Title: The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie-Antoinette
Author: Carolyn Meyer
Type: Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction
Tea: Scarlet Cloud, an elegant and sophisticated tea.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
The second I saw this book on the shelf at the library I knew I had to read it. I've always had a connection with Marie-Antoinette and her story. I read plenty of historical fiction and non-fiction, but nothing quite gets to me like Marie-Antoinette. I couldn't wait to read The Bad Queen and I'm so glad I did.
Ms. Meyer painted the portrait of Marie-Antoinette beautifully. As I've already learned a lot about her and read many books about her nothing surprised me as far as facts go while reading this. But Ms. Meyer's way of telling the story is great, especially for younger readers that are just learning about Antoinette. Just like with Mary, Bloody Mary it is straightforward and the reader isn't confused as to who the characters are or what's going on. I also enjoyed seeing the writing mature as Antoinette did, as well as clearly being able to tell when Marie-Therese was writing. Ms. Meyer stands out as being able to have a unique voice for each character.
Antoinette is a horribly misunderstood queen. Yes, she was extravagant, but no one taught her any different. She came from simpler ways in Austria, but had the glamor of the French court forced upon her. She watched Louis the XV lavish his mistress, Du Barry, with jewels and a pleasure house. She became queen at a young age and wasn't taught what was expected of her and how she should rule. Why shouldn't she have lavish things if that was what was expected of her and if that was the norm?
France had it out for her from the beginning, calling her the Austrian bitch. The common people may have loved her, but when they started having their own problems used her as a scapegoat. It was just an unfortunate circumstance: a young queen and king that have no idea what they're doing combined with a revolution. Louis was often the reason for the issues Antoinette had, albeit not on purpose. He wouldn't consummate their marriage, therefore not giving her children and creating new rulers for France. He ignored the advice he was given on how to help France and how to protect his family. He was made a king without even knowing how to rule. It would be like a 16 year old being made President, everything would fall apart.
Thank you Ms. Meyer for showing the truth about Marie-Antoinette and I only hope that people won't see her as a bad queen, but just a lonely girl that did she felt she had to do. And she also did what any other girl would to make themselves happy. She felt alone in a country that hated her and plotted against her, I can't imagine how that felt.
Please read this book, you won't be disappointed.