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 Count Axel von Fersen and Marie Antoinette? 
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Post Re: Count Axel von Fersen and Marie Antoinette?
versailles wrote:
Hellou_Librorum wrote:
I truly cannot comprehend her having any privacy to have a serious conversation with her family let alone be alone with a man in a bedroom for a whole night. It doesn't calculate.

Petit Trianon


Even at Petit Trianon, she was not completely at liberty.

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Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:09 am
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Post Re: Count Axel von Fersen and Marie Antoinette?
I meant to say in Tuileries she didn't have privacy.

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Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:47 am
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Post Re: Count Axel von Fersen and Marie Antoinette?
Hellou_Librorum wrote:
I meant to say in Tuileries she didn't have privacy.


She REALLY did not have privacy there, with the guards right outside the door. There was NO WAY she could have slept with Axel, when she was hardly allowed a private moment with her own husband.....

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Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:50 am
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Post Re: Count Axel von Fersen and Marie Antoinette?
Precisely Therese! You cheeky devil you took the words right out of my mouth! :lol:

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Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:05 pm
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Post Re: Count Axel von Fersen and Marie Antoinette?
winsan2 wrote:
Its hard to ignore facts about Fersen and the Queen; during her time at the Tuileries Fersen stayed IN her rooms secretly, although LXVI knew. This was an overnight stay. In HER suite--.

Soory, this is but an interpretation. I know it is hard to believe nowadays, for everybody takes for granted that Fersen slept in the Tuileries this 1792 February night, but it is in no way, actually.

It only relies on an impression Alma Söderjhelm had when she read and published Fersen's diary. In fact, Fersen only wrote that he wanted to go to the Tuileries, that he used his ordinary way, that he feared tha national gards, that her place was wonderful, that he did not meet the king. Then there is a spot, under which Madame Södejhelm affirms that there is "resté là", and that this means that Fersen slept with the queen.

Image

I saw this specific page, it is impossible to see anything but a spot. Then, Fersen never said that he stayed in the castle, just that he went there and failed in his mission to meet the king. His ordinary way could apply to any way, especially the one he used for getting to Ms Sullivan's, his mistress. Then, if he went to the queen's, why would he admire an appartment he further went in so many times before ?

For one thing is certain... Fersen spent his whole week at Eleonora's place, hidden in a little room under the roof. With this woman he had a well known affair.

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Fri Oct 10, 2008 5:04 am
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Post Re: Count Axel von Fersen and Marie Antoinette?
Here are my thoughts on the "Fatal Friendship."

Historians have played-up the friendship as a romantic affair, possibly even sexual, because 1) they themselves do not particularly like Louis, and so they can not imagine that Antoinette would. 2) It has been well documented that Antoinette craved intimate friendships---Polignac, Lamballe, etc. By 'intimate' I do not mean sexual or romantic, just very close and loving connections. We know that Antoinette felt a need for these close relationships. This leads many historians to conclude that it was a craving sprung from disatisfaction with her husband. 3) It's very difficult for moderns to accept that a person could go through their whole life without forming a romantic attachment. Key word, romantic, and so again, they latch onto Fersen.

I suspect that there was nothing between Antoinette and Fersen other than casual friendship. Fersen probably idolized her from a far, as the saying goes, and this is reflected in his letters, but Antoinette obviously grew to love her husband. It was not romantic love, it was a deep devotion that comes from sharing life, sacrifices, tragedies, and joys. But I get the sense that there were no ecstatic firework moments in Louis and Antoinette's relationship. Antoinette probably never experienced romantic feelings. One of the many sacrifices of her station in life.

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Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:25 am
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Post Re: Count Axel von Fersen and Marie Antoinette?
Pimprenelle wrote:
winsan2 wrote:
Its hard to ignore facts about Fersen and the Queen; during her time at the Tuileries Fersen stayed IN her rooms secretly, although LXVI knew. This was an overnight stay. In HER suite--.

