Let them eat cake
Sophia Coppola’s controversial biopic of the Archduchess of Austria turned ill-fated Queen of France has been received with much ado at Cannes 2006. Based on Antonia Fraser’s respected biography, Marie Antoinette: The Journey, the film stars Kirsten Dunst as the title character and is said to be highly stylized and fashion-conscious. The more recently published Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette, Carolly Erickson’s first historical fiction venture, is also full of entries that read like a couture film.
This fictional account presents the diary of a young girl, betrothed to marry a socially stunted boy king, with entries denoting massive amounts of time spent building and maintaining an exquisite trousseau, the flaunting of priceless jewels, more parties and balls than one can remember, a lifetime of redecorating the various rooms of Versailles as well as other palace buildings, a dashing Swedish lover, and a mortal enemy all in just under 350 pages. And at the heart of the French Revolution, it is rumored that she recycled her slippers and wore them twice. Vive la notoriété!