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 The Life of Axel von Fersen 
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jadean wrote:
I was reading the history of the Ljungs castle it tells how Fersen died, I had no idea that he was killed by a mob, that's terrible. I really don't know much about him, except for his connection to Marie-Antoinette, your information has me interested in him now.


In the first post in this thread I spoke a little about how Fersen was killed. It was really horrible. Killed and tortured by the mob, they did some awful things to him in the last hours of his life. It is hard to go into details becasue it was very brutal and they really desecrated him after he had died. The most terrible about the whole thing is that a whole garrison in Stockholm stood by and watched! They could easily have stopped the whole thing, but the highest commander, Silfversparre, had been told by the king not to intervene.

But even if we do not talk about how he died he lived a very interesting life; before, during and after the French Revolution. I'm glad you find him interesting, because he was and still is! :wink:

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Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:12 pm
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Do you have any book suggestions about Fersen?


Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:19 pm
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jadean wrote:
Do you have any book suggestions about Fersen?


Actually I am not really the best person to ask that question. Because many of the books I have read are in Swedish and by Swedish authors (not only of course, though). But I recommend reading his diary (and letters), but I do not really know if his diary is published in it's entirety in English/French. Maybe someone else here knows that?

There are so many books about Fersen and books that mention him, like books about the French Revolution, Antoinette or Gustav III. But most of the books are in one way or another somewhat distorted (even his diary and letters are published together with unnesseccary comment), so I would recommend reading everything rather than only reading one special book. I try to read all that I can find! :wink:

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Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:13 pm
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Hans Axel wrote:
jadean wrote:
Do you have any book suggestions about Fersen?


Actually I am not really the best person to ask that question. Because many of the books I have read are in Swedish and by Swedish authors (not only of course, though). But I recommend reading his diary (and letters), but I do not really know if his diary is published in it's entirety in English/French. Maybe someone else here knows that?

There are so many books about Fersen and books that mention him, like books about the French Revolution, Antoinette or Gustav III. But most of the books are in one way or another somewhat distorted (even his diary and letters are published together with unnesseccary comment), so I would recommend reading everything rather than only reading one special book. I try to read all that I can find! :wink:


Thank you for the suggestion. There are a lot of books on Amazon.com about Fersen, books that talk about him, I did order the Diary and Correspondence of Fersen, there is also another there called Fatal Friendship that I may order. Hopefully when I read up on Fersen I'll be able to contribute to this subject more.

I did find a site dedicated to him and the Fersen family, the Fersen Society,
http://www.freewebs.com/vonfersen/indexeng.htm


Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:33 pm
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jadean wrote:
I did find a site dedicated to him and the Fersen family, the Fersen Society,
http://www.freewebs.com/vonfersen/indexeng.htm


Yes, I find that page interesting, there are quite a lot about Fersen on the internet actually, but much in Swedish. This page in French is a bit interesting: http://axelvonfersen.free.fr/ And of course you can read about him in Wikipedia too. As always one must know that different sites/books have different views about him and not all is true. Especially when they talk about his relationship with Antoinette one must be careful.

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Fri Nov 02, 2007 2:34 am
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Loomis' Fatal Friendship is an excellent book. It contains two crossed biographies, and extremely accurate analyse of the correspondance.

The biography by Kunstler also is interesting, for it gives large passages of Fersen's writings, and the one by Kermina is fascinating psychologically. Those two books I have in French.

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Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:57 am
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Jadean, if you can speak Swedish or Finnish, then Herman Lindqvist's 'Axel von Fersen' is good choice :wink:

I don't know about the other books then.

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Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:43 am
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Thank you all so much for the book suggestions, I will be checking them out...thanks for the website Hans Axel.


Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:31 pm
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Arianna wrote:
Jadean, if you can speak Swedish or Finnish, then Herman Lindqvist's 'Axel von Fersen' is good choice.


Actually one must be careful not to believe everything Herman Lindqvist writes, he totally believes in the whole Antoinette-Fersen love story, he is very influenced by Alma Söderhjelm. He does not only believe that Fersen and Antoinette had a romantical relationship, but he also says he thinks that Fersen was the father of Louis XVII! So I wouldn't really recommend this book... Though if you want to read about Fersen's whole life, and not only about the Revolution-era and his relationship with Antoinette, then Lindqvist's book is quite exciting, but you have to pick out the bad and the good parts. So... if you are going to read only a few books about Fersen then don't read this, but if you want to read many different books then you sholud read this one too of course.

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Sat Nov 03, 2007 12:55 am
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Hans Axel wrote:
Arianna wrote:
Jadean, if you can speak Swedish or Finnish, then Herman Lindqvist's 'Axel von Fersen' is good choice.


