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 Diamonds Are Not A Girl's Best Friend 
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Post Re: Diamonds Are Not A Girl's Best Friend
Artois wrote:

I'd also like the two groups of cheerleaders ('gimmee a B_A_R_O_N. WHAT HAVE WE GOT? THE BARON!!!!) to do more than just comment on their group's postings. How unproductive and useless to write "exactly!", "that's right!", etc. They should try to contribute something, anything to become a true, productive member of the group.


I must admit I never thought I'd see the day when I had Thérèse as a cheerleader! :lol:

Please don't see any of my comments or those of Christophe as personal in any way. I speak for him but I'm sure that he'd agree. We're simply arguing a point, and thankfully we're not all of the same view here, otherwise how dull it would be! That's the whole point of a forum and i'm always deleighted to see your contributions, and sometimes to try and counter them! :)

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Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:39 am
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Post Re: Diamonds Are Not A Girl's Best Friend
Marija Vera wrote:

I must say that I had some moments of doubts like you Artois because I tend to relate to the third estate. The reason is that my country had a very tough political situation for many years when common people had to wait for hours in the queues for basic supplies, didn't have electricity for several hours during the day and inflation was huge. The rêgime was changed by the action of people, without civil war or bloodshed. As a person who had a grasp of all that, it is not easy for me to clinch to the glittery world of aristocracy ignoring the emotion of people who wanted to bring them down. That's why at some moments I tend to question Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette wondering how truly they were devoted to their people, especially as I admire one monarch who used to get up every morning at 7 o'clock and successfully deal with matters of the people, quickly transforming the country in the economical and cultural way (but never rejecting the wealth that comes with the title). Still, one mustn't take the things out of the context, of the context of the time, country, people... Rejecting that sort of magnificence of presentation at that moment would have been something scandalous and I believe counterproductive, as it gave some kind of dignity and greatness to the much hated royals, and even gave them a few cheers.

I don't believe Marija that Louis XVI was ever a much hated royal. The atmosphere at his execution was noted to be sombre and he was mourned in many parts of the country.Marie Antoinette was more generally detested, because of errors in her youth, and the fact that women often took the can for any suffering that the people went through. Look at the court favourites; Du Barry, Pompadour, widely blamed for their alleged extravagance. Indeed as shop windows for court opulence and elegance, they made easy targets and as they came from humble origins themselves, like Mme de Maintenon before them, perhaps they found these ephemerous pleasures harder to resist. MA was a bit different in as far as she was a much maligned Queen and not favourite, unlike those before her who stayed out of the limelight. As for clinching to the glittery world of aristocracy, if you read a good biography of Louis XVI you will see just how unglittery he was. Indeed his battle was with the aristocracy, and he lost it. He saw himself as King of all the people, including the Third estate ,and felt keenly the suffferings of his people. Where he went so wrong was in not travelling throught France to meet them. He basically needed a good PR director, because hs heart and politics were in the right place. He lacked vision as his considerable intelligence caused him to reflect too much on the matter in hand and led to hesitation. As Hamlet said "Conscience make cowards of us all..." though neither he nor Louis were ever really cowardly, just fatally hesitant before the inevitable deed, with equally tragic consequences.

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Mon Mar 22, 2010 2:54 pm
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Post Re: Diamonds Are Not A Girl's Best Friend
Thank you Baron. Your thoughts and comments are appreciated.

