Stefan Zweig based his biography of Marie Antoinette, who became the Queen of France when still a teenager, on her correspondence with both her mother and her great love the Count Axel von Fersen. Zweig analyses the chemistry of a woman's soul, from her intimate pleasures to her public suffering as a Queen under the weight of misfortune and history. Zweig describes Marie Antoinette in the king's bedroom, in the enchanted and extravagant world of the Trianon and with her children. He also gives an account of the Revolution, the Queen's resolve during the failed escape to Varennes, her imprisonment in the Conciergerie and her tragic end under the guillotine. This has been the definitive biography of Marie Antoinette since its publication, inspiring later biographers, including Antonia Fraser, and the recent film adaptation.
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