Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => The Habsburgs => Topic started by: RomanovFan on April 23, 2005, 12:30:09 PM

Title: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: RomanovFan on April 23, 2005, 12:30:09 PM
Didn't her father King Charles leave her bankrupt when he died? I have a video series called ROYAL SECRETS. Catherine II was on it too...Maximilian of Hapsburg and King George and Caroline of Brunswick.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: bluetoria on April 24, 2005, 05:21:34 AM
Yes, Romanov_Fan. Her father had put most of the country's treasury into the war & there was little left for Maria Theresa, but he assumed that her husband would take power & she would be nothing more than a docile wife so he thought it didn't matter. He was quite mistaken. Maria Theresa ruled the country and her husband!!
(I think her daughter, Marie Antoinette, was a little terrified of her!!)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Agneschen on April 26, 2005, 09:13:43 AM
Here is a list of Maria-Theresia & Franz-Stefan's 16 children :

- Maria-Elisabeth (1737-40)

- Maria-Anna (1738-89)

- Maria-Karoline (1740-41)

- Josef II (1740-90), married to 1) Isabella of Parma 2) Josepha of Bavaria. His 2 daughters (Maria-Theresia "Reserl" and Maria-Christine) by his 1st wife both died in infancy.

- Maria-Christine "Mimi" (1742-98) married to Albrecht of Saxe-Teschen.

- Maria-Elisabeth "Liesl" (1743-1808)

- Karl-Josef (1745-61), the Empress's favourite son.

- Maria-Amalia (1746-1804) married to Ferdinando of Parma.

- Leopold II (1747-92) married to Infanta Maria-Ludovica of Spain. Their offspring reigned both over Austria as emperors and Tuscany (Austria-Tuscany line).

- Maria-Karoline (born and dead in 1748)

- Johanna-Gabriella (1750-62)

- Maria-Josefa (1751-67)

- Maria-Karoline "Charlotte" (1752-1814) married to Ferdinando IV of Napoli (aka Ferdinando I of the 2 Sicilies).

- Ferdinand (1754-1806) married to Maria-Beatrice of Este - hence the Austria-Este line.

- Maria-Antonia "Madame Antoine" (1755-93) aka Queen Marie-Antoinette of France. Our martyr queen.

- Maximilian-Franz (1756-1801), Elector of Cologne.

Empress Maria-Theresia (1717-80) had an elder brother Leopold (born and dead in 1716) and 2 sisters Maria-Anna (1718-44) and Maria-Amalia (1724-30). Maria-Anna was married to Franz-Stefan's brother Charles-Alexandre (1712-80) of Lorraine but it seems to me they had no children.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: LenelorMiksi on November 27, 2005, 08:11:06 PM
Does anyone know what illness ADss Marianna, MT's oldest surviving daughter, suffered from?  Are there any portraits of her?
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Marc on November 28, 2005, 04:42:52 PM
I would also like to know are there any portraits of Archduchess Maria Anna,sister of the Empress or her husband Prince Karl von Lothringen or Lorraine?
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: dboro on December 01, 2005, 07:57:25 AM
Archduchess Maria Anna:

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/mi04995e06b.jpg)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: dboro on December 01, 2005, 08:07:32 AM
Archduchess Maria Anna, Maria Theresa's daughter as a child in 1745:

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/15_02.jpg)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: dboro on December 01, 2005, 08:15:56 AM
Archduchess Maria Anna, daughter of the Empress in 1781:

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/01088.jpg)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: seriya on December 13, 2005, 01:26:21 AM
In her youth she was a beautiful woman, she had a pretty blue eyes, a clear porcelain complexion, and a thick mane of reddish-gold curls.

Prussian ambassador described her.
"Her eyes are very large, lively and mild. and their deep blue most striking. She has a regular nose. She has very white teeth,
and they are most charming when she laughs......Her demeanor is sprightly and happy, and her greeting always warm and pleasant."
(and she was a girl with a passion for dancing and card-playing all night.)

Elisabeth Christina of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel(empress's mother) was a great beauty. so she was like her mother?

Maria Theresa 11years old. She was a quite pretty.
(http://photo.blueweb.co.kr/photo/data/svasti/svasti0/photo/041124100155810.jpg)

And I think empress's daughters were beauties.
Does anyone have pictures of her daughters?
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: dboro on December 13, 2005, 09:21:05 AM
some more portraits:

same picture of young Maria Theresa by Andreas Moeller in colour (1727)

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/andreas_moeller_1727.jpg)

Archduchess Maria Anna, Maria Theresa's sister in 1727 (also by Moeller)

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/maria_anna.jpg)

Maria Theresa's daughters:
Archduchess Marie Christine (1742-1798 ):

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/marie_christine.jpg)

her self-portrait:

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/habs203.jpg)

Maria Elisabeth (1743-1808 ):

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/maria_elisabeth.jpg)

Marie Amalie, Princess of Parma (1746-1804)

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/ducreux_1769.jpg)

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/marie_amalie_2.jpg)

Maria Josepha (1751-1767):

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/marie_josepha.jpg)

Marie Caroline (Charlotte) (1752-1814), Queen of Naples:

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/marie_caroline_naples.jpg)

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/caroline.jpg)

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/marie_caroline_2.jpg)

Marie Antoinette (1755-1793), Queen of France in 1769 (by Ducreux)

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/ducreux_1769.jpg)

by Meytens, 1767:

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/meytens_m_a_12.jpg)

Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: dboro on December 13, 2005, 09:38:55 AM
...and the whole family together (sorry for the bad quality)

1751, by Meytens:

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/meytens1751.jpg)

1758, also by Meytens:

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/1758.jpg)

... and Christmas Eve (or boxing day?!  ???- I'm not really good at 18th century Christmas rituals :-[ ) BY Archduchess Marie Christine herself

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/c1261dg8074.jpg)

(from left: Ferdinand, Marie Christine, Marie Antoinette, Emmanuel Max, Maria Theresa, Franz Stefan I.)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: trentk80 on December 13, 2005, 01:54:31 PM
Are there any more portraits of Archduchess Marie Elisabeth?
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: dboro on December 14, 2005, 11:11:52 AM
Quote
Are there any more portraits of Archduchess Marie Elisabeth?



Sketch (chalk and pencil with watercolour) of Archduchess Marie Elisabeth by Swiss portrait painter Jean-Etienne Liotard:

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/marie_elisabeth.gif)

The picture was made in 1762. It's part of a set showing Maria Theresa's children.
(so, here are some more pictures of MT's daughters ;D)

Marie Christine:

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/marie_christine.gif)

Marie Amalie:

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/marie_amelie.gif)

Johanna Gabriella (1750-1762):

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/jeanne_gabrielle.gif)

Marie Josepha (1751-1767):

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/marie_josephe.gif)

Marie Karoline:

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/marie_caroline.gif)

Marie Antonia:

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/marie_antoniette.gif)

...and the boys  :):

crownprince Joseph (1740-1790), (later Emperor Joseph II; 1780-1790)

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/joseph.jpg)

Ferdinand (1754-1806)

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/ferdinand.gif)

Peter Leopold (1747-1792) (later Emperor Leopold II) ?

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/pierre.gif)

I'm a bit confused... I've found these portraits together (except of Joseph, also from 1762) on the website of a monographic exhibition of Liotard (Geneva, 2002). According to the website the last one shows "Pierre", it must be Peter Leopold (Maria Theresa had no son named simply "Peter" , but the boy doesn't look like a teenager [PL was already 15 in 1762!]).
Brigitte Hamann reproduces the following drawing in her Lexicon of the Habsburgs as the portrait of Peter Leopold. According to the swiss website it shows Archduke Karl Joseph, DIED IN 1761. So I believe Hamann, and I believe THIS is Peter Leopold:

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/charles_joseph.gif)

Peter Leopold with brother Emperor Joseph II in 1769 by Pompeo Batoni to compare:

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/BatoniJoseph250.jpg)

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/lipot_batoni.jpg)
Agree?

(But who is "Pierre"? Is that Maximilian Franz (1756-1801), Elector of Cologne, Archbishop of Muenster [& Beethoven's patron as well...), MT's youngest son, aged 6 in 1762? Hard to find out:

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/m370700a.jpg)

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/patrons_franz.jpg)

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/tempx_adelfrueher4_01.jpg)
(with sister Marie Antoinette & her husband Louis XVI of France)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Marc on January 10, 2006, 02:58:28 PM
I was reading biography of Maria Theresia and there was mention that Emperor Francis Stephan had loved certan Wilhelmine von Auersperg!There had been an interesting situantion during his funeral!When he died Maria Theresia ordered that all the ladies must not wear make up,witch Wilhelmine von Auersperg did!During his funeral the Empress came to her and said:''We both lost a great deal'' and also remarked about her wearing a make-up,when Wilhelmine angerly told the Empress:''I didn't know I got my face from the state...''!By saying this she was very rude to the Empress and I wondered who this woman might be?I did some reasearch and found one Wilhelmine von Auersperg,born Countess von Neipperg who lived at that time!If someone knows who she might be and if know something more about this please post-thanks!
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: thijs on January 11, 2006, 03:42:48 PM
I have a book about "Habsburg ghost stories". I will look up the title later on and post it. I remember the story of the furstin Auersperg. She haunted some rooms in one of the wings of Schonbrunn. The empress Zita had it written down that she had seen the (haunting) furstin several times. It was known in the Habsburg family and to the palace staff that the rooms were haunted by furstin Auersperg.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: thijs on January 12, 2006, 11:15:24 AM
The book is named "Die Habsburger und das Ubersinnliche"by Gabriele Praschl-Bichler ISBN 3-85002-507-1. The story of Wilhelmine Auersperg is tol in chapter 13 Maria-Theresianische Erscheinungen in Schloss Schonbrunn zur Zeit des Ersten Weltkriegs.

Crownprincess Zita was ordered by Kaiser Frans Joseph to move from Schloss Hetzendorf to Schonbrunn n order to guarantee her safety as Schloss Hetzendorf and the parc surrounding was easily to enter for strangers. In schloss Htzendorf Zita and some of her familymemebers already had a supernatural (unpleasant) experience which is also written down in this book.

Grafin Nora Nostitz, lady in waiting for Zita, the empress to be, moved together with Zita and her children to Schonbrunn. The grafin became rooms on the second floor of the schloss in the so called "Braunschweiger appartement'. These were the former appartments of the mother of Maria Theresia, Elisabeth Christine of Braunschweig Wolffenbuttel.Her rooms looked over the garden of Schonbrunn up to the Gloriette. The grafin slept several nights in these new rooms and had every night the same dream about a woman, clothed in style of the Maria Theresia era, with very fine hands. She dreamed every night that this woman stood in her room and walked through the appartment. and even into the corridors. After a week the empress became concerned and used the upcoming cold of the autumn to move the countess to other appartments (in the Braunschweiger appartments it was forbidden to heaten because of fire danger).

