Becoming Marie Antoinette
By Juliet Grey
(Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345523860, 480pp.)
Publication Date: August 9, 2011
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.
This enthralling confection of a novel, the first in a new trilogy, follows the transformation of a coddled Austrian archduchess into the reckless, powerful, beautiful queen Marie Antoinette.
Why must it be me? I wondered. When I am so clearly inadequate to my destiny?
Raised alongside her numerous brothers and sisters by the formidable empress of Austria, ten-year-old Maria Antonia knew that her idyllic existence would one day be sacrificed to her mother’s political ambitions. What she never anticipated was that the day in question would come so soon.
Before she can journey from sunlit picnics with her sisters in Vienna to the glitter, glamour, and gossip of Versailles, Antonia must change everything about herself in order to be accepted as dauphine of France and the wife of the awkward teenage boy who will one day be Louis XVI. Yet nothing can prepare her for the ingenuity and influence it will take to become queen.
Filled with smart history, treacherous rivalries, lavish clothes, and sparkling jewels, Becoming Marie Antoinette will utterly captivate fiction and history lovers alike.
Look for special features inside.
Join the Circle for author chats and more.
JULIET GREY has extensively researched European royal history and is a particular devotee of Marie Antoinette. She and her husband divide their time between New York City and southern Vermont.
“A thoroughly enjoyable novel, brimming with delightful details. Grey writes eloquently and with charming humor, bringing ‘Toinette’ vividly to life as she is schooled and groomed—molded, quite literally—for a future as Queen of France, an innocent pawn in a deadly political game.”
—SANDRA GULLAND, bestselling author of Mistress of the Sun and the Josephine Bonaparte trilogy
"In her richly imagined novel, Juliet Grey meticulously recreates the sumptuous court of France's most tragic queen. Beautifully written, with attention paid to even the smallest detail, Becoming Marie Antoinette will leave readers wanting more!"
—MICHELLE MORAN, bestselling author of Madame Tussaud
“A lively and sensitive portrait of a young princess in a hostile court, and one of the most sympathetic portrayals of the doomed queen.”
—LAUREN WILLIG, bestselling author of the Pink Carnation series
“Wonderfully delectable and lusciously rich, an elegant novel to truly savor. Juliet Grey’s Marie Antoinette is completely absorbing.”
—DIANE HAEGER, author of The Queen’s Rival
"[A] sympathetic take on the fascinating and doomed Marie Antoinette."--Publishers Weekly
"An extremely compelling read. The author blends very intricately detailed research with a narrative that is stunning in its poignancy."--The Elliott Review
"Readers will see Marie Antoinette in a whole new light...A sympathetic and engaging read that presents the French queen in a manner seldom found in other novels...Anyone interested in French history will savor every page of this novel."--BookLoons
"Juliet Grey’s writing is exquisitely detailed and I enjoyed her lush descriptions of the clothing and decor of the time period. Grey possesses the rare ability to transform readers to a past only accessible by imagination. Becoming Marie Antoinette is sure to appeal to lovers of quality historical fiction as well as those who are simply fascinated by Marie Antoinette."--The Well Read Wife
"Fans of historical fiction will eat this one up. It's engaging, smart and authentic. Grey has done her homework." --January Magazine
"A lusciously detailed novel of Marie Antoinette's rise to power and the decadent, extravagant lifestyles of 18th-century Versailles." --Shelf Awareness
"This is historical fiction at its finest." --A Library of My Own
"A fascinating ride and I'm looking forward to the next book." --Endless Reading
"Well-researched and lovingly written with sparkling details--this new trilogy is not one to be missed by any lover of historical fiction or Marie Antoinette centered works. This book leaves you wanting more." --Stiletto Storyline
"Becoming Marie Antoinette is a well researched and interesting novel. For me, it's a fine example of what good historical fiction should be--it sticks to the facts and just uses the fiction genre to fill in emotions and conversations." --Tiny Library
"The descriptions of the gowns, jewels, food - everything is so vividly described that you feel as though you are right there experiencing it all. This novel is very well written and it captivates you from the very beginning." --Peeking Between the Pages
"It is a captivating and well thought out book, and one that raises this woman of history to the point of a living person, which the reader finds easy to identify with, and relate to." --The Book Worm's Library
"C'est magnifique! A very entertaining read, one that I was hard pressed to put down and am waiting (ever so impatiently) for book two in the trilogy." --Passages to the Past
"There's a staggering amount of research in this novel -- and it shows. . .I was mesmerised. --Unabridged Chick
"A great read that is sure to be requested lovers of historical fiction, especially those who enjoyed Michelle Moran's Madame Tussaud and other novels about the French Revolution." --Library Journal
"Grey is a passionately descriptive writer. Passages easily paint the picture of the times and evoke a sense of history and the flourishing period intrigue, along with startling refreshing moments that display the internal conflict a young girl would have on becoming this future Queen." --Coffee and a Book Chick
"Full of some interesting characters you don’t want to let go of even at the end." --BookReporter
"I am anxiously awaiting the rest of this series to come out. With the ease of Juliet Grey's writing and aptitude for characterization, it surely will be a standout in the historical fiction genre." --The Broke and the Bookish
"The description of the two courts, the complicated social etiquette, the people and the dresses (I'm never complaining about spanx again) are completely enthralling. Although this is written as a work of fiction, every person and event was researched and so the two blend seamlessly." --Ex Libris
