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Favourite historical figures other than Marie Antoinette
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Author:  baron de batz [ Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Favourite historical figures other than Marie Antoinette

There are some good biographies of MA around, many in French. Do you read French?

Otherwise Fraser's bio is good, as is Nesta Webster's.

I'll ty and think of others.

I think that MA and Fersen had a love affair, probably physical. Many don't share my view. For me it is quite clear they were in love.

Author:  Lilly [ Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Favourite historical figures other than Marie Antoinette

Desmond Steward, Cronin and Castelot are good too.
I agree with Baron that MA and Fersen most likely had a love affair. I don't think that MA ever felt about a man the way she felt about Fersen. It's doubtful Louis XVI ever made her feel like Fersen did. She may have learned to love Louis but she was in love with Fersen. Big difference.



One of my favorite historical figures other than MA is Eleanor of Aquitane. Wife and mother of Kings. She was a remarkable woman for her time.

Author:  Queen Margot [ Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Favourite historical figures other than Marie Antoinette

There's lots of historical figures that interest me in a variety of ways, but no one comes close to Marie Antoinette.

Let's see, I've always liked Napoleon - can't help but admire his guts. I begrudgingly like Louis XIV too - there's something seductive about him despite the way he treated people at times. I also think Catherine de Medici and her family are pretty interesting although I don't particularly like any of them. I have to say I'm fascinated with the French royals in general lol.

I think the Tudors are interesting too, but I don't really admire any of them. I kind of love to hate Anne Boleyn lol. And I do feel sorry for Mary Queen of Scots.

Other historical figures that fascinate me: some of the members of Ancient Egypt's 18th dynasty: Akhenaten, Nefertiti etc. Then I'm also fascinated with the Arthurian legends and the possible historical facts behind some of the legends. Far removed from 18th century France I know!

Author:  Orleans87 [ Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Favourite historical figures other than Marie Antoinette

Thank you.
I just get insecure when I write a lot in English and I don't want to look like an imbecile. :oops:

I'm from Germany, Thuringia, but moved to the States a couple years ago.
It is really hard to be that far away from home and my neighbor France.

I always try to stay neutral in regard to historical personalitites, and not to glorify or villify them.
To get my mind around Marie Antoinette's character is hard because she was such a complex person.
Another problem are the ambivalent opinions about her. The rumor's are extremely manifested in peoples minds to this place and time.

We have history books that teach factoids rather than the true complexity about those events.
I'm happy that I had a history teacher who had a neutral opinion and didn't slide into hate-tirades.

Marie Antoinette must have had a heavy aura to persuade all those enemies of the crown. I always ask myself, what those people thought when they met her.
I mean those people hated the crown (understandable) and obviously had a not very favourable opinion about Marie because of all these rumors and slander through the press.
Mirabeau was presumably lucky that he died of pericarditis (some say poison), or he would have also lost his head.

I see that you are currently live in Paris. What I'm interested in is, how do the French view Marie Antoinette in general?
I know that you can't speak for everyone but what is the general attitude in regard to Marie Antoinette?

So, you followed the route of her escape attempt. I hope the weather was on your side.

I don't know but when I think about the escape, I always get a real bad and sad feeling because it sealed their faith for good.
If they just would have dressed appropriately, then it could have worked. This mistake really showed their ignorance.

The lightning that struck in front of her statue sounds like a bad omen.
I'm relieved that her and Louis's body were exhumed and buried in Saint Denis. Sadly just in 1815, but better then never.
However, is it really her?
I heard her first resting place was an unmarked grave.

Unfortunatly, I can't read or speak French.

Thank you for your suggestion's in regard to the biographies. I really appreciate it.

I'm happy that I am not alone with my opinion about Marie's and Fersen's relationship, and yes, it is quite obvious.


To Lilly:

Also thank you for your suggestions.

I have to disagree with you on one point. I don't think that you can learn to love somebody. I would say that you can come to accept, tolerate or to even be fond of them, but not love.

Eleanor of Aquitane is a very fascinating woman, the only one who was queen of England and France.
It is really spectacular, at that time, to be able to get a divorce. Well, I think it wouldn't have been possible if Louis VII didn't agree. That must have been a real scandal.
It is really bugging me that such a strongwilled woman was sold like a cow to Henry II, 8 weeks later.
Wasn't she accused of incest with her uncle Raymond of Poitiers?
If it is true? I don't know but she sure was one of the first feminst's of her time.

Author:  Lilly [ Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Favourite historical figures other than Marie Antoinette

Orleans87 wrote:
It is really bugging me that such a strongwilled woman was sold like a cow to Henry II, 8 weeks later.