The guards in the corridor said tothe countess when she left the appartment that she was a courageous woman because it had never occured that someone slept for more than 2 nights in these appartments as it was haunted by this very same lady.

After a while, spring next year, Zita and the grafin visited count and countess Harrach in Bruck an der Leitha (Lower Austria). They got a guided tour by the count and countess through the castle. Suddenly they were in a room with paintings of ladies in waiting of Maria Theresia. Countes Nora Nostitz almost screamed when she saw the painting of furstin Auersperg, who she immediately identified as the lady she was haunted by in her sleep.

Wilhelmina Auersperg was born in 1738 as daughter of count Reinhard Khevenhullers. When Maria Theresia noticed that her husband had a certain interest in Wilhelmina Kevenhullers, she try to get rid of the lady and married her off to furst Johan Adam Auersperg, 17 years older than her. The furst lived far away from Vienna.  Franz Stephan, the husband of Maria Theresia, in his turn however ordered the furst to the court (as a cover to become his love affair anyway wih Wilhelmina Auersperg). It appaered that the loved couple met in the garden near the Teahouse of the Schlossbrunner Garten (I believe this is near the Gloriette). It is not mentioned how she still had a career up to lady in waiting for the empress Maria Theresia.

The book says that the furstin (that is the haunting one)mostly came walking from the allees of the garden, up the grand staircase of Schonbrunn, into  the Grand Galerie and by another staircase to the second floor.

The joy is short and the the shame long says this book and that is why she is paying for her love affair with Franz Stephan ever since (if this story is true I really wouldn`t want to know how Franz Stephan is haunting because I think he had his pants many times more under his knees than above!!!)

So anyway it makes me wonder too about how this lady Auersperg must have looked??
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Marc on January 31, 2006, 11:18:09 AM
I would like to know who else of the Imperial family ''saw'' her and when since her ghost apeared only before some tragedy!It could be interesting...and would also like to see her picture,but I doubt that anyone can find it!
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: MarieCharlotte on June 03, 2006, 12:05:51 PM
Quote
... and Christmas Eve (or boxing day?!  ???- I'm not really good at 18th century Christmas rituals :-[ ) BY Archduchess Marie Christine herself

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/c1261dg8074.jpg)

(from left: Ferdinand, Marie Christine, Marie Antoinette, Emmanuel Max, Maria Theresa, Franz Stefan I.)

The name of Maria Theresia's 16th child was MAXIMILIAN FRANZ (1756-1801).
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: mardam on June 25, 2006, 08:54:37 AM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/mardam/1717MTheresia-32.jpg)
Maria Theresia 1717-1780 and her husband Franz Stephan 1708-1765


(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/mardam/1738MAnna-11.jpg)
Maria Anna 1738-1789


(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/mardam/1741Joseph-22.jpg)
Josef II  1741-1790
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: MarieCharlotte on June 26, 2006, 04:18:25 AM
My fabulous book Familienportraits der Habsburger  ;) says that the portrait was painted by M. van Meytens in 1764/65.

For identifying reasons this means: In 1764/65 eleven children of Franz Stephan and Maria Theresia were still alive. Maria Elisabeth (1737-1740), Maria Karolina (1740-1741), Karl Joseph (1745-1761), Charlotte (1748) and Johanna (1750-1762) have already died.

I think the persons left to right are:
Fran Stephan, Maria Amalia, Maria Anna, Maria Josepha, Maria Antonia, Maria Karolina, Maria Elisabeth, Joseph II., Marie Christine, Ferdinand Karl, Maria Theresia, Maximilian Franz, Leopold

I'm not sure about the four elder girls, but I guess Marie Christine is standing next to her mother because she was her favourite one. On Joseph's left is maybe Maria Elisabeth, because she is the prettiest among the girls. She looks older than the girl (in the back) next to Franz Stephan I identified as Maria Amalia. But Elisabeth was older than Amalia ...  :-? But I'm quite sure that the taller girl next to Franz Stephan is Maria Anna.

... and once again Maria Theresia is surrounded by her sons.  ;)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: MarieCharlotte on June 26, 2006, 04:29:13 AM
Did you recognize that Maria Theresia called all of her daughters "Maria" "Josepha" "Johanna" "Antonia" and all of her sons "Joseph" "Johann" "Anton"? What do you think is the reason for choosing this names?

Maria Elisabeth Amalia Antonia Josepha Gabriela Johanna Agatha
Maria Anna Josepha Antonia Johanna
Maria Karolina Ernestina Antonia Johanna Josepha
Maria Christina Josepha Johanna Antonia
Maria Elisabeth Josepha Johanna Antonia
Maria Amalia Josepha Johanna Antonia
Maria Karoline (Charlotta) - I don't know her other names ...
Maria Johanna Gabriele Josepha Antonia
Maria Josepha Gabriela Johanna Antonia Anna
Maria Karoline Ludovica Josepha Johanna Antonia
Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna

Joseph II Benedikt August Johann Anton Michael Adam
Karl Joseph Emanuel Anton Johann Nepomuk Prokop
Leopold II Peter Joseph Johann Anton Joachim Pius Gotthard
Ferdinand Carl Anton Joseph Johann Stanislaus
Maximilian Franz Xaver Joseph Johann Anton Wenzel
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: seriya on June 26, 2006, 10:42:59 PM
I know the prefix of Maria had been established for All Archduchesses in the day empress Eleorona Magdalena(wife of Leopold I).
It was intended to signify the special veneration of Habsburg family for the Virgin Mary.
So all daughters(~Leopold II) had Maria. but Why Franz II-I's daughters?
His daughters.
from first wife
  1. Ludovika Elisabeth Franziska

from second wife
  1. Marie Louise Leopoldine Franziska Theresia Josepha Lucia  
  2. Marie Caroline Leopoldine Franziska Theresia Josepha Medaros
  3. Caroline Ludovika Leopoldine
  4. Marie Leopoldine Josepha Caroline
  5. Marie Clementine Franziska Josepha
  6. Marie Caroline Ferdinande Theresia Josephine Demetria
  7. Maria Anna Franziska Theresia Josepha Medarde
  8. Amalia Theresia
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: mardam on June 27, 2006, 08:09:22 AM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/mardam/1742MChristine-12.jpg)
Maria Christina  1742-1798

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/mardam/1743M.jpg)
Marie Elisabeth 1743-1808

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/mardam/1745Karljoseph-04-1.jpg)
Karl Joseph  1745-1761
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: mardam on June 27, 2006, 08:14:40 AM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/mardam/1747LeopoldII.jpg)
Leopold II  1747-1792 and spouse Marie Louise  1745-1792
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/mardam/1745Marielouise.jpg)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: mardam on July 02, 2006, 10:51:48 AM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/mardam/1746M-1.jpg)
Marie Amalia 1746-1804


(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/mardam/1754Ferdinand-3.jpg)
Ferdinand 1754-1806
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: mardam on July 02, 2006, 11:14:31 AM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/mardam/1751M.jpg)
Maria Josefa 1751-1767

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v733/mardam/1756Maximilian-6.jpg)
Maximilian 1756-1801
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: seriya on July 06, 2006, 09:00:08 PM
I'm reading a book of Maria Theresa. and it contains very interesting story.
<In 1756, she wrote for Countess Lerchenfeld, who at the time in charge of supervising Johanna & Josepha.

'I insist on their eating everything, with no fault-finding and no picking and choosing. Further, they must not be allowed to criticise their food. On Fridays, Saturdays, and all other fast-days they will eat fish.
Although Johanna in particular dislikes it, she must not be indulged. the sooner the habit is broken the better. All my children had the same aversion, and all had to overcome it......I don't like to see them eating much sugar, see that they have as little as possible.

The girls were not to be allowed to neglect their appearance. Cleanliness is to be observed most strictly. they must be properly washed and combed, every day without exception.

They must not be allowed to talk to door-keepers and stokers, or to give them orders; they are born to obey....I fear that Johanna is pig-headed, though she is clever enough in other ways. Josepha still seems to be a good child, but not so capable.
And never must they be allowed to be afraid, neither of thunder-stroms, fire, ghosts, witches, or any other nonsense. The servants must not talk about such thing or tell horror stries. Yor are not to let them be frightened of illness, so you will talk in a perfectly natural way about everything of this kind, even smallpox and death; it is all to the good to familiarise them with such thoughts in good time.
They must not be allowed to show aversion to anything, still less to anybody: no familiarity with the servants, politeness toward all, and particulary towards strangers.'

Her message to her children: even though you are surrounded by luxury and excess, you must not let your exalted status corrode your character. Royalty means responsibility, duty, unceasing and exhausting obligation; there is no room for laxity or weakness, or the self-indulgence of vice.>
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Sissi on July 07, 2006, 07:21:55 AM
Very interesting, they had a very frugal education, very simple, Josepha seemed indeed to be the prettiest of them all, too bad she died so young! It seeems also that none of the girls inherited their mother political intelligence, or maybe they were just not educated the way they should have been which is a shame. It is interesting to point out, that Marie Therese arranged the best mariages for her daughters and she expected them to serve the interest of the Austrian ruling house but never really provided them with a solid education. Young Antonia barely knwe how to write in german!! One of Marie Amelie daughter`s was named Maria Antonia do you know of Marie Antoinette was the Godmother!

  It must have been hard for Marie Anne and marie Elisabeth to remain spinster when her younger sister had great mariages!


  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 10, 2006, 12:08:08 AM
Yes I agree. MT herxeslf was a unigue situation beeing groomed as a ruler, but as she produced so many sons, she did not see the need for her own daughters to have a soild education as well. Instead they had a fun childhood, of whom all the girls looked back at those early years with affection.  I think Maria Karolina (Charlotte) and Maria Chistina ("Mimi") would have fared better with more education and training from their mother.  ;)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: MarieCharlotte on July 10, 2006, 04:46:44 AM
Quote
Yes I agree. MT herxeslf was a unigue situation beeing groomed as a ruler, but as she produced so many sons, she did not see the need for her own daughters to have a soild education as well.

