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 A depressed King? 
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Yes, 1787 was when baby Sophie died, too, and Louis-Joseph was not as healthy as he should have been. I think it was very hard for Louis XVI to have his children die, since he was deeply attached to them, as well as everything else bad that happened.

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Sun Mar 18, 2007 11:48 am
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Post headaches?
I'm currently reading Ruth Scurr's biography of Robespierre. first, I recommend it - it's very detailed and not at all biased, and gives interesting facts about the king and queen's role in the revolution. among other things, since she's looking at Robespierre, she draws heavily on the papers of the national assembly, which many biographers of the king or queen - at least those I've read - ignore. For example, she notes that after the attempt to leave for Saint Cloud the king went to the assembly and addressed them as follows:
"Gentlemen, you are informed of the opposition expressed yesterday to my departure for St Cloud. I was unwilling to overcome it by force, because I feared to occasion acts of severity against a misguided multitude - but it is of importance to the nation to prove that I am free. Nothing is so essential to the authority of the sanction I have given to your decrees. Governed by this powerful motive, I persist in my plan of going to St Cloud, and the National Assembly must perceive the necessity of it". (p. 143). didn't help, of course, but it showed dignity and courage and again expresses his reluctance to use force against the people.

the reason I'm quoting this is to ask a question: Scurr refers to debilitating headaches that the king was having at this time. anyone know anything about those?


Sun Mar 18, 2007 4:42 pm
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I did not know specifically about the headaches but I know from Nesta Webster and Bernard Fay that he was having health problems at this time and often had to take to his bed.

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Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:00 pm
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Post Depression
Could I ask please which doctor diagnosed Lous with melancholy/depression and or treated him for it. I may be looking at the wrong accounts here. Just so I can have a reference thanks.


Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:18 pm
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Marie-Antoinette discreetly alludes to her husband's health and his state of mind many times in her letters. Doctors' reports of reigning monarchs were not made available to the public. Madame Campan, the Queen and Lescure write about the King's emotionally paralyzed state. Lescure mentions that in June 1792, the king was in such a state he did not recognize his own son. Nesta Webster goes into details and gives many references about the king's health and mental state. I would recommend reading her two volume work.

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Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:47 pm
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Post Nesta Webster
Hello Therese,

Could you tell me the name of the Nesta Webster book that you refer to please. There are a number that are available. Perhaps you would be good enough to let me have the title name and or the ISBN no. I know she wrote at the turn of the century (20th). There are a number of editions from 1920 to 2003 I believe. Thank you for your time.


Tue Mar 20, 2007 2:21 pm
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I am referring to Webster's two volume work on Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. I think I mentioned that, but it should not be too difficult to figure out.... One is called Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette before the Revolution. The other is called Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette during the Revolution.

Catboots, you are being very importunate. You are not my professor. I am not giving you a doctoral dissertation. I do not owe you this information.

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Tue Mar 20, 2007 2:30 pm
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Post Importunate
I am sorry you think I am being demanding/persistent. I have never read Nesta Webster that was all, I was merly asking as there are a number of her books from 1920s. I was purely interested in the topic of this thread and the reason why I asked you for assitance, no other reason.


Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:12 pm
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Post Re: A depressed King?
George Stuart's sculpture says it all.
http://www.galleryhistoricalfigures.com ... t_Full.jpg

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Sat Jan 12, 2008 3:45 am
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Post Re: A depressed King?
He couldn't recognize his son? Was it from a bout of delerium? Or amnesia how long did it last?

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Fri May 16, 2008 2:14 pm
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Post Re: A depressed King?
Hellou_Librorum wrote:
He couldn't recognize his son? Was it from a bout of delerium? Or amnesia how long did it last?


I don't know what it was but Webster thinks he had a breakdown which included deep depression.

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Fri May 16, 2008 2:44 pm
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Post Re: A depressed King?
About headaches, I didn't read anything abut Louis, but I know that many depressive illnesses have headache among their symptonms, as well as weakness and a general low mood/apathy.
for what I know and read about the king at that time, i think he suffered of something like that.

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Sat May 17, 2008 12:35 pm
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Post Re: A depressed King?
Bringing up an old thread...
EM Vidal has this post on Louis XVI and tuberculosis:
http://teaattrianon.blogspot.com/2009/08/louis-xvi-and-tuberculosis.html
This may sum up what's been discussed already but I wanted to post this especially for our new members.


Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:22 pm
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Post Re: A depressed King?
His youth was very difficult and sad, indeed! :( I haven't read this article before, it's so interesting. Sometimes I think about what had caused Louis XVI's melancholy. This desease could partly explain his behaviour, but I think psychic traume was also enduring in his case. I don't know if you agree with me, but it seems the king was physically-spiritually worn out by the time he herited the throne! The article's writer is so right , his fears came to true by the death of Sophie and Louis-Joseph. Thanks Arietta for attracting attention again to this topic.

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Yes, 1787 was when baby Sophie died, too, and Louis-Joseph was not as healthy as he should have been. I think it was very hard for Louis XVI to have his children die, since he was deeply attached to them, as well as everything else bad that happened

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Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:48 am
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Post Re: A depressed King?
Yes, the depression thing sounds likely, there was a lot presure on him - and anyone who was a king at the time! I think it would be weird if he wasn't depressed!

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Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:29 am
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