I do not think this is true. Eleanor of Aquitaine was divorced from Louis VII approximately eight weeks before she married Henry. She was in charge of her own lands - and in accordance with her divorce, she became a vassal of the King. Protocol demanded that she secure his approval before marrying. She did not follow this protocol and married Henry without Louis' permission. Since Louis VII of France did not know this wedding was going to take place, it is doubtful that Eleanor was "sold like a cow". There was no one with the authority to sell her.

Women were considered chattel in these times and most definitely were treated like livestock and sold off. But not Eleanor - she lived a life that most women of her time couldn't have gotten away with.

Author:  Orleans87 [ Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Favourite historical figures other than Marie Antoinette

Hmm, Eleanor might have been the most powerful woman of her time but she was still a woman, and her faith was ruled by man. :x

Even though she became the Duchess of Aquitaine when she was 15 years old, King Louis VI of France was announced as her guardian, he
had control over her estate and was responsible for finding a suitable husband.
He choose his son Louis VII, who, as Eleanor said, was a monk rather than a man.
The reason was to bring Aquitaine under the French Crown, although it would remain independent till her oldest son would become King of France.
Which never happened.

I think she misused her subtle power, that she just had because Louis VII was a weak leader and because he was charmed by his young and beautiful wife, at least at that time.

For example, she requested that the marriage between Raoul I of Vermandois and Eleanor of Blois was to be dissolved, because Petrinilla, her sister, was in love with him, and he with her.

This led to a two year long war between Louis VII and Eleanor of Blois's brother, which ended with the Champagne occupied by the French Crown.
Was it naivete, calculation or a devil may care attitude? :think:

Louis's flawed character became obvious in the crusade. He was a weak and self-righteous coward.
Eleanor, who had apparently a better understanding about war-fare-strategy,
couldn't sway her husband and was imprisoned for her opposition 2 times.

I have to agree with you that I was misinformed about her, being sold like a cow to Henry, but she was to her first husband.
Though I still have to say that the marriage between her and Heny was rather a partnership of convenience, at least on her side.
Rumor's say, that she had an affair with Henry while she was still married and sent envoys to him, with the prospect of marrying at once.
The reason was that Theobald V and Geoffrey, Count of Nantes tried to kidnap and marry her, just to get their dirty hands on her land. :evil:

The wedding ceremony didn't even befit their rank, so she must have been in a hurry and didn't have time and trust (understandable)
to get her ex-husband's approval.

The marriage might have been happy for a while but Henry obviously couldn't keep his hands to himself and fathered a lot of illegitimate children.
One of them was Geoffrey of York, who was acknowledged by his father and even raised under Eleanor's care.
That is a big humiliation to be forced to raise your husband's bastard and at the same time the son of a prostitute.

1167, she agreed to a separation and went to Poitiers. Henry left a military commander as her custodian and just after this man was killed, she had,
for the first time control over her inheritance. I think for 5 years.

After the revolt in 1173-1174, and after going back to England she was held captive for 16 years.


King Philip tried to claim properties in the Normandy, under his wife's name, although they belonged to Eleanor.
So Henry send for her.
It seems that they turned towards each other again, but she was still supervised and had a custodian.

After Henry's death, she ruled England in Richard's name. Her power apparently decreased under John's reign again.

She had a rather turbulent live and more power than other women. However, her life was, unfortunately, controlled by man.

She was born at the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Eleanor risked more than others but she didn't get away either and was humiliated and punished.

She had a certain freedom because, Louis VII was captivated at the beginning and tried to please her,
in regard to her sister's marriage with Raoul.
Henry, as she left for Poitiers, just didn't care about her anymore and went to pursue his own business.
At that time he was in love with his mistress, Rosamund Clifford.
As Rosamund died, Henry accused Eleanor of poisoning her.

Like the accusations about countless affairs and incest weren't enough.

Eleanor is as tragic as Marie Antoinette, with the difference that Eleanor died of natural cause.

She was a strong woman with ambitions she couldn't fulfill because of her sex.

I'm sorry if I got something wrong but I never really engaged with her biography as deeply and just wrote from memory.
Of course I had to look up some names and dates.

I hope you are not angry if I disagree with you about Eleanor's independence.

Author:  baron de batz [ Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Favourite historical figures other than Marie Antoinette

In general French people are not positive about MA. Ignorance is a strong force everywhere, and people are too busy with their various occupations to read up about her or even think about her. The republic is firmly established here, and MA represents a bygone world. She is seen as aloof, arrogant and spendthrift...all the clichés together. Also as an airhead.

We did have relatively good weather for our trip to Varennes. We followed the exact route and found most of the stagecoach houses where the Royal family stopped, still intact after more than 200 years. We calculated the average stage as between 20 and 25km. We even located the bridge where they stopped to repair the harnesses after hitting a borderstone.