Well, Maria Theresia had 11 daughters and only 5 sons. She would have been very grateful if she had as much sons as daughters. Sons were of course much more important than daughters.  ;)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Sissi on July 10, 2006, 01:58:12 PM
in any case it is sad that she did not think of giving her daughters a more solid education, I know thta back then a princess did not need much but still, I believe marie Josephe de Saxe had a pretty good education as Mesdames de France had! I don t know but I don t see Marie Therese as a very loving mother, I know she cared a lot about her children she was truly preocupied by Marie Amelie and Marie Antoinette, but still I don t believe she was quite affectionate, Marie Antoinette was always afraid of her mother. It is sad that such a smart woman did not saw the importance of giving her daughters a proper education that would have enable them to be at ease in their role as queen consort, besides that Marie Therese wanted them to serve as mediator and influence the policies of their adoptive country in favor of the hapsbourg.

I know Marie Caroline was terribly grief at her sister `s death but what was marie Christine and Marie Amelie reaction to it??
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on August 04, 2006, 01:12:10 PM
Maria Theresa was a very controlling parent to all her children except for Maria Christine, 'Mimi', and it was as if she indulged herself by having one favorite - very unfair on the rest of the family.  All Mimi's brothers and sisters resented the favoritism and also resented the control.  The picture one often gets of the huge family as a harmonious whole at the theatre, engaged in useful pursuits, in domestic occupations, is in strong contrast to the actuality of the distance and domineering of Maria Theresa, who mainly managed her family through governesses and tutors and later, diplomatic spies.  She wanted her daughters especially to be brought up to obey her and to make good marriages, and education came a very long way behind docility and good manners.  Maria Amalia and Maria Carolina took the opportunity offered by less intelligent husbands to seize political control, with varying degrees of success, and certainly in Maria Amalia's case one must question whether her wild behaviour was caused by her desire to challenge her mother's domination.  I'm not sure a good education would have helped.

However, even with the boys who were carefully educated, the domination was there and often had unfortunate results.  Joseph's disastrous second marriage was relentlessly inflicted on him by his parents (in this Franz Stephan showed himself just as controlling as Maria Theresa) and his retaliation was to simply refuse to make any choice of second bride whatsoever, leave it entirely to his parents, and then refuse to show any interest in the wife selected for him (there isn't any evidence that he in fact mistreated her or said that ugly thing about her body being covered with boils, but he did neglect her).  

Leopold also did not was not quite the urbane figure he seems from a distance.  His feelings towards Mimi have been quoted earlier and Derek Beales' interesting biography of Joseph II mentions Leopold's diary entries suggesting he bitterly resented Joseph's continual advice as well.  There clearly was a lot of anger under the surface there.

In short, Maria Theresa managed to bring up a very modern, dysfunctional family!
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: gogm on October 23, 2006, 02:28:29 AM
There's a great German site with many .png images of the Empress and her children at:

http://www.zi.fotothek.org/obj/obj19051617/Galerie . :)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: LenelorMiksi on April 17, 2007, 06:50:02 PM
...and the whole family together (sorry for the bad quality)

1751, by Meytens:

(http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b15/dboro/meytens1751.jpg)

I don't think this was painted in 1751 because I remember reading that M. Antoinette is the girl to the right of the baby, & she wasn't born until 1755. The baby is Maximilian (I think).  This painting has intrigued me for the longest time because there are 11 Archdukes & Archduchesses, & when Max was born Maria Theresa had 13 living children.  I'm hypothesizing that Maria Anna (1738-1789) & Karl Josef (1744-1761) are the ones missing from the portrait.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: MarieCharlotte on April 22, 2007, 01:38:25 PM
As Karl Joseph was Maria Theresia's favourite son, I would be really surprised if we wasn't on this family painting.  ???
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: britt.25 on April 23, 2007, 02:13:34 AM
The book "Die deutschen Kaiser" by Georg Johannes Kugler says that on the family portrait the boy with the red dress, who stands rather in the middle of the picture, is the future emperor Joseph II., whereas the boy with the white dress (it is stated that it is an hungarian uniform) on the far right right, next to empress Maria Theresia, who takes his hand, is Karl Joseph, who died at the age of fourteen.

For me it is a bit strange, that, if you look at the portrait- which is indeed a wonderful painting- all faces of the people are very similar, too similar in my view. Surely siblings have similarities, but the faces are too identical, on later portraits it is to see, without any doubt- that all siblings are a bit different, especially for example Leopold II. and his predecessor and brother Joseph II. They were different not only different in their characters, but also in their statures and their lookings. 

 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: MarieCharlotte on April 23, 2007, 04:55:58 AM
That's right, Britt. In Schönbrunn I was once told that it was Maria Theresia's order that her children had to be painted quite identically, because she didn't want them to argue. If they all looked almost the same, no one could have said: "Oh, look, I am so much prettier than you!"  ;)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Mandie, the Gothic Empress on May 02, 2007, 07:06:39 PM

Maria Karoline (Charlotta) - I don't know her other names ...


She had no other names. She  died on the sameday of her brith. :(
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on May 02, 2007, 08:37:15 PM
i think there was 3 Maria Karolinas... ???
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: MarieCharlotte on May 05, 2007, 06:30:22 AM
i think there was 3 Maria Karolinas... ???

That's right. Maria Theresia seemed to have a preference for the name "Caroline". She was very close to Caroline Gräfin Fuchs Mollard who educated her. Maybe she also wanted to honour her father Emperor Karl and wanted to have at least one daughter named after him.

Maria Caroline Ernestina Antonia Josepha Johanna  (1740-1741)
Maria Caroline (September 17th 1748) ... sometimes she is also called "Charlotte", "Carlotta" or even "Christine"
Maria Caroline Ludovica Josepha Johanna Antonia (1752-1848), Queen of the Two Sicilies ... known as "Maria Karolina"

Emperor Franz I. and his second wife Maria Theresia, herself daughter of Archduchess Maria Karolina, who were both grandchildren of Maria Theresia, also had three daughters called "Caroline":

Caroline Leopoldine (1794-1795)
Caroline Louise (1795-1799)
Carolina Ferdinanda (1801-1832), Crownprincess of Saxony
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 10, 2007, 08:15:17 PM
I think Caroline (Naples) was closest to MA's heart, although she also written to Maria Amalia (Parma) and Maria Christina (Brussels) as well.  :)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: ivanushka on September 11, 2007, 11:41:49 AM
Yes, it seems that Marie Antoinette and Caroline were as close as two peas in a pod - so much so that at one point I think Maria Theresa threatened to separate them.

It's interesting that the two closest friendships of Marie Antoinette's life in France (the Princess de Lamballe and the Duchesse de Polignac) were with women a few years older than she was, just as Caroline had been.  Perhaps, unconsciously, she was trying to recreate the close bond she had enjoyed with her sister as a girl.

Sorry, that's off point for the thread!

I guess that any jealousy Amalia may have felt at her youngest sister making such a splendid marriage would have ended with the revolution and its dreadful outcome.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eddie_uk on September 11, 2007, 11:52:13 AM
After the revolution the Princess Royale wrote to her aunt Marie Caroline "My mother often spoke of you, she loved you more than any of her sisters"

Sad that the sisters never saw each other again.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: ivanushka on September 11, 2007, 04:02:20 PM
Isn't it?  Marie Antoinette was only 12 when Caroline went to Naples (and Amalia to Parma - I think the two of them married in the same year).  I guess that was the fate of Princesses then, being packed off to a foreign court in your teens and quite possibly never seeing any of your family again.  I suppose they were brought up to expect it but it still must have been both hard and frightening.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on September 12, 2007, 03:29:49 AM
Quote
I suppose they were brought up to expect it but it still must have been both hard and frightening.

I think that is exactly why the rest of the family were so angry about Maria Christina.  Joseph was forced into a second marriage he didn't want, Maria Amalia was forced into a marriage she didn't want, and certainly Maria Caroline and Marie Antoinette had no choice about their marriages, and pretty uncomfortable times in them at first (leaving aside what happened later).  To be made to do their duty, receive stern admonishments from their mother telling them to do their duty and put up with enforced intimacy which they would have never chosen for themselves, would have been something they could possibly have gritted their teeth and put up with if they didn't have the spectacle of Maria Christina being allowed to marry the obscure, poor, prince of her choice (albeit of very good birth, and a Habsburg on his mother's side) and being made Governess of the Netherlands with him.  It  must have given the others a real kick in the teeth, and worse, a vision of possibilities other than the royal path of duty.  Of course when the chips were down they were still family and stuck together, but the chips had to be pretty far down.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: ivanushka on September 12, 2007, 10:20:37 AM
Exactly.  I also understand that Maria Theresa fought hard to marry her husband (with whom she was very much in love) inspite of parental opposition.  To then give her children lectures on duty and obligation must have struck them as somewhat hypocritical, particularly for Amalia who couldn't marry the man she was in love with, and to Joseph who was devastated by the death of his first wife and would have wanted time to grieve for her rather than being rushed into another marriage as fast as possible.

Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on September 18, 2007, 03:13:07 PM
There is a Project Gutenburg book: Memoirs of the Courts of Louis XV and XVI. Being secret memoirs of Madame Du Hausset, lady's maid to Madame de Pompadour, and of the Princess Lamballe — Volume 7 (http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/3882).  This in fact seems to have nothing to do with Madame du Hausset or Madame de Pompadour, but rather with the Princesse de Lamballe and includes an account of Marie Antoinette's sending the author (apparently a young Englishwoman) to "Tell my sisters the state of Paris.  Inform them of our cruel situation.  Describe the riots and convulsions you have seen.  Above all, assure them how dear they are to me, and how much I love them."  When she arrived in Parma, "I delivered Her Majesty's letter [to Maria Amalia].  Before she opened it, she exclaimed, "'O Dio!  tutto e perduto e troppo tardi'!  Oh, God!  all is lost, it is too late!"  I then gave her the cipher and the key.  In a few minutes I enabled her to decipher the letter.  On getting through it, she again exclaimed, "'E tutto inutile'!  it is entirely useless!  I am afraid they are all lost.  I am sorry you are so situated as not to allow of your remaining here to rest from your fatigue.  Whenever you come to Parma, I shall be glad to see you." She then took out her pocket handkerchief, shed a few tears, and said that, as circumstances were now so totally changed, to answer the letter might only commit her, her sister, and myself; but that if affairs took the turn she wished, no doubt, her sister would write again.  She then mounted her horse, and wished me a good journey; and I took leave, and set off for Rome. I must confess that the conduct of the Duchess of Parma appeared to me rather cold, if not unfeeling.  Perhaps she was afraid of showing too much emotion, and wished to encourage the idea that Princesses ought not to give way to sensibility, like common mortals..............................................
But how different was the conduct of the Queen of Naples!  She kissed the letter: she bathed it with her tears!  Scarcely could she allow herself time to decipher it.  At every sentence she exclaimed, "Oh, my dear, oh, my adored sister!  What will become of her!  My brothers are now both no more!  Surely, she will soon be liberated!"  Then, turning suddenly to me, she asked with eagerness, "Do you not think she will?  Oh, Marie, Marie!  why did she not fly to Vienna?  Why did she not come to me instead of writing?  Tell me, for God's sake, all you know!"(and so on and on and on).

