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 Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA? 
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Peasant
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Post Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
Here's an interesting thought I had that I wish to share, do you think Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than Marie Antoinette? Now I'm not much of a historian, I'm very much a budding social scientist who is very committed to her goal of being a cultural anthropologist. For me history is for fun, storytelling of stories that actually happened. My best friend is the learned historian, while I don't take it seriously in an intellectual way but I like to engage it in an emotional way. Henry VIII wives are really interesting people for me so I've read a bit about them. And I was thinking about Anne Boleyn's reputation as this crafty schemer verse Marie Antoinette's reputation as a frivolous woman who put a starving country deeper into debt. Which picture is more "right," or are they both "wrong?" What do you all think?
Smilies! Sorry they're just cool, and I'm not mad at all but I kind of love this one. :angry9:


Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:28 pm
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
I don't like to think of it in terms of who "deserves" more sympathy. Each woman was so unique to her situation, one common thread being murdered on trumped up charges. This in itself evokes sympathy. Neither of these women may have amounted to much more than a footnote in history absent the tragedies they individually suffered. I have always laughed alittle at the fact that Anne Boleyn was not just called a whore, she was "The Great Whore". Her imprisonment and trial didn't come close to the amount of time Marie Antoinette spent at the hands of her tormentors. So, for this fact I think that Anne Boleyn had an easier time of it - she was killed relatively quickly compared to Marie Antoinette and much more discreetly.
By the way, welcome to the forum!


Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:35 am
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
After reading about Anne, and comparing her to M.A, I tend to side with Anne more, only as I can more relate to her while some actions of M.A. I find completely difficult to understand. But that is so subjective and I agree with Lilly that both deserve empathy considering the torture they went through.

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Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:47 pm
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
Well, I would say that Anne's fate is certainly more moving in the sense that she was essentially the victim of her own husband, who was pretty much the prefiguration of Bluebeard, which is in itself pretty frightening. I'd agree with Marija Vera that it's easier to relate to such a personality than to Marie-Antoinette. Then, I would also agree with Lilly : Marie-Antoinette's ordeal did not boil down to being beheaded, but was extended to her family -essentially her son, which is in any case an unacceptable experience for any woman.

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Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:32 am
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
Yes i would say that MA's principal source of suffering was her concern about her children. After she was imprisoned in the Conciergerie, I think that she grew apathetic, she only wanted to live in the off chance of seeing her children again. She hardly saw the people who paraded past her cell to look at the imprisoned erstwhile Queen.

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Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:45 am
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
Another difference is the way each of them handled their imprisonment - MA became stronger with her ordeal, while Anne, before her execution became a little hysterical. Anne had an expectation that Henry would grant a reprieve and not actually behead her. After Louis XVI was executed, MA probably had a good idea that she was also going to be killed. Both women suffered the anguish of having to leave children behind - Elizabeth was only 3 when her Mother was killed.


Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:39 am
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
(In my mind) Antoinette is definitely more deserving of sympathy. She was like a saint when compared to Anne Boleyn. Antoinette's story is deeper than being the woman who "put a starving country deeper into debt". That's so far from the truth. She was a better person than Anne Boleyn and her (MA:s) punishment was much worse.

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Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:31 pm
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
Anne Boleyn had a dignified execution as opposed to Marie Antoinette who was forced to squat in a corner in full view of those who came to see her die to relieve herself. But at the end of the day Anne was a victim of a cruel husband and Marie Antoinette God bless her was the victim of a cruel revolution. We see this cruelty today when people are killed horribly because some fanatics make an excuse such as the Norwegian cartoons to kill and maim.


Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:16 pm
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
Yes its' true Marie Boleyn was kiilled like a Queen, Marie Antoinette like a harlot...with orchestrated mockery and humiliation throughout the final journey.

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Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:20 am
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
I think you meant Anne, Baron...LOL. Yes, Anne was afforded a much more private execution on the Tower Green within the confines of the Tower of London. The church where her body was buried was just steps away from where she was executed. Anne also was allowed to be beheaded by a sword rather that the typical axe. Marie Antoinette's final ride through Paris must have been just unbelievable - she was obviously terrified when she saw the tumbril - so much so that she backed into that corner. Some of the streets are so narrow on that journey that she must have constantly feared someone assaulting her on the way. I know the streets were lined with soldiers, but the crowd was huge and it must have seemed so close to her. There is no excuse, ever, for what Marie Antoinette was put through.


Yesterday, in the news, there was a story about the President of Syria's wife. Comparing her to Marie-Antoinette, with the usual misconceptions about MA's spending and not caring about the people...the whole Let them Eat Cake lie all over again. It is a shame that these reporters perpetuate this slander over 200 years later. I could maybe respect them if they knew of what they spoke.


Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:46 pm
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
Indeed Lilly ! The wife of the ex-President of Tunisia, who I believe is less famous abroad, also enjoyed such comparisons.

