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 Nesta Webster 
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There's another excellent book : "Amitiés de reine", by La Faye. The author gives many details about the queen's friendships but also about her day to day life. I learned many things !

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Tue Sep 18, 2007 7:08 am
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Just located and ordered!

I trust you blindly Pimprenelle!

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Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:47 am
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So do I about you, York ! :D I really enjoy this book... So many details that I hed read nowhere else !

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Tue Sep 18, 2007 3:23 pm
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Post Re: Nesta Webster
I have finished the first part of Ms. Webster's books on Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette - Before the Revolution. Quite truthfully, I need to take a break from her before I continue with the second book. Her take on the Freemasons and Illuminati as being the instrument which bought about the French Revolution is a little too much. Of course both existed in France at the time - that is not what I dispute. Her information is very good - It's some of her ideas - and who she was personally.

"The ancient grudge against Church and Monarchy for the condemnation of the Templars and the determination to avenge the death of their Grand Master, Jacque du Molay, in 1310, which played so large a part in French Freemasonry, had been transformed by the Orleanists into an attack on the person of Louis XVI. Meanwhile the adepts of the Bavarian Illuminati had succeeded in penetrating the lodges and in turning the submersive projects of the Freemasons to the profit of the gigantic scheme of Weishaupt for world revolution."

It is interesting to note that it is a fact that Nesta Webster was involved in the British Union of Facsists. She supported the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany and was a leading writer in The Patriot - an anti-semitic publication. Most information on her mentions that she believed in a former life that she was a Countess guillotined be French revolutionaries. I can imagine her critics had a field day with that!


Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:56 am
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Post Re: Nesta Webster
Personally, I believe that Orleans did manipulate certain events to topple the monarchy. Before the revolution he seemed to be actively doing everything possible to weaken and destabilize the government. But do I believe the Masons had a hand in things as well? I don't know, there's just not much evidence one way or the other. I'm certain, though, that neither Orlean or the Masons, or both working together, exercised any control over the revolution once it started. Things spiraled out of control too quickly.

Funny that Webster should believe in reincarnation and support the Church, which most definitely does not. Come to think of it, the Church doesn't take too kindly to anti-semitism, either.

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Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:24 am
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Post Re: Nesta Webster
I too believe Orleans manipulated events and freemasonry was alive and well - what I do not believe is that there was a gigantic scheme for world revolution. Or that the Freemasons/Illumanati plotted and pulled off the French Revolution.


Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:17 am
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Post Re: Nesta Webster
Simon Schama explores these issues in Citizens, exactly which of the Freemasons were involved in stirring things up. There were masons and there were masons. As far as such things go, I rely on Schama, since Nesta tends to get carried away with conspiracy theories, although she is great in her study of the personalities of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. Madame de Lamballe was a mason. Even Louis XVI was favorable to the masons at one point, as Mme. Vidal points out: http://teaattrianon.blogspot.com/2007/0 ... e-and.html

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While there is no evidence that Marie-Antoinette was herself ever initiated into a lodge, she went through a time when she was favorable to freemasonry. Her close friend, the virtuous Madame de Lamballe, presided over the Lodge of the Social Contract, one of the ladies' lodges or loges d'adoption. In 1781, Madame de Lamballe became Grand Mistress of all of the Lodges of Adoption in France. That same year, Marie-Antoinette wrote to a friend, praising the good works of the masonic sisterhood, and how they provided dowries for poor girls and were very pious. She also praised them in a letter to her sister Marie-Christine, saying: "It is only a society of benevolence and pleasure." She and Louis XVI both saw the masons as a means of charitable works to benefit society, and they both may have at one point visited certain lodges, so that to this day, some masonic groups claim them as their own.

There is also evidence that Marie-Antoinette's best friend Madame de Polignac was a member of a ladies' lodge, although not to the extent that Madame de Lamballe was involved; it was considered the fashionable thing to do. Nesta Webster, who blames the masons for practically everything, said that the Lodges of Adoption were harmless enough ladies' clubs....

