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 A Real Life Adventure at Versailles 
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Post A Real Life Adventure at Versailles
I thought the following story might be interesting to the group:

I was staying in Versailles in the early 1980s to do some research on Marie-Antoinette for a theater piece.

As part of my research, I wanted to track down the original of the "Contrat de Marriage" of Louis Auguste and Marie-Antoinette. With a little effort, (this was way before there was an Internet), I discovered that it was kept at the Hotel de Ville in Versailles.

I made an appointment to view the document and was escorted into the room where the old Versailles parish registers were kept. The man assisting me quickly located the volume containing the Contrat de Marriage of the Dauphin and Dauphine. There it was, with all the signatures of the Royal Family, starting with Louis XV's commanding "Louis." There, also, was Marie-Antoinette's crooked, rather childish signature that I believe Hillare Belloc characterized as a "dirty scrawl."

But the most fascinating thing was this: when the pages of the book were closed that day in 1770, the ink was still apparently wet, and the famous blotch of ink at the end of the Dauphine's signature was mirrored on the opposing page like a Rorschach blot. To see that second blotch was to feel the moment when the book was shut frozen in time. It gave me goosebumps.

I asked if I could please have a copy made. I had previously ordered copies of documents and prints at the Biblotheque de Versailles, and I assumed that the Hotel de Ville would arrange to have the document photographed and that I would get the copy in a few months.

Imagine my shock when the man assisting me cheerfully plopped the whole book face down on a copy machine that stood nearby! Within a few seconds, I had a Xerox copy of the original.

Later that day when I told a curator friend of mine at the Chateau what had happened and showed him the copies, he was outraged. "C'est un document precieux!," he thundered. Although I agreed with him and couldn't believe what had happened myself, I was also very pleased to be the owner of something as strange as a first-generation Xerox copy of Marie-Antoinette's marriage contract.


Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:32 am
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Post Re: A Real Life Adventure at Versailles
how marvelous!
youre are very lucky.


"I asked if I could please have a copy made. I had previously ordered copies of documents and prints at the Biblotheque de Versailles, and I assumed that the Hotel de Ville would arrange to have the document photographed and that I would get the copy in a few months. "

might i ask, where did you find these things?


Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:16 pm
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Post Re: A Real Life Adventure at Versailles
Must admit, I am jealous, you are really lucky! :)

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Last edited by Marija Vera on Mon Mar 24, 2008 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:02 pm
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Post Re: A Real Life Adventure at Versailles
You can't show us a copy of it here? Though I'm not sure if I would even copy a copy of that document. :shock: But a copy like the one you should have gotten in the first place maybe? :wink: Even if we have seen it before...

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Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:28 pm
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Post Re: A Real Life Adventure at Versailles
Mon Dieu! You are one lucky, not to mention blessed person! I am astonished! I certainly understand why your friend was angry though. I feel extremely happy for you, but the fact it was nonchalantly copied is rather concerning in my mind.

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Sat Mar 22, 2008 12:55 am
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Post Re: A Real Life Adventure at Versailles
Goodness! You are lucky...


Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:25 pm
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Post Re: A Real Life Adventure at Versailles
i really wish kilspi wouldve replied to my question :[


Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:11 am
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Post Re: A Real Life Adventure at Versailles
Just don't take it personally. Not many people have a lot of time to go on this site.

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Sat Apr 05, 2008 4:31 pm
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Post Re: A Real Life Adventure at Versailles
im not, but i got really interested.


Sun Apr 06, 2008 3:36 am
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Post Re: A Real Life Adventure at Versailles
All right. Just trying to keep the peace! :D

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Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:54 pm
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Post Re: A Real Life Adventure at Versailles
and doiing such a good job ;D


Sun Apr 06, 2008 3:37 pm
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Post Re: A Real Life Adventure at Versailles
Thank you. *curtsies* :)

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Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:40 pm
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Post Re: A Real Life Adventure at Versailles
lolol, were always so off topic!


Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:23 am
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Post Re: A Real Life Adventure at Versailles
We really are. We are so bad. *evil laugh* :}

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Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:19 am
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Post Re: A Real Life Adventure at Versailles
lol we will show them!@!
arent you close to my age?


Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:26 am
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