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

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Product Details

$26.95  $25.06
Lyons Press
Publish Date
6.36 X 9.23 X 1.09 inches | 1.3 pounds
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About the Author

Will Bashor has a B.A. degree in French and an M.A. degree in French literature from Ohio University and a Ph.D. in International Studies from the American Graduate School in Paris where he gathered letters, newspapers, journals, and plays during his research for Marie Antoinette's Head. Professor at Franklin University and a member of the Society for French Historical Studies, he attended the annual meeting at Harvard University in 2013 where he presented the political importance of Leonard Autie's role in the royal family's unsuccessful flight to Varennes. Visit him at


A delicious and meticulously researched perspective on the man and a society tipped irrevocably on the brink of ruin. A heady read, indeed.
A New York Post "Must-Read" Book
A Mental Floss "Favorite Read"

"Entertaining . . . captures details of an extraordinary time and place. An engaging...narrative of a celebrity hairstylist, circa 1789. Biography buffs and lovers of historical fiction will enjoy this work..." - Library Journal

[Starred Review] "An informative examination of a little-known player on a great stage...An entertaining, well-researched work that will particularly interest students of cultural history and the French Revolution." - Kirkus Reviews

" ...[G}ives you plenty of bang for your buck...: thirty-pound wigs, mouse-infested coiffures, and the occasional miniature naval battle all make appearances. But it is also a scholarly history not merely of the vagaries and politics of Versailles court fashion, but the rise and fall of Léonard Autié, a man of modest background who rose to become hairdresser to the queen, and whose fortunes were inexplicably tied to that of the doomed monarchy. -- Sadie Stein, The Paris Review

"...most intriguing and immaculately researched" - France Today

"Compelling....Bashor weaves history, politics, French court customs, into a movie-worthy tale of ambition, luck, romance, and tragedy..." - The Santa Fe New Mexican

"Bashor continues to offer original perspectives on the last Bourbons and those who served them. In this dual biography, Marie Antoinette emerges through the eyes and "magic comb" of Léonard Autié, her gifted hairdresser ...Marie Antoinette's Head not only entertains, it conveys both the events and the character of the age." - Reed Benhamou, PhD, Professor Emerita, Indiana University

"This is a new and riveting account, in a clear and attractive style, of significant historical events that lead to the French Revolution of 1789, as seen through the eyes of Marie Antoinette's ambitious hairdresser..." - Aleksandra Gruzinska, School of International Letters and Cultures, Arizona State University

"I have nothing but praise. The book is so well researched, so well written, so totally readable that it will appeal to a very wide public...." - David Wingeate Pike, American Graduate School of International Relations and Diplomacy, Paris