As for Louis XVI, there has long been a debate as to if he was ever formally initiated into a lodge as his brothers probably were. When he ascended the throne, Louis XVI was quite liberal and progressive; like all young progressives at the time he saw the masons not only as harmless, but as a group who would benefit society by active good works. Some of this explains his initial acquiescence to certain measures in the beginning of the Revolution which were damaging to the Church, especially the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. He admits as much in the Vow to the Sacred Heart which he made under house arrest in the Tuileries in 1791.

It is true that many monarchists were masons and many revolutionaries were not masons. However, in the years preceding the Revolution of 1789, masonic lodges formed a network that fomented discord, spread propaganda against the King and especially against the Queen. The lodges were used by a core of aristocrats and politicians who wanted to secularize society, and destroy the Church, or at least enervate it, by destroying or by seizing the crown.

Marie-Antoinette came to see this quite clearly. In August of 1790 she wrote to her brother Emperor Leopold of Austria: "Be well on your guard where you are with regard to all associations of Freemasons. You must already have been warned that it is by this means that all monsters here count on attaining the same end in every country. Oh, God, preserve my Fatherland and you from such misfortunes." ( Lettres de Marie-Antoinette, edited by Maxime de la Rocheterie, 2 vol., 1895) For Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI, the warnings had not been heeded, until it was too late.

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Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:37 am
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Post Re: Nesta Webster
Yes, Christophe - it is quite funny that a person such as Mrs. Webster, so obvoiusly filled with hate, should support the church. Seems pretty hypocritical to me - but the world is still full of these people. How is is she can have any sympathy for the Revolution - when she herself was immersed in promoting the hatred of Jews? - Documented Fact. She agreed with and helped to promote this hatred against a group of people - knowing full well that women and children would be harmed by her efforts. Even now, her books and articles are said to have played an important role in the development of racist views in Britian and the United States - apparently thought to still be read by Ku Klux Klan members! People in her own time as well as now would call this woman a slew of names - sane not being the first on the list.
Even if you write a decent book, it does not erase who you are and what you do. I am just so glad that my purchase of her books will not put one dime of profit in the pocket of Nesta Webster, as she passed away many years ago.


Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:42 pm
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Post Re: Nesta Webster
Lilly wrote:
knowing full well that women and children would be harmed by her efforts.


Wow, did she really say that, that she wanted women and children to be harmed? How awful! Where did she write that? I had no idea.

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Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:59 pm
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Post Re: Nesta Webster
Lilly wrote:
Even if you write a decent book, it does not erase who you are and what you do. I am just so glad that my purchase of her books will not put one dime of profit in the pocket of Nesta Webster, as she passed away many years ago.


I wonder if Nesta left heirs and if any of the money goes to her estate. Yikes!

For that matter, my conscience is bothering me for buying the books of Antonia Fraser, since she left her husband and six children and ran off with her lover who was a Communist. Harold may not have personally killed anyone, but he supported those lefties. And the Communists have killed quite a few people, too, you know. I guess that makes Antonia's books off limit, since writing a decent book does not erase who you are and what you do. And Antonia is still alive and collecting the royalties.

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Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:08 pm
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Post Re: Nesta Webster
Honestly, once you get into the "clean hands" school of literary or artistic appreciation, you're likely to find yourself with little you can comfortably appreciate. I went a few weeks ago to a talk on Wagner and Anti-Semitism. He's the most well-known composer in that regard, but how many people know, for instance, that Degas and Chopin were both vicious anti-semites and Rodin and Renoir were both anti-Dreyfusards?

It's all a bit sick-making really. As it happens, I've never been a big fan of Ezra Pound, but I'll still read his poetry despite his help of the Fascists during WWII and T. S. Eliot despite some vile remarks in his correspondence.

In the academic world, Paul de Man, a major influence on Deconstructivism, was shown some time back to have a Nazi history. Piquant, since Derrida his friend and colleague is from a North African Jewish family himself.
Quote:
Derrida published a long piece responding to critics, declaring that “To judge, to condemn the work or the man on the basis of what was a brief episode, to call for closing, that is to say, at least figuratively, for censuring or burning his books is to reproduce the exterminating gesture which one accuses de Man of not having armed himself against sooner with the necessary vigilance. It is not even to draw a lesson that he, de Man, learned to draw from the war.”[17] That seemed to some readers to draw an objectionable connection between criticism of de Man and extermination of the Jews.[18] Derrida, a Jew himself, however, does not refrain from condemning de Man's wartime writings.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_de_Man

Etc. It's a slippery slope.