Marija: Yes, I was over the top by referring to Antoinette as her mother's "whore"; I could not think of another word to describe a parent who arranges a marriage for political advantage (I understand that, historically, this took place and was quite prevalent and was not the stuff that romance is made of; I accept that). What made this particular arrangement between Empress Maria Theresa and Louis XV so cruel, so vile, in my opinion, was Antoinette's tender age (she was a child). The Empress was no dope; she had to know of the vicious, immoral court and the intrigue that was prevalent at Versailles. She was well aware that after 200 years of mistrust and outright war between Austria and France, an archduchess from Vienna would not be accepted and welcomed. I’m certain that the Empress had some input insofar as the circumstances of the transfer of the child would take place. Did she ensure that Antoinette had one or two companions to accompany her? Did she have to undergo the loss of Austria/entry into France humiliation on that river? The Empress did arrange for French dancing lessons, history lessons, pronunciation and cosmetic work on Antoinette’s teeth and hair line. What about her emotional and psychological needs. It’s not the fact that she was party to an arranged marriage, it was what she would have to contend with that I resent. You don’t send an innocent child to fend for herself in a hostile atmosphere. And what did the Empress do to help her daughter survive? She paid a group of spies to watch for Antoinette’s faux pas and, instead of support, heaped constant criticism on the poor child.

Even Louis commented on Antoinette’s plight when he said something like (and I paraphrase here), “and she had no one to show her the way.”


Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:40 pm
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Post Re: Diamonds Are Not A Girl's Best Friend
Artois, I will deal with your post after I've kicked Baron's ass... (metaphorically speaking of course, to spice forum up a bit) :lol: :lol: :lol:

baron de batz wrote:
I don't believe Marija that Louis XVI was ever a much hated royal. The atmosphere at his execution was noted to be sombre and he was mourned in many parts of the country.Marie Antoinette was more generally detested, because of errors in her youth, and the fact that women often took the can for any suffering that the people went through. Look at the court favourites; Du Barry, Pompadour, widely blamed for their alleged extravagance. Indeed as shop windows for court opulence and elegance, they made easy targets and as they came from humble origins themselves, like Mme de Maintenon before them, perhaps they found these ephemerous pleasures harder to resist. MA was a bit different in as far as she was a much maligned Queen and not favourite, unlike those before her who stayed out of the limelight. As for clinching to the glittery world of aristocracy, if you read a good biography of Louis XVI you will see just how unglittery he was. Indeed his battle was with the aristocracy, and he lost it. He saw himself as King of all the people, including the Third estate ,and felt keenly the suffferings of his people. Where he went so wrong was in not travelling throught France to meet them. He basically needed a good PR director, because hs heart and politics were in the right place. He lacked vision as his considerable intelligence caused him to reflect too much on the matter in hand and led to hesitation. As Hamlet said "Conscience make cowards of us all..." though neither he nor Louis were ever really cowardly, just fatally hesitant before the inevitable deed, with equally tragic consequences.


Ok, it wasn't the right word. People felt sorry for him and have regarded him in the pamphlets as an impotent pig. By that time he had surely lost a great deal of respect of the people which I would find bad enough.

Speaking of the glittery world of aristocracy, I meant the glittery world of the ARISTOCRACY, in general, or the nobility with all the material and political benefits. That doesn't mean that they were free of problems, only they were of a different sort. As for Louis XVI, he may have suffered a lot from his position but then again not everyone is chosen for such a divine task of being a king and rewarded by being remembered in history. Theoretically, it would have been possible to abandon the position one doesn't feel ready for but it would also require a sacrifice not many would be willing to make. So Louis XVI was a king for a 15 years (before the revolution) and I am always glad to read what concretely he had done for that time, especially as I too think that he was a good man who wanted good for all. Only I sometimes doubt how really capable he was for such a difficult task and whether his personality was more of a disadvantage. If you can recommend me some biography in English, I will read it in a matter of days, otherwise it will be great to read more facts in your posts. I agree about both you and Christophe that they didn't have the advantage of modern politicians but I don't think that they were totally unable at that time to follow public moods and work away on ways to please the public. With a bit of intelligence and curiosity even that was possible. For example Catherine the Great because of her German origin, had to put a lot of effort in appearing as Russian as she could. That way she was very careful in obeying all the lows of the Orthodox doctrine, especially after the death of the empress Elizabeth.

"Catherine knew that the church and Russians pay a lot of attention to the correct obeying of postmortal duties. She found more about it from the three experienced court ladies and wanting to leave the good impression she started following their advices..."

