Advertisement

In Search of Marie-Antoinette: The Inscrutable Life Worth Scrutinizing

  • T. Lawrence LarkinEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter declares the core subject of the book to be an inquiry into the respective contributions of Stefan Zweig, Irving Thalberg, and Norma Shearer in formulating what each believed to be an “authentic” image of “Marie-Antoinette” for public consumption during the 1930s. Zweig wrote a best-selling biography in Salzburg, Thalberg then acquired film rights to the book and oversaw the development of a screenplay in Culver City, and Shearer worked closely with a new producer to alter the screenplay and to perform the title character. Writings on the myth of “Marie-Antoinette,” the use of “objectivity” in historical writing and “authenticity” in historical film, and the three creative agents are explained and assessed as a prelude to putting forth three chapters adhering to a nine-point argumentative model that balances the three professionals’ research standards and strategic objectives in the formulation of a new myth at once sensitive to the historical record and suitable for public consumption.

References

  1. Anonymous. 1938. Marie Antoinette a Triumph. Hollywood Reporter, July 9. Cinematic Arts Library, University of Southern California (hereafter CAL).Google Scholar
  2. Bibliothèque municipal de Versailles. 2006. Marie-Antoinette: femme réelle, femme mythique. Paris: Magellan & Cie.Google Scholar
  3. Comolli, Jean-Louis. 1978. Historical Fiction: A Body Too Much. Screen: The Journal of the Society for Education in Film and Television 19 (2) (Summer): 41–53.Google Scholar
  4. Custen, George. 1992. Bio/Pics: How Hollywood Constructed Public History. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Duprat, Annie. 2013. Marie-Antoinette 1755–1793: Images et visages d’une reine. Paris: Éditions Autrement.Google Scholar
  6. Goodman, Dena (ed.). 2003. Marie-Antoinette: Writings on the Body of a Queen. New York and London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Hughes-Warrington, Marnie (ed.). 2009. The History on Film Reader. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Megill, Allan. 2007. Historical Knowledge, Historical Error: A Contemporary Guide to Practice. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  9. Musée Carnavalet. 1993. La famille royale à Paris: De l’histoire à la légende. Paris: Éditions des musées de la Ville de Paris.Google Scholar
  10. Parsons, Louella O. 1938. Norma Shearer…in ‘Marie Antoinette’. Los Angeles Examiner, CAL, July 9. n.p..Google Scholar
  11. Sorlin, Pierre. 1980. The Film in History: Restaging the Past. Totowa, NJ: Barnes and Noble.Google Scholar
  12. Swaminathan, Srividhya, and Steven W. Thomas (eds.). 2018. The Cinematic Eighteenth Century: History, Culture, and Adaptation. New York and London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. Thomas, Chantal. 1989. La Reine scélérate: Marie-Antoinette dans les pamphlets. Paris: Éditions du Seuil.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Art History, School of ArtMontana State UniversityBozemanUSA

Personalised recommendations