Actually one must be careful not to believe everything Herman Lindqvist writes, he totally believes in the whole Antoinette-Fersen love story, he is very influenced by Alma Söderhjelm. He does not only believe that Fersen and Antoinette had a romantical relationship, but he also says he thinks that Fersen was the father of Louis XVII! So I wouldn't really recommend this book... Though if you want to read about Fersen's whole life, and not only about the Revolution-era and his relationship with Antoinette, then Lindqvist's book is quite exciting, but you have to pick out the bad and the good parts. So... if you are going to read only a few books about Fersen then don't read this, but if you want to read many different books then you sholud read this one too of course.


thank you for the comment on the book. May be I'll leave that one for last then.

I do have a question about Fersen and Louis XVI, does anyone know what Louis XVI's feelings about him were? I haven't read a lot about Fersen but I haven't read anywhere any mention of the King's speaking of Fersen. I just wondered if the King ever spoke of him or in any of the King's letters.


Sat Nov 03, 2007 2:12 pm
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jadean wrote:
Hans Axel wrote:
Arianna wrote:
Jadean, if you can speak Swedish or Finnish, then Herman Lindqvist's 'Axel von Fersen' is good choice.


Actually one must be careful not to believe everything Herman Lindqvist writes, he totally believes in the whole Antoinette-Fersen love story, he is very influenced by Alma Söderhjelm. He does not only believe that Fersen and Antoinette had a romantical relationship, but he also says he thinks that Fersen was the father of Louis XVII! So I wouldn't really recommend this book... Though if you want to read about Fersen's whole life, and not only about the Revolution-era and his relationship with Antoinette, then Lindqvist's book is quite exciting, but you have to pick out the bad and the good parts. So... if you are going to read only a few books about Fersen then don't read this, but if you want to read many different books then you sholud read this one too of course.


thank you for the comment on the book. May be I'll leave that one for last then.

I do have a question about Fersen and Louis XVI, does anyone know what Louis XVI's feelings about him were? I haven't read a lot about Fersen but I haven't read anywhere any mention of the King's speaking of Fersen. I just wondered if the King ever spoke of him or in any of the King's letters.


They were good friends.

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Sat Nov 03, 2007 2:35 pm
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Of course, Louis XVI spoke to Fersen ! Fersen was friend of both king and queen. Actually, this all has also political reasons : king Gustav III wanted to make the links between Sweden and France closer. So, there were many Swede who were extremely popular in Versailles by then.

When Fersen came to the Tuileries in February 1792, his mission was to meet the king and propose him another flight project, which Louis refused. This conversation is mentioned in Fersen's diary.

The flight to Montmedy is more controversial. The majority of the historians think that it was Marie Antoinette's inititiative, and the she prepared the whole project with count Fersen. Then, she still had to convince Louis. Count Fersen helped them out in this night June 20th and guided them till Bondy. It had been decided that he would not get further, for the king did not want to appear under the direction of a stranger. Montmedy was too close to the border...

Though, some historians think that Louis was into this project sooner, or even that he decided it all, using his wife as a go-between.

But, of course, there are also those romantic writers, who tell that Louis dismissed Fersen in Bondy for he did not bear his wife's lover longer... :lol:

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Sat Nov 03, 2007 2:37 pm
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thank you for the responses. I just wondered if the King was friends with him or if it was more political. Again, thank you for the quick responses.


Sat Nov 03, 2007 3:38 pm
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Fersen was friend with all kings and queens he met ! :wink:

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Sat Nov 03, 2007 3:55 pm
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jadean wrote:
thank you for the responses. I just wondered if the King was friends with him or if it was more political. Again, thank you for the quick responses.


If you compare Antointte's and Louis' relationships with Fersen Louis' was more of a political one, well, I mean - not as friendly, anyway. Though that doesn't mean that Fersen and Antoinette had a romantical relationship, and it doesn't mean that Louis didn't consider Fersen as a friend. Antoinette had more friends than the king in general and she was a very friendly person. I guess Fersen had more in common with the queen than he had with the king also, Fersen liked the opera, music and such things and the king had more interests in hunting etc. That doesn't say that Antoinette favoured Fersen more than her husband (certainly not!), but I guess Fersen enjoyed the queen's company more than he enjoyed the king's (not that he didn't like the king). I hope you get my point with this. It got quite complicated with all the "though's" and the parenthesis', but I don't want anyone to read something stupied into what I write.

Hope you understand my somewhat Swedish English too. :wink:

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Sun Nov 04, 2007 3:38 am
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