And wasn't Duc D'Orleans quite successful in the same game? No, I do believe that Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette have their blame in losing the love of their people and that lacking of PR's can't justify that. As you said, traveling through France, meeting the people would have been a good start.
For you Baron, something about Hamlet that I quite like -

"He is a dreamer, and he is called upon to act. He has the nature of the poet, and he is asked to grapple with the common complexity of cause and effect, with life in its practical realisation, of which he knows nothing, not with life in its ideal essence, of which he knows so much. He has no conception of what to do, and his folly is to feign folly. Brutus used madness as a cloak to conceal the sword of his purpose, the dagger of his will, but the Hamlet madness is a mere mask for the hiding of weakness. In the making of fancies and jests he sees a chance of delay. He keeps playing with action as an artist plays with a theory. He makes himself the spy of his proper actions, and listening to his own words knows them to be but 'words, words, words.' Instead of trying to be the hero of his own history, he seeks to be the spectator of his own tragedy. He disbelieves in everything, including himself, and yet his doubt helps him not, as it comes not from scepticism but from a divided will."

Oscar Wilde - De Profundis

You can read it here if you havent already (personally I prefer it in a book)

http://www.upword.com/wilde/de_profundis.html

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Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:55 pm
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Post Re: Diamonds Are Not A Girl's Best Friend
Well Marija I would of course consider it an honour to have my "ass kicked by you" :lol: , but the above was unfortunately merely a glancing blow.... :wink:

You claim the people regarded him in the pamphlets as an impotent pig? He was portrayed as such by these pamphlets, many of which were printed outside France (across the Channel). No doubt these pamphlets were fairly widely read in the Palais Royal and Paris but outside the city walls and in the far reaches of the realm?

As for the other points, well I am going to Versailles right now for a concert of famous airs by Cafarelli in the Galerie des Glaces so I shall reply upon my return from Court....my carriage is waiting downstairs. :)

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Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:44 pm
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Post Re: Diamonds Are Not A Girl's Best Friend
My, my - go away for a couple weeks and come back to cheerleaders and ass kickings!!
How fun is this - You have me laughing……

Artois, I had a somewhat similar reaction as you the first time I visited Versailles. It is hard to not feel for the starving masses when you see people living so lavishly in over the top luxury. But, on the flip side, what a wonder to behold - and what a fabulous representation of France!

In “Louis and Antoinette” Cronin says that when Louis chose the meeting place for the Estates General he decided that as inexpensively as possible it be given a “look of splendor” and “true to his sense of history, he laid down that each order should wear distinctive dress.” Since the Estates General had not met since 1614, this was a major event. “Naturally so momentous a gathering was accompanied by all the pageantry of the ancien regime” (Seward, pg. 132). This is what was expected by tradition.

“And yes, even starving-maybe especially starving-people want to see that”
- JimCheval
“Because it meant that France itself…..looked magnificent” - JimCheval

(Isn’t it interesting that after all was said and done, Versailles still stood - in relatively good condition? Many other places were torn to pieces by Revolutionaries, but the most magnificent palace in France was left intact - now dedicated to the Glories of France.)

Marie Antoinette was much hated at the time of the Estates General. She actually may have done herself a favor by sticking to tradition in this matter. She was in a no win situation-damned if you do, damned if you don’t- kind of thing. As for her demeanor being criticized, Madame de la Tour du Pin says she “looked sad and cross” - people forget that she was watching her son die at this time! The dauphin died within weeks of the opening of the Estates General. Louis and MA were never even given the time to grieve for their beloved child. Marie Antoinette commented afterward that no one seemed to notice that the Dauphin of France had died. Seward goes to say that at the first session of the Estates General, the King was cheered and the Queen was “to be greeted by a stony silence” . I agree that both Louis and MA could and should have done some things differently, but in no way were they responsible for the Revolution, just sadly the victims - Louis XVI loved his people too much to have ever been the cause

“It is quite tough to say that Maria Therese sold her daughter treating her like a whore” - Marija Vera

This was the norm for the time - political alliances. Everybody did it so it wasn’t looked at as whoring. Even Queen Victoria is said to have populated every throne in Europe with her children and grandchildren.