Regarding the masons, I presume most people here know Washington and Franklin were masons, and Jefferson rumored to be?
Quote:
Freemasons in England and France were acknowledged leaders of the Enlightenment. The famous historians Will and Ariel Durant (in Rousseau and Revolution page 938 of volume ten in their epic series The Story of Civilization) reported that in 1789 there were 629 Masonic Lodges in Paris, each with 50 to 100 members. Voltaire was made a Mason without preliminary preparation in the Lodge of Nine Muses on April 7, 1778. The philosopher and writer was welcomed among the Brothers with the assurance that he had long fulfilled the obligations of a Freemason before his promises to keep them. Among followers of Voltaire and the searchers for more Light in America were Brothers Washington, Franklin, and their associate, Thomas Jefferson.

http://srjarchives.tripod.com/1998-03/beless.htm

These days it seems to be more of a business networking group, though a French friend of mine got involved in some pretty messy internal politics over there that had a rather 18th century feel.

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Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:39 pm
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Post Re: Nesta Webster
jimcheval wrote:
Honestly, once you get into the "clean hands" school of literary or artistic appreciation, you're likely to find yourself with little you can comfortably appreciate. I went a few weeks ago to a talk on Wagner and Anti-Semitism. He's the most well-known composer in that regard, but how many people know, for instance, that Degas and Chopin were both vicious anti-semites and Rodin and Renoir were both anti-Dreyfusards?


Bravo! Thank you so much, Jim; your comments are extremely helpful. It is sad because I love Wagner's music. But it is a sad truth that many artists and writers in the nineteenth and twentieth century had anti-semitic leanings. This is a horror for us who have seen pictures of the Holocaust. Could they have imagined that such horrors would have happened? Likewise, there were many great writers, artists and filmmakers who were dedicated Communists. I try not to let their extremism taint my appreciation for the value of their work, although it is important as historians that we know where they are coming from.

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Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:12 pm
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Post Re: Nesta Webster
Yes, the human mind's capacity for hypocrisy never fails to astound me. In our area of interest it frequently irritates me when I see historians picking the ancien regime apart for all its faults and failings, often exaggerating, while simultaneously excusing the horrors of the Revolution.

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Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:38 am
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Post Re: Nesta Webster
jimcheval wrote:
Honestly, once you get into the "clean hands" school of literary or artistic appreciation, you're likely to find yourself with little you can comfortably appreciate.
jimcheval"
It's not that you cannot appreciate their work, just also important to know who they are/were. Hence, Nesta Webster IS who she was - hate and all.
In just the same vein, (some of)today's rap music disturbs some people - the horrible way women are refered to (bitches, whores, etc.) - Now, I may have heard this music, but I'm certainly not gonna buy it!! It is between a person and their own conscience/principles what they choose to support and not support. I'm also not gonna be out buying any of Hitler's artwork - no matter how great anyone thinks it is.

[quote="Christophe wrote:
Yes, the human mind's capacity for hypocrisy never fails to astound me.


]It's all a bit sick-making really.[/quote] It really is.


Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:42 pm
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Post Re: Nesta Webster
That didn't post correctly -
jimcheval wrote:
Honestly, once you get into the "clean hands" school of literary or artistic appreciation, you're likely to find yourself with little you can comfortably appreciate.


It's not that you cannot appreciate their work, just also important to know who they are/were. Hence, Nesta Webster IS who she was - hate and all.
In just the same vein, (some of)today's rap music disturbs some people - the horrible way women are refered to (bitches, whores, etc.) - Now, I may have heard this music, but I'm certainly not gonna buy it!! It is between a person and their own conscience/principles what they choose to support and not support. I'm also not gonna be out buying any of Hitler's artwork - no matter how great anyone thinks it is.

Christophe wrote:
Yes, the human mind's capacity for hypocrisy never fails to astound me.


]It's all a bit sick-making really.[/quote] It really is.[/quote]


Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:44 pm
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