Marie Antoinette Online
  • FORUM
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:53 am



Reply to topic  [ 138 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 10  Next
 Elena Maria Vidal's "Trianon" 
Author Message
Comte/Comtesse
Comte/Comtesse
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 1:44 pm
Posts: 63
Location: Italy
Post Elena Maria Vidal's "Trianon"
I received Vidal's novels from Amazon and I've finished "Trianon".

I liked it even though the religious aspect is really too present for my own taste. In the novel the whole royal family becomes a sanctified entity.

I really loved the chapter describing the afternoon tea at Trianon: the author perfectly captured that dreamlike and suspended atmosphere you can only experience visiting the place.

I did not like the final chapter at all. I think it damages the climax of the novel. Madame Royale leaving the tower was enough for me.

Two more points:

1. The author describes Madame Elisabeth as a true saint. More recent research (like Bertière's biography of the queen) tends to present her as a petulant woman, blind in her faith, unable to cope (it seems even the queen could hardly stand her).

2. Was Marie-Antoinette capable of the homophobic comments the author puts in her mouth? Such as "being glad that the king of sweden did not spread his vice in versailles" or something like that...

What more? Yes...I would like to know more about the "white woman" legend appearing at the death of a hapsburg woman...Where did Vidal get it from? I guess I read something about it once but cannot remember where...

All in all, I found the novel quite entertaining and the attention to details was remarkable.

Can't wait to read "Madame Royale"!


Thu May 25, 2006 8:47 am
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:54 am
Posts: 2040
Post 
I have not received this book I ordered, dear York, so, I can hardly answer you... Anyhow, having read you questions, I do not think the queen would be capable of homophobic feelings, since she was close to Françoise Raucour, her favorite actress she warmly supported... and also an openly lesbian.

Furthermore, such loves were frequent at courts in those times. In my view, homophobic jugements came from elsewhere (bourgeoise and people outside the gates) and another period (Victorian times, especially).

By reaction against all that was noble, French revolution immediately got wildly homophobic, for instance.

_________________
te voir encore me rappelle à la vie


Thu May 25, 2006 12:43 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2006 4:04 pm
Posts: 2266
Post 
Darlings! The term "homophobic" is a comtemporary one which did not exist in those days. People tolerated homosexuality but they did not necessarily see it being a civil right. Yes, there was a great deal of homosexuality at court, which is why the Revolutionaries were able to portray the queen as a lesbian. Marie-Antoinette was sophisticated enough to have many colorful friends and not pry into their private lives. She was not judgmental. She was a friend of Gustavus and others who were homosexual, but that does not mean she approved their private behaviors. She often made it very clear that she did not like licentiousness, of any variety. Also, Louis XVI was known to have expelled from court men who were flamboyant about their proclivities. I think it is in Lamballe's memoirs that the queen confided her reservations about Gustavus' private life, so Antoinette making such a comment is not too far fetched, IMO. She was very protective of the morals of the young people at her court and carefully reviewed the dramas acted by the young ladies of Saint-Cyr.

_________________
I forgive all my enemies the harm they have done me.


Thu May 25, 2006 1:39 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:54 am
Posts: 2040
Post 
From her correspondence and biographies I read, dear Therese, I never saw that Marie-Antoinette condamned or even juge these kinds of loves.
Being accused herself, she simply notices : "They very generously supposed that I had both tastes, women and male lovers". No other comments. Should she desaprove this, wouldn't she add anything ?

I think you and I may disagree on morals points, Therese, for I think that Marie-Antoinette was not so hard. Maybe just indifferent. Of course, this does not mean that she was a libertine.

But the term "homosexuality" is as anachronistic as "homophobic". XVIIIth century aristocrats were more open-minded that we now are ! They would only speak of "love" I guess. And even Sophie Piper, Fersen's sister, writes to one of her close friend, a woman : "How could I qualify ours feelings... friendship is not the right word..."

Many things that seem licentious to our XXIth century eyes were just sweet for XVIIIth nobles !

_________________
te voir encore me rappelle à la vie


Thu May 25, 2006 2:10 pm
Profile
Comte/Comtesse
Comte/Comtesse
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 1:44 pm
Posts: 63
Location: Italy
Post 
That's exactly the point dear Pimprenelle!

That's why I found that comment spoken by the queen imagined by Miss Vidal out of place (and time).

Your knowledge of our beloved Antoinette keeps on stunning me!