Artois wrote:
What about her emotional and psychological needs. It’s not the fact that she was party to an arranged marriage, it was what she would have to contend with that I resent. You don’t send an innocent child to fend for herself in a hostile atmosphere. And what did the Empress do to help her daughter survive? She paid a group of spies to watch for Antoinette’s faux pas and, instead of support, heaped constant criticism on the poor child.



I understand your resentment toward Maria Theresa as I feel it is justified. You'd think that she would have at least told MA something about sex!! Since this was going to be the all important issue - a Dauphin. Duh, a 14 year old girl who has been sheltered from such things, is not going to know HOW she is supposed to fulfill her destiny by producing the next King, if she does not know about sex. It appears that after MA's brother talked with them both, they finally understood, and viola'.....Marie Therese! I do not think that Maria Theresa prepared MA for the job she sent her to do.

I look forward to the continuing saga between Baron and Marija Vera. Girl Power!!


Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:12 pm
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Post Re: Diamonds Are Not A Girl's Best Friend
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Please don't see any of my comments or those of Christophe as personal in any way. I speak for him but I'm sure that he'd agree.


Thank you, Baron. You spoke very well for me.

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Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:23 am
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Post Re: Diamonds Are Not A Girl's Best Friend
My dear Artois,

As I think le Baron said, cheerleading is unavoidable when several members share a similar opinion on a particular subject; it's difficult not to express agreement. That doesn't mean that contrary opinions are not welcome, as they are needed to stimulate the conversation! If we all agree, all the time, than we have very little to talk about, and even less reason to research and thus increase our knowledge. Besides, I love to argue on subjects about which I'm passionate, so I thank you for giving me something new to argue about!

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Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:35 am
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Post Re: Diamonds Are Not A Girl's Best Friend
Well now duly soothed by the sumptuous arias of Haendel in the candlelit décor of the Galerie des Glaces, I can now turn my attention to the subject in hand, the supposed ass kicking by Marija Vera!

Well Marija firstly would you not say that one when has not read any biography of the big man, one risks to be talking out of the very thing which one wanted to kick? :lol:

I suggest Bernard Fay's biography of Louis XVI which I believe has been translated or Vincent Cronin's Louis XVI and MA. I read the > 1000 page bio by Petitfils which is a reference, but in French and maybe not translated.

I agree that Louis XVI should have travelled to meet his people, that he lacked vision about how to handle the unrest in the country, but I believe that he was in a position that no other King before him had experienced, as he pointed out himself. This was a situation that had been created by his predecessor Louis XV and he found himself a virtuous King in control of a corrupt court with even eminent members of his own family conspiring against him. He could have acted forcefully to try and change things, but this King wanted to avoid bloodshed and preferred negotiation above all. Was this weakness? The impression I got of him from my readings was not that of a weak man, but of a man infuriatingly indecisive at times, cautious in the extreme and apt to take into account the opinions of others, even misguided, lacking perhaps confidence in his own often superior judgement. But I have to agree that he was the wrong man for,the job at that time. A Louis XIV who was perhaps less subtle but would have sent in the troops from the beginning would have perhaps quashed the revolution at its' onset. This being said France had to evolve and it could only have evolved with a man open to change like Louis XVI who I'm quite sure had some sympathy for the idea of constitutional monarchy, well versed as he was in the history of parliamentary England.

As for Oscar Wilde's comments on Hamlet, I don't agree with his comment that Hamlet is weak. He acts impulsively, killls Polonius without a moment's hesitation and cannot really regret his act, duels with Laertes without fear. He is assailed by his own indecisiveness, by his inability to believe the corruption around him, which finishes by taking an inevitable toll on his spirits and his capacity to act. Does that remind you of someone? :wink:

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Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:03 pm
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Post Re: Diamonds Are Not A Girl's Best Friend
baron de batz wrote:
Well now duly soothed by the sumptuous arias of Haendel in the candlelit décor of the Galerie des Glaces, I can now turn my attention to the subject in hand, the supposed ass kicking by Marija Vera!