Whether these are genuine memoires or not, is hard to tell.  They certainly have a highly charged romantic air about them, but that was in keeping with the sensibility of the times, and read like Fanny Burney or other late eighteenth century writers.  However, the references to the Duchess of Parma and the Queen of Naples are interesting and suggest that whoever wrote them knew of their degrees of intimacy with Marie Antoinette and how they reacted (or might have reacted) to the bad news from Paris.  Maria Amalia with expressions of concern but no real feeling; Maria Carolina with a greater degree of grief and sensibility.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: ivanushka on September 19, 2007, 08:23:18 AM
There is a Project Gutenburg book: Memoirs of the Courts of Louis XV and XVI. Being secret memoirs of Madame Du Hausset, lady's maid to Madame de Pompadour, and of the Princess Lamballe — Volume 7 (http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/3882).  This in fact seems to have nothing to do with Madame du Hausset or Madame de Pompadour, but rather with the Princesse de Lamballe and includes an account of Marie Antoinette's sending the author (apparently a young Englishwoman) to "Tell my sisters the state of Paris.  Inform them of our cruel situation.  Describe the riots and convulsions you have seen.  Above all, assure them how dear they are to me, and how much I love them."  When she arrived in Parma, "I delivered Her Majesty's letter [to Maria Amalia].  Before she opened it, she exclaimed, "'O Dio!  tutto e perduto e troppo tardi'!  Oh, God!  all is lost, it is too late!"  I then gave her the cipher and the key.  In a few minutes I enabled her to decipher the letter.  On getting through it, she again exclaimed, "'E tutto inutile'!  it is entirely useless!  I am afraid they are all lost.  I am sorry you are so situated as not to allow of your remaining here to rest from your fatigue.  Whenever you come to Parma, I shall be glad to see you." She then took out her pocket handkerchief, shed a few tears, and said that, as circumstances were now so totally changed, to answer the letter might only commit her, her sister, and myself; but that if affairs took the turn she wished, no doubt, her sister would write again.  She then mounted her horse, and wished me a good journey; and I took leave, and set off for Rome. I must confess that the conduct of the Duchess of Parma appeared to me rather cold, if not unfeeling.  Perhaps she was afraid of showing too much emotion, and wished to encourage the idea that Princesses ought not to give way to sensibility, like common mortals..............................................
But how different was the conduct of the Queen of Naples!  She kissed the letter: she bathed it with her tears!  Scarcely could she allow herself time to decipher it.  At every sentence she exclaimed, "Oh, my dear, oh, my adored sister!  What will become of her!  My brothers are now both no more!  Surely, she will soon be liberated!"  Then, turning suddenly to me, she asked with eagerness, "Do you not think she will?  Oh, Marie, Marie!  why did she not fly to Vienna?  Why did she not come to me instead of writing?  Tell me, for God's sake, all you know!"(and so on and on and on).

Whether these are genuine memoires or not, is hard to tell.  They certainly have a highly charged romantic air about them, but that was in keeping with the sensibility of the times, and read like Fanny Burney or other late eighteenth century writers.  However, the references to the Duchess of Parma and the Queen of Naples are interesting and suggest that whoever wrote them knew of their degrees of intimacy with Marie Antoinette and how they reacted (or might have reacted) to the bad news from Paris.  Maria Amalia with expressions of concern but no real feeling; Maria Carolina with a greater degree of grief and sensibility.


What an interesting post!  I think the memoirs could quite possibly be true.  As you said, the sensibilities of the time did tend towards the highly romantic.

The only thing I'd question is the suggestion that Amalia's reaction was a cold one.  Bearing in mind that she probably didn't know the woman who had brought her the letter she may have felt the need to keep her emotions under control in front of a stranger.  The writer doesn't know how many more tears Amalia may have shed when she was alone.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on October 04, 2007, 10:15:39 AM
Apart from Maria Carolina and Marie Antoinette (I know it should be Maria Antonia but it just seems wrong) none of the siblings seemed particularly close to one another.  Leopold wrote nasty things about Joseph in his diary, none of them cared for Maria Christina, Maria Christina warned Isabel of Parma that Marianne would try to bully her by taking precedence over her, Joseph didn't get on with Marianne and Maria Elizabeth, none of them tried to communicate with Maria Amalia when she was in disgrace....................not a really happy family.  The younger ones seemed a bit calmer - I seem to recall Marie Antoinette was pleased to see Maximillian, though the courtiers at Versailles thought him a bit of an oaf. 

Marie Antoinette's letters to her mother are full of rather sanctimonious expressions of displeasure about Maria Amalia in 1772 and 1773, when the break between Maria Amalia and Maria Theresa and Louis XV was complete, such as "how sorry I am about the Infanta: it is very surprising that she made no better use of all your good advice, and of all you said to her through Rosenberg" and "We must hope that if my dear Mama is kind enough to start writing to the Infanta again, she will settle down and admit that she was wrong" and finally, "The reconciliation with Parma is complete; it will be a great happiness if it lasts; I am sorry that my sister is not sufficiently aware of it to have written to you about it right away; it can only be due to the shame and embarrassment she feels......."  I say sanctimonious because Marie Antoinette was busy at the same time putting her own spin on her behaviour which equally disregarded her mother's good advice, such as "As for the young Du Barry, I am sorry that my dear Mama should not be pleased with me; if she would only realise that the King's good mood was sincere, and that the only times he wants one to be polite to then is when that cabal is tormenting him" (which Marie Antoinette knew was untrue, and Maria Theresa knew was untrue also, as of course Mercy-Argenteau kept her completely in the picture about her daughter's doings).  Maria Amalia must have been useful to enable Marie Antoinette to show that she knew how to be respectful to her mother, and even if she didn't do quite what her mother wanted her to do, well, Maria Amalia was much, much worse.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: ivanushka on October 08, 2007, 08:39:36 AM
I think the fact that Maria Theresa sent Amalia 23(!) strict rules of behavior after she was married explains quite clearly why the relationship between the two was so rocky!  Amalia was clearly a strong personality.  She was also in her early twenties when she got married (considerably older than both Caroline and Antoinette and indeed most royal princesses) and yet her mother was still trying to run her life - or so it must have seemed.

Both Amalia and Caroline put me in mind of a great quote from the film Dangerous Liaisons.  The Marquise de Merteuil says to the innocent Cecile "When it comes to marriage one man is as good as the next and even the least accomodating is a lot less bother than a mother"!!!  Though Caroline appears to have behaved far more diplomatically towards her mother, they were both strong willed girls and after the initial transition to a new country probably felt glad to have swapped a totally controlling mother for weak willed husbands that they themselves could control.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 10, 2007, 08:55:20 PM
Antonia was smart enough to rebel privately to avoid confrontation with her mother, and also knew how to charm her when she was found out. Amalia was the "wild child".  ;)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: ivanushka on October 15, 2007, 11:45:28 AM
That's right.  I think that in their dealings with their mother, Antoinette did have her famous charm to rely on (as well as being the baby of the family as far as the girls went) and Caroline, though more assertive, was extremely intelligent and probably worked out how best to handle her mother to avoid conflict and bad feeling as far as possible. 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eddie_uk on March 30, 2008, 09:29:07 AM
I would be very interested to know exactly what Maria Annas' disability was??

She looks quite striking here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archduchess_Maria_Anna_of_Austria_%281738-1789%29 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archduchess_Maria_Anna_of_Austria_%281738-1789%29)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Mari on April 01, 2008, 05:47:48 AM
On the Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria I found two links with a little bit more information:

The Abbey was founded by Empress Maria Theresia in 1755, from 1766 the Abbess enjoyed princely ecclesiastical rank (fürstliche geistliche würde), only temporal duties and a high income, in 1791 the right to crown the Queens of Bohemia was transferred to her. The position of Princess-Abbess of the Chapter was the second highest non-imperial office after the Chancellor.

1766-81 Princess-Abbess Maria Anna von Habsburg-Lothringen
The Abbey was founded by her mother, Empress Maria Theresia in 1755. In 1781 she resigned and moved to Klagenfurt where she lived close to the he Elizabethan Chapter the rest of her life. She lived (1738-89)
http://www.guide2womenleaders.com/czech_eccleastical.htm  Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership
Czech Eccleastical Establishments Female Leaders

also in the link below about 15 from the bottom there is a picture of Maria Anna in later years but I have found nothing about her disability.

http://www.guide2womenleaders.com/womeninpower/Womeninpower1740.htm
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: beladona on April 01, 2008, 02:42:15 PM
I would be very interested to know exactly what Maria Annas' disability was??

She looks quite striking here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archduchess_Maria_Anna_of_Austria_%281738-1789%29 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archduchess_Maria_Anna_of_Austria_%281738-1789%29)

Brigitt Hamann writes that Maria Anna from 1757 suffered from a disease, which made her slowly physically deformed - in the end she has a hump...
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Mari on April 02, 2008, 03:35:13 AM
It sounds like Osteoporosis which is a weakening of the bones.   I would still like to see a picture of Marie Elizabeth after the small pox if anyone has a ink or can scan one! At least She didn't let it ruin her life. Apparently her Personality carried her through!

 
Quote
1767-1805/08 Royal Abbess Maria Elisabeth von Habsburg-Lothringen of the Royal Chapter in Innsbruck (Austria-Hungary)

The chapter was founded by her mother, Empress Maria Theresia of Austria-Hungary with the purpose of praying for her father Emperor Franz I Stefan, who died the same year. She had been hit by smallpox in 1767 and she became Abbess of the Worldly Chapter for noble ladies. She became the centre of the town-life because of her extrovert personality. In 1805 she fled the Napoleonic troops and three years later the convent was dissolved by Bavaria. She lived (1743-1808).
Quote

http://www.guide2womenleaders.com/czech_eccleastical.htm 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: darrah on May 08, 2008, 08:18:53 AM
hi can any give more info about Johanna Gabriela she's my fave archduchess
what kind of character does she have and  how did she died
what kind of relation did she have with her siblings
how old was she when she was betrothed to ferdinand?
 
and pics of her.....
 
and more info about josepha too

pls.pls.pls...

thanks a lot
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eddie_uk on May 09, 2008, 01:45:43 AM
It sounds like Osteoporosis which is a weakening of the bones.   I would still like to see a picture of Marie Elizabeth after the small pox if anyone has a ink or can scan one! At least She didn't let it ruin her life. Apparently her Personality carried her through!