Leila Trablesi stemmed from an underpriviledged background and from rags to riches became the first lady after her husband Ben Ali overthrew the ruling president.

She grew notoriously greedy, corrupted and ruthless. Her husband was very ill and thus totally under her thumb.

I think the comparison is far more insulting than with the first lady of Syria, who I believe, was not accused of greed and money laudering.

Here is an article about the "Tunisian Marie-Antoinette".

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -bars.html

In the French newspapers, she was compared to the Pompadour and to Du Barry as well as to Marie-Antoinette.)

Those comparisons are extremely offensive to our Queen, who was certainly far from being ruthless and indifferent to the suffering of the others. And was not involved in any kind of money laundering.

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Last edited by Ludy on Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:13 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:20 am
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
Lilly wrote:
Some of the streets are so narrow on that journey that she must have constantly feared someone assaulting her on the way. I know the streets were lined with soldiers, but the crowd was huge and it must have seemed so close to her. There is no excuse, ever, for what Marie Antoinette was put through.


The humiliation was not, indeed, the mere result of the spontaneous public hatred but was planned by advance, seeing as an actor, Grammont I believe, who used to work for the Duke of Orleans was appointed to trut around the Queen, whetting the mob's anger.
The guillotine was quite a humane death compared with the previous method of execution (by the sword for the nobles), who resulted in often botched and painful deaths. However, it was a quick one. So the show had to be organized before it happened, so that the mob would not be disappointed. There is no denying that this planned humiliation was meant to assuage the public tension, as everything was going wrong on the front line and the economic situation was spiralling out of control. It was meant to conceal the fact that the Revolution had yet failed to solve the problems that had brought it to power. Yet, was it any different to the executions carried out under the monarchy ? They were certainly less numerous, but way more cruel (Damiens).

Marie-Antoinette had not her hair tied to a crazy horse and was not dragged around Paris, the way Brunehilde was, although Hebert advocated this kind of execution. To us, what Marie-Antoinette went through is unacceptable, yet, considering the mores of the time, it could have been far worse. She at least had a swift and relatively painless death, and her travel to the guillotine lasted but 15 minutes, as far as I know. Cynical, but true.

I do not mean to condone what was done to her. I obvisouly do not. Nowadays, everybody would raise hue and cries at such a treatment. But I do believe that the "threshold of tolerance" is very tightly linked with the general living conditions and mores of a given time and given country.

In a nutshell, back then people were barbarians !

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:43 am
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
Her journey to the guillotine lasted an hour...the tumbril paused before the St Roch church for ten minutes for example, where a number of women were posted with banners on the steps to harangue the former Queen.

There were mixed reactions on the way, some people were obviouisly moved and the crowd in may places was silent. obviously there were observers everywhere to report any open signs of support to the former sovereign and have those people arrested. We were already in a semi Stalinian system.

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:18 am
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
baron de batz wrote:
Her journey to the guillotine lasted an hour...the tumbril paused before the St Roch church for ten minutes for example, where a number of women were posted with banners on the steps to harangue the former Queen.


:lol: I think I was a bit quick in downplaying the Queen's ordeal. 15 minutes is not that long, you know, and the guillotine is so painless !

I must have confused with the journey in metro -which lasts about 15 minutes, unless the train stops, which constantly happens. But then there is nobody around to insult me as I patiently wait for it to re-start.

:lol:

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:20 am
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Post Re: Is Anne Boleyn is more deserving of sympathy than MA?
The comparison with Stalin sounds a bit like a common place, but ok. I assume the next step is to quote Orlando Figes !

However, I agree that there are similarities between the Terror and the Communist regime at its beginning, in the sense that the Revolution invented the notion of "enemy of the people", extensible by the judges and that there was a form of state run totalitarianism, invading people's privacy. This is obvious in the "law of suspects", which was implemented already when the Queen was executed. It will always be debatable how much this was the result of an extremely tense situation, or the intended outcome of a given doctrine. Guénniffey seems to believe in the last.

I also believe that the French doctrine of democracy is a bit totalitarian in its essence, because the will of the people is considered as a whole, and thus, opposition of any kind was considered as an opposition to the Nation itself. It really stemmed from Rousseau's works and ideals. And the French doctrine is still struggling with this doctrine of the "volonté générale", which is at odds with any form of pluralism.
This is a very theoretical vision of democracy indeed, contrary to the American and British one, which is rather grounded on "real people" if I dare say : corporations, association, etc. The French revolution on the contrary, forbade all of these associations and corporations (Le Chappelier and d'Allarde laws), even the religious ones, because they were considered as impediments to the expression of the people.

But with regards to the arrest of the mourning observers of the Queen's execution, there is nothing "stalinist" about that. The aim was to avert any atempt to save her, as it already happened during Louis XVI's journey to the scaffold, as Baron de Batz may know.

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:44 am
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