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A depressed King?
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Author:  Merteuil [ Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:06 am ]
Post subject:  A depressed King?

When the revolution broke out, the King is reported to have become withdrown, sometimes inattentive and his indecisiveness became extreme.
His long hesitation between plans of escape presented to him from 1790 suggest a man who isn't motivated by the topic of his own survival. His choices of reading material were dark (such as the life of the tragic Charles I of England). I think it is safe to suggest that Louis XVI was suffering from clinical depression. What do you all think?

Author:  Locks of Louis [ Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:58 am ]
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In the biographies I've read, the authors do suggest that Louis was Clinical depressed. Marie Antoinette began to get involved in politics around this time only because Louis seemed unable to do himself. Apparently he would come to her room and cry.

Then again, it's hard to say, I don't think I would have done too well in the face of a Revolution. His advisors told Louis to take action on the revoluntaries, but since Louis saw the people of France as his children no wonder he wouldn't want to fire on them. :(

Author:  Louis-Charles [ Sat Jan 20, 2007 9:45 am ]
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Indeed Louis XVI had periods of morals depressions, especially after the failure of the escape to Montm├ędy in 1791, which broke all his hopes of escape.
he remained often alone in his apartments and spoke to his family very little.

Author:  Therese [ Sat Jan 20, 2007 1:03 pm ]
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I think Louis XVI struggled with depression most of his life, and during the Revolution, he had a nervous collapse, at least once.

Author:  Elizabeth [ Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:59 pm ]
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Did Louis feel great responsibility for the downfall of the Monarchy? I wonder did he feel useless in protecting the Queen and their children...

Author:  Louis-Charles [ Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:19 pm ]
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Very good question Elizabeth...Frankly I do not know too much...

Between 1789 and 1793 it is clear that he raised much questions of this kind, but did he feel guilty for the french monarchy...?
I know that in his will he excused himself to Marie-Antoinette to have attracted many misfortunes to her by marrying him and by asking her to come to France...
I thus think that he had to feel guilty for his family. And he had to feel guilty because he was not to be able to give to his son Louis-Charles the same heritage as he even received from his grandfather Louis XV.

But for monarchy I think that he did not have anything to be reproached. :wink:

Author:  oceane [ Mon Jan 22, 2007 8:07 pm ]
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I think you might be right about the clinical depression that he struggled with all his life. I'm not too informed but it seems like the withdrawnness, the sulkiness that was talked about him as a child, the lack of confidence and the indecision make it ring pretty true to me. It must have been very hard to deal with. :(

Author:  Therese [ Mon Jan 22, 2007 8:18 pm ]
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He had a terrible childhood - real cruelty and indifference from many of his elders. But he always adored his grandpapa.

Author:  Louis-Charles [ Mon Jan 22, 2007 8:41 pm ]
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Since his youth Louis-Auguste didn't rely on him. His teacher LaVauguyon was very severe with him, and too often compared him with his big brother the Duke of Bourgogne, considered to be better than him of any point.
Thus Louis-Auguste had already during his youth a complex of inferiority compared to his brother. :?

Author:  Louis XVI [ Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:48 pm ]
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I do not know if Louis XVI was suffering from depression, necessarily. Anyone with his childhood of 'being compared to' his eldest brother, his natural shyness and awkwardness, and unsociable nature, could be labelled as depressed. Actually, I've wondered if Marie Antoinette suffered from anxiety during the revolution. I think I read from Madame Campan's memoirs that she often had crying fits and was extremely sad (who waouldn't be?) They both went through so much pain in their last days... :cry:

Author:  Locks of Louis [ Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:56 pm ]
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Indeed!

I remember reading in Vincent Conin's Louis and Antoinette that when he was alive Louis's older brother would read a list of his (Louis's) sins every week! That has to be a self-esteem killer.:?

Also poor Louis lost his parents in close succession, which would only have made things worse since he was now Dauphin and could become King at any time.

He was very shy too, and deferential to others, once when he and his younger brothers went out Artois (I think) forgot his hat. Because he was closest to the door Louis went back to get it for him, he got a telling off for that! :shock:

Author:  Therese [ Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:57 pm ]
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I think both the queen and the king took turns having nervous breakdowns.

Author:  Therese [ Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:58 pm ]
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Locks of Louis wrote:
Indeed!

I remember reading in Vincent Conin's Louis and Antoinette that when he was alive Louis's older brother would read a list of his (Louis's) sins every week! That has to be a self-esteem killer.:?

Also poor Louis lost his parents in close succession, which would only have made things worse since he was now Dauphin and could become King at any time.

He was very shy too, and deferential to others, once when he and his younger brothers went out Artois (I think) forgot his hat. Because he was closest to the door Louis went back to get it for him, he got a telling off for that! :shock:


Yes, that is all true! He lost his parents and grandmother in close succesion.

Author:  Louis XVI [ Tue Jan 23, 2007 3:34 pm ]
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On how sad I did not know this about his parents/grandparents. :cry: And the reading of 'sins' is rather disturbing as well!

Author:  oceane [ Fri Jan 26, 2007 8:09 pm ]
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Yeah i thought the sin reading was totally disturbing as well ! What kind of person does that ?! Bourgogne might have been brilliant , but he wasnt very kind - i for one am happy he didnt get to rule. The readings must have really been a self esteem killer though ... :(

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