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Dinner with the Dauphine
http://forum.marie-antoinette.org/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=2650
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Author:  History Detective [ Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Dinner with the Dauphine

Hi, all! A few questions for my learned friends! I understand that Marie-Antoinette was never fond of the public dining ceremony of the Grand Couvert, and I am wondering if, as Dauphine, she might have had more private dinners with some of her family and friends aside from the public-viewed meals. Could she, for instance, have invited her husband and his brothers and a small number of her favorites from the court to a supper in her appartements at Versailles? If so, do you know if there was a particular room where this would likely occur? What were the rules of etiquette for who would sit where? Which attendants would likely be present (for example, would the Comtesse de Noailles be present) and how would the service of the meal proceed?

Thanks, everyone! Any information you might provide will be extremely helpful, as I am researching for my writing project. While I could guess at some of the answers, I would surely prefer to have solid information so I can maintain accuracy.

Author:  Ludy [ Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dinner with the Dauphine

Indeed, the Queen did not care for the “Grand-Couvert”. She would rush through, eager to get back to her private apartments, where she would have simple and casual meals.

Marie-Antoinette was fond of the “petits soupers”, which were held every week or so. Those dinners were not private though -they had been institutionalized. Seeing as being invited was considered an honor, an invitation to a “petit souper” was reward that was fiercely vied for.

Marie-Antoinette brought in a few innovations.

First, she wanted both men and women to dine at the same table and obtained satisfaction on this point.

Secondly, she was set on turning the “petits-soupers” into truly private dinners. She was keen to exclude from the “petits-soupers” any invitee she did not like, whatever their merits. If her opinion on the short-list of invitees had not been heeded, she had no qualms about snubbing the attendees she had objected to.

Invitations to Trianon were even further restricted, and almost solely depended upon the Queen's liking, apart from a few official visits.

Author:  History Detective [ Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Dinner with the Dauphine

Thank you so much for this excellent information, Ludy! It gives me a great lead for doing further research!

Author:  Ludy [ Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dinner with the Dauphine

History Detective wrote:
Thank you so much for this excellent information, Ludy! It gives me a great lead for doing further research!


It dawned on me that you posted in the Dauphine section. My answer was referring to the Queen's dinner habits, not the Dauphine's.

I am not sure my answer is very relevant in the context of Marie-Antoinette being still Dauphine, as she has much less leeway when it came to modifying the court's ways. Also she obviously did not have the same rank, even though she was the first lady due to the death of the Queen.

So the fairest answer to your question is : I don't know.

Author:  History Detective [ Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Dinner with the Dauphine

Thank you for the correction, Ludy! I appreciate it!

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