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 A Day in the Life of the Dauphine 
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Post A Day in the Life of the Dauphine
Hi, everyone! I've been reading the book The Story of Versaillesby Francis Loring Payne (New York: Moffat, Yard & Company, 1919) and found this description of a typical day in Marie Antoinette's life as the dauphine. I have read other books that include this letter to her mother, but have not so far read the original letter in its original language. Would the letter have been written in French or in Austrian? If French, I am able to read it and would love to know a link to where it can be read online. Also, for anyone who knows what the original letter says, is the following translation from the Payne book a good translation? Thank you for your help with this! Here's the quote...

"...to her mother she sent this quaint epistle a few weeks after her arrival in France: 'You wish to know how I spend my time habitually. I will say, therefore, that I rise at ten o'clock or nine, or half-past nine, and after dressing I say my prayers; then I breakfast, after which I go to my aunts' (Madame Adelaïde, Victoire and Sophie), where I usually meet the King. At eleven I go to have my hair dressed. At noon the Chambre is called, and any one of sufficient rank may come in. I put on my rouge and wash my hands before everybody; then the gentlemen go out; the ladies stay, and I dress before them. At twelve is mass; when the King is at Versailles I go to mass with him and my husband and my aunts. After mass we dine together before everybody, but it is over by half-past one, as we both eat quickly. (Marie Antoinette always found the custom of eating in public most distasteful.) I then go to Monsieur the Dauphin; if he is busy I return to my own apartments, where I read, I write, or I work, for I am embroidering a vest for the King, which does not get on quickly, but I trust that, with God's help, it will be finished in a few years! At three I go to my aunts', where the King usually comes at that time. At four the Abbé (her literary mentor) comes to me; at five the master for the harpsichord, or the singing-master, till six. At half-past six I generally go to my aunts' when I do not go out. You must know that my husband almost always comes with me to my aunts'. At seven, card-playing till nine. When the weather is fine I go out; then the card-playing takes place in my aunts' apartments instead of mine. At nine, supper; when the King is absent my aunts come to take supper with us; if the King is there, we go to them after supper, and we wait for the King, who comes usually at a quarter before eleven; but I lie on a large sofa and sleep till his arrival; when he is not expected we go to bed at eleven. Such is my day.'"


Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:23 pm
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Post Re: A Day in the Life of the Dauphine
Hi again! Another question about this...

Does anyone know if Marie Antoinette ever finished the vest she was working on for the king? I would love to know...


Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:27 pm
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Post Re: A Day in the Life of the Dauphine
La Princesse Rose wrote:
[color=#FF95BF]Hello History Detective! I'm neew here... I was wondering if your ever finished the book. How was it

Hi, La Princesse Rose--and welcome to the forum! I did finish reading the book--a free downloadable PDF from Google Books. I find some really awesome books for free there.

The book is quite interesting, and it tells much about the construction of the Chateau de Versailles. It spends much time describing the life of Louis XIV's era, a little about Louis XV, a little about Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, and touches on what happened to the chateau after their reigns. It is a fairly quick book to read--only about 250 or so pages.

I've been trying to do some intense research on what Versailles was like at about 1773 for a writing project, so I found this book helpful!


Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:58 pm
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