This is one of a series of historical biographies produced by Usborne for relatively young children. It’s in the form of a simple story which takes Marie Antoinette from her childhood in Austria to her death on the guillotine, and is accompanied by miniature, delicate and bright illustrations, in which pale faced aristocrats live in dolls’ house luxury. Within the obvious restriction of writing for this age, Daynes and Mistry tell the story well, with lots of personal detail, and gently show the joys and miseries of a sequestered life shaped by the benefits and obligations of absolute power. Yet the very emphasis on the life of the Queen of France skews the readers’ viewpoint of the French Revolution, a bias which is emphasised by the appearance of the French people in the story only as a mob, or a crowd, and illustrations which only show their faces distorted by rage and hate. A series like this, which includes other famous lives like Napoleon, Nelson and Cleopatra, aims at interesting young readers in history through personal stories but carries the obvious danger that, even long after their death, it is the lives and opinions of the rich and powerful that are seen to be valued.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Richard Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Richard Hill2005-11-01 15:20:482023-04-20 15:23:21Marie Antoinette
Illustrator: Nilesh Mistry