- Title: Marie Antoinette's Head: The Royal Hairdresser, the Queen, and the Revolution
- Author: Will Bashor
- ISBN: 9780762791538
- Page: 380
- Format: Hardcover
Winner of the Adele Mellen Prize for Distinguished Scholarship and New York Post s Must Read Book of the WeekMarie Antoinette has remained atop the popular cultural landscape for centuries for the daring in style and fashion that she brought to 18th century France For the better part of the queen s reign, one man was entrusted with the sole responsibility of ensuring thWinner of the Adele Mellen Prize for Distinguished Scholarship and New York Post s Must Read Book of the WeekMarie Antoinette has remained atop the popular cultural landscape for centuries for the daring in style and fashion that she brought to 18th century France For the better part of the queen s reign, one man was entrusted with the sole responsibility of ensuring that her coiffure was at its most ostentatious best Who was this minister of fashion who wielded such tremendous influence over the queen s affairs Marie Antoinette s Head The Royal Hairdresser, The Queen, and the Revolution charts the rise of L onard Autie from humble origins as a country barber in the south of France to the inventor of the Pouf and premier hairdresser to Queen Marie Antoinette.By unearthing a variety of sources from the 18th and 19th centuries, including memoirs including L onard s own , court documents, and archived periodicals the author, French History professor and expert Will Bashor, tells Autie s mostly unknown story Bashor chronicles L onard s story, the role he played in the life of his most famous client, and the chaotic and history making world in which he rose to prominence Besides his proximity to the queen, Leonard also had a most fascinating life filled with sex he was the only man in a female dominated court , seduction, intrigue, espionage, theft, exile, treason, and possibly, execution The French press reported that L onard was convicted of treason and executed in Paris in 1793 However, it was also recorded that L onard, after receiving a pension from the new King Louis XVIII, died in Paris in March 1820 Granted, L onard was known as the magician of Marie Antoinette s court, but how was it possible that he managed to die twice
Recent Comments "Marie Antoinette's Head: The Royal Hairdresser, the Queen, and the Revolution"
To address the question of Leonard's possible "apocryphal" memoirs, I would like to provide the preceding notes to my book which explain the memoir's importance, and its limitations, for "Marie Antoinette's Head."A NOTE ON SOURCESExaggeration and hyperbole always pose problems when constructing a biography, especially one that relies on centuries-old memoirs, letters, and secondhand accounts of events. Even government documents can be misleading when they are written in the midst of the type of [...]
This enjoyable and informative biography looks at the life of Leonard Autie, the celebrated and famous hairdresser, who personally cared for the locks of Queen Marie Antoinette. Just when you thought that you had read every possible volume about Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution, this entertaining book comes along - which focuses on a minor player in events, but nevertheless one who found himself in the very heart of the action.Leonard Autie arrived in Paris in 1769, as a young man in h [...]
This review will be continue to be updated as I read further:I received this book very quickly in the mail through a giveaway and was presently surprised.Right off the bat, Marie Antoinette's Head discussed interesting topics, such as 18th century French cultures and dressing styles. (This may sound weird, but if you are a Jane Austen fan, I promise you, you will find this fascinating). As a huge fan of light hearted British literature (mostly Jane Austen), I am well-acquainted with upper to mid [...]
loved this perspective. A great addition to anyone's Marie Antoinette collection - a great read, fresh, speedy!
(review also published on: vivelaqueen/2013/)[A review copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher.]For anyone familiar with Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, the idea of "Léonard, hairdresser to Marie Antoinette" will likely conjure up images of a well-dressed man catwalking down the halls of Versailles to the tune of I Want Candy. Tradition has it that the real Léonard Autié began his career as a rural barber and eventually climbed to the highest rank imaginable for someone in his [...]
Per FTC guidelines this review for Marie Antoinette’s Head by Will Bashor is for a book received for free in a First Read Giveaway.I think it is only fair to start this review by admitting that the only things I knew about the French Court and the French Revolution before reading this novel was what I saw in Sofia Coppola’s beautiful but historically inaccurate movie “Marie Antoinette”. This being said I must also admit that Will Bashor’s novel Marie Antoinette’s Head was a wonder t [...]
