Caroline Weber's book is a delightful, yet sad look at the life of Marie Antoinette. Ms. Weber is a terrific writer, turning facts into the most interesting look into the live of an 18th century fashionista. I was particularly interested in reading about Marie A. because I had just finished the book on Catherine the Great of Russia. Like Catherine, Marie was shipped of from her native Austria (daughter of the powerful personality Marie Theresa) to marry an immature young prince. Unfortunately for both princesses, their husbands proved inadequate in every way leaving these teenagers lonely and unprepared to navigate the dangerous royal court filled with intrigue and danger. How they handled this challenge led to the glory and power on one, Catherine and the degradation and pitiful end of the other, Marie.
Unlike Catherine who turned to intellectual pursuits and assimilation into Russian life, Marie remained aloof from the French culture and surround herself with pleasure loving friends. All her energy was spent on clothes, pleasure and good times with her fickle friends. This book is a fascinating look into how to dance one's way to the guillotine and the saddest of all endings. I highly recommend it; it would make a good choice for a reading-group discussion.