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 Marie Antoinette and the Comte d'Artois. 
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Yes, MA had fun with Artois, but their friendship failed in the later years.


Mon May 21, 2007 3:25 pm
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Indeed, because Marie-Antoinetet and Louis XVI did not understand the political idéas of Artois... :D
According to Marie-Antoinette Artois was dangerous for her family...and she was right I think...

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Mon May 21, 2007 3:49 pm
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Pimprenelle wrote:
And she was right ! Entirely ! Wouldn't you choose Louis too ? :D

Of course, lol! I always consider the sweetest one the best. :D


Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:04 pm
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Post Re: Marie Antoinette and the Comte d'Artois.
I have a suspicion that the Comte d'Artois and Gabrielle Polignac are the two people most responsible for leading MA into her extravagent lifestyle, her gambling, her banquetting... her wild partying.

Im talking of those years when her marriage was unconsumated and her lethargic husband Louis prefered a night
in making locks in the workshop to partying all night with the jet set.

MA felt sexually frustrated and unfulfilled as a woman so she decided to have a good time instead with
Gabrielle.... her soul mate and closest friend.... and the roguish Compte d'Artois.


Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:23 pm
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Post Re: Marie Antoinette and the Comte d'Artois.
You're right about the Comte d'Artois but mistaken about Yolande (Gabrielle). The Girault de Corsac believe even that Louis XVI was so encouraging to Yolande (in as far as bestowing favours for her clan etc) because he beleived that she kept MA out of trouble. With her the Queen sampled simpler pleasures, Rousseau style. I can't remember Yolande being really part of the Opéra crowd at all, unlike Artois.

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Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:21 pm
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Post Re: Marie Antoinette and the Comte d'Artois.
No doubt a jet set group of young French aristocrats formed around
Marie in those years, a wild partying set who encouraged her to excess.
Perhaps Gabrielle was a more conservative.. restraining influence on Marie in those years ?

It could be that the biggest villain of all was Rose Bertin !


Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:47 pm
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Post Re: Marie Antoinette and the Comte d'Artois.
Rose Bertin was a very brilliant "styliste", very working class, unabashed, full of effrontery and extremely clever at selling her reputation and name. However as one can see from various exhibitions, such as the one currently at Versailles, the finished product was exquisite. All of this didn't stop her going bankrupt however....

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Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:29 am
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Post Re: Marie Antoinette and the Comte d'Artois.
I don’t think we could accuse anyone of leading Marie Antoinette astray, quite clearly she enjoyed that lifestyle in that period of life and she only found the right company. I didn’t get the impression that Artois was the villain in any sense.
I can’t yet decide for Gabrielle although her friendship seems so real, but all those benefits she had…

silverstar wrote:
MA felt sexually frustrated and unfulfilled as a woman so she decided to have a good time


The same conclusion as in biography by Zweig.

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Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:40 am
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Post Re: Marie Antoinette and the Comte d'Artois.
I think Artois was the Dauphine's best company for her first years in France. He was more informal than the Dauphin, more direct than Comte de Provence, more amusing than the aunties and Noailles. I agree with Marija, he was not a villain, just a gladsome, pleasure-seeker, attractive gentleman- but I would consort with Silverstar that his lifestlye was probably taken over by the young queen.
And Gabrielle? it seems she was a good friend of Marie Antoinette, so I don't think she would have caused the Queen's excess... (At all, I do not regard Marie Antoinette's extravagance so grave. I try to explain why. It must come from my history-appoach. For decades not all, but most of the historians and writers have blessed revolutions, including the French /for example Soboul who I respect much, but there are some misconstruction in his works/, making themselves anti-royalists. I think they overacted a bit when they explained the events' cause. That's why I doubt the Queen's habit's seriousness- it was only a bit element of all the occurences. Why do we need this overreaction? She was not a saint, she was wasteful and luxurious, but not a people killer, at all.)

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Sat Aug 15, 2009 1:49 pm
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Post Re: Marie Antoinette and the Comte d'Artois.
yes, but I cant help thinking that Rose Bertin encouraged the young and naive
Marie into more and more extravagance, more and more spending on luxurious,
frivolous vanities until Marie began to think that she was actually helping the economy of
France by her excesses.
Meanwhile Rose Bertin got very well paid and must have made some handsome profits
in those mad, hectic years.

Rose Bertin, indeed, considered herself indispen-
sable. Her shop was also always full, and the most
brilliant clientele flocked to it. All the nobility of
France and all the members of the diplomatic service
were among her customers. The wife of the Russian
Plenipotentiary, Princess Baratinsky, among others,
dealt with her, and was one of those whose bills were
not paid. She owed about 15,000 livres, and Rose
received 1,000 on account from Prince Baratinsky.
The balance for which she held the Princess's note of
hand was lost ; according to Russian law, debts of
more than ten years' standing cannot be recovered
legally, and the bill was never paid.

On all sides customers flocked to her, and even the
name of Vestris, the famous dancer, surnamed the God
of Dance, who was still at the Opera, is to be seen in
her books. The Marquis de Boisgelin gave his niece
a Devonshire hat worth 120 livres ; the Baronne de
la House ordered a Circassian dress, usually made of
gauze. The Baronne de Montviller, daughter of Mme.
de Misery ; the Marquis de Marboeuf, whose immense
grounds of the Champs-Ely sees constituted one of
the finest estates in Paris ; Viscomtesse Perigord, the
Marquis de Chabrillant, were to be seen in her shop,
and a long line of carriages with armorial bearings
stood at the door.

Her work at Court became more and more absorb-
ing, and at the instigation of Mme. Campan the
famous Beaulard, who for a long time had been skil-
fully manoeuvring to gain favour with the Queen and
her suite, was made her official collaborator.

The era of eccentricities, however, was nearing
its end. Without losing her taste for dress, the
Queen modified the fashion of her toilettes. It was an
abrupt change. It has been said that as the woman
gave place to the mother her taste became more simple.
This may have been the reason for the change, of
which we find mention in Mme. Campan's memoirs.
" The taste for dress to which the Queen was
addicted during the first years of the reign gave
place to a love for simplicity which she carried to an
unwise degree, the splendour and magnificence of the
throne being to a certain point inseparable in France
from the nation's interests.


Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:03 pm
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Post Re: Marie Antoinette and the Comte d'Artois.
Yes I think the Queen always had some dificulty finding the right balance. For this reason her motives were mis-interpreted....I think this pretty well sums up the reason for her tragic end...diffculty finding balance leading to misconceptions.

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Sun Aug 16, 2009 6:43 pm
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