Close Notification

Your cart does not contain any items

Marie Antoinette

The Making of a French Queen

John Hardman



In stock
Ready to ship


Yale University
01 November 2019
A new look which fundamentally overturns our understanding of this famously out of touch queen Who was the real Marie-Antoinette? She was mistrusted and reviled in her own time, and today she is portrayed as a lightweight incapable of understanding the events that engulfed her. In this new account, John Hardman redresses the balance and sheds fresh light on Marie-Antoinette's story.

Hardman shows how Marie-Antoinette played a significant but misunderstood role in the crisis of the monarchy. Drawing on new sources, he describes how, from the outset, Marie-Antoinette refused to prioritize the aggressive foreign policy of her mother, Maria-Theresa, bravely took over the helm from Louis XVI after the collapse of his morale, and, when revolution broke out, listened to the Third Estate and worked closely with repentant radicals to give the constitutional monarchy a fighting chance. For the first time, Hardman demonstrates exactly what influence Marie-Antoinette had and when and how she exerted it.

By:   John Hardman
Imprint:   Yale University
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 238mm,  Width: 163mm,  Spine: 38mm
Weight:   836g
ISBN:   9780300243086
ISBN 10:   0300243081
Pages:   376
Publication Date:   01 November 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

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.

Reviews for Marie Antoinette: The Making of a French Queen

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

See Also