I'm so obsessed with Marie Antoinette that I was very excited to win an autographed copy of this book from Goodteads' giveaway program. I'm ashamed to admit that not once during the time I visited Marie Antoinette's childhood summer palace Schonbrunn in Vienna, her royal residence Versailles, or her prison cell chamber in the Conciergerie did I think about the person responsible for creating her famous hairstyles! "Marie Antoinette's Head" focused on the creator of those famous poufs, a man wh [...]
I received this free book from the -first-reads giveaway. This book was wonderfully written and it was obvious the tremendous amount of work performed to provide an accurate description of the life of Leonard. I also enjoyed the journey through historical events and the color photos were an added bonus. I would highly recommend this book.
There is something so intriguing and familiar about your trusted hairdresser, and believe it or not, Marie Antoinette had the same relationship with the flamboyant and talented Leonard Autie. This book is steeped in historical fact, it should read like a biography with footnotes, but it is so cleverly phrased and written that it reads much like an historical fiction. Autie is outré and talented, a provincial background with parents who served as servants to the minor gentry in his hometown. Bra [...]
Firstly I’d like to say a big thank you to Will Bashor for sending me this book (and signing it!). I have always been interested in the identity of the hairdresser of Marie Antoinette as well as recently started looking into French culture more seriously, my interest sparked by my International Baccalaureate French course. There is nothing I can criticize in this book. I really enjoyed the manner in which it was written – the writing was light, engaging, with some comical elements to it put [...]
"Marie Antoinette's Head" is a fascinating look into the life of Leonard Autie, the Queen's royal hairdresser and confidant, as well as the climate of royal France before and during Antoinette's reign. As someone who knew virtually nothing beyond what we learned in high school European History classes, and not having a particular investment in Marie Antionette, I was both surprised and delighted with how involved I soon became through reading this book.What Bashor succeeds at through this book i [...]
I actually received a copy of Marie Antoinette's Head: The Royal Hairdresser, the Queen, and the Revolution from a give-away a few weeks ago and I ended up tearing right through it. I got this book in the mail just after finishing Antoinia Fraser's Marie Antoinette: The Journey so I was in a good place to start reading. Many of the names and places associated with this block of history were fresh in my head. The kicker is, they didn't really need to be. Will Bashor did a great job introducing a [...]
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Additionally, I reviewed it as part of a book blog tour in promotion of the title. This review in its entirety was originally posted at caffeinatedlife: caffeinatedlife/blog/2Marie Antoinette’s Head was a fascinating read, providing a unique and fascinating look into Marie Antoinette’s life and the French court before, during and briefly after the French Revolution through the rise and fall of her hairdresser, L [...]
This book was such a delight! I enjoyed it immensely. So, why not give it five stars? Because you really need to know your history of Marie-Antoinette, be familiar with the events in her life, to really follow what's going on, though he did a great job in summing up the events. True, the novel is more about Léonard than our beloved last queen of France, but a lot of the little details about her life that were truly interesting were left out. It didn't need to have a full on biography of her lif [...]
An entertaining and well written slice of life into the court at Versailles, from the perspective of the royal hairdresser Leonard Autie. The books goes into his background and his meteoric rise to the ultimate position- hairdresser to the doomed French queen Marie Antoinette. With his genius and insight, he is able to turn the drab teenager into an arbiter of style and fashion icon that changed the world of hair styles. Dealing with the queen's unsightly high forehead, he comes up with outlandi [...]
I can't say I am a major fan of historical fiction which tends to be rather dull and laborious, but I was intrigued by the title and thought I would give it a go. I am glad I did because what I found was a highly entertaining account of a quite fascinating character. Very well written and clearly meticulously researched I now considered myself enlightened and will be looking forward to more reads by author Will Bashor.
Having read most books written about Marie Antoinette, this book really looks at the subject from a different angle. I especially enjoyed the fact that the reader gets to see what goes on in France during the royal family's imprisonment, and even what goes on after their death. The reader is made aware of the life of the émigrés, and what was being done to help out the royals. It is interesting to continue the story through Léonard, even up to the reign of Louis XVIII.
