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 Axel and Marie Antoinette living together? 
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Post Axel and Marie Antoinette living together?
I finished reading "Versailles: A Biography of A Palace" by Tony Spawforth and I read an unsettling plan. Has anyone else read about Marie Antoinette planning to have Axel Von Fersen stay in her private quarters in Versailles? The source is a letter from October 14, 1787 with directions to have a stove " in her inner cabinets with heating pipes to warm a room next door", according to Spawforth, "the room was on the floor above her official bed chamber, the two linked by the poky staircase behind the Queen's alcove door". Does anyone have information to support or refute this statement?

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Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:51 am
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Post Re: Axel and Marie Antoinette living together?
I am getting back to you belatedly on this one. My apologies.

I gather you are hinting at the notorious room with the Swedish stove.

It was supposed to be a piece of evidence indicating that the two did indeed carry on, seeing as the Queen had allegedly gone so far as to putting Fersen up in her own appartments.

I do not have any documents available right now, so here is all I can remember.

A written order was written on the behalf of the Queen to furnish a room situated in Versailles appartments. The order mentioned a stove of Swedish manufacture.

It was pointed out that this order was sent out at about the same time when Fersen wrote in his personal diary that one woman (i.e one of his girlfriends) should have a stove installed.


Now, there are several problems with this story :

1° The aforementioned written order was never found again in the Archives Nationales by the historians that tried to verify the accuracy of this story.

2° It is highly dubious that Fersen would have dared to refer to the Queen of France in such a flippant fashion. The style he resorted to in his diary is improper "let her install a stove...".

3° It seems more logical to infer that Fersen was reporting on a letter he sent to his mistress Eleonore. At Craufurd's he would be put up in a poory heated room upstairs.

4° Interpreting the Swedish manufacture as a clue seems far-fetched. The Queen was not such a stickler as to insist on a stove of Swedish manufacture just because her lover was Swedish. In fact, Marie-Antoinette was very much inclined to purchase various items of foreign manufacture, to the great dismay of her subjects. It thus seems simpler to consider that Sweden being quite cold a country, the quality of their stoves was highly regarded in the rest of Europe. Marie-Antoinette had a soft spot for Sweden, even regardless of Fersen.

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Last edited by Ludy on Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:48 pm, edited 9 times in total.



Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:33 pm
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Post Re: Axel and Marie Antoinette living together?
I apologize for a late "thank you" Ludy. I was skeptical about Spaworth's claim that Fersen lived with her, and your points reassured me.

It seems out of character for Marie Antoinette to do that.

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Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:32 am
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