Last modified on April 9, 2019, at 17:10

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette was born November 2, 1755 in Austria and beheaded in Paris October 16, 1793. She was the notoriously extravagant Queen of France, married to King Louis XVI

She was sent by her parents to be the bride of King Louis XVI of France to tighten the bonds between Austria and France.

Critics have called her an enemy of reform and that she helped to provoke the popular unrest that led to the French Revolution and to the overthrow of the monarchy in August 1792.

She was executed by guillotine in 1793 by the Jacobins on the charge of treason, after discovery she had conspired with foreign enemies.

She is primarily remembered for the phrase Let them eat cake, though it was probably not said by her and was written by Jean Jacques Rousseau, either as something made up by him, or otherwise referring to her predecessor.[1]


  • Doyle, William. "The Execution of Louis XVI and the End of the French Monarchy." History Review. (2000) pp 21+ online edition
  • Hardman, John. Louis XVI: The Silent King (1994) 224 pages, a standard scholarly biography
  • Padover, Saul K. The Life and Death of Louis XVI (1939) online edition
  • Price, Munro. The Road from Versailles: Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and the Fall of the French Monarchy (2004) 425 pp. excerpt and text search; also published as The Fall of the French Monarchy: Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and the Baron de Breteuil. (2002)
  • Schama, Simon. Citizens. A Chronicle of the French Revolution (1989), highly readable narrative by scholar excerpt and text search

Primary sources

  • Marie Antoinette. Memoirs of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France and Wife of Louis XVI: Queen of France (1910) complete edition online