Marie Antoinette Online
  • FORUM
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:38 am



Reply to topic  [ 73 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5
 The Life of Axel von Fersen 
Author Message
Duc/Duchesse
Duc/Duchesse
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:12 pm
Posts: 219
Location: Sweden
Post Re: The Life of Axel von Fersen
The "bastards" are more rumours and nothing I really believe in. Though we can never know about this, can we? He certainly "fooled around", that's for sure, and even if he used some type of birth control one can never be sure it worked... Can we even be today with condoms? :oops: So I would not affirm anything.

As for Fersen having bad opinion of the French - that's not entirely true. He might have had the WRONG opinion of them during the Revolution and he didn't feel highly of them when they killed Louis and Antoinette... But when he first came to Paris there were no one who compared to the French in his mind. Versailles was the centre of the earth and he compared everything to his beloved Paris. Though he was a cynic and certainly described some frenchmen in a funny way, if you read his diary. :lol:

_________________
Blifwit quar, igen


Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:37 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:54 am
Posts: 2040
Post Re: The Life of Axel von Fersen
About those bastards, the important point is that no one is mentioned for sure. On the contrary, let's take Eleonore Sullivan, whom Fersen had a long liaison with. She never had children fathered by him.

And about Fersen's opinion about France, it is true that as a young boy, he admired France a lot, but he shared this general opinion that French mentalities were light. By the time of the opening of the General Estates, Fersen had quite liberal opinions. His position changed after those terrible October Days, when he saw what those men fighting for liberty were able to do... :?

His view never ceased getting worse about the French revolution, from June 91 on, he also had to see it from outside, and gave Marie Antoinette reactionary advises that could have a terrible influence on her. Fortunately, she also listened to Barnave...

... And, writing so, I don't know, after all... All that matters to me is Marie Antoinette's life. Could she survive on this revolution if obeying Barnave ? Or would she have better listen to Fersen ? Where was the safe issue ? Into the constitution, or into another flight ? :shock:

I am tempted to answer the second proposal... for I have great doubts about the revolutionaries' sincerety... :roll:

_________________
te voir encore me rappelle à la vie


Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:49 am
Profile
Duc/Duchesse
Duc/Duchesse
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:12 pm
Posts: 219
Location: Sweden
Post Re: The Life of Axel von Fersen
I believe that Fersen was true to Antoinette and Louis, especially more true to them than the revolutionaries (Barnave etc.) were. That does not mean that Antoinette would have survived the revolution if she would have followed Fersen's advice (if we're just talking about her life now...). It's hard to speculate about these things.

_________________
Blifwit quar, igen


Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:53 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:54 am
Posts: 2040
Post Re: The Life of Axel von Fersen
Indeed, dear... but I enjoy so much speculating about how she could have escaped her terrible fate ! I now think that only flying could save them...

_________________
te voir encore me rappelle à la vie


Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:20 pm
Profile
Duc/Duchesse
Duc/Duchesse
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:12 pm
Posts: 219
Location: Sweden
Post Re: The Life of Axel von Fersen
One can speculate how the world would have been today if the escape would have been succesful. It's most likely that the world today would have been very different if Fersen wouldn't have "left" them in Bondy... It's very interesting indeed to speculate! :wink:

_________________
Blifwit quar, igen


Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:46 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:42 am
Posts: 653
Location: Paris
Post Re: The Life of Axel von Fersen
Sorry to revive an old thread, but I have recently read a biography of Fersen by Kunsler as well as a biography of Craufurd by Emile Dard, and I discovered quite a lot about them both.

Contrary to what was written there, Fersen was very fond of France and in no way a francophobe. He undertook his studies in Strasbourg, adn actually considered himself practically as French, so much that he could not stand to stay in Sweden for too long. He also never took to the "Anglomania", who was so popular at the time -a major difference with the Queen, who was very fond of England. Fersen was simply extremely conservative, in fact probably more so than the Queen ever was, which induced Bertière to write that his advice and influence over MA proved disastrous, for he never understood the roots of the Revolution.

As mentioned above, He met Bonaparte in 1797, albeit during a brief political meeting. The latter later asserted that Fersen was "the Queen's lover". It seems that Bonaparte and Joséphine were very well acquainted with Craufurd, who went back to Paris after the Revolution. So Bonaparte may have had some ground to believe that. However, Craufurd may not have had any precise knowledge of the nature of their relationship -other than what Fersen told him, and seeing as Craufurd did not even realize that his mistress was two-timing him under his nose, I am not sure we can give much credit to his insight.

Besides, Emile Dard made out that the relationship with Eleonore Sullivan was a sham meant to avert the public focus on Fersen's relationship with the Queen -however, no sources back up that argument. It is clear however that Fersen availed himself of his alleged relationship with the Queen to jilt at least two of his girlfriends. He was also very keen to make songs and dances about this -what a genuine lover would certainly not do, considering the particular circumstances of this affair.

Kunstler, who believes in a kind of chivalrous devotion to the Queen, attributes the renowned and much discussed letter to Madame de Saint Priest, who was literraly badgering Fersen into getting back to her (sometimes in a very spiteful way).

