|Author:||ParisinJune [ Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:34 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Marie, her life and times|
Marie, a wife at 15, a Queen at age 19, or so my notes tell me.
They also tell me that she loved sentimental literature
...... Rousseau, Richardson, Mercier.... even Restif Le Breton
(very racy ! )
It was after Louis 15 died in 1774 that Marie engaged a new miliner .... Mme Benin ... to dress her and Marie soon became a fashion icon wearing sumptuous dresses of silk and extravagant headdresses of gauze and feathers.
She attended grand balls and other events in Paris where she set the fashion, her dress style eagerly followed by the ladies of Paris.
They were exciting, heady years for the young Queen, celebrated and cheered by the Parisian crowds, apparently loved and adored by all of her people.
But.... in the shadows..... there were sinister forces at work, soon there were obscene pamphlets printed defaming her and acusing her of unnatural vice.
Over in the American colonies a revolution was being fought on land and sea .... an all out rebellion to overthrow the rule of Britain's King George .
In the course of time, Frenchmen returning from these revolutionary wars in the New World would prove less prepared to be subservient to the French Monarchy.
Soon the soldiers and sailors returning from America began to sew new ideas of revolution and freedom and the founding of a French republic.
I wonder what Marie actually sounded like, she must have spoke French with a German accent.... not the most popular accent to French ears considering France's historical rivalry with the Austrian Empire.
All too soon Marie found herself in the maelstrom of powerful, sinister forces as the revolution approached and the Royal Family found themselves captives of the mob.... having to throw themselves on the mercy of their sworn enemies.
For Marie and her family it was a captivity so oppressive with constant anxiety and the ever present fear of physical harm from an angry mob invading the palace.
Marie was a good hearted, attractive lady and a good mother, she did nt deserve such cruel, heartless treatment but , alas, she was a victim of history.
Over the years, Marie has become one of the most fascinating figures in all of history, perhaps because her ultimate fate is so shocking and brutal.
Indeed, the whole French Revolution is a unique event, so bloody and shocking yet so protracted in time.
The Royal Family's captivity and humiliation seem to go on forever and , sadly, no invading army arrives in Paris to put an end to their plight.
Day after day, month after month, all of Europe read of the horrors going on in the streets of Paris and indeed all over France,
Tragic news of mobs taking control, of street violence and the daily, ceaseless work of the guillotines.
Yet despite all this carnage taking place in what was once the most civilized and cultured city in Europe, the great European powers seemed totally impotent to do anything about it.
Perhaps we re becoming a little morbid, forever reading and thinking about these tragic events, perhaps, occasionally, we should focus on happier, more peaceful times ?
Maybe we should focus on the age of Mme Pompadour..... the Mistress of King Louis 15.
An accomplished, charming lady, a lover of literature, the friend of Voltaire, she was presented at court in 1745 and became the King's mistress in that same year.
She soon became established at Versailles , she commissioned painters, sculptures and builders and became a strong influence at the very heart of of the French government.
(Interestingly her middle name was Antoinette ! )
Compared with the tragic era of Marie Antoinette, Mme de Pompadour's era seems like an idyllic time of peace and prosperity........ a 'golden age' when France led the world in painting, literature and the elaborate Rococo style.
Thinking about it, maybe we should start a ' Mme de Pompadour forum ' as a kind of antidote to the doom and gloom that surrounds poor Marie Antoinette.........
....... just a thought
|Author:||Pimprenelle [ Fri Jul 13, 2007 7:05 am ]|
Please don't call Marie Antoinette "Marie". "Marie" is the traditionnal name every Habsbourg achduchess received. See Marie Therese (her mother) or Marie Caroline, Marie Amelie, Marie Christine...
Maria Antonia was thus called Antonia, Antoinette or Antoine. If you want to shorten her name, call her Antoinette.
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