"I would highly recommend Becoming Marie Antoinette to fans of historical fiction or to someone who would enjoy learning about the life of Marie Antoinette. I myself cannot wait to continue her life story with the next book in the series!" --Stephanie's Written Word
"Narrated in first person through Marie Antoinette's voice, this is a captivating story and one I can easily recommend." --Two Kids and Tired Books
"Grey seems to have really done her homework with Becoming Marie Antoinette, and presents to her readers an engaging and historically faithful novel." --Devourer of Books
"Becoming Marie Antoinette offers readers an enthralling window into the gilded splendor and treacherous intrigue of one of the most fascinating times in history and a unique portrait of a woman who has captivated millions." --The Manchester Journal
"Becoming Marie Antoinette is an accurate and vivid portrayal of the training and preparation it took to become one of Europe’s most famous queens. In the novel, Grey seamlessly incorporates the convoluted politics and rules of the period with romantic touches such as court attire and liaisons." --Romance Junkies
"I loved the way the story flowed, there was not one moment of boredom or scenes I thought I could have done without. It was very enjoyable." --Rikki's Teleidoscope
"This was a fabulous historical fiction novel and I can’t wait to read the next two. In fact I would say this novel was by far the best I have read that tackles such an interesting and misunderstood queen. Grey weaves fun scandals into the history we all know." --Mostly Books' Blog
"I enjoyed Grey's writing, the vivid and colourful descriptions of clothing, cuisine, decor, french etiquette, the Versailles glide, the coiffures, the myriad of differences between the Hapsburg and the French court; I loved it all." --The Eclectic Reader
"I thoroughly enjoyed this lively, well-written promenade through pre-Revolution France, and I am looking forward to the next two books to complete the trilogy. It’s history with a spoonful of sugar - and that’s never a bad thing." --The Decatur Daily
"Juliet Grey did a fascinating job on the creation of this story. Maria Antonia, Austrian princess. What an amazing person. I absolutely loved each detail the Grey put into her. I could feel her emotions, and her struggles as she grew from Maria Antonia to Marie Antoinette, Queen of France." --Reviews by Molly
"I thought this was a truly engaging novel with fantastic historical details, well-fleshed-out characters, depth and emotion. I can't wait for the second and third books, and even though I know how it will end....I keep hoping it won't." --The Loud Librarian
"Very well written, with fantastic descriptions of life in Vienna and Versailles. Grey has done quite a bit of research, as she explains in her author’s note, and almost everything she uses is true to history. She does an excellent job of matching the personalities of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI." --Medieval Bookworm
"I enjoyed the author's writing style and how she blended fact and fiction. She also did an incredible job of describing details and bringing the time period to life. I found myself caught up in the beauty and colors of the fabrics and fashion of the day, as well as the descriptions of the court and its pomp and circumstance." --Booking Mama
"The strength of this novel is the strong personal voice of the main character, Marie Antoinette and seeing her life through her eyes. For the reader, you feel that you are actually on a journey with this queen-to-be." --Bestsellersworld.com
"Full of sumptuous and well-researched details." --Philadelphia Examiner, five starred review
"I enjoyed getting to know more of this historical figure and the goings-on at Versailles." --Between the Pages
"Meticulously researched, Marie Antoinette comes to life in this first in a trilogy about her life. The reader will never look at the French Revolution in the same way again." --That's What She Read
"Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey is one of the best historical novels I've read, bringing a new look at one of history's most known and maligned women. This is the first of a trilogy, promising to become a must read series." --Joplin Loves 2 Read
"A very entertaining and rich read, filled to the brim with historical detail. Recommended to readers of historical fiction of all stripes." --Raging Bibliomania
"Grey’s novel has a little bit of everything: the glitz and glamour of the French court, young love, and international politics. The most enjoyable aspect of the book is seeing Marie find her own way and becoming her own person." --Historical Novels Review
"Juliet Grey has written a great historical novel, and managed to bring Marie Antoinette to life. Through extensive research and details she shows us how Marie Antoinette transforms from a young and innocent girl, and to the woman that married the dauphine of France. We learn a lot about the history of Austria and that of France."
--The Norwegian Book Girl
"Becoming Marie Antoinette will please fans of historical fiction as it is smart, yet extremely engaging." --Confessions of a Book Addict
"A very well-written, thoroughly researched, fantastically told story of the early years of Marie Antoinette." --Quirky Girls Read
"I really liked the pace of the novel and the depth. You are able to learn a lot about Marie and Louis. While it is a work of fiction, Grey has done a lot of research on her subject and it shines through." --Kristen's Book Nook
"Grey's mix of relatable characters, vivid scenes, and a rich evocation of two courts make this a wonderful first book in a planned trilogy." --Library Journal
"Congratulations, Ms. Grey, on your fine fictional account of this very real, audacious world and the transformation of a naive, unsure girl into a formidable worldly leader! Superbly done!" --Crystal Book Reviews
"Writing a refreshing and completely engaging novel on Marie Antoinette is a challenge in itself. Juliet Grey has risen to the occasion. Outstanding!" --Enchanted by Josephine
"A richly detailed story." --Portland Book Review