_________________
Tutto a te mi guida


Thu May 25, 2006 2:26 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2006 4:04 pm
Posts: 2266
Post 
Dearest Pimprenelle, I have read things where she was reported to have alluded to this, not often, but here we must again disagree about the extent of the queen's moral and religious principles. She was observant in the practice of her faith, although she did not judge others. Yes, homosexuality is a "modern" term. I think sodomy, as it was referred to, was against the law in most European countries, which mirrored the old canon law, which certainly forbade sodomy and mentioned it explicitly. The laws were not rigidly enforced, especially not in France of the Enlightement, where yes, the euphemisms would have been used for everything. It was an age of beautiful language and in refined circles they never referred to any thing they way we do. And I do not think the queen was happy to hear the rumors that she had lovers of both sexes and this is why she withdrew more into her private life; she was hurt but thought her innocence would be her best defense. Hence the portraits of her surrounded by her children; she wanted to be seen as the chaste, devoted mother.

Perhaps we can discuss this further if we ever have "Trianon" as a Book Club selection and talk about how the author's Catholic, American perpective influences certain slants in the portrayal.

Yes, York, Pimprenelle is amazing! She should write her own book!!

_________________
I forgive all my enemies the harm they have done me.


Thu May 25, 2006 2:37 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:54 am
Posts: 2040
Post 
You're sweet to speak so, dear Therese... but I'm not able to, I'm afraid...

More seriously, I think it's interesting how we come to the same conclusion by different ways. And certainly York would agree with us Marie-Antoinette was no libertine. But I came to this view from her own writings, not from my personal beliefs. All her letters, even the songs she wrote for her friends are full of tenderness and beauty. She saw beauty where others may see uglyness. She definitely was a woman devoted to beauty !

_________________
te voir encore me rappelle à la vie


Thu May 25, 2006 2:52 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2006 4:04 pm
Posts: 2266
Post 
I agree with you completely, Pimprenelle. She was a woman who looked for the beauty in life and in others! Not that she was a blind fool; she had an ability for shrewd assessment, for instance, when she called her husband's aunt Louise "the most scheming little Carmelite in the kingdom!" Overall, she was enchanted with life!

York, I have read of the "White Lady" legend. It is similar to the banshees that some Irish families have when there is a death. :shock: In my grandmother's family, they have a "banshee" that has been heard to shriek when someone dies!!! :wink: I think family legends like that are fascinating and it would be interesting to research different variations of this and how it is manifested in different cultures.

_________________
I forgive all my enemies the harm they have done me.


Thu May 25, 2006 3:02 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:54 am
Posts: 2040
Post 
This white lady appeared to the Habsburgs when a death was about to happen, didn't she ?

_________________
te voir encore me rappelle à la vie


Thu May 25, 2006 3:07 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2006 4:04 pm
Posts: 2266
Post 
Yes, she did. The White Lady appeared the night before Antoinette died, but I cannot remember exactly who saw the apparition, no one in her immediate family. In "Trianon" the White Lady is glimpsed at the Conciergerie, but in actuality she was seen at the Hofburg, I believe.

_________________
I forgive all my enemies the harm they have done me.


Last edited by Therese on Thu May 25, 2006 3:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu May 25, 2006 3:10 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:54 am
Posts: 2040
Post 
Oh ? Never heard about this...

_________________
te voir encore me rappelle à la vie


Thu May 25, 2006 3:12 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2006 4:04 pm
Posts: 2266
Post 
Bernard Fay mentions the White Lady and also books about the Habsburg dynasty that I have read.

_________________
I forgive all my enemies the harm they have done me.


Thu May 25, 2006 3:18 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:54 am
Posts: 2040
Post 
Oh, yes ! I was wondering about this lady appearing the night before Marie-Antoinette's execution. Fascinating !

_________________
te voir encore me rappelle à la vie


Thu May 25, 2006 3:20 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:54 am
Posts: 2040
Post 
Quote:
Your knowledge of our beloved Antoinette keeps on stunning me!


Thank you, dear York... It's the sweetest compliment I can hear... To hear, to see, to read, to understand more about her mean so much to me... and to love her each day more, inconditionnally... :wink:

_________________
te voir encore me rappelle à la vie


Thu May 25, 2006 3:45 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2006 4:04 pm
Posts: 2266
Post 
Pimprenelle wrote:
Oh, yes ! I was wondering about this lady appearing the night before Marie-Antoinette's execution. Fascinating !


Yes, it is fascinating...and very mysterious!

_________________
I forgive all my enemies the harm they have done me.


Thu May 25, 2006 6:10 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 138 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 10  Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware for PTF.