Marie Antoinette's Head: The Royal Hairdresser, the Queen, and the Revolution

Marie Antoinette's Head: The Royal Hairdresser, the Queen, and the Revolution - Will Bashor 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 in at just the right moments so that it kept my interest as well as amused me while being informative. I read reviews of other people, saying that this book isn’t accurate or whatnot. Perhaps it’s because they approached this book with a desire to learn the truth or expecting it. I took this one with a slight grain of salt, especially after reading the author’s disclosure and knowing myself just how tangled and difficult history can be in deciphering where the truth begins and where the speculations lie. Since I knew nothing on the subject I let the book whisk me away and dictate my reading journey, and it did a marvelous job with it. It read lightly, as I said, more even as fiction than a formal historical book. It was just the right kind of style for me, a person who doesn’t really enjoy historical fiction and finds formal history books to be somewhat dull and overloaded with their language and facts.

The images were another great addition to the book that really helped with imagining places and people (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t like having some beautiful pictures in their book?). There were times when the plotline got confusing, especially when the royal family was fleeing Paris, as there was some jumping between plotlines and information and it took a while for me to sort it all out, but otherwise there isn’t anything I can really complain about. It’s a book that deserves more attention, I think, because of the original manner in which it’s presented, and the unexplored topic that’s being discussed in it. Some of my friends saw me reading it during class in fact and said they were interested by the cover and synopsis, promising to take a look at it in the future (it also scored me brownie points with the French teacher, which is always a plus).

To anyone interested in French culture, the French revolution, or just like me wondered who the heck was behind all those hair masterpieces, this book is the way to go. It won’t fail to both enlighten and humour you, though a small packet of salt should be kept in mind during the reading, of course.