Soory, this is but an interpretation. I know it is hard to believe nowadays, for everybody takes for granted that Fersen slept in the Tuileries this 1792 February night, but it is in no way, actually.

It only relies on an impression Alma Söderjhelm had when she read and published Fersen's diary. In fact, Fersen only wrote that he wanted to go to the Tuileries, that he used his ordinary way, that he feared tha national gards, that her place was wonderful, that he did not meet the king. Then there is a spot, under which Madame Södejhelm affirms that there is "resté là", and that this means that Fersen slept with the queen.

Image

I saw this specific page, it is impossible to see anything but a spot. Then, Fersen never said that he stayed in the castle, just that he went there and failed in his mission to meet the king. His ordinary way could apply to any way, especially the one he used for getting to Ms Sullivan's, his mistress. Then, if he went to the queen's, why would he admire an appartment he further went in so many times before ?

For one thing is certain... Fersen spent his whole week at Eleonora's place, hidden in a little room under the roof. With this woman he had a well known affair.


Thank you, dear Pim, how fascinating to see the original entry and the infamous smudge!

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Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:55 am
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Post Re: Count Axel von Fersen and Marie Antoinette?
Christophe wrote:
Here are my thoughts on the "Fatal Friendship."

Historians have played-up the friendship as a romantic affair, possibly even sexual, because 1) they themselves do not particularly like Louis, and so they can not imagine that Antoinette would. 2) It has been well documented that Antoinette craved intimate friendships---Polignac, Lamballe, etc. By 'intimate' I do not mean sexual or romantic, just very close and loving connections. We know that Antoinette felt a need for these close relationships. This leads many historians to conclude that it was a craving sprung from disatisfaction with her husband. 3) It's very difficult for moderns to accept that a person could go through their whole life without forming a romantic attachment. Key word, romantic, and so again, they latch onto Fersen.

I suspect that there was nothing between Antoinette and Fersen other than casual friendship. Fersen probably idolized her from a far, as the saying goes, and this is reflected in his letters, but Antoinette obviously grew to love her husband. It was not romantic love, it was a deep devotion that comes from sharing life, sacrifices, tragedies, and joys. But I get the sense that there were no ecstatic firework moments in Louis and Antoinette's relationship. Antoinette probably never experienced romantic feelings. One of the many sacrifices of her station in life.


That is a good summary!

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Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:56 am
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Post Re: Count Axel von Fersen and Marie Antoinette?
It is rather annoying how the modern eye cannot sift between friendly love, and sexual love/ lust. I think they were just friends. Perhaps it is because Antoinette treated him with such kindness he idolized her. This may not be the best analogy so bear with me please. For instance you have a reject. The reject is treated rather poorly. A person is actually polite and nice. The reject latches on because that person has been the first person to display kindness. Perhaps Fersen was the reject. I am sure Antoinette returned some of his feelings but Fersen did latch on to her because she was kind.

This relationship could easily mislead people to think it was sexual versus a friendly familial love.

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Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:17 pm
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Post Re: Count Axel von Fersen and Marie Antoinette?
Therese wrote:
Thank you, dear Pim, how fascinating to see the original entry and the infamous smudge!


Yes thank you all knowing Pim. It is interesting indeed. I wonder if the smudge was to disguise anything? Or perhaps it was accidental.

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Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:19 pm
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Post Re: Count Axel von Fersen and Marie Antoinette?
Pimprenelle wrote:
winsan2 wrote:
Its hard to ignore facts about Fersen and the Queen; during her time at the Tuileries Fersen stayed IN her rooms secretly, although LXVI knew. This was an overnight stay. In HER suite--.

Soory, this is but an interpretation. I know it is hard to believe nowadays, for everybody takes for granted that Fersen slept in the Tuileries this 1792 February night, but it is in no way, actually.