 

Osteoporosis really takes hold in later life though and is very common. I can't imagine that was her "disability" It must have been a disorder that affected Marie Ann early on for it to effect her marriage prospects. Severe arthritis possibily...
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Mari on May 09, 2008, 02:25:28 AM
Yes, Arthritis that's a good possibility. Plugging it in.... here is what I got for possible causes...

Quote
Infection, lack of exercise, dehydration, stress and poor diet and posture all cause accumulative damage to joints causing them to swell thicken 'remodel'and stiffen. This causes swelling pain and discomfort. This symptom is one of a number of signs of arthritis.

severe "hump" in the back is caused by compression fractures in the vertebrae (the bones in the spine) often attributed to osteoporosis, a disease in which the bones become very brittle. The hump comes about when the vertebrae collapse in or slip forward on one another.

One other answer can be Ankylosing Spondylitis (Marie Strumpell disease).
Quote

Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Mari on May 09, 2008, 03:15:15 PM
Quote
hi can any give more info about Johanna Gabriela she's my fave archduchess
Quote

Maria Johanna died of smallpox at the age of 12. She was buried in the Imperial Crypt, Vienna, Austria.

 Her younger sister Archduchess Maria Josepha (1751-1767) also died of smallpox.
 http://www.ladyreading.net/marieantoinette/big/marie31.jpg    Maria Josepha at eight on the Marie Antoinette site I found.

 It also appears that Maria Josepha liked to perform in Opera's with her Sisters.
 
Quote
For a long time nobody knew what these paintings represented. It was thanks to Federal President Dr. Adolf Schärf that the forgotten meaning of the pictures was rediscovered. On close scrutiny Dr. Schärf found out that the two pictures were an account of one and the same opera performance. The group of four young ladies in the centre of the left picture can also be seen on the stage depicted on the right-hand one. When Dr. Schärf realised that behind the four mythological figures the stage setting shows Pegasus, his hoofs striking a jagged rock giving rise to the spring Hippocrene, he started to research old opera librettos and came to be convinced that the pictures represented a performance of the opera „Il Parnasso confuso“ by Christoph Willibald Gluck. The libretto was written by Pietro Antonio Metastasio, court poet to Charles VI and Maria Theresa.

Further research confirmed the interpretation given by the Federal President.

It was on the day following the wedding of Crown Prince Joseph, subsequently the Emperor Joseph II, and his second wife, Maria Josepha of Bavaria, which took place at Schönbrunn Palace on January 23, 1765, that the opera „Il Parnasso confuso“ was performed in the so-called „Große Anticamera“ (large room) of Schönbrunn specially adapted as a theatre. The cast included four of Maria Theresa's daughters, the Archduchesses Amalia, appearing as Apollo, Elisabeth, as the Muse Melpomene, Josepha, as Euterpe and Charlotte, as Erato. Their - and the bridegroom's - brother, Archduke Leopold, who was later to become the Emperor Leopold II, conducted the orchestra from the harpsichord.
Quote
     link includes Paintings

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.hofburg.at/rte/upload/rundgang_pics/miniaturen1.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.hofburg.at/show_content2.php%3Fs2id%3D42%26language%3Den&h=399&w=400&sz=39&hl=en&start=16&sig2=DCPPq1DnP9uDC-zNijzshQ&um=1&tbnid=1uzRkWyedaQfRM:&tbnh=124&tbnw=124&ei=mqIkSLrhK4aWigHSrdTtCA&prev=/images%3Fq%3D%2Bchildren%2Bof%2BMaria%2BTheresa%2Bof%2BAustria%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26newwindow%3D1%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DN
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Norbert on May 15, 2008, 11:33:41 AM
Marie Anna built the Bischofliche Residencz in 1776 and bur in St Elisabeth's church next door. Philanthropic and enlightened, she was connected to the Masonic Lodge that bears her name.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Prince_Christopher on June 18, 2008, 10:30:21 AM
Yes. You're right, I think. This is a very nice picture!! It's a pity that Archduchess Maria Elisabeth got an illness and because of her looks then could not marry anymore, I have read that she had been very beautiful before! A pity! At least she survived the illness, many did not...

I have never quite understood this.  A talented, educated archduchess, a daughter of the empress, should have been able to find a husband.  I understand that because of smallpox, her face was disfigured, but was it so horribly so that no man would consider her for a bride? Or was it more like her mother removed her from the marriage market, considering the girl "damaged." 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: britt.25 on June 21, 2008, 01:55:47 AM
Might it be that it was not important enough or anymore that Archduchesses like Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth married because empress Maria Theresia already made enough good matches with the other daughters??  It's horrible but they only thought politically at that time, imperial daughters only were child-machines and a thing to improve the political relations to other countries via marriage, so it seems...

There is a good part concerning Archduchess Maria Anna in the book "Habsburgs vergessene Kinder" by Thea Leitner. I think she was a "problem child" of the empress....
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Mari on June 21, 2008, 02:27:17 AM
Quote
I have never quite understood this.  A talented, educated archduchess, a daughter of the empress, should have been able to find a husband.  I understand that because of smallpox, her face was disfigured, but was it so horribly so that no man would consider her for a bride? Or was it more like her mother removed her from the marriage market, considering the girl "damaged."
Quote
   Also on Maria Josepha.....


Donald R. Hopkins in the Greatest Killer: Smallpox in History states that Maria Josepha had to be infected before She accompanied her Mother to the Vault. He bases this on the fact Small Pox takes a week to two weeks to show a rash. Maria Josepha's rash showed up two days later. For the rest of her life he mentions Empress Maria Theresa blamed herself.

He also states that Maria Elizabeth was infected by her Sister Maria Josepha and that She was the most beautiful but most vain of the Daughters. Both She and Mary Anna he states were ravaged pock marked victims to the disease. He mentions Maria Elizabeth when She heard the prognosis asked for a mirror knowing that her features which had garnered such praise would never look the same. As devout Catholics always dedicate Children to the Church particularly in other era's perhaps they took this way. And when considering Brides perhaps the Small Pox Ravaging would have discouraged Suitors who had other options.

http://books.google.com/books?id=z2zMKsc1Sn0C&pg=PA64&dq=Maria+Elizabeth+daughter+of+Maria+Theresa++and+small+pox&ei=1KhcSMG4KoHsiQG-zpTFCg&sig=--lcLPz_etQ-7gYpaGW44Rvl4JY
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Prince_Christopher on June 21, 2008, 05:41:34 AM
Although being infected and scarred for life from smallpox was a terrible blow to the young women, I'm sure, I can't help but think they may have been relieved somewhat.  Marriage to foreign prince or king had its own problems, and the dangers that came every other year with pregnancies lay heavily on the minds of women of the age....
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Norbert on June 21, 2008, 02:26:49 PM
obviously the younger girls could be trained easier in their adopted lands. The Habsburgs conquored the world at the bridal alter rather than the battle field. I'm sure disfigurement would not have debarred the elder ADsses from marriage ...most catholic princes would have wanted to ally themselves to the greatest european dynasty. i presume there were no suitable princes for them to marry...and it seems that the Viennese government were set on marriages to ruling princes to cement alliances.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on June 24, 2008, 01:44:25 PM
Indeed...Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth could have beenh married much sooner to other German Dukes had the Empress so wished.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on June 25, 2008, 07:43:39 AM
Quote
Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth could have beenh married much sooner to other German Dukes had the Empress so wished

I'm not sure that's quite true.  There weren't that many Catholic princes in the running who were of a suitable age match who would have been considered sufficiently politically important at the time when Marianna and Maria Elizabeth were the right ages for marrying off.  The only suitable Saxon was Frederick Christian, the heir and llater ruler, and he married a Bavarian princess in 1747, when Marianna was 9 and Maria Elizabeth was 4.(That his younger brother Albrecht married Maria Christina very much later was the exception that proves the rule!).  Maximillian III Joseph of Bavaria was the son of Maria Theresa's great rival for the Holy Roman Empire and the dynasties were fighting at the time a marriage might have been arranged.  In any case, Maximillian Joseph was the same age as Frederick Christian, so the ages didn't match.  Neither of these princes' families would have wanted them to wait for an archduchess to grow up to a suitable age for childbearing - so Maximillian Joseph married a sister of Frederick Christian.  The sons of Felipe V of Spain were too old for Marianna or Maria Elizabeth and his grandsons were too young (though Ferdinand of Parma was married to Maria Amalia though he was 5 years younger than she - so Maria Elizabeth, 8 years older, would have been considered a really bad discrepancy, in an age when there was a very strong prejudice for the man to be older in a marriage, and Marianna at 13 years older, simply wasn't in the running).  The Dauphin Louis, son of Louis XV, was too old for Marianne or Maria Elizabeth (by which I mean, as an only son, he had to be married off early to a potentially fertile princess to ensure the succession).  He married, first a Spanish princess of the right age and when she died in childbirth, he married yet another sister of Frederick Christian.  Their son, of course, married their youngest sister Marie Antoinette when they were both of a suitable age (or at least, an age Maria Theresa and Louis XV considered suitable).  Protestants wouldn't have been considered for any of the Archduchesses.  Maria Elizabeth was briefly considered as Louis XV's second wife, but he had three male grandsons in the direct line so didn't need to marry a foreign princess and put a bit of effort into a new relationship rather than continuing on with his mistresses. 

You can see from the above that there was a very small circle of eligible Catholic prospective spouses around at the time - and for various reasons, Marianna and Maria Elizabeth missed out.  In fact, Marianna seems to have been eliminated from the start because of poor health - whatever was wrong with her seemed likely to affect her potential for childbearing, which was of course a huge drawback and one even an Archduchess couldn't overcome.  Maria Elizabeth might have fared better, had anyone of suitable standing been available at the right time - but there wasn't anyone Maria Theresa thought would be appropriate, and only Maria Christina was allowed to choose a younger, peniless (though royal) son for herself. 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 11, 2008, 04:53:52 AM
I would love to know about Amalia. If anyone can answer, I would be most delighted.....

I read that Amalia didn't feel much loved by mother and in one book on Maria Theresia, she was described as the child least loved by her.  I read somewhere that her mother would compare her to her older sisters, who were either more beautiful, intelligent or artistically gifted than her (I saw a picture of a painting of hers, she was quite talented). Of course, I would think their mother thought Mimi was 'best' among her children. Was she close to Elisabeth, the sister nearest in age? What about to Johanna or Josepha? I read that Antoinette could 'cope' with Amalia but not with Mimi so I guess she was kind to the younger ones, unlike Mimi.   

