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 Fact v Fiction 
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Post Fact v Fiction
Ca va:

Since viewing (multiple times) the Sofia Coppola gem "Marie Antoinette", I have been intrigued by her brief reign. My interest was further piqued by a visit to Versailles. As filmakers at times take creative license I am deeply interested in separating fact from fiction.
My fact finding will certaily allow me to discover more than I thought I knew but certainly I will (for myself) dispel some of the urban legends surrounding her life. Indeed my interest was sparked by the film's portrayal of Marie as being dismayed by the people's believing that she had said to "...let them eat cake". Was she a compassionate individual that was dominated and handcuffed by the forces of the king and his advisors or was she as coldhearted and uncaring as she is most times portrayed?


Sun May 18, 2008 11:37 pm
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Post Re: Fact v Fiction
let them eat cake was accually said by louis 16th wife

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Mon May 19, 2008 12:44 am
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Post Re: Fact v Fiction
versailles wrote:
let them eat cake was accually said by louis 16th wife


You made a mistake, Louis 16th (XVI) wife was Marie Antoinette and there is no historical evidence of her ever making such a statement. Actually her reaction was different; when Louis XVI had become the king she said how they had a big responsibility not to disappoint people who welcomed them with so much joy and hopes. Maybe you thought on wife of Louis XV but I doubt that she had said that either.

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Wed May 21, 2008 3:50 pm
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Post Re: Fact v Fiction
No, actually the sentence was NEVER pronounced by MA and there are serious doubt that it was ever pronounced at all. Actually, it had been attributed to several princesses before MA (I think the first one was Maria de' Medici), it was a kind of myth circulating. Also with MA it probably started like a kind of joke, but in her case, alas, it was particularly succesful because people hated her and in the time of the Revolution every legend like this could be exploited politically. So also today a lot of people think it's true, but it is absolutely false!!! By the way, as also Antonia Fraser remarks in the introduction to her biography, MA would never had said something like that. She wasn't such a snobbish and vulgar person as to say so; on the contrary, she was very compassionate and concerned about the poors. The errors she made were political errors, and had nothing to do with her not caring about the suffering of her people.

About your first question, Fernand, she was not cold; just the opposite. She was very affectionate and I think also quite emotional. It's not that she was really dominated by the King's counsellors, simply the queen of France didn't have actual power. Most of the umpopularity she suffered was due to the general flaws of the French political and social system, and to the fact that she was the perfect scapegoat for that.
But I'm sure you will find the answer to many question reading other threads on this forum! For the moment, welcome, and I hope you will enjoy this place :D

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Wed May 21, 2008 7:50 pm
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Post Re: Fact v Fiction
Poor Antoinette, we must always protect her... it's so confusing that most of the people ascribe to her that pronouncement :oops:
By the way! Welcome, Fernand :P

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Wed May 21, 2008 8:26 pm
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Post Re: Fact v Fiction
oh sorry i ment louis 14th (sun king)

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Wed May 21, 2008 8:34 pm
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Post Re: Fact v Fiction
pas de probleme, it's all right

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Thu May 22, 2008 8:09 am
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Post Re: Fact v Fiction
Don't worry :D I guessed some mistake like that. I also know that the sentence was attributed to Louis XIV's wife, but I think also for her it didn't corrspond to reality...but I'm not sure about that.

You're so right, Anouk! Some days ago a friend of mine went to verailles and the guide shwed them a balcony saying it was the one "from which MA pronounced the famouse sentence"! My friend was very annoyed, and I was too!

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Fri May 23, 2008 1:49 pm
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Post Re: Fact v Fiction
versailles wrote:
oh sorry i ment louis 14th (sun king)


It's all right. That's what I thought you mean anyway! :)

I think if they pin pointed Louis the fourteenth's wife to that quote earlier things would have been better and that myth wouldn't persist. :(

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Fri May 23, 2008 4:01 pm
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Post Re: Fact v Fiction
also i tink the pesants wanted her to say that (as in it was a myth)

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Fri May 23, 2008 9:08 pm
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Post Re: Fact v Fiction
oh my god what can we do to avoid these sentences? :?
most of people do not think before say somethig like this (I mean your story, Rosalie).

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Sat May 24, 2008 8:18 am
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Post Re: Fact v Fiction
Rosalie wrote:
Don't worry :D I guessed some mistake like that. I also know that the sentence was attributed to Louis XIV's wife, but I think also for her it didn't corrspond to reality...but I'm not sure about that.

You're so right, Anouk! Some days ago a friend of mine went to verailles and the guide shwed them a balcony saying it was the one "from which MA pronounced the famouse sentence"! My friend was very annoyed, and I was too!


It sounds like the guide really knew their stuff. That's ludicrious. So they have enough ignorance to say that she indeed said "Let them eat cake." And have enough gall to state specifically where she said it?!? The nerve of people.

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Sat May 24, 2008 2:33 pm
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Post Re: Fact v Fiction
Yes, and she said that in front of a group pf high school students, so that's how myths go on...
I don't realy know what balcony she thought of, and how she connected it to that sentence...mah!

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Sun May 25, 2008 8:30 am
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Post Re: Fact v Fiction
yes it's awful

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Mon May 26, 2008 5:38 pm
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Post Re: Fact v Fiction
She was a warm and loving person who retreated into a private closed, world to escape the cold falseness and treachery of the French court, as far as I know. Did she not take in an orphaned child or something and dress a gentleman's wounds as if she were a nurse? I think I read both somewhere. I have been told that the French aristocracy was guilty only of 'indifference', but I am not so sure that this is entirely correct. I think certain members of the aristocracy were guilty of conniving, backstabbing, intrigue and perhaps even treasonous disloyalty to their sovereigns, but Marie herself was 'guilty' only of being so far removed from normal life that she could not see the forest for the trees, so to speak. I find her to be almost the personification of innocence and this is one reason why I loved the Sofia Coppola film so much. It cut through a lot of detail to accurately capture this. Am I wrong?

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Sun Aug 10, 2008 7:24 am
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