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Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette
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HarperCollins e-books 2009
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Description

Marie Antoinette was a child of fourteen when her mother, the Empress of Austria, arranged for her to leave her family and her country to become the wife of the fifteen-year-old Dauphin, the future King of France. Coming of age in the most public of arenas—eager to be a good wife and strong queen—she warmly embraces her adopted nation and its citizens. She shows her new husband nothing but love and encouragement, though he repeatedly fails to consummate their marriage and in so doing is unable to give what she and the people of France desire most: a child and an heir to the throne. Deeply disappointed and isolated in her own intimate circle, and apart from the social life of the court, she allows herself to remain ignorant of the country's growing economic and political crises, even as poor harvests, bitter winters, war debts, and poverty precipitate rebellion and revenge. The young queen, once beloved by the common folk, becomes a target of scorn, cruelty, and hatred as she, the court's nobles, and the rest of the royal family are caught up in the nightmarish violence of a murderous time called "the Terror."

With penetrating insight and with wondrous narrative skill, Sena Jeter Naslund offers an intimate, fresh, heartbreaking, and dramatic reimagining of this truly compelling woman that goes far beyond popular myth—and she makes a bygone time of tumultuous change as real to us as the one we are living in now.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
03/17/2009
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780061827402
ASIN:
B000JMKTEQ
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Sena Jeter Naslund. (2009). Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette. HarperCollins e-books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Sena Jeter Naslund. 2009. Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette. HarperCollins e-books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Sena Jeter Naslund, Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette. HarperCollins e-books, 2009.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Sena Jeter Naslund. Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette. HarperCollins e-books, 2009. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        Sena Jeter Naslund is a cofounder and program director of the Spalding University (Louisville) brief-residency MFA in Writing, where she edits The Louisville Review and Fleur-de-Lis Press. A winner of the Harper Lee Award and the Southeastern Library Association Fiction award, she is the author of eight previous works of fiction, including Ahab's Wife, a finalist for the Orange Prize. She recently retired from her position as Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Louisville.

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title
Abundance
fullDescription

Marie Antoinette was a child of fourteen when her mother, the Empress of Austria, arranged for her to leave her family and her country to become the wife of the fifteen-year-old Dauphin, the future King of France. Coming of age in the most public of arenas—eager to be a good wife and strong queen—she warmly embraces her adopted nation and its citizens. She shows her new husband nothing but love and encouragement, though he repeatedly fails to consummate their marriage and in so doing is unable to give what she and the people of France desire most: a child and an heir to the throne. Deeply disappointed and isolated in her own intimate circle, and apart from the social life of the court, she allows herself to remain ignorant of the country's growing economic and political crises, even as poor harvests, bitter winters, war debts, and poverty precipitate rebellion and revenge. The young queen, once beloved by the common folk, becomes a target of scorn, cruelty, and hatred as she, the court's nobles, and the rest of the royal family are caught up in the nightmarish violence of a murderous time called "the Terror."

