Marie Antoinette Of France: A Critical Analysis

2019 Words 9 Pages
Traditionally study of women and minority history is not a huge thing until the 1970s. Things are bit different when it comes to the study of the French Revolution, because it is all about the revolution of the minority: the poor. While the poor may get special treatment, one figure that typically gets glossed over is Marie Antoinette. She is often tossed aside as a two-dimensional character of history; the frivolous spendthrift who ruined the French economy, brought not only her ruin, but the ruin of her innocent husband, Louis XVI, and was the victim of the society around her. This is not true. Through the analysis of three biographies ranging over fifty years of historical study, it is the goal of this research to show how Marie Antoinette …show more content…
They are mostly secondary sources, and because of her lack of sources, Vance has to draw a lot of assumptions. Because of this, Vance tells a colorful narrative of Marie Antoinette, often presenting the narrative as if through Antoinette’s own thoughts. This makes the text seem a little less trustworthy. In addition, Vance also places her own commentary in parentheses throughout the text, which adds humor to the story, but takes a hit at the legitimacy of the text. There was little study done on women of history during Vance’s era and prior to it, so the lack of sources is understandable, which is why for the next text, we jump ahead roughly thirty years to …show more content…
When she first arrives in France, all of her Austrian clothing and jewels are removed as symbol of Antoinette becoming French. Antoinette is then chastised for her lavish spending on clothing and jewelry. This was mainly due to the fact that there were no children produced early in her marriage with Louis XVI, so therefore there was all of this money being spent on her looks, but nothing to show for it. When Antoinette decided to tone down her lavish style, she was chastised by her contemporaries, rather than rewarded. She was accused of not dressing according to her royal position, and pornographic pamphlets were passed around, implying that the Queen dressed so simply, because the clothing could be easily removed and put back on after flings with her “favorites (male and female).” Her own mourning clothing was used against her after the death of Louis XVI. The black clothing that she donned for the fallen King that was given to her by her captors was used against her in her trial for her life, with the prosecution stating that she was wearing that clothing as a sign of her “darkness,” to support the charge of molestation against Louis-Charles.
Weber also discusses how the Queen used her fashions to empower herself. Antoinette was no victim. She defiantly wore yellow and black, the colors of her home country, during the beginnings of the Revolution, until she

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