The arrival at Varennes was even more depressing than we had imagined. A sad uninteresting place with a heavy atmosphere, at least for us. We had a drink in the Hotel du Grand Monarque where the two young generals suppoed to look out for the carriage were staying. Its' now a very dull and uninspiring café restaurant and inn.

Our main impression was just how exhausting this trip must have been for the Royal family, as in a carriage it must have seemed endless, especially the last stretch between Sainte Ménéhould and Varennes. We were very tired just following the route in the comfort of a car. If you want to see photos, then I suggest you register on the French forum 'Boudoir de marie Antoinette" and check out the Varennes section, where you can see the whole route and the various places.

Author:  Lilly [ Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Favourite historical figures other than Marie Antoinette

Orleans87 wrote:
I have to agree with you that I was misinformed about her, being sold like a cow to Henry, but she was to her first husband.


No, she was not. Eleanor cannot have been said to have been sold like a cow to anybody, ever. The French throne was the most likely place for her. She'd been educated by her father to rule his lands - she was beautiful, cultured and very smart. This marriage offered her the protection a woman of her wealth would have needed in these times.
She came out of her marriage with all her lands and the power to rule them intact. Remarkable for a woman in the 12th century.


Orleans87 wrote:
The wedding ceremony didn't even befit their rank, so she must have been in a hurry and didn't have time and trust (understandable)
to get her ex-husband's approval.


The wedding took place after Geoffrey tried to have her kidnaped. It was common practice for wealthy women to be forced into a marriage and her lands taken from her by her "husband". Eleanor's marriage to Henry also afforded her the protection as mentioned above. There were specific reasons she didn't seek Louis VII's approval and the wedding took place quietly.

Orleans87 wrote:
Eleanor is as tragic as Marie Antoinette, with the difference that Eleanor died of natural cause.


I disagree with this. I do not think that there can be any comparisons made between the two women. Eleanor was allowed much more freedom in her life than MA ever was. She was educated and aware of what was happening. She may have had her sorrows in life, but was never treated with the cruelty MA experienced. Even when Henry had Eleanor imprisoned, it was in the best of circumstances, a sort of house arrest in one of their castles.

Author:  Lilly [ Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Favourite historical figures other than Marie Antoinette

June 21 - a sad day indeed for the Royal family. I'm sure it was something to experience this trip Baron. I looked at the pictures on the French forum, how interesting to see the real places.

Yesterday was also the anniversary of Axel Fersen's death.

Author:  Orleans87 [ Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Favourite historical figures other than Marie Antoinette

Lilly, after her father died and Louis VI became her guardian, who had absolute control,
she was immediately married off to his son for her property. With immediately I mean, within hours he got the message of William's death and will.
That is what I mean with "sold like a cow".

Her father was very farsighted and bequeathed, the day he died, his whole property to Eleanor and appointed, like mentioned before, Louis VI as her guardian.
He did that to ensure her protection because, as you said, a rich heiress was easily to be kidnapped.
William apparently didn't think that Louis VI would abuse his guardianship in such a way and in merely a couple hours.

She came out of her marriage with title and land intact, but that has nothing to do with a remarkable accomplishment on her side.
Eleanor wasn't just Duchess in name, but she inherited everything through her father's testament.
This lead to the marriage clause I already wrote about in my previous post.
This clause said that Aquitaine would remain independent, till Eleanor would bear a son and pass her title and property on the future King of France and Duke of Aquitaine.
Given that she never had a son with Louis VII, Aquitaine remained independent and under her name.

Her father's intelligence secured it, without him, she would have lost everything with the divorce.

After the divorce, she didn't have a guardian, apart from that her first guardian behaved malicious in his selfish act.

It is clear that Eleanor would have been stupid if she tried to seek Louis VII approval to marry Henry II, his enemy.
The balance of Power shifted with the marriage, with Aquitaine falling in the hands of the English.
She probably knew about the consequences of such an alliance and it looks like an act of revenge, but if that was her main point, I'm not so sure about. :think:

Eleanor was a proud woman and she was forced into a marriage that was filled with unhappiness, humiliation and accusations.
So, to think that she could eventually be kidnapped and again, be treated like property, could have lead to the fast decision to marry Henry.
Henry was like the a glimpse of light in this desperate situation. He was good looking, ambitious, intelligent, passionate and of course of befitting rank.

If this alliance would have took place without the danger,in regard to Eleanor's safety, is still questionable.
However, it was a very refined solution on Eleanor's part and shows her high intelligence.



I think that Eleanor and Marie Antoinette share some common point's.

