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Extended Audio Sample Marie Antoinette: The Journey Audiobook, by Antonia Fraser Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.96153846153846 out of 53.96153846153846 out of 53.96153846153846 out of 53.96153846153846 out of 53.96153846153846 out of 5 3.96 (26 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Antonia Fraser Narrator: Donada Peters, Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2006 ISBN: 9780739340073
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France’s beleaguered queen, Marie Antoinette, wrongly accused of uttering the infamous “Let them eat cake,” was the subject of ridicule and curiosity even before her death; she has since been the object of debate and speculation and the fascination so often accorded tragic figures in history. Married in mere girlhood, this essentially lighthearted, privileged, but otherwise unremarkable child was thrust into an unparalleled time and place, and was commanded by circumstance to play a significant role in history. 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Colorful, fluently narrated. . . . A touching, psychologically believable portrait. The Wall Street Journal
  • “Remarkable…Amply researched…Convincing. [Fraser displays] greater psychological acumen than any of numerous earlier biographers.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • Fascinating . . . the court at Versailles comes alive. The Washington Post
  • Absorbing as ever. Fraser’s blend of insight and research persuade us that this unfortunate queen deserves neither the vilification nor the idealization she has received. The New Yorker
  • “In the hands of a vivid writer with a flair for fascinating detail, Versailles comes alive.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Colorful, fluently narrated…A touching, psychologically believable portrait.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Fraser’s research and skill…provide us with surprising, suggestive details about each phase of her subject’s life, making for pleasure and a sense of discovery.”

    Newsday

  • “Vivid…Fraser is at the top of her game…[She] tells the story with psychological perception and brio…Marie Antoinette finally receives a form of justice in this elegantly wrought book.”

    Miami Herald

  • “Fraser’s finest biography—the only one to offer a thoroughly nuanced portrait of the French queen…Of all the studies ever written about Marie Antoinette, this is the one that actually succeeds in reaching across time to lay bare her heart and mind. It is a remarkable feat.”

    Vogue

  • “Fraser proves to be a remarkable entertainer who sustains our interest with narrative gusto, empathy for her subject, and delicious suspense.”

    Biography Magazine

  • “Well researched and emotively narrated.”

    Economist

  • “Fraser paints a more sympathetic portrait than some and more even-handed than others. She manages to balance Marie’s life and the times…Well-written and scrupulously researched.”

    Romantic Times

  • “Fascinating…Filled with thorough research, fast-paced writing and loving attention to detail.”

    Globe and Mail (Toronto)

  • “Absorbing as ever, Fraser’s blend of insight and research persuades us that this unfortunate queen deserves neither the vilification nor the idealization she has received.”

    New Yorker

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books, 2001 for Nonfiction
  • A 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Biography

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephanie Riley | 12/30/2016

    " Fantastic book by a fantastic author. I actually own this book in hard back and paper physical copies but I love listening to it while I bake and clean. I'm also very pleased with the reader. She's very fluent and has a pleasant voice "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dianne | 2/15/2014

    " i don't know why I thought this would be interesting, i read the first chapter and it is literally a list of relatives. dull. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather chavez | 2/13/2014

    " love love love this book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dawn | 2/8/2014

    " This was a fabulous read. It presented Marie Antoinette's story vividly and objectively. It was not light summer reading, however. At times it reminded me of a textbook in a graduate course. That said, for anyone truly interested in her life leading up to her royal marriage and beyond, this is the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cynthia Carssow | 2/6/2014

    " The one per cent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel0925 | 2/5/2014

    " I love anything Marie Antoinette and also this time period, so this was a really fascinating read for me. Really long though, so it took awhile for me to finally finish it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna | 2/2/2014

    " Great attention to detail. Written very much as Fraser's interpretation of Marie Antoinette's point of view so less about French politics and people. Made me hungry to learn more about French History. She portrays Marie Antoinette as much less of an influence on French politics as other books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 1/24/2014

    " It's a good read if you are interested in biographies about past European monarchs. It can be a little too detailed at times, but the overall story of her life is pretty interesting. It's taking me a while to get through it (not a page turner), but I'm determined. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy Radovich | 1/19/2014

    " I went into this book expecting not to like it. I cried for her at the end. Very well rounded account of the queen's life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 1/19/2014

    " Slow reading so far. It has alot of historical detail and doesn't read like a story. It's interesting though and getting more of a flow. It got much better as I got into it. Really interesting history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebek | 1/5/2014

    " Bought in anticipation of the Coppola movie. Loved the movie, loved the book. It's historical writing but completely read-able (if that's even a word). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pilar Rivett | 1/1/2014

    " Fraser is able to bring out the tragic element in MA's character. The reversal of fortune is very well documented and the reader nearly feels empathy with the character. Not a light read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheri | 11/29/2013

    " A compelling and human look at Marie Antoinette's life. It was a page-turner for me up until about the last 50 pages or so and then I started to get anxious for my next read. It's well worth the time invested. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin | 11/17/2013

    " I have always had a fascination with Marie Antoinette. This book was excellent. Not a novel of course, more textbook, laying the facts/story out there pretty plainly. I learned a lot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn Davis | 10/14/2013

    " Antonia Fraser's biography one of the best accounts of Marie Antoinette's life that I've read. Fraser does a good job dispelling all the rumors that surrounded Antoinette's life. It was a very balance account of all her flaws and all of positives of Marie Antoinette did in her life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lor P | 7/27/2013

    " Ahhhhhmazing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 11/17/2012

    " I love European history and have loved reading about Marie Antoinette since junior high, but I didn't like this book as much as I expected. Lots of detail, very dense, but I found Fraser a bit repetitive in driving home her theme. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 2/26/2012

    " I loved this book. The details about Marie Antoinette's life were fascinating and Antonia Fraser's writing was great. All the small details and interesting facts really made this time period in French history come alive. The amount of research and knowledge the author has is obvious. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie | 11/1/2011

    " Excellent and well-researched biography of Marie Antoinette. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 7/21/2011

    " Very slow to start and very difficult reading. I love history and historical books, but this was a very difficult book to finish. I would only recommend it to serious history fans and/or Marie Antoinette admirers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 6/27/2011

    " Full of information about the life of Marie Antoinette. Sometimes sad, sometimes surprising, I found this book hard to put down! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Renee | 6/27/2011

    " A sympathetic biography detailing the life of Marie Antoinette. Very informative and also heartbreaking. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Edward | 6/9/2011

    " A real page-turner. I couldn't put it down. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jen | 5/12/2011

    " I have not read a more boring book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 5/10/2011

    " Highly readable biography of a fascinating woman born to luxury who died an ignominious death with dignity. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenny | 3/26/2011

    " I really liked this history of Marie Antoinette. This should be required reading for anyone planning to visit the palace of Versailles. For a biography, it was very easy and enjoyable reading. "

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About the Author
Author Antonia Fraser

Antonia Fraser is the author of Mary Queen of Scots, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, and Faith and Treason, among other novels. She is also famous for her Jemima Shore series of mysteries. She and her husband, Harold Pinter, live in London.

About the Narrator

Wanda McCaddon (a.k.a. Nadia May or Donada Peters) has narrated well over six hundred titles for major audiobook publishers, has earned numerous Earphones Awards, and was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine.