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 What was this 'petit' operation'? 
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Pretty much everything that i have ever read about her has been sympathetic and has implied that, although she had her faults and her extravagences, nonetheless she was no worse than previous monarchs and was just a victim of circumstance. It would be interesting to get the other side of the coin.


Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:46 pm
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It's surely natural for a first time mother to be terrified of childbirth though, and for a virgin to be terrified of intercourse. I've never seen evidence that she was more terrified of those things than anyone else would be.


Simone Bertière analyses these fears very well.

I agree with Therese that Marie Antoinette's friendship with Mme de Polignac helped her very much in these matters.

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:47 pm
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Moose wrote:
Pretty much everything that i have ever read about her has been sympathetic and has implied that, although she had her faults and her extravagences, nonetheless she was no worse than previous monarchs and was just a victim of circumstance. It would be interesting to get the other side of the coin.


That is true, she has been grossly maligned. She was MUCH better than most monarchs who had gone before. The Coursacs and Fay have a bias in favor of Louis and always take his side against Antoinette. Nevertheless, they do make some interesting points. But as Pimprenelle says, Simone Bertiere has perhaps the best analysis where the marital difficulties are concerned.

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:54 pm
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Strange that some biographers should see it as a battle of popularity between Louis and Antoinette when from everything I know those two themselves would not have liked such 'rivalry'.


Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:14 pm
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I agree.

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:17 pm
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I've always thought that it was actually rather touching that two teenagers who had never met and who were temperamentally very different should nonetheless form such a strong bond.


Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:21 pm
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Yes, they did, in spite of everything. That is the beauty of it.

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:23 pm
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I suppose that they had similarities in the sense that they were of a similar age and were both raised to be aware of their rank and status - Louis's, as French Dauphin, being rather higher than Antoinette's as the penultimate child of the Empress of Austria. But it doesn't sound as though they had any tastes in common at all, and their intellect was dissimilar.


Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:30 pm
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Yes, but Louis had not been raised as heir; he had been raised as an "extra" prince, just as Antoinette was an "extra" princess.

True, they did not have much in common, but they were united by their love for their children, their love for the simple life, and their mutual sorrows.

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:35 pm
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Indeed on the point of the love life, they had many resemblances… and fortunately… they were faithful between them….
They were respected, and they did not need to go to see elsewhere, because they were happy like that.
Louis XVI was one of rare kings de France who did not have mistress :D

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:38 pm
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Ah yeah I forgot that Louis was not the son of the reining monarch but the grandson.

As to him not having mistresses - could this lend credibility to the Louis had a sexual problem theory? (just to get back on track ;)).


Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:50 pm
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Moose wrote:

As to him not having mistresses - could this lend credibility to the Louis had a sexual problem theory? (just to get back on track ;)).


No, not necessarily, but it does lend credibility to the theories that he was a devout, religious man, and that he loved his wife exceedingly.

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:54 pm
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Yes he was very in love with her :) , thats so cute - especially since im pretty sure that in the end, she felt the same about him too . I do wonder ( back on the preceding subject), as to why Joseph II found Louis XVI a little weak ... was it all part of the joke at his expense?


Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:10 pm
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oceane wrote:
Yes he was very in love with her :) , thats so cute - especially since im pretty sure that in the end, she felt the same about him too . I do wonder ( back on the preceding subject), as to why Joseph II found Louis XVI a little weak ... was it all part of the joke at his expense?


Yes, I TOTALLY agree, oceane!


I think that Joseph enjoyed joking with his brother about Louis, two virile Austrians laughing at a Frenchman who could not deflower his wife, that is how I see it.

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Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:17 pm
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Post Joseph on Louis XVI
more than that - Joseph had ambitions, and from his point of view, a weak monarch in France is probably an asset. I think he had quite a bit of wishful thinking - he said things to Louis, and when the king, naturally reserved, did not argue, he thought he was accepting and weak (Like Bertierre says about MA).
as to the bond between the two - remember, they were also married under God, which would have been very important to a man as devout as Louis - she was, after all, his responsibility; and Marie Antoinette too, knew that for good and bad, this man was her husband, father of her children, they stand or fall together.


Thu Mar 15, 2007 6:27 pm
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