Marie Antoinette Online Forum

Joseph II
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Author:  Marija Vera [ Fri May 16, 2008 10:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Joseph II

What do you think of him? Do you know something more about his personality, private life??

I think he was a great monarch, intelligent and powerful. He was also good looking as his dear sister (by his early portraits). He made some significant changes in the Habsburg kingdom; he made the revolution as French unnecessary by abolishing in 1781, peasants “slavery” and by other reforms that leaded to prosperity. He had declared peasants as land owners with duty to pay rent and state taxes. He declared religion tolerance and restrained church power. To bad he had died so early (by some disease I’ve read), maybe he could help his sister. I know he had given her few pages with his advices before he left her after helping them to overcome their marriage problem. I am just wondering, how couldn’t he help them during the crises in France? He was a smart man he could rule very cleverly, were he in correspondence with Louis and Marie A. during the crises? Did they listen to his advices?

I am looking forward to hear your opinion and find out some interesting facts about this man. Some anecdote will be very useful.

Joseph II.jpg
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Author:  Rosalie [ Sat May 17, 2008 1:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joseph II

I'm also quite curious about him, dear Marja Vera. What I know is that he was very attached to MA, and she to him. She could be harsh at times, especially in reproaching her, but his advice was usually sensible and never gratuitous. I think he was always in corrispondence with his sister during the years of crisis, and I think that, had he been alive during the revolution, he would have done something to save her. It's just an opinion, but it's a fact that his relationships with his sister were stronger than the next two emperors'.
He also made mistakes, though, Like Maria Theresa, he saw MA's role in France like something similar to an ambassador's, and he expected her to suport Austria's interests on every occasion, so that, in a way, he contributed to make her umpopular.

Author:  Anouk [ Sat May 17, 2008 6:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joseph II

Right, he made his siter and Louis less popular by this role of ambassador. I read that during his visit in Versailles and Paris, he also visited a lot of places... theatres, gardens, etc. So he saw more buildings and talk to more people (because he was so enquirer) than the royal couple in 14 years. (Although I think it's a bit incredible- the couple was also enquirer just without claptrap. :? )

Author:  Marija Vera [ Sat May 17, 2008 9:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joseph II

I think that that was normal. I think that he had been seeing his role as a monarch first, than he was a brother. His first and only goal was Austria (Habsburgs kingdom) so it was important for him to be a good diplomat. When I read about other great monarchs I see the same thing – there hadn’t been much space for some deeper feelings. Actually the marriage was a way of diplomacy; it was naturally that the land gains something of it. His visit had been informal and his help had been successful, he had been truly amazed with the charms of his sister.
I know that he was married twice; his first wife was very fond of his sister Marie Christine, some people say too fond, in her letters we can see really strangely deep affection.
I am interested in his relationship with Marie A. in their youth, while they had been living together. How much was he older than her? Also I would like to know something more about his personality, habits – was he faithful husband, his attitude towards life… He was enlightened monarch, often described as intelligent and ambitious.

Glad to have you back dear Rosalie, you too Anouk – I know you’ve been absent for holidays.:)

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Author:  Rosalie [ Sun May 18, 2008 8:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joseph II

Thank you MArja Vera! I'm happy to be back too :D
I think he was some 15 years older than MA, but I'll control and tell you precisely.
I know that he loved his first wife, and was shattered when she died. I didn't know about her fondness for Maria Christina!

Author:  Anouk [ Mon May 19, 2008 10:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Joseph II

Me too, thank you Marija!!!

I read that Antonia (like Maria Christina, who became Isabelle's best friend) just adored her sister-in-law, like adored an auntie, and became really sad after her death.
When Isabelle died from smallpox, this disease spread in Schönbrunn and killed a daughter of Maria Theresia. She was Maria Josepha who should marry to the King of Naples. Maria Caroline supplanted her to Naples.
And of course, Joseph II loved Isabelle's much more than his second wife, Maria Josepha of Bavaria.

Author:  Marija Vera [ Wed May 21, 2008 4:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joseph II

Isabella Maria of Parma (from Wikipedia) :

Isabella Maria of Parma, (Italian: Maria Elisabetta Luisa Antonietta Ferdinanda Giuseppina Saveria Dominica Giovanna Borbone, principessa di Parma) (December 31, 1741 – November 27, 1763).

On October 6, 1760, at the age of 18, she was married to Archduke Joseph of Austria, heir of the Habsburg Monarchy. She quickly charmed the court in Vienna with her beauty and intelligence; apparently Isabella could solve difficult mathematical problems.
She and Joseph's sister Maria Christina quickly became best friends. Although they met every day, they also wrote letters to each other. In one letter she professes her love for Maria Christina: "I am writing you again, cruel sister, though I have only just left you. I cannot bear waiting to know my fate, and to learn whether you consider me a person worthy of your love, or whether you would like to throw me into the river.... I can think of nothing but that I am deeply in love. If I only knew why this is so, for you are so without mercy that one should not love you, but I cannot help myself.". In a different letter she wrote: "I am told that the day begins with God. I, however, begin the day by thinking of the object of my love, for I think of her incessantly."
She gave birth to two children, Maria Theresia, in 1762, and Marie Christine in 1763. Marie Christine (named after her sister-in-law) died at birth and Isabella herself died a few days later from smallpox. Her daughter Maria Theresia died in January 1770 from pneumonia.
She is buried in Maria Theresa's vault in the imperial crypt vaults in Vienna, Austria.
In 1765, her father-in-law Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor died and her husband succeeded him as Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II.

If this is from her real letters then they show very deep affection. I would like to compare them with the letters she had written to her husband. Maybe she was just a very passionate person. In the 18th century people liked to dramatize their feelings.

Author:  Anouk [ Wed May 21, 2008 6:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joseph II

I think she was such a beauty

Author:  Hellou_Librorum [ Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Joseph II

I remember reading in Lady Fraser's The Journey she describes the relationship as "quasi amourous" with Marie Antoinette.

Author:  Arietta [ Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joseph II

I found this old post from "Tea at Trianon" on Joseph II:

Author:  Hellou_Librorum [ Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Joseph II

Thank you Arietta. :angel6:

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