It only relies on an impression Alma Söderjhelm had when she read and published Fersen's diary. In fact, Fersen only wrote that he wanted to go to the Tuileries, that he used his ordinary way, that he feared tha national gards, that her place was wonderful, that he did not meet the king. Then there is a spot, under which Madame Södejhelm affirms that there is "resté là", and that this means that Fersen slept with the queen.

Image

I saw this specific page, it is impossible to see anything but a spot. Then, Fersen never said that he stayed in the castle, just that he went there and failed in his mission to meet the king. His ordinary way could apply to any way, especially the one he used for getting to Ms Sullivan's, his mistress. Then, if he went to the queen's, why would he admire an appartment he further went in so many times before ?

For one thing is certain... Fersen spent his whole week at Eleonora's place, hidden in a little room under the roof. With this woman he had a well known affair.


A thing to remember (I think I have said it here before) is that Fersen wrote "Stannade där" or "Blifwit quar" (in modern Swedish: Blivit kvar) in his diary when he ment he spent the night with someone. They are two ways of saying "stayed there" or "remained" in Swedish. Fersen wrote his diary in French, but some words and sentences he wrote in Swedish.

I am not saying that I think that the Swedish words are under the spot, just that if someone should claim to see the French words "resté là" there they are clearly lying or seeing what they think they want to see, and in fact those words would not mean Fersen slept with Antoinette. :lol:

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Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:25 pm
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Post Re: Count Axel von Fersen and Marie Antoinette?
Hi, everybody ! I agree with all of you. Thank you, Christophe, for this so clear explanation. That's my opinion also and completely.

Dear Hans Axel, Ms Söderjhelm affirms that those words "resté là" are written under this spot. She does not give the shadow of any explanation. And she evend forgets the sentence about the king in her commentary ! In such a hurry she is to portray Fersen "straying there" with the queen of France !

This author caused a huge damage to Marie Antoinette's reputation and to historical scholarship in general, by considering her own desires for granted. Unfortunately, later historians blindly followed Alma's fantasies ! Such as Evelyne Lever, or even this so serious Simone Bertiere...

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Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:39 am
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Post Re: Count Axel von Fersen and Marie Antoinette?
Pimprenelle wrote:
Dear Hans Axel, Ms Söderjhelm affirms that those words "resté là" are written under this spot.


In the Swedish edition of the published diary (with Alma Söderhjelm's comments - she was Finnish but in Finland they speak Swedish...) she does not say it was these French words but the Swedish.

~ I might add that I do not agree with Söderhjelm in any way, this horrible woman. ~

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Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:46 am
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Post Re: Count Axel von Fersen and Marie Antoinette?
One doesn't need Söderhjelm's assertion that Fersen wrote "resté là" in his diary to believe that Marie Antoinette and Fersen had a love affair, consummated or not. Many contemporary witnesses comment on this supposed affair between the two as if it was common knowledge, and the regular meetings between them, especially later on, were unheard of before for a Queen of France. Fersen's rôle towards this Royal couple, as a foreigner risking his life in this way, is inexplicable any other way. It is impossible to say that it was impossible for them to have slept together at the Tuileries (or elsewhere). I have even seen theories, quite plausible, that the nightwatch on the Queen may have been intentionaly slackened by Lafayette, perhaps in order to have some leverage on this Sovereign. It indeed seems likely that the powers to be knew of Fersen's visits, spies were everywhere. Maybe even Varennes was deliberately tolerated, in order to have a reason afterwards to destitute the King, which would explain some of the incredible incoherences of this famous voyage. Maybe these somewhat naive sovereigns, unschooled in the shady manners of espionnage, were more puppets on a string than we think...

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Sun Oct 12, 2008 8:11 pm
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Post Re: Count Axel von Fersen and Marie Antoinette?
I think she was on fire for him! And she was, I believe, the Queen of his Heart! Even after her death Axel fought for her, trying to retrieve her things all across Europe for Marie Therese. That is proof to me that even if they were never physical, there was a love there beyond friendship.


Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:19 am
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