The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie Antoinette by Carolyn Meyer

June 5, 2011
By JustJazzy GOLD, Columbia, Kentucky
JustJazzy GOLD, Columbia, Kentucky
10 articles 20 photos 4 comments

Throughout history Marie Antoinette has been seen as a pompous and heartless ruler, a queen who cared more about parties and having the latest fashion than the welfare of her people. In this intriguing novel we see just how little we know about who the "bad" queen really was.

The story is told through a series of journal entries, starting when she was twelve years old and ending at her death (at which point her daughter starts writing in the journal to finish the story). Marie spent her entire life trying to please her mother, who often pointed out her flaws and constantly emphasized the importance of perfection.

Marie Antoinette was forced to marry the Dauphin of France, who knew little about ruling a country and even less about marriage. Marie was stuck being a outcast in a country that didn't want her, with a husband who didn't love her. She gained countless enemies just by being Austrian. They spread nasty rumors about her and prayed that she would fail.

The only thing that gave Marie solace was fashion and extravagant parties. She started spending more and more money on lavish gowns, balls and redecorating. Marie Antoinette was caught up in her own little world, completely oblivious to what was going on outside her palace walls. As rumors began to spin out of control and life for the poor became worse, the people of France grew to hate the King and Queen. The people were completely savage.They started riots, murdered innocents and demanded the execution of their royal family. The people got their wish and the royal family was imprisoned, put to trial and killed. The only one to survive was their daughter.

This book was amazing. It was shocking and heartbreaking and I loved every second of it. I felt sorry for Marie Antoinette. She spent her entire life trying to achieve perfection, which proved to be impossible. The girl that the world saw as callous and egotistical was actually just lost and lonely, using material things to fill the void in her life. One thing that I really loved about Marie Antoinette was that she was always faithful to her husband, she stayed by his side through every bad decision he made and she refused to betray him even when she fell in love with another man.

Marie Antoinette is one of the most misunderstood people of all time. She is still known today as one of the most hated women in French history, but after reading this book I think most people would agree that Marie wasn't as wicked or heartless as we had once thought.

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