John Hardman is one of the world's leading experts on the French Revolution and the author of several well-regarded books on the subject. He was formerly lecturer in modern history at the University of Edinburgh.
Splendid . . . masterly . . . a wonderfully gripping biography. -Allan Massie, Wall Street Journal [A] splendid biography [. . .] It sheds genuine new light on a celebrated and tragic figure whose faults did not merit the appalling fate she suffered -Munro Price, Literary Review The impressive depth of Hardman's knowledge of the old regime's factional court politics makes it essential reading for anyone who wants to know more about the decision-making that led France into revolution - decisions in which the queen played an active part -Marisa Linton, BBC History Magazine In his new biography of the queen, John Hardman goes beyond the cliches of Marie- Antoinette's life - the enormous wigs, her extravagant spending and 'let them eat cake' - to reveal her as a political mover and shaker with real influence, particularly during the last months of the French monarchy -Laura O'Brien, History Today [I]t is worth making time for John Hardman's Marie-Antoinette...[This] is a well written and sympathetic life of a woman out of her depth in the world of politics, and a good companion piece to the same author's life of her husband Louis XVI. -Jonathan Sumption, Spectator [Books of the Year] Hardman is far more than a biographer, his works are key to understanding the politics of the reign of Louis XVI. Steeped in the original sources and well able to decode the plots and schemes of the factions, this is both an entertaining and convincing new interpretation of the tragic Queen -Peter Campbell, author of Power and Politics in Old Regime France Superb. Hardman draws upon his vast knowledge of the period to present a new, deeply researched and compelling portrait of a much-maligned queen'-Julian Swann, author of Exile, Imprisonment, or Death Gripping and beautifully-written. Hardman centres on the queen's political role, long a subject of myth and controversy. He cuts through both with forensic skill, and reveals a much more intelligent and impressive figure than the frivolous spendthrift of legend. -Munro Price, author of The Fall of the French Monarchy A fresh perspective grounded in robust scholarship, Marie-Antoinette offers readers new insight into the political role of the last Queen of France. -Will Bashor, author of Marie Antoinette's Darkest Days