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 What was this 'petit' operation'? 
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Actually, there were other cases of youthful marriages that were not consummated right away. Catherine the Great's marriage for instance, and the Princesse de Lamballe's husband died before they could consummate the marriage. It was not unusual when the bride or groom or both were merely children. Marie-Antoinette was fourteen but looked as if she were twelve. I think her husband showed prudence in waiting for her to grow up.

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:12 pm
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Is it not possible that Marie Antoinettes clan made up the phimosis to cover the incomprehesible situation . They didnt want the blame to go on MA. Also ,i read that that she had a narrow opening , which might have been a problem. I also read that the coulple had been trying to consummate for a while, since 1773 actually, so perhaps people only assumed a non-consumation beacause she was not yet pregnant. Either way i dont think either one of them should take the full blame.


Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:49 pm
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Yes you're right oceane :wink:

Marie-Antoinette had problems too with relations in love :D

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:06 pm
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But didn't she write to her mother that 'yesterday her marriage was fully consummated'? From the correspondence I have seen between them - which I am presuming is authentic but I can't say for definite - it seemed that this was discussed often between them and that she did tell her mother when intercourse finally took place. Also, didn't the Emperor Joseph in his writing attribute the blame to Louis (which naturally he would have done I suppose so I dunno how reliable what he said would have been).


Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:22 pm
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Yes, oceane, you are absolutely correct.

Yes, Moose, they were trying to consummate the marriage as early as 1773, when Marie-Antoinette was 17. What Joseph wrote to his brother was quite explicit and needs to be seen more as the making of a crude joke, at Louis' expense. Louis would never have confided in Joseph, not such intimate matters. Joseph may also have been annoyed that Louis did not make certain political concessions, and so joked about him in a letter.

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:49 pm
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Joseph never put the blame on Louis only. On the contrary, he wrote to his brother Leopold that Louis had "strong erections". Joseph was clever enough to consider the situation in its whole, and adds that his sister had "no temper". In his letter to Antoinette, he advises her and asks her to be more tender to her husband. "Don't you look disgusted ?", he even asks.

From all these, it is obvious that the problem was caused by both partners.

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:58 pm
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I seem to recall that Joseph also said that Louis would withdraw without ejaculating but I have no idea how he would know this ;). I would guess that it would not be unusual for a young girl to look disgusted, repelled or frightened at an attempt to take her virginity though... that disgust alone would not, to me, account for the failure to consummate the marriage for so many years.


Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:33 pm
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Yes, Pimprenelle, there were problems on both sides. Louis was aloof in the first few years because his aunts had warned him about becoming too enthralled with his Austrian bride because it would be dangerous for France. As for Antoinette, she was very child-like. Yes, Moose you are right, that much of this was part of Antoinette's being young and innocent. Perhaps she may have told Joseph some things, but I doubt it. I really cannot see Louis confiding such matters to Joseph, when he would not even confide in his beloved grandfather. Joseph probably consulted Mercy's spies of the bedchamber and came to his own conclusions.

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:12 pm
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I should imagine that all the spying - we're their sheets regularly inspected without their knowledge or consent? - can't have helped the relationship.


Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:13 pm
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Yes, Moose, that is another thing that put SO much stress on their relationships - the spying and speculation. It made what should have been a pleasure into such an ordeal.

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:18 pm
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All Versailles put the pressure to them so that they have sexuals relations… there were rumours, lies… Louis-XVI and Marie-Antoinette were the center of the attention, and this, mixed with their timidity and their problems, did not arrange anything :?

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:18 pm
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You're so right Louis Charles ! On the contrary it made things worse! Versailles kind of reminds me of high school, where everyone talks about everyone, and theres an in and an out crowd and all that . Hmmm perpetual high school doesnt seem too appealing to me - no wonder some people left that beautiful place !

I wonder why Marie Antoinette was disgusted. I doubt it was because of her husband, maybe it was the entire sexual act itself that put her off. It could be, seeing as she was so modest that she wore a gown when bathing, and coloured her water as well ! Also , maybe the coldness that she is said to have displayed to her husband ... what was that about ??? Was it her frustration in the bedroom comming out in other ways?

Also, does anyone know why Joseph said that he found Louis XVI a little weak ?


Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 pm
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oceane wrote:
I wonder why Marie Antoinette was disgusted. I doubt it was because of her husband, maybe it was the entire sexual act itself that put her off.


That could very well be. She was young, and he was not very friendly at first due to his shyness and being on guard against her charms.

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:33 pm
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Well I don't think that it can be expected that a 14 or 15 year old girl, at that time, would be sexually forthcoming. Presumably she knew what the sex act WAS but I would guess that that was about all she knew about it.


Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:33 pm
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Yes, especially if there was physical pain involved in the attempts to have intercourse, more than is usual for a virgin, and much of the evidence indicates that this was indeed the case with Marie-Antoinette. The pain could be another reason for her reaction of "disgust."

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:38 pm
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