There are also interesting news about a few letters written by the Queen, which have recently been deciphered by Elena Maria Vidal. The content of these letters struck me as rather passionate, leaving little room for doubt with regards to the Queen's feelings.

_________________
" Perfection is not achieved when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.


Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:47 pm
Profile
Duc/Duchesse
Duc/Duchesse
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:12 pm
Posts: 219
Location: Sweden
Post Re: The Life of Axel von Fersen
Ludy wrote:
Besides, Emile Dard made out that the relationship with Eleonore Sullivan was a sham meant to avert the public focus on Fersen's relationship with the Queen -however, no sources back up that argument.


This is far from the truth. If one reads Fersen's diary there is no secret he was really in love with Mrs Sullivan. Later in his life, after Antoinette's death etcetera, he even thinks about marrying Mrs Sullivan. They never did, perhaps because Mrs Sullivan was afraid of the cold life in Sweden, or perhaps because he discovered she never loved him nearly as much as he once did. After 1799 Fersen never mentions her again in his diary.

_________________
Blifwit quar, igen


Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:56 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:42 am
Posts: 653
Location: Paris
Post Re: The Life of Axel von Fersen
Hans Axel wrote:
Ludy wrote:
Besides, Emile Dard made out that the relationship with Eleonore Sullivan was a sham meant to avert the public focus on Fersen's relationship with the Queen -however, no sources back up that argument.


This is far from the truth. If one reads Fersen's diary there is no secret he was really in love with Mrs Sullivan. Later in his life, after Antoinette's death etcetera, he even thinks about marrying Mrs Sullivan. They never did, perhaps because Mrs Sullivan was afraid of the cold life in Sweden, or perhaps because he discovered she never loved him nearly as much as he once did. After 1799 Fersen never mentions her again in his diary.



Yes I wholeheartedly agree with you ! I think Fersen was extremely fond of Mrs Sullivan though he wasn't keen to admit it. I read a few experpts from his diary, and I must say that his tone, when writing about Mrs Sullivan struck me as detached and cold, but I would put that down to masculine pride. For instance, at the end of his life, he downplays his feelings towards her, saying that he would like to marry her because he needs being taken care of after all. :lol: The fact is that she left him to rekindle her relationship with Craufurd, and Fersen apparently did not get over it.

Emile Diard does not give any element to prove his assertions. In fact the love affair was so serious that even the Queen encouraged it.

_________________
" Perfection is not achieved when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.


Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:36 am
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:42 am
Posts: 653
Location: Paris
Post Re: The Life of Axel von Fersen
Hans Axel wrote:
he discovered she never loved him nearly as much as he once did. After 1799 Fersen never mentions her again in his diary.



I have always been under the impression that Mrs Sullivan had strong feelings for Fersen, that she was very much in love with him. She even followed him to Sweden. But now I think about it, you may well be right after all. She had quite a lot of lovers before him, and I have always thought that such women rarely fall sincerly in love but only superficially. She called him her "greluchon" - a geluchon, as it turned out, is a lover of a woman who is kept by another man. She may indeed have considered him as a little more than an amusement. I have myself witnessed such a "ménage à trois" when a woman who is kept by a man picks herself another lover on the side. The latter rarely amounts to much more than a pleasant entertainment, who will be dumped as soon as he becomes to "cumbersome". I am not convinced but who knows ?

It is always very difficult to analyse people's feelings, so all that boils down to speculation and then again is skewed by our own values, personalities and experiences.

_________________
" Perfection is not achieved when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.


Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:54 am
Profile
Duc/Duchesse
Duc/Duchesse
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:12 pm
Posts: 219
Location: Sweden
Post Re: The Life of Axel von Fersen
Ludy wrote:
She even followed him to Sweden.


No, she never did.

_________________
Blifwit quar, igen


Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:00 am
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:42 am
Posts: 653
Location: Paris
Post Re: The Life of Axel von Fersen
Oops !

_________________
" Perfection is not achieved when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.


Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:12 pm
Profile
Prince/Princesse
Prince/Princesse
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:42 am
Posts: 653
Location: Paris
Post Re: The Life of Axel von Fersen
But where did they meet then ? I read in Künstler that they did see each other at some point after MA's death. But I may be dreaming, I may be growing old.

_________________
" Perfection is not achieved when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.


Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:44 am
Profile
Peasant
Peasant

Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:43 pm
Posts: 1
Post Re: The Life of Axel von Fersen
The Wikipedia article for Axel Fersen is as of now more thoroughly updated for those looking to get a better and more accurate glimpse of his life.

As for books I strongly recommend 'The Reminiscences of Sir Barrington Beaumont' and 'The Diary and Correspondence of Count Axel Fersen'. They are great first-hand sources for Axel's life. For Marie Antoinette I recommend 'The Memoirs of Marie Antoinette' by Madame Campan and the 'Secret Memoirs of Princess Lamballe'. For a thorough history of the French Revolution, I suggest Simon Schama's 'Citizens'. All of these books can be read in their entirety for free on Google Books except for the last one.


Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:00 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 73 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware for PTF.