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Prince/Princesse
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Mais oui..... :cry:

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Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:37 pm
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Noble
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I´m afraid i didn´t express myself properly-sorry this is not my native tongue :?
I´ve bought several books that could be considered hagiographies, mainly from the 1900s, and i would have never bought anything of a slanderous nature against the Queen. The problem i have with those books is that they use to be quite empty, lacking of an in-depth study of the character discussed. When i read a book i want it to be well researched and full of new material, in the form of unpublished letters or documents to back up the text. Hagiographies are too prone to be a futile collection of biblical references and repetitions of the exalted religiosity of this or that historical character... Just my opinion.


Tue Jan 09, 2007 8:58 pm
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Antonio, I see what you mean. Such hagiographies as you describe are fine if one is seeking inspiration but if one wants facts, dates, events and historical critique, they are not too helpful.

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Tue Jan 09, 2007 9:10 pm
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Well, in answer to Pimprenelle´s interest as to the content of Montefiore´s book on Lamballe: I´ve already received it and read half of its scarce 200 pages. It´s pretty short, but quite interesting in my opinion. To tell the truth, and given that i had found no other english work on Lamballe available, i would have be contented with almost anything! But, seriously, this book is quite typical of its time, 1896, in that it´s extremelly prudent and respectful in all its comments on one side, and on the other side, it totally lacks any reference to the sources or documents upon the text is based. But, as a whole, i do recommend this book. Now, in a frivolous line of remark, i can say this is the most beautifully printed book i have ever had- big, full caramel leather with gilded edges and tissue paper to protect the otherwise quite commonplace illustrations.

Other than that i wished to ask Pimprenelle about the authenticity of most of MA´s letters to the Princesse. I think he remarked somewhere in the forum that most of these were false, so my question is: how can we ever be sure if which one is false and which one is real???

Antonio.


Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:16 pm
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We can't Antonio... I just noticed that a letter printed in De Decker's biography of Mme de Lamballe was terribly suspect. However it is published... :?

There was a torrent of false letters made by Feuillet de Conches, who was very clever and erudite, so that he could mix true elements with forged ones.

Anyhow, when you study many letters truly written by Antoinette, you come to collect several remarks.

Her style is most of the time concrete and simple, even if sometimes poetical, it remains concrete and sensual. On the other hand, false messages are ful of details spread all over and not concrete. They seem rather romantical, too romantical...

Marie Antoinette uses typical expressions. For instance, when she addresses to someone by writing, she says "dear". She certainly called Mme de Polignac "my heart", but, in her letters, the expression always gets "my dear heart".

On the other hand, false letters (and the one in De Decker's bio) are addressed to "my heart". This is highly suspect.

Then, the queen makes typical fauts, which can be related to her germanic accent. For instance, she puts "little e" in the middle or at the end of words (je viverai instead of je vivrai - finire instead of finir).

Eventually, there is the punctuation marks. Marie Antoinette only uses "." and "," (sometimes ";" too). No exclamation, no question marks.

For the rest, of course, there are the paper, the ink... but you first of all have to look at the original document ! Which, alas, I can't... :oops:

Thanks for your explanation and impressions about this book by Montefiori. They are very interesting !

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Fri Jan 12, 2007 8:22 am
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Thanks for the explanation Pimprenelle :)

I can only say it is so sad that no spealialist or graphologist has been so far entrusted to study the originals and tell apart the true ones. If that is not done then it becomes a real laberynth for people like me to distinguish the false letters! For some might be quite evident but also there can be cases when the forgeries are so astute that it could prove impossible to tell for sure.

I so wish i could read Decker bio, and also that of Alain Vircondelet, but i can´t easily read in french, so i have to wait until they´re translated-if ever- into english or-even less likely- spanish.
I have no problem reading short texts or texts especialized in art and design, but to real a whole book is another thing...


Fri Jan 12, 2007 12:54 pm
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I did not like De Decker's book that much, for it is full of humour... very dubious ! :? Not really amusing, you see ? I prefered Virdondelet's one, that I found more respectful to Mme de Lamballe.

But, actually, both biographies complete each other...

About Antoinette's letters, I am afraid all the messages to Mme de Lamballe might be false. There are several letters to Mme de Polignac, Marie Antoinette's dear heart, to princesses de Hesse Darmstadt, to Mme de Guéméné, to Mme de Tourzel... and, of course, this heartbreaking last letter to Mme Elisabeth, all of them beyond suspicion.

Then, there are a lot of letters to Marie Therese, political messages to Barnave and to Fersen, to Joseph, Leopold and Francis, to Catherine II, too.

If you are lucky enough to find a fac-simile or a copy with the queen's handwriting, it is possible to determine if the letter is true or false. No copist could really imitate her so peculiar scripture. There always a little something with the lines, the direction, the rythm...

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Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:49 pm
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http://www.amazon.com/Marie-Antoinette- ... 83&sr=1-13

i found this one.... ermmm wut is it? bio? fiction?


Sun Jul 08, 2007 5:26 am
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This is one of the best books ever written about Marie Antoinette ! It was written by Philippe Huisman and Marguerite Jallut, and it is in French. You can find any information you want, about her furniture and clothes, her little Trianon and theatre, and even about those children she adopted !

Each page is iluustrated, you have wonderful portraits and pictures. I warmly recommand this book !

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Sun Jul 08, 2007 5:30 am
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Pim, can you tell me, is this book by Huisman and Jallut, mostly a picture book with captions in French, or is it a biography? I do not read French, so I'd like to know before I purchase it.

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Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:40 pm
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