What exactly did she dislike about her husband? I know Ferdinand was younger and she was in love with someone else (Charles August of Zweibrucken who asked for her hand) but how bad was their marriage? How did her husband find her? They managed to be together for more than 30 years..... 

I wonder what Amalia felt when her daughter Caroline married Maximilian of Saxony, the younger brother of Amelia who became the wife of her old love.... I'm surprised she agreed to it, it must have been painful to be reminded of what might have been. And does anyone know what happened to her 4th child, Charlotte of Parma?   
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: ivanushka on July 15, 2008, 12:24:16 PM
I think one of the great tragedies of Amalia's life was the death of her sister, Josepha.  As Josepha and Caroline were almost exactly the same ages as Ferdinand of Naples and Ferdinand of Parma, Maria Theresa had probably earmarked Caroline to marry Ferdinand of Parma once Josepha had married Ferdinand of Naples.  However, with Josepha dying, and with Antoinette the best choice for a French marriage in terms of her age and beauty, Maria Theresa had to bring in Amalia to make up the numbers.  Consequently Amalia loses all chance of marrying the man she loves and instead has to make a political marriage far less grand than that of either of her two youngest sisters.  No wonder she was furious!

I've always felt rather sorry for Amalia.  It can't have been easy being Maria Theresa's daughter.  Maria Theresa was beautiful and extremely intelligent.  Though Amalia was attractive she wasn't as beautiful as Antoinette or Elizabeth.  Though presumably bright she didn't have the exceptional intelligence of Mimi or Caroline.  All in all, she must have felt something of a poor relation in the family and being pulled in at the last minute to make a comparatively humble political marriage must have only exacerbated the feeling.  I guess that a lot of her more outrageous behavior in Parma was a way of getting back at a mother whom she felt had never paid her as much attention or valued her as highly as she would have wished.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 16, 2008, 10:16:04 PM
It would be hard for anyone to have such beauties, great intellectuals or outstanding talents in the family.  There seems nothing to distinguish her from her sisters although she's pretty, bright and decent in the arts. Perhaps her glamor?  ;D Their mother also would also not have much time for them, being always pregnant and immersed in state affairs and I presume her free time would be spent with the favorites. I wonder if Amalia and her siblings were able to spend more time with their father?

I would like to read the contents of such letters too!  I can't imagine Maria Theresia being 'nice' in her letters to Amalia (perhaps when she gave birth to her son); she was very harsh in her letters to Marie Antoinette (one letter criticized her beauty as not being much and that she had neither great intellect nor talent--ouch!) so I can imagine perhaps how much harsher she was with Amalia and her antics in Parma.  I also read that Amalia and her mother were 'deceived' by very favorable reports on Ferdinand (much better than the reports on Fedinand of Naples), that he was cultured and well-educated but turned out to be otherwise.  No wonder Amalia went wild there!  (although I wish she could've accepted things gracefully like Caroline)

Does anyone know how Ferdinand was, besides being eccentric and simple? One of Maria Theresia's letters supposedly showed 'contempt' for Ferdinand and that she couldn't believe how gentle Isabella could have a brother like that...and that some men liked mistresses, others gambling, but this one... (she didn't continue so I presume she was too outraged or at a loss for words).  I'm very curious as to what she was referring to.  ;) 

I haven't come across anything that says Amalia was already eccentric before her marriage.  But their aunt Charlotte was so I guess being eccentric isn't that unheard of in their family.   
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Marc on July 17, 2008, 09:38:42 AM
You mean her aunt Anna Charlotte?I what way was she eccentric?

In all the portraits I have seen of them,I really don't see that Amalia was less beautiful of all her sisters...in my opinion(based on the portrais though) she was the prettiest of them all,but that's just my opinion...

About her eccentric behaviour in Vienna:I really don't think she was much allowed to be eccentric,so I think as much as she was bored in Parma,she also felt free from every ''chain'' that she felt every day i Vienna and developed into an eccentric person..if you are bored,it's har not to be eccentric :-)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 18, 2008, 12:44:32 AM
You mean her aunt Anna Charlotte?I what way was she eccentric?

In all the portraits I have seen of them,I really don't see that Amalia was less beautiful of all her sisters...in my opinion(based on the portrais though) she was the prettiest of them all,but that's just my opinion...

About her eccentric behaviour in Vienna:I really don't think she was much allowed to be eccentric,so I think as much as she was bored in Parma,she also felt free from every ''chain'' that she felt every day i Vienna and developed into an eccentric person..if you are bored,it's har not to be eccentric :-)

Yes, Anna (Anne) Charlotte, the sister of her father. In one book (by Mrs. Bearne on Maria Carolina) she was described as kind-hearted and eccentric but I'm not too sure in what way (it wasn't mentioned why).... perhaps because she spent too much time hunting and never ceased regretting the loss of Lorraine profoundly.  She was even willing to walk barefoot to Lorraine (presumably from Vienna)!  :o

I agree that Amalia would not have the opportunities to be eccentric in Vienna. I think their mother would not have permitted it. I read that the girls were raised almost nun-like and much of their time was spent in prayers and having lectures/instructions on obedience and docility.

I find Amalia's features a bit 'haughty' looking but beautiful nevertheless.  It seems to me that she was indeed the most glamorous-looking of the sisters, if not rated as the prettiest, especially in that portrait by Meytens. 

Her brother Joseph upon visiting Versailles commented on Amalia (he just finished describing Maria Carolina as) " this sister of mine  is a proficient Queen in the art of man-training. My other sister, the Duchess of Parma, is equally scientific in breaking-in horses for she is constantly at the stables with her grooms, by which she grooms a pretty sum yearly in buying, selling and breaking-in horses; while the simpleton, her husband, is ringing the bells with the friars of Colorno to call his good subjects to mass." (from the Secret Memoirs of the Princesse de Lamballe)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Mari on July 18, 2008, 03:39:41 AM
Quote
One of Maria Theresa's letters supposedly showed 'contempt' for Ferdinand and that she couldn't believe how gentle Isabella could have a brother like that...and that some men liked mistresses, others gambling, but this one... (she didn't continue so I presume she was too outraged or at a loss for words).  I'm very curious as to what she was referring to.  Wink



Well, as Bearne mentions Ferdinand wore a Monk's robe quite often, had fits of asceticism and occupied himself with ecclesiastical matters and Church music. He doesn't sound like the type of Man to have Mistresses or gamble!  ;) Not the type they could understand either! Perhaps the contempt was n the fact He should have been a Monk.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on July 22, 2008, 07:25:46 AM
I've always thought the 'eccentricity' of princesses like Maria Amalia was actually a refusal to do what was expected of them, rather than genuine mental instability.  They had so little room to be themselves and were so closely scutinised that any small deviation was exaggerated and loomed very large.  A good part of Maria Amalia's eccentricity seemed to consist in being ungrateful to her mother and grandfather-in-law for being married against her will and being interested in horses and power rather than traditionally feminine things like clothes and babies and her husband. 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: ivanushka on July 22, 2008, 03:52:22 PM
I think that's a very good point.  I've always thought that it must have been rather grim to be an Eighteenth century Princess.  Chances are that in your teens you'd be packed off to a foreign country to marry a complete stranger who could well be hideous/unbalanced/diseased and then you were stuck there for the rest of your life and never expected to complain.  If you were a very strong willed young woman like Amalia it must have been very hard to just meekly accept it, particularly as she was by then in her early twenties and probably even less inclined to be "obedient" than she might have been in her mid teens. 

That said, from what I've read Ferdinand was neither hideous or diseased!  He may not have been particularly exciting but sounds like a nice enough bloke and compared to some royal husbands Amalia could have done a lot worse!

 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Mari on July 23, 2008, 04:33:10 AM
Maria Amalia turned to long hours of horse riding and breeding horses which was considered a Man's Occupation in the 18th century and obviously made her seem eccentric. Perhaps it was her way of coping.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on July 29, 2008, 07:42:31 AM
Riding for women was often somewhat suspect in the eighteenth century.  Not only was it considered to be a masculine occupation, so excessive indulgence for women was improper, but it was thought to inhibit conception.  That didn't make much difference to Maria Amalia, who had her first child (of nine) the year after her marriage and seemed to have had no problems with becoming pregnant other than not caring for her husband very much, but Maria Theresa was continually nagging Marie Antoinette about this (although her problems with conception had nothing to do with her riding or not).
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 30, 2008, 09:49:29 AM
Well, I seem to recall that the Empress was worried about the possibility of miscarriages when riding. Although at that time, Marie Antoinette's marriage was not yet consummated so there was no chance of her being pregnant.  ??? It must be very frustrating for her daughters to answer her letters and try to comply with their mother's demands, particularly because she often contradicted herself.  For instance, Louis XV himself gave Marie Antoinette money for new horses and she was supposed to please him (as instructed by her mother) yet her mother wanted her to stop riding and ignore the King's gift to Antoine. Another time, she nagged Antoine about not wearing corsets.  Antoine replied that such things were not worn in France (keeping in mind her mother's advice to adhere to the customs of her new country) yet her mother insisted on sending corsets from Vienna.   ;)  I can imagine how frustrating such scoldings and contradictions can be for Amalia, Antoine and Carolina. No wonder Amalia turned totally wild and completely infuriated her mother with her antics. She must have felt she gave up more than enough, especially since the prince of her choice (who also happened to love her and went as far as making proposals for their establishment) later on did become someone of 'sufficient' status, and she didn't have to obey whatever her mother wanted.

I read in one of the biographies of Maria Theresia that she was initially in favor of Charles of Zweibrucken but an intrigue, apparently made by Kaunitz, led her to disapprove of the match. It was said that since Charles was the heir presumptive of Zweibrucken and the Electorate of Bavaria, it would be bad politics for Amalia to marry him as there was a plan of 'grabbing' some of those lands for Austria.... and Maria Theresia didn't want to repeat history (when her husband was dispossessed of Lorraine in order to marry her). I don't know how true this is, but judging from later events, Austria was indeed interested in Bavaria and they wanted Charles not to inherit it.  >:( No wonder Duke Charles August II hated Maria Theresia and Joseph and was embittered like Amalia, first they took away his Amalia and then they wanted his domain, too.  Oh, yes, and of course, the Bourbons were considered far more important by Maria Theresia.  I feel so sorry for Amalia and Charles.  They could've been King and Queen of Bavaria and happy together although Amalia did not seem to mind if he remained an  obscure prince.  Did royal marriages have to be approved by the Holy Roman Emperor or parental consent is needed then that's why the couple could not marry at all? I am not familiar with this. 