A scholarly yet accessible and entertaining look at Léonard-Alexis Autié, the man who made his name and fortune as Marie Antoinette's hairdresser. As someone who studied this era of French history a fair amount in university, I still learned a lot by viewing it from this new angle. Whether you're a fan of fashion or history, you should find something to appreciate in this book.
Wonderful account from her royal hairdresser Leonard's view. I love reading anything about M.A. and this book just added to that. Beautiful pictures and chock full of historical detail, I recommend this to anyone who likes to read about that time period and/or Marie Antoinette. Thank you again to the author for sending me this wonderful book!
Highly readable and wonderful way to take in a big moment in history, through the eyes of Marie Antoinette's hairdresser. There are plenty of good pictures too.
Fascinating and a good revision of the days preceding the French Revolution.
As someone who is predisposed to hating hair as the focus of any scholarship, simply because I myself am genetically predisposed to having very little of it within the next few years, reading a book not only about hair but the most famous dresser of hair in history seemed like an interesting challenge. After all, Will Bashor has written 250 pages almost entirely about the relationship between Marie Antoinette and her hairdresser, a long-forgotten Frenchman by the name of Leonard Autie; the next [...]
I hate to begin my review with a cliché, but Will Bashor’s Marie Antoinette’s head: the Royal Hairdresser, The Queen, and the Revolution is proof that in history there are true stories waiting to be found and told, stories which are more exciting and intriguing than fiction. Although aware of, and often envious of, Marie Antoinette’s extravagant hairstyles, I knew nothing of the artists behind such creations. Bashor brings to life Léonard Autié, from his arrival in Paris, through his tr [...]
This book is a very extraordinary take on historical nonfiction. For it has the feel of a novel an exciting novel that is, but never seems to lose it's authenticity which is a feat in itself. For the author seems to have made meticulous research about Leonard's life and that of the court of the 18 century and it looks like he didn't miss even the smallest detail in his story. This is a great biography, i was so fond of Leonard in the end that i held my breath through the last part of the book ho [...]
Fantastic read! I have read many books on this time period and Marie Antoinette. Viewing this turbulent time period through the eyes of her personal hairdresser was wonderful. I knew of him before but not to the depths that this book went into, from his role in assisting the royals in their flight from Paris to how he worked his way rapidly up through Parisian society.
I was browsing the "new non-fiction" stacks at the library when I discovered this book. I took it home not really expecting much since the time of French Revolution, as tumultuous as it was, is not really "my" taste in historical readings.Imagine my surprise when I could not put this book down! It's a fascinating look at the French Revolution and the demise of the French Monarchy from the view of Marie Antoinette's hairdresser, Leonard Autie.I have read my share of historical accounts of the las [...]
Interesting book which highlights (no pun intended) a little known character in French history. It's like reading a textbook but with opinions and explanations.
I think when anyone, myself included, pictures Marie Antoinette you think of her over-the-top hairstyles. Except, I never really thought about how they happened. Was she the one who wanted it done? Was she following the trend? No, it turns out her personal hairdresser, Léonard Autié, was the man responsible and this book is his story.You wouldn't expect there to be a lot known about a hairdresser, and it seems that's actually the case. However Léonard did publish his own memoirs based on his [...]
"Exaggeration and hyperbole always pose problems when constructing a biography, especially one that relies on centuries-old memoirs, letters, and secondhand accounts of events." ~Opening statement from the book. I've read books about the French Revolution and the infamous queen, Marie Antoinette. I have never in my life even thought about her hair or the man behind it. This book was a fun perspective on the French revolution. If, indeed, there is any fun to be found in such a bloody part of Fran [...]
Who knew that Marie Antoinette's hairdresser played a crucial role in her life?Author Will Bashor did apparently because he has written a well-researched, thorough book on the life of Léonard, who arrived in Paris from Gascon as a rudimentary hairdresser sure that he was meant for greatness. If this was fiction, an editor would argue that Léonard catapulted to success too easily. Surely in fiction we would have to make our characters struggle a little harder, but apparently creating outrageous [...]
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