With penetrating insight and with wondrous narrative skill, Sena Jeter Naslund offers an intimate, fresh, heartbreaking, and dramatic reimagining of this truly compelling woman that goes far beyond popular myth—and she makes a bygone time of tumultuous change as real to us as the one we are living in now.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Entertainment Weekly
      • content: "Enchanting...Opulent and fabulous, as encrusted with detail as one of Marie's shimmering dresses...a complete page turner. Grade: A"
      • premium: False
      • source: Richmond Times-Dispatch
      • content: "Perceptive and literate."
      • premium: False
      • source: Washington Post
      • content: "Naslund recreates Marie so sympathetically that we can't help aching for the queen."
      • premium: False
      • source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
      • content: "The novel is abundant, full of color and detail. . . . An engaging portrait of one of history's bright-colored butterflies."
      • premium: False
      • source: Christian Science Monitor
      • content: "A wealth of period details...even the most cynical reader will wish for a last-minute pardon."
      • premium: False
      • source: Seattle Times
      • content: "Intensive historical inquiry enables Naslund to re-create Marie Antoinette's life with empathy and irresistibly piquant detail."
      • premium: False
      • source: San Diego Union-Tribune
      • content: "Naslund mixes historical observation with delight and tension that makes it hard not to turn the page."
      • premium: False
      • source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
      • content: "Fascinating...A richly detailed look at the doomed queen."
      • premium: False
      • source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
      • content: "With skillful dialogue Naslund re-creates a time and place fresh and fearsome."
      • premium: False
      • source: Raleigh News & Observer
      • content: "Both a realistic and romantic novel (with) immediately engaging characters...offers a rich, panoramic depiction of an age."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly (starred review)
      • content: "Hypnotically intimate...With vivid detail and exquisite narrative technique, Naslund exemplifies the best of historical fiction."
      • premium: False
      • source: Birmingham News
      • content: "Naslund's writing is rich with minute details that put the reader into the world of Versailles. A page-turner."
      • premium: False
      • source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
      • content: "An enthralling work of fiction, one that captures the details of a family reign and a time period long gone."
      • premium: False
      • source: Columbus Dispatch
      • content: "The portrait that emerges is sympathetic but realistic...Absorbing."
      • premium: False
      • source: Boston Globe
      • content: "ABUNDANCE is intelligent, beautifully written, and uncomfortably relevant, and Naslund makes her heroine convincing and even sympathetic."
      • premium: False
      • source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram
      • content: "Intimate experiences and thoughts run beautifully rampant through the pages...[a] smart delicious lesson in history."
      • premium: False
      • source: Sunday Denver Post
      • content: "Naslund uses her words as if they were a camera to record life in late 18th century France."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
      • content: "Scrupulously researched and vividly presented . . . it's an irresistible story and Naslund handles its big moments with impressive assurance."
      • premium: False
      • source: Buffalo News
      • content: "An absorbing, detailed read."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist (starred review)
      • content: "Readers of serious historical fiction will revel in it."
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal
      • content: "Lush with description and deep with historical detail...Marvelous."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        December 4, 2006
        Appropriately, Burney begins her performance in the adorable upper registers of the 14-year-old Marie Antoinette, shipped to France by her mother, the Empress of Austria, to marry the 15-year-old Dauphin and peacefully conjoin France and Austria. Unfortunately, Burney continues in this insipid tone throughout her reading, which is understandable as Naslund (Ahab's Wife
        ) portrays Marie as Little Mary Sunshine until the moment of her death by guillotine at age 38. Her love affair with a Swedish diplomat is strictly platonic and her inability to empathize with the French people is laid to her paternalistic advisers. All this may or may not be historically true, but it leaves listeners with Marie's diary-style descriptions of her personal and court life: the Dauphin's sexual limitations, the birth of her children, her clothes and hairstyles, girlish friendships and expensive banquets. The abridgment reinforces this focus by cutting little early on, then skipping quickly from one incident to another as the revolution evolves. Naslund's writing is clear and vivid, but offers little for those seeking a deeper understanding of the reign of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Simultaneous release with the William Morrow hardcover (Reviews, May 29).

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from May 29, 2006
        The opening sentence of Naslund's fictional memoir of Marie Antoinette ("Like everyone, I am born naked") sets a hypnotically intimate tone that never wavers as the much-maligned Austrian princess recounts her life from baptism in the Rhine and rebirth as French citizen to appointment with the guillotine. In Naslund's (Ahab's Wife
        ) sympathetic portrayal, 14-year-old "Toinette" arrives in France a pretty-mannered naïf determined to please the king, the court and, most importantly, her husband, the Dauphin. The novel provides a wealth of detail as Toinette savors the food, architecture, music and gardens of Versailles; indulges in hair and clothing rituals; gets acquainted with her indifferent partner and her scheming new relations; and experiences motherhood and loss. Her story unfolds like classical tragedy—the outcome known, the account riveting—as famous incidents are reinterpreted (the affair of the necklace, the flight to Varennes), culminating in a heartbreaking description of the bloody head of the Princess de Lamballe held aloft on a pike for the deposed queen to see. With vivid detail and exquisite narrative technique, Naslund exemplifies the best of historical fiction, finding the woman beneath the pose, a queen facing history as it rises up against her.

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shortDescription

Marie Antoinette was a child of fourteen when her mother, the Empress of Austria, arranged for her to leave her family and her country to become the wife of the fifteen-year-old Dauphin, the future King of France. Coming of age in the most public of arenas--eager to be a good wife and strong queen--she warmly embraces her adopted nation and its citizens. She shows her new husband nothing but love and encouragement, though he repeatedly fails to consummate their marriage and in so doing is unable to give what she and the people of France desire most: a child and an heir to the throne. Deeply disappointed and isolated in her own intimate circle, and apart from the social life of the court, she allows herself to remain ignorant of the country's growing economic and political crises, even as poor harvests, bitter winters, war debts, and poverty precipitate rebellion and revenge. The young queen, once beloved by the common folk, becomes a target of scorn, cruelty, and hatred as...

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awards
      • source: Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine
      • value: Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award Winner - Best Book
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A Novel of Marie Antoinette
publisher
HarperCollins e-books