Well Marija firstly would you not say that one when has not read any biography of the big man, one risks to be talking out of the very thing which one wanted to kick? :lol:

I suggest Bernard Fay's biography of Louis XVI which I believe has been translated or Vincent Cronin's Louis XVI and MA. I read the > 1000 page bio by Petitfils which is a reference, but in French and maybe not translated.

I agree that Louis XVI should have travelled to meet his people, that he lacked vision about how to handle the unrest in the country, but I believe that he was in a position that no other King before him had experienced, as he pointed out himself. This was a situation that had been created by his predecessor Louis XV and he found himself a virtuous King in control of a corrupt court with even eminent members of his own family conspiring against him. He could have acted forcefully to try and change things, but this King wanted to avoid bloodshed and preferred negotiation above all. Was this weakness? The impression I got of him from my readings was not that of a weak man, but of a man infuriatingly indecisive at times, cautious in the extreme and apt to take into account the opinions of others, even misguided, lacking perhaps confidence in his own often superior judgement. But I have to agree that he was the wrong man for,the job at that time. A Louis XIV who was perhaps less subtle but would have sent in the troops from the beginning would have perhaps quashed the revolution at its' onset. This being said France had to evolve and it could only have evolved with a man open to change like Louis XVI who I'm quite sure had some sympathy for the idea of constitutional monarchy, well versed as he was in the history of parliamentary England.

As for Oscar Wilde's comments on Hamlet, I don't agree with his comment that Hamlet is weak. He acts impulsively, killls Polonius without a moment's hesitation and cannot really regret his act, duels with Laertes without fear. He is assailed by his own indecisiveness, by his inability to believe the corruption around him, which finishes by taking an inevitable toll on his spirits and his capacity to act. Does that remind you of someone? :wink:




Low kick but I accept the remark. :lol: Shouldn't that make your job easier? Let me try with my limited knowledge (some books I've read mentioned Louis XVI, for example The rise of civil Europe, but from the context of the revolution, its true) have some discussion. After all, in the end, I'd like you to as the ultimate royal defender to clear away some doubts I have. But what surprises me is that I don't find anything new in your posts. Here I am interested in Louis XVI as a king.

What do we discuss? I agree with Artois that the royal couple has its blame in losing the love of the people which is due to its' burying its' head in the sand and ignoring what was happening outside Versailles. That sometimes affects my attitude towards them. I would like you to prove me wrong on that and show how genuinely they were devoted to their people, how Louis XVI's superior judgement helped solve many issues and how people ended up hating them only because they were manipulated by the press printed abroad. But you seem to agree with many points I've made. Do you think Louis XVI was a good king? Or you think he only had a potential (he would be good if the situation in France had been stable). He was in a particularly complex situation with the rise of a new ideology although France wasn't the only country affected by it. He inherited huge debts although he wasn't the only king who inherited such a condition (you know who I will use as a comparison). Was it from that point impossible to reform the country and head it in another direction?? France had to evolve, I agree, and you think under Louis XVI, but what was concretely done in 15 years of reign to help its progress? And that is quite a long period so I expect a looooong post about all positive changes, from culture to the economy. Until I get the biography, you can enlighten me and stop my revolutionary thoughts. :wink: I think that lack of political vision and indecisiveness had made him definitely a wrong man for the job (as you confirmed) but how one can state that and wonder how people lost all the confidence they had in him at the beginning of his reign?? Or thinking about all those masses of plebians is so boring (Let them eat cake!). Would be fun if you tried to put yourself in that perspective.