They both were married off for the "greater purpose". They both were the center of unflattering gossip.
They both were blamed for not being able to produce an heir.
They both tried to escape this predicament, each in their own way, but no less, they tired.
Of course they were different in character but they still had a lot in common.

Eleanor of Aquitaine and Marie Antoinette were prisoners of their own gender.

Oh, and just because she was held captive in the best of circumstances doesn't lessen the tragedy of being held prisoner for 16 years.


Lilly, I don't want to start a conflict between us. So if you feel I'm being arrogant or a bitch, I assure you that this isn't the case. :love:

Author:  Orleans87 [ Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Favourite historical figures other than Marie Antoinette

Baron de Batz...........

It is really sad to know that the majority of people still picture her as a money-wasting and man-eating demon.
However, I have to say, I'm not extremely surprised about the general opinion of the French. :(

Baron, I'm kind of jealous of you right now, in regard to the trip.
I did as you suggested, and joined the forum "Boudoir de marie Antoinette" with the help of "google translate". :oops:

Unfortunately I can't find this section, probably due to my ignorance of the French language.
I don't want to annoy you, but could you give me a more precise explanation how to find the "Varennes-section"?

Thank you in advance.


:wave:


Ok, something completely different.

Yesterday after work, I was browsing through the forum-archives to find something interesting and noticed a post discussion, which was, I think, 24 sites long, about Fersen and Antoinette's relationship.
I just couldn't wait to read through it. :o

What I noticed while reading is, that a discussion about their relationship seems to be a very touchy subject for some people. :think:

I got the feeling that this subject was created to congratulate each other, because they are sharing the same opinion about Antonia's "unshakable" fidelity. :roll:

Fersen was described as a shallow, selfish and nymphomaniac monster. This involuntarily reminded me of the slander-attacks Marie Antoinette had to face herself.
If she ever was befriended with such a person they described, wouldn't that mark her as a shallow creature as well? (This sentence sounds awkward)


Then I noticed that you were also posting , and your replies were very delighting for me to read.
You were respectful and neutral but clearly stated your opinion, supported with evidence and logic.
I couldn't have said it better, especially not in English. :clap:

I was shocked and kinda enraged to read the responses you've got.

You were bombarded with hypocrisy and insults. To be treated like a little kid who doesn't know anything must have been very frustrating.

I know I was, and I wasn't even the one who was treated like some kind of idiot. :banghead:

Such immature behaviour was totally uncalled for.

http://themetapicture.com/media/funny-bully-gif-muscles.gif

This is also uncalled for :lol:

Author:  Lilly [ Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Favourite historical figures other than Marie Antoinette

Orleans87 wrote:
Lilly, I don't want to start a conflict between us. So if you feel I'm being arrogant or a bitch, I assure you that this isn't the case


My disagreeing with you has only to do with the facts of Eleanor's life. I maintain that she was not sold like a cow. She also was not married within hours of her father's death. It was weeks. Her marriage to Henry was not a spur of the moment thing - she loved him and had been having an affair with him. She may not have provided Louis VII with a male heir, but she provided Henry II with plenty of them! Still, the lives of MA and Eleanor do not hold enough in common for me to make comparisons, other than very generally.

Author:  baron de batz [ Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Favourite historical figures other than Marie Antoinette

Thanks for your advice Orleans. Bitch slapping seems a reliable alternative, even if only figuratively here!)) I can't even remember that discussion, it seems a long time ago. People on Internet rarely get me angry and I have a hyperactive irony gland which helps me. As for MA some people like to think of her as holier than thou and completely frigid. Maybe they secretly feel that themselves, but I'm pretty sure MA didn't.

After all she was either the nun for some or the slut for others, nice clear concise categories.

Author:  Monsieur Etiquette [ Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Favourite historical figures other than Marie Antoinette

Quote:
My fascination with Marie Antoinette, the Rokkoko and the French Revolution started with the Anime and Manga " Rose of Versailles".
I know, it sounds really childish but I was 6 years old, and I think that through art we find interest in the truth and start to investigate.
It's funny, you know - before March, if I recall correctly, this page on Wikipedia was the only one to feature the name 'Rosalie Lamorlière'. Only very recently, when I had time at my disposal, did Rosalie actually get her own page! In any case, this is how I have heard this before, as I was astounded to find Lamorlière did not have a dedicated page at all.

Author:  Monsieur Etiquette [ Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Favourite historical figures other than Marie Antoinette

In regards to the thread topic - quite a few. Louis XVI, ses enfants, Madame de Stael, Madame Roland, Louis XV, Le Roi-Soleil, Necker, d'Artois, Richelieu & Mazarin, Marie de' Medicis... a lot more from Bourbon France. I also have vested interest in Bismarck, certain people from Australian history, and there are a few glaring ones that have absolutely slipped from under me at the moment.

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