Also, I think Amalia's eccentricity did not start in Vienna. When their mother separated Carolina and Antoine in 1767 for being too childish and Carolina's lack of gentle manners and less than desirable application to her studies and in saying her prayers properly, she told Carolina to attach herself to Amalia instead of Antoine.  So I guess their mother  did see Amalia then as a "good example" to her younger sisters. I also think that Amalia was liked in the family even if she was rather raised alone instead of being paired off like the other girls-- it was said that they were definitely distressed to see her leave for Parma, just like when Carolina and Antoine left, too -- so I guess those 'nobody in her family ever liked her' statement was just a lie by the people she has offended once she arrived in Parma. If they didn't like her, they would certainly not be distressed about her leaving and be glad that she was now Parma's problem.  ;)  In fact, Antoine's scheduled departure for France was deliberately moved to an early hour to avoid the extent of distress that happened during Amalia's and Caroline's departures.  That doesn't sound like the departure of  an unliked daughter and sibling  to me.  :)
     


 

Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Norbert on July 31, 2008, 05:49:45 AM
duh? the Austrians  were plotting to annex Bavaria and were later to offer the Netherlands to the Elector in exchange. Nobody cared about "personal happiness' it was their duty as Princesses to follow the policy of their government
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on July 31, 2008, 07:01:29 AM
Quote
duh? the Austrians  were plotting to annex Bavaria and were later to offer the Netherlands to the Elector in exchange. Nobody cared about "personal happiness' it was their duty as Princesses to follow the policy of their government

Up to a point.  The government was personal, it was Maria Theresa - and she decided that her children should make marriages which were of benefit to the Habsburg dynasty with one single exception - Maria Christina.  That is why Kaunitz had to 'plot' - if plot he did - all he might have done is point out to Maria Theresa that a sovereign prince in the hand is worth far more than a distant cousin who would always be trumped if the current ruler of Bavaria, Karl Theodor, ever had a legitimate son.  But if Maria Theresa had decided to treat Maria Amalia with the same favoritism as Maria Christina, whatever Kaunitz said would have made no difference - he was not the government, she was. 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Mari on July 31, 2008, 09:03:15 PM
Did Joseph ever visit Parma? It seems to me that Maria Theresa married her Daughters for State Reasons and then counseled them when they ran into problems. There was a lot of letter writing...in fact I read that Maria Carolina wanted her children to confide in her the same way that MT had encouraged her children to. Perhaps like Marie Antoinette they got a visit from Joseph but I cannot find anything that mentions it. Although I like the idea of Maria Amalia marrying for love that is a concept of today not the eighteenth century.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on August 01, 2008, 01:41:39 AM
Did Joseph ever visit Parma? It seems to me that Maria Theresa married her Daughters for State Reasons and then counseled them when they ran into problems. There was a lot of letter writing...in fact I read that Maria Carolina wanted her children to confide in her the same way that MT had encouraged her children to. Perhaps like Marie Antoinette they got a visit from Joseph but I cannot find anything that mentions it. Although I like the idea of Maria Amalia marrying for love that is a concept of today not the eighteenth century.

He visited Amalia and Carolina. And I seem to remember reading that Joseph accompanied Amalia on her bridal journey to Parma... perhaps because of the connection with his beloved Isabella.  The book on Princesse de Lamballe mentioned of the many witty and amusing anecdotes he shared with Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI, and the Princesse de Lamballe on his Italian relations.... Amalia and in Parma, Leopold in Tuscany, Ferdinand in Modena,Carolina in Naples and their spouses, etc.. Marie Antoinette was so embarassed for her siblings and signalled him to stop but he went on anyway  ;)  He didn't spare anyone, adult or child.  In another book, it was said that he had many sarcastic comments and was full of contempt for the court of Parma and that he was very irritated with Amalia's eccentricity and other proceedings there. He also criticized his sister's headdress as unflattering but Amalia countered that  that it was good and pretty enough for a monk!  ;D The really irritated Joseph who then asked his sister to join him and the King of Sweden in Rome, where they could play cards, a game where the winning card is the 'la matta' ;) 
 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Norbert on August 02, 2008, 01:28:25 PM
thank you for that. it seems Joseph was determined to maintain harmony in his family and thus keep these foreign alliances strong. i believed he acted as marriage councillor to Louis XVI and prompted him to undergo a circumcision
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 02, 2008, 01:33:03 PM
I think Josef was more of a father figure to her younger sisters, and they (exception of Mimi (who had a fling with Josef's wife Isabella of Parma)) adored him. I think Amalia was no exception.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on August 03, 2008, 04:29:29 AM
Norbert - You're very welcome.  :)  I can post the exact quotes by tomorrow on each of them, including those on Marianne, Mimi, Elisabeth, and Max. They are most interesting and funny! I will have to check if it contains any reaction of Louis XVI to Joseph calling his cousin (Ferdinand of Parma) ' the simpleton'  :o

Eric Lowe - I think you have a point in saying Joseph's sisters adored him. Caroline even wrote Antoinette that Joseph spoke most tenderly of her (Antoine) to them and that they felt a bit jealous because it seems that Antoine was his favorite (although she hastened to add that it only showed the Emperor's good taste). Although she did not mention who else felt jealous (only saying 'we'), I reckon it must be Amalia.

I also remembered reading in one of Marie Theresia's biographies that she would speak often of her beloved daughters in Italy -  Caroline, Amalia, Luisa, and Beatrice. How sad that Amalia and her mother never truly reconciled.  Perhaps if she dealt with Amalia in a different manner things could've been better.... in general, the tone of her letters to Antoine was not pleasant and affectionate and even very harsh and I can only imagine how that receiving letters with the same tone (scolding and nagging) could only further infuriate Amalia.  :(
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on August 03, 2008, 09:58:32 PM
Here are a lot of interesting comments by Emperor Josef on all his siblings, with the exact quotes:
(from the memoirs of the Princesse de Lamballe)

"I remember the Emperor one evening at supper when he was exceedingly good-humored, talkative, and amusing. He had visited all his Italian relations, and had a word for each, man, woman, or child, not a soul was spared. The King scarcely once opened his mouth, except to laugh at some of the Emperor's jokes upon his Italian relations.

"He began by asking the Queen if she punished her husband by making him keep as many Lents in the same year as her sister did the King of Naples. The Queen not knowing what the Emperor meant, he explained himself, and said, ' When the King of Naples offends his Queen, she keeps him on short commons and soupe maigre till he has expiated the offense by the penance of humbling himself; and then, and not till then, permits him to return and share the nuptial rights of her bed.'This sister of mine,' said the Emperor, 'is a proficient Queen in the art of man training'.

‘My other sister, the Duchess of Parma, is equally scientific in breaking-in horses; for she is constantly in the stables with her grooms, by which she GROOMS a pretty sum yearly in buying, selling, and breaking-in; while the simpleton, her husband, is ringing the bells with the Friars of Colorno to call his good subjects to mass.'

"'My brother Leopold, Grand Duke of Tuscany, feeds his subjects with plans of economy, a dish that costs nothing, and not only saves him a multitude of troubles in public buildings and public institutions, but keeps the public money in his private coffers; which is one of the greatest and most classical discoveries a sovereign can possibly accomplish, and I give Leopold much credit for his ingenuity.'

"My dear brother Ferdinand, Archduke of Milan, considering he is only Governor of Lombardy, is not without industry; and I am told when out of the glimpse of his dragon the holy Beatrice, his Archduchess, sells his corn in the time of war to my enemies, as he does to my friends in the time of peace. So he loses nothing by his speculations! '

"The Queen checked the Emperor repeatedly, though she could not help smiling at his caricatures.

“As to you, my dear Maria Antoinette,' continued the Emperor, not heeding her, “I see you have made great progress in the art of painting. You have lavished more color on one cheek than Rubens would have required for all the figures in his cartoons.' Observing one of the ladies of honor still more highly rouged than the Queen, he said, ‘I suppose I look like a death's head upon a tombstone, among all these high-colored furies '

The Queen again tried to interrupt the Emperor, but he was not to be put out of countenance.

"He said he had no doubt, when he arrived at Brussels, that he should hear of the progress of his sister, the Archduchess Maria Christina, in her money negotiations with the banker Valkeers, who made a good stock for her husband's jobs. If Maria Christina's gardens and palace at Lakin could speak, ' observed he, ‘what a spectacle of events would they not produce! What a number of fine sights my own family would afford!'

"'When I get to Cologne,' pursued the Emperor, ' there I shall see my great fat brother Maximilian, in his little electorate, spending his yearly revenue upon an ecclesiastical procession; for priests, like opposition, never bark but to get into the manger; never walk empty- handed; rosaries and good cheer always wind up their holy work; and my good Maximilian, as head of his Church, has scarcely feet to waddle into it. Feasting and fasting produce the same effect. In wind and food he is quite an adept puffing, from one cause or the other, like a smith's bellows.Indeed, the Elector of Cologne was really grown so very fat, that, like his Imperial mother, he could scarcely walk. He would so overeat himself at these ecclesiastical dinners, to make his guests welcome, that, from indigestion, he would be puffing and blowing, an hour afterward, for breath!

"'As I have begun the family visits,' continued the Emperor, 'I must not pass by the Archduchess Mariana and the lady abbess at Clagenfurt; or, the Lord knows, I shall never hear the end of their klagensn (complaining). The first, I am told, is grown so ugly, and, of course, so neglected by mankind, that she is become an utter stranger to any attachment, excepting the fleshy embraces of the disgusting wen that encircles her neck and bosom, and makes her head appear like a black spot upon a large sheet of white paper! Therefore klagen is all I can expect from that quarter of female flesh, and I dare say it will be leveled against the whole race of mankind for their want of taste in not admiring her exuberance of human craw!

"As to the lady abbess, she is one of my best recruiting sergeants. She is so fond of training cadets for the benefit of the army that they learn more from her system in one month than at the military academy at Neustadt in a whole year. She is her mother's own daughter. She understands military tactics thoroughly. She and I never quarrel, except when I garrison her citadel with invalids. She and the canoness, Mariana, would rather see a few young ensigns than all the staffs of the oldest field marshals!'