As for being weak, I don't like the very negative connotation the word has. But here is one of definitions of being weak -
Lacking firmness of character or strength of will. Does that remind you of someone? :wink:

As for magnificence, I think that is exactly what we admire in the 18th century. We admire great palaces, art works done with the patronage of royal mistresses, theaters and operas, culture created in higher circles. Without that wish to show off and be as powerful and magnificent, without that frivolous and playful society, we wouldn't have Rose Bertan, Fragonard, Boucher, even the magnificent Versailles. The only problem was how to finance it, but some great monarchs were even successful in that.

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Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:29 pm
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Post Re: Diamonds Are Not A Girl's Best Friend
Marija Vera wrote:

Would be fun if you tried to put yourself in that perspective.

Its' admittedly difficult for a Baron who is basically a merciless elitist to put himself in the shoes of those starving masses, but I'll try....(tired sigh)....

I do think that Louis XVI was good King, but not the right man for the job in hand. If MA had been Queen I think she would have put all those nasty plebians quickly in their place with a few well timed military interventions. :wink: Louis XVI did a lot more for France than his predecessor who was more interested in what lay in his "culottes" than in politics. He introduced religious tolerance, cut court spending (for what that was worth, but it at least showed an example), abolished torture, re-energized the flagging French navy and in so doing won an important if costly war against Britain in America, and then basically spent a number of years trying to render the French tax system more equitable, a task in which he failed because of the opposition of the high clergy and the aristocracy. He did other things but I have to refer to my books for those. He also brought back some morality to an increasingly debauched court at Versailles by his attitude towards his family. Louis XVI was a profoundly religious man, so I believe that he really did love his people and took his sacred vows very seriously. You cannot ignore the importance of this aspect when looking at traditional French monarchy. The rôle of monarch, even though it brought with it opulence and faste, also brought an important element of self sacrifice. Even Louis XIV who could be seen as the absolutist King "par excellence" gave all his time and effort to the throne and was the ultlmate patriot, often going to bed extenuated by the day's workload of representation and co-operation with his many ministers and counsellors. Mme de Maintenon in her mémoirs describes this very clearly. Louis XVI took his sacred vows very seriously and was committed to the well being of his countrymen. It is well documented that he had always read through and memorized the many different files that his ministers discussed with him before they sat down with him. He was interested in the sciences and encouraged research and exploration , using his talents in geography and his knowledge of naval affairs to help explorers like La Pérouse in his expeditions. Most importantly of all he really believed that he represented all of his people and had a duty towards them, almost a paternalistic duty , which backfired on him when that same population, at least an infinite minority of it, put him to death as as way of thanks for his wish not to shed a drop of their blood in civil warfare.

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Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:24 pm
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Post Re: Diamonds Are Not A Girl's Best Friend
Quote:
Its' admittedly difficult for a Baron who is basically a merciless elitist to put himself in the shoes of those starving masses, but I'll
try....(tired sigh)...


:lol:
Quote:
If MA had been Queen I think she would have put all those nasty plebians quickly in their place with a few well timed military interventions.


Don't you think preventing it by some well timed changes from the start would be a better thing to do?

Quote:
Louis XVI did a lot more for France than his predecessor who was more interested in what lay in his "culottes" than in politics. He introduced religious tolerance, cut court spending (for what that was worth, but it at least showed an example), abolished torture, re-energized the flagging French navy and in so doing won an important if costly war against Britain in America, and then basically spent a number of years trying to render the French tax system more equitable, a task in which he failed because of the opposition of the high clergy and the aristocracy. He did other things but I have to refer to my books for those. He also brought back some morality to an increasingly debauched court at Versailles by his attitude towards his family.


I'll wait for you to consult your books, I am especially interested in the progress of the trade and economy. I am currently reading about some malversations that occurred and the incompetence of the royal ministers who entered into a commercial treaty with Britain that resulted in cheaper British goods flooding the French market and putting hundreds of native manufacturing companies out of business. So far what you wrote doesn't seem too significant, although abolishing torture was a good enlightened move that many monarchies made. He was a moral man but do you suggest that his attitude changed the attitude of others making Versailles more moral?
Quote:
. He was interested in the sciences and encouraged research and exploration , using his talents in geography and his knowledge of naval affairs to help explorers like La Pérouse in his expeditions.


