Will Bashor puts Marie Antoinette’s tumultuous life under the microscope in his historical analysis, Marie Antoinette’s World. Marie Antoinette has long been shrouded in secrecy and scandal, from her marriage to indecisive Louis XVI to her gruesome demise. But the French court was a hotbed of debauchery, excess, and greed long before her coronation. Bashor traces over a century and a half of scurrilous royal affairs, particularly those involving—or allegedly involving—France’s most infamous queen.... Bashor’s thorough discussions reveal that Marie Antoinette was neither an angel nor a demon, but rather a complex, flawed human being. Marie Antoinette’s World is a frank portrait of the queen and the many scandals that plagued her reign and legacy.
[Bashor] delivers his most detailed vision of the doomed queen yet . . . Overall, it’s a glorious and realistic representation of Versailles that history buffs will enjoy. A full, realistic, and completely engrossing view of Marie Antoinette’s life and times.
Will Bashor dares debunk all the romantic views of the queen, thanks to his scholarly knowledge and research . . . an excellent historical study of Marie Antoinette’s real world, not the one defended by the romantic and idealistic views that are unfortunately too often presented by English speaking authors focusing on French topics.”
Bashor goes far back into Marie Antoinette’s own family and that of her future husband, Louis XVI. It’s a well-structured book, organised chronologically, starting with the reign of Louis XIII, when the small village of Versailles became tied into the world of the French monarchs, growing from an ancient windmill into a vast palace ands seat of power. I found the evolution of the place that is Versailles possibly more intriguing than the lives of those who lived there. Bashor’s observation that the Versailles visited by tourists in more recent years . . . is something of a fantasy; read Chapter 13 to realise the pungent reality of life at this court, with chamber pots being emptied out of windows, and nobles relieving themselves in corridors.”
7/24/20: Book blog “History from a Woman’s Perspective” featured the book.