the Diamond Necklace. After the revolutionary days of October 1789, the royal family attempted to flee to Varennes, but they were captured and taken back to Paris, where Marie-Antoinette was eventually executed. In just 50 minutes, you will find out how her actions shaped events in her country for decades to come and understand her contribution to the outbreak of the French Revolution.
This straightforward and informative book provides a thorough discussion of the key moments in Marie-Antoinette’s rocky reign as queen, including her flight from Paris and the Trial of the Widow Capet. It also features a full biography, a valuable introduction to the political and social context and an evaluation of the impact of Marie-Antoinette’s rule, giving you all the essential information about the last Queen of France.
Marie-Antoinette was the second youngest child of Francis III of Lorraine, who became Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. She was not a queen who enjoyed her position: she felt ill at ease in the political maneuvering of the court at Versailles and tried to spend as much time away from court as possible. She cared little about her political image, which worked against her favor, particularly after the Affair of the Diamond Necklace, when she was made the scapegoat of a clever scheme. This played a large part in her declining popularity, with many continuing to believe that she was involved even after her name was cleared.
This clear and accessible 45-page book is structured as follows:
- Introduction to Marie-Antoinette
- The life of Marie-Antoinette
- A young archduchess in Vienna (1755-1770)
- A dauphine at Versailles (1770-1774)
- A queen of France (1774-1789)
- A woman in trouble (1789-1793)
- France and Austria in the second half of the 18th century
- The court
- Significant moments of Marie Antoinette’s reign
- The Affair of the Diamond Necklace
- The Flight to Varennes
- The trial of the Widow Capet
- Impact of Marie Antoinette’s reign
- Marie-Antoinette’s descendants
- A break between the monarchy and the French people
- Myth and controversy
50MINUTES.COM – History