BOOK REVIEW: A Day with Marie Antoinette

A Day with Marie Antoinette

 Hélène Delalex

Photography by Francis Hammond
 HC w/slipcase, 224 pp., 170 illus. 5 ½ × 9 in. (14 × 22.5 cm)
ISBN: 978-2-08-020210-9


Marie Antoinette has certainly cast a spell over succeeding generations and having seen a portrait of her by Liotard in the exhibition of his works at the Royal Academy last year I can understand why.  A daughter of the Empress Maria Theresa and the wife of Louis XVI she was a person who in turn received approbation, admiration, disapproval, hatred and eventually public execution.

This elegant book takes us into her world and helps us gain a clearer picture of her and her lifestyle.  She certainly was, like Diana, Princess of Wales, a queen of fashion and as her apartments at Versailles and in the Petit Trianon reveal a woman of great taste. When one considers the formality of court life where etiquette ruled every aspect of daily life from rising in the morning to retiring to bed one can understand her wish to escape to a less rigid life away from the Palace.

The beautiful photographs, extracts from her letters all aid us to get a closer glimpse of this fascinating subject and this book is the next best thing to actually meeting her in person.