It is known that France was way behind England in using new methods in the agriculture. Did his interest help solving that?

Quote:
Most importantly of all he really believed that he represented all of his people and had a duty towards them, almost a paternalistic duty , which
backfired on him when that same population, at least an infinite minority of it, put him to death as as way of thanks for his wish not to shed a drop of their blood in civil warfare. "Fidelité et constance, sans espoir de récompense."


Maybe it backfired on him because he was not very successful in fulfilling the same duty?

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Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:03 pm
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Post Re: Diamonds Are Not A Girl's Best Friend
I could not read all the comments made, and I apologize. I am not sure what to make of it really.

On the one hand it always tends to irk me when when exterior signs of wealth are put in perspective with others' predicament as if there were a direct causal link between them -and that is quite a relevant point to be made in the current context, especially in France. It is perfectly true that other queens were as extravagant as Marie-Antoinette, and I am referring especially to Maria-Teresa of Spain, who did not flinch from sporting a dress glittering with a dozen (and more) of diamonds. The situation in French countries was back then far worse than at the time of Marie-Antoinette. However, nobody even dared to drop a hint at this extravagance, which was regarded as taken as read for a queen of France. Why was it so ? Because Maria-Teresia was a rather meek and submissive wife, all of which Marie-Antoinette was not.

On the other hand, I am not sure I agree with the claim that MA would have been criticized as well had she fallen back on more simple outfits. This is surely a hint at the famous en gaulle robe, which was deemed unfitting for a queen. Yes indeed, but there this is more a matter of style than a matter of spending, for these dresses were far from being cheap. When at the beginning of the reign MA announced her intention to abolish the tax "for the queen's belt", it bolstered her popularity. Al this to conclude that there is always a way (and there should have been one) to concile a certain simplicity and one's function. If not, all kind of abuses could be justified. What is more, time had changed and MA was at this very moment not in a right position to exhibit such a luxury.
This was thus not, indeed, a very sensible course of action.

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Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:28 pm
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Post Re: Diamonds Are Not A Girl's Best Friend
Ludy wrote:
I could not read all the comments made, and I apologize. I am not sure what to make of it really.

On the one hand it always tends to irk me when when exterior signs of wealth are put in perspective with others' predicament as if there were a direct causal link between them -and that is quite a relevant point to be made in the current context, especially in France. It is perfectly true that other queens were as extravagant as Marie-Antoinette, and I am referring especially to Maria-Teresa of Spain, who did not flinch from sporting a dress glittering with a dozen (and more) of diamonds. The situation in French countries was back then far worse than at the time of Marie-Antoinette. However, nobody even dared to drop a hint at this extravagance, which was regarded as taken as read for a queen of France. Why was it so ? Because Maria-Teresia was a rather meek and submissive wife, all of which Marie-Antoinette was not.


Indeed, dressing and looking the part (as a royal) was expected.


Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:30 pm
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Post Re: Diamonds Are Not A Girl's Best Friend
I was just watching yet another interview with yet another televangelist who lives like a rich CEO and thinking that surely the people who keep giving money to these characters - so often collected on the pretext of building a church or helping a charity - surely must know how they live. And have for decades, through various incarnations of the same type. Hell, Dickens had a field day satirizing similar preachers in his time.

If collecting money for Jesus or the poor and then spending it on a private jet and a mansion isn't obscene, what is? Yet people keep being enamored of the image of their chosen "saintly" hero and gladly overlooking the contradiction. I'm afraid that in our period many people simply saw no relation between the wealth of those they often regarded as the embodiment of their nation's glory and their own misery. It took the thinkers - mainly middle class, often lawyers or journalists - to make them feel the difference. But such awareness was a long time coming and far from spontaneous. And the way the French ate up Napoleon's over the top "Empire", so soon after such difficult years only illustrates the more plainly how drunk the populace gets on such imagery.

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Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:13 am
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