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Marie Antoinette: The Portrait of an Average Woman by Stefan Zweig (translated from the German by Eden and Cedar Paul, with a chronology of Stefan Zweig's life and a bibliography of works by and about Stefan Zweig in English by Randolph Klawiter; 186,000 words, 14 illustrations)

Originally published in 1932 and for decades since one of Stefan Zweig’s most popular biographies, this “portrait of an average woman,” betrothed at fourteen, crowned queen at nineteen, and beheaded at thirty-seven, aimed “not to deify, but to humanize.” Supplementing library and archival research with psychological insight, Marie Antoinette: The Portrait of an Average Woman is a vivid narrative of France’s most famous queen, her relations with her mother Empress Maria Theresa, her husband Louis XVI, and her lover Swedish Count von Fersen, set against the backdrop of the French and Austrian courts of the ancien régime, the French Revolution and the Terror.


“... the biography to end all biographies on Marie Antoinette ... [Zweig's book] possesses all the qualities of the excellent biography — directness, frankness, full exposition, picturesqueness, characterization, color and delectable readableness.” —
The New York Times

“Powerful, magnificent, poignant…” —
The New Republic

“A stupendous and superb piece of work.” —
Chicago Daily Tribune