In this sparkling new vision of the notorious French queen, dynamic young historian Caroline Weber offers a moving reinterpretation of one of history's most controversial figures. Marie Antoinette has always been recognised as a style icon, but none of her biographers has paid sustained attention to her clothes. Drawing on new research to ...
In this sparkling new vision of the notorious French queen, dynamic young historian Caroline Weber offers a moving reinterpretation of one of history's most controversial figures. Marie Antoinette has always been recognised as a style icon, but none of her biographers has paid sustained attention to her clothes. Drawing on new research to illuminate each phase of the queen's tumultuous life, Weber surveys the 'Revolution in Dress' undertaken by a fourteen-year-old girl accustomed to Austria's more relaxed style, who rebelled against the organ-crushing whalebone corsets and vast hoop skirts of Versailles. She used striking, often extreme costumes to boost her public profile, particularly her trademark pouf hairstyles recreating scenes from military victories. Over time, she began to alienate her subjects with her love of excess, and there was much concern at court when she donned 'unqueenly' attire - the saucy chemise she adopted as the unofficial uniform of her country retreat. The strategy devised to secure her triumphs would ultimately be the cause of her undoing. She approached the guillotine in a plain utilitarian dress, her hair brutally shorn. This stylish, witty and original biography received rapturous reviews on publication in hardback and is now available in B-format paperback. Caroline Weber is a professor at Columbia University, where she specialises in 18th-century French literature and history.
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