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 Antonia Fraser's biography 
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Fersen was friends with both the king and queen and held them both in high regard.

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Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:15 pm
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Elizabeth wrote:
Therese writes:
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While some of her assumptions are off-target


Therese, what are some of her assumptions that you think are off target?


Lady Fraser's bio has many great details but she also tries to be politically correct. She develops the Fersen legend in the most sordid manner, and is the only biographer who gives us the picture of Fersen and Antoinette fiddling with primitive prophylactics while consummating their mythical grand passion.

I don't agree with all of her conclusions but there is no doubt that she is sympathetic to the queen, in her own way, although projecting a great deal of her own lifestyle onto Marie-Antoinette. She basically is inspired by Zweig, because she believes that Antoinette was sexually frustrated, and spent money because she had no sex. What about all the people at the court who were spending more money than Marie-Antoinette and having plenty of sex? It is not even logical.

Fraser encouraged Coppola to show the Fersen affair in the film. Sex sells.

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Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:16 pm
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Ah, ok...so a romanticist who could not pass up the chance to portray a 'romance'?! :lol:


Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:21 pm
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Elizabeth wrote:
Ah, ok...so a romanticist who could not pass up the chance to portray a 'romance'?! :lol:


Lady Fraser excels at interpreting history from a woman's point of view, taking women's feelings into account. She gave a very sympathetic portrayal of Mary Queen of Scots which I like much better than The Journey but it also tends to a more romantic approach. There is nothing wrong with romance, but sometimes it belongs in a novel rather than in a serious biography.

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Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:30 pm
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Quote:
3rd possibility: Marie-Antoinette was in love with Fersen, but she hid her feelings very well, and could support his absences and inaccuracies without showing her irritation….but I do not believe in it, because Marie-Antoinette did not hide her feelings….


I can't see Marie Antoinette as a Penelope waiting for her unfaithful Ulysse's return.

She had far more interesting things to do ! :lol:

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Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:50 am
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Quote:
Fersen was friends with both the king and queen and held them both in high regard


Thank you for reminding us of that ! First of all, Fersen represented his king. And it is interesting to see that we have early letters Antoinette sent to Gustav by the time she met Fersen. Both men are connected, first of all. This is political.

Even Evelyne Lever, who may be the most romantic scholar I have ever read ( :lol: ) does not forget in her last book to specify, between two romantical tirades, that Fersen was there to help the king, after all.

... which eventually makes a quite incoherent puzzle ! :lol: Was he there for he loved the queen ? To help the king ? To serve his king ? For he loved the king ? :roll:

Missing link... ? Search for "ambition"...

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Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:58 am
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Pimprenelle wrote:
Quote:
Fersen was friends with both the king and queen and held them both in high regard


Thank you for reminding us of that ! First of all, Fersen represented his king. And it is interesting to see that we have early letters Antoinette sent to Gustav by the time she met Fersen. Both men are connected, first of all. This is political.

Even Evelyne Lever, who may be the most romantic scholar I have ever read ( :lol: ) does not forget in her last book to specify, between two romantical tirades, that Fersen was there to help the king, after all.

... which eventually makes a quite incoherent puzzle ! :lol: Was he there for he loved the queen ? To help the king ? To serve his king ? For he loved the king ? :roll:

Missing link... ? Search for "ambition"...


:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Thu Mar 01, 2007 12:35 pm
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He met the Queen at a masked ball before he met the King though didn't he?

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Thu Mar 01, 2007 12:40 pm
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They were together at the ball. He met them both pretty much at the same time, although not formally. Antoinette was chatting with him.

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Thu Mar 01, 2007 12:51 pm
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Antoinette had seen this handsome Swede before. She began chatting with him desguised to make fun of him. He did not recognize the dauphine... strange, for a guy who was only interested in meeting VIPs...

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Thu Mar 01, 2007 1:01 pm
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Yes, it was a teasing, playful action, not even a flirtation.

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Thu Mar 01, 2007 1:15 pm
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Indeed ! Also, Swedish men were a kind of fashion, at this moment. Swedish people were very appreciated at the court, everybody wanted to greet them.

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Thu Mar 01, 2007 1:42 pm
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That is also true. There were other Swedes at court, such as Monsieur de Stael, and some others whom the queen helped along in their careers.

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Thu Mar 01, 2007 1:54 pm
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Some of the excerpts of Antoinette's letters to Fersen that I've seen seem quite intimate although that might just be, as others have said, that it was the fashion of the court at the time to address friends in a very extravagent fashion.

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Sat Mar 03, 2007 4:00 pm
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Most of those passages no one can really be certain if they were really written by the queen.

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Sat Mar 03, 2007 4:19 pm
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