"The Queen often made signs to the Emperor to desist from thus exposing every member of his family, and seemed to feel mortified; but the more Her Majesty endeavored to check his freedom, and make him silent, the more he enlarged upon the subject. He did not even omit Maria Theresa, who, he said, in consequence of some papers found on persons arrested as spies from the Prussian camp, during the Seven Years' War, was reported to have been greatly surprised to have discovered that her husband, the Emperor Francis I, supplied the enemy's army with all kinds of provision from her stores.
=========


 

 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: gogm on December 02, 2008, 06:59:56 PM
Some of these are probably re-postings, but this thread is now grinding through images of Maria Theresia's daughters:

Maria Christina:
(http://inlinethumb25.webshots.com/34008/2986118900094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2986118900094285158wCBbla)

Maria Josepha:
(http://inlinethumb42.webshots.com/18025/2004965060094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2004965060094285158hVrAiL)

Maria Carolina:
(http://inlinethumb15.webshots.com/18702/2270529370094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2270529370094285158iyMOht)

Maria Carolina as Queen of Naples:
(http://inlinethumb57.webshots.com/14328/2378025390094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2378025390094285158qjsodn)

1772-1773 Maria Karolina of Austria, Queen of Naples
(http://inlinethumb50.webshots.com/19249/2107147270094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2107147270094285158sZvBDQ)

Marie Amelie:
(http://inlinethumb24.webshots.com/42839/2836943680094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2836943680094285158pEYhVL)

Marie Amelie as Duchess of Parma:
(http://inlinethumb06.webshots.com/39365/2406935930094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2406935930094285158FSvNgF)

1762 Maria Antonia:
(http://inlinethumb33.webshots.com/42336/2195083720094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2195083720094285158RuIpDQ)

1767-1768 Maria Antonia:
(http://inlinethumb31.webshots.com/20574/2879149410094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2879149410094285158XSmiPf)

Maria Antonia as Queen of France:
(http://inlinethumb36.webshots.com/40355/2371987830094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2371987830094285158cdHMZe)

Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Mari on December 04, 2008, 09:45:33 PM
You can certainly see in these Paintings how pretty the Daughters of Maria Theresa were.  I love the ones of Marie Antoinette/ Maria Antonia of 1762 and 1767-68! I have often wondered if the French Revolution had happened much earlier hen Maria Theresa had still been alive how much different would things have been? How much faster would Austria have reacted?
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 05, 2008, 08:39:14 AM
I think had MariaTheresia or Emperor Joseph II still on the throne, MA would have been saved. However when the revolution came, MA's closest relalatives had died and so saving her life wasn't a priority...
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Bourgogne on December 09, 2008, 08:11:34 AM
I think had MariaTheresia or Emperor Joseph II still on the throne, MA would have been saved. However when the revolution came, MA's closest relalatives had died and so saving her life wasn't a priority...

Exactly. Her nephew Franz II didn't know her and refused definitively to save her. In april 1793, Austria had captured five delegates of French Revolution (Bournonville, Camus, Bancal des Issarts, Lamarque and Quinette). French government secretely proposed to austrian governement to make an exchange with MA, her daughter Marie-Thérèse and Louis XVI's sister. Franz II refused...!!!
When he finally accepted another exchange, in 1795, MA and Louis XVI's sister were already beheaded. Only Marie-Thérèse was still alive. She went in Vienna, but never forgave her first cousin's behavior, and considered him as the real responsable of MA's death. In a sense, she wasn't completely wrong...
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 09, 2008, 10:12:47 AM
Well...perhaps it was ablessing for MT not see her daughter in such a state, she warned her enough in her letters. She actually said she hoped she would be dead not to see her beloved daughter in a tragic fate. All her fears came true.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Mari on December 09, 2008, 11:26:23 PM
To marry an Austrian into France after having a War with them was sheer lunacy to me anyway. Before Marie Antoinette ever reached France many were bitterly opposed to the Marriage ...even in the Royal Family.... the Aunts of Louis XVI for example. Madame Campan according to Beale asked Madame Adelaide if she had any orders before setting off and she replied that She entirely disapproved of her nephews marriage and that it would be not to bring back an Austrian"
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 10, 2008, 09:59:32 AM
Indeed...However MT was actually also French as her father was from the French House of Lorraine, which makes her a decendent of Philippe, Duke of Orleans (Moniseur, brother of Louis XIV). I agree the marriage was diabolical as it was arranged by Madame Du Pompadour with the Austrians through a peace treaty. However the Dauphine (Maria Josepha of Saxony) was much against the match too. Her death cleared the last obsticle to MT into France...
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Marc on December 10, 2008, 07:53:57 PM
She is descedant of Bourbons through Lorraine family,but Dukes of Lorraine are Germans in the male line...their first ancestor was Count Matfried von Metzgau...after him there were Counts with names  Adalbert,Gerhard,Siegfried and so on...They were also Dukes of Alsasgau(Alsace)...with the marriage of Gothard IV and Hedwig of Namur their descedants names start to mix...but again they keep some german names of Frederick,Theobald,Matthias...they were also Dukes von Bitsch, etc. while their sisters,aunts etc had names like Agatha,Judith,Hedwig,Kunigunde(also german names)....Collateral branch of the family were Herren zu Flörchingen...and the other branch were Counts of Flanders,but they inherited Flanders through female line,through Hedwig of Namur....
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Bourgogne on December 11, 2008, 05:53:49 AM
She is descedant of Bourbons through Lorraine family,but Dukes of Lorraine are Germans in the male line...their first ancestor was Count Matfried von Metzgau...after him there were Counts with names  Adalbert,Gerhard,Siegfried and so on...They were also Dukes of Alsasgau(Alsace)...with the marriage of Gothard IV and Hedwig of Namur their descedants names start to mix...but again they keep some german names of Frederick,Theobald,Matthias...they were also Dukes von Bitsch, etc. while their sisters,aunts etc had names like Agatha,Judith,Hedwig,Kunigunde(also german names)....Collateral branch of the family were Herren zu Flörchingen...and the other branch were Counts of Flanders,but they inherited Flanders through female line,through Hedwig of Namur....

Yes! And morever, even if the dukes of Lorraine were "french" geographically and culturally, the House of Lorraine was hating the House of Bourbon and the kingdom of France. France and Lorraine were almost always in enemies camps during the wars.

Saint-Simon said that the german Liselotte, the famous "princesse Palatine", Louis XIV's sister-in-law, had a passion for the princes of the House of Lorraine, because she considered them as "german princes"...

And the french ambassador in Vienna, wrote to Louis XV (ca. 1750) about Franz-Stefan, MA's father : "As a lorrain, he's hating us"...
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Marc on December 11, 2008, 10:04:46 AM
She is descedant of Bourbons through Lorraine family,but Dukes of Lorraine are Germans in the male line...their first ancestor was Count Matfried von Metzgau...after him there were Counts with names  Adalbert,Gerhard,Siegfried and so on...They were also Dukes of Alsasgau(Alsace)...with the marriage of Gothard IV and Hedwig of Namur their descedants names start to mix...but again they keep some german names of Frederick,Theobald,Matthias...they were also Dukes von Bitsch, etc. while their sisters,aunts etc had names like Agatha,Judith,Hedwig,Kunigunde(also german names)....Collateral branch of the family were Herren zu Flörchingen...and the other branch were Counts of Flanders,but they inherited Flanders through female line,through Hedwig of Namur....

Yes! And morever, even if the dukes of Lorraine were "french" geographically and culturally, the House of Lorraine was hating the House of Bourbon and the kingdom of France. France and Lorraine were almost always in enemies camps during the wars.

Saint-Simon said that the german Liselotte, the famous "princesse Palatine", Louis XIV's sister-in-law, had a passion for the princes of the House of Lorraine, because she considered them as "german princes"...

And the french ambassador in Vienna, wrote to Louis XV (ca. 1750) about Franz-Stefan, MA's father : "As a lorrain, he's hating us"...



Very interesting,didn't know those facts...Well,if you look at Liselotte's(and thus Marie Antoinette's) ancestors you will know why Liselotte was so pro germanic...apart from her Pfalz ancestry she has descended from various smaller german houses such as Solms-Laubach,Schönburg-Glauchau,Hanau-Münzenberg,Waldeck,Wied,Isenburg,Reuss,Schwarzenberg,Mansfeld etc...
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 01, 2009, 11:34:40 PM
MT had many good qualities as a ruler but as mother, I have mixed feelings about her..... like trying to get Elisabeth as wife to the ageing Louis XV, who led an extremely dissolute life!   :o  She did not even bother to honor her husband's wish to have an archduchess marry his nephew (son of the King of Sardinia). I'm not sure about the king of Poland (the Polish throne from what I know was for life only) but Elisabeth could've married her cousin (who was still waiting for an archduchess after his uncle died and after Mimi was allowed her love match).  Had MT not hesitated on this match and aimed for a more glorious one, Elisabeth would've been married and had a different life.   Besides, the Bourbon connection she so badly wanted did not produce the results that she had envisioned ----- Silesia was never regained, Austria was almost bankrupt by the war, and France was a lukewarm ally and even secretly thwarted Austria  in the Bavaria issue.  Josef later on would comment that in 30 years, Austria never benefited from the French alliance. It's a pity that she sacrificed her daughters for so little! She seems to have miscalculated on that one!

I agree Maria Josepha seemed to be a gentle girl. Her mother wrote of her and Johanna in 1756: I fear Johanna is pigheaded but clever in other ways.... Josepha still seems to be a good girl but not so capable.     She seems to be more like Marie Antoinette in temperament.   I also read that she prayed to her sister (Johanna) at the crypt to take her if her marriage would not be good for her soul.   
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Marc on March 11, 2009, 09:57:38 PM
I just fount this on the web:

''Steven's longest lasting affair was with Countess Wilhelmina Auersperg, and when he died, Maria Theresa gave the Countess a big sum of money because she knew her husband had promised it."

It seems Maria Theresia was very well self-controlled...despite maybe the hate she felt inside...
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Mari on March 12, 2009, 04:08:59 AM
I found this very interesting! Some of it relates to an earlier discussion on the thread:

For she was fully aware that Joseph disliked his brothers and sisters—with the exception of Leopold—quite as heartily as they disliked him and each other. In her letters Maria Theresa tended to stimulate their mutual distrust by complaining of one to the other. The Empress frequently complained to her older children about her two younger daughters, Caroline and Amalia, whom she married off in 1768 and 1769. The Archduchess Caroline, who was only fifteen, took her dead sister Josepha's place and married King Ferdinand IV. of Naples. As " dear Queen Caroline " she played a part in the biography of Nelson's lady Hamilton. Maria Theresa was really angry when she heard that Caroline cried and screamed in rage and despair when she and her retinue crossed the Neapolitan border, Caroline did not want to marry a stranger, she was home-sick, and the first months she spent in Naples were a nightmare for her. Her mother's repre- sentatives in Naples had been instructed to report to Vienna on her behaviour, and the child was tormented by Maria Theresa's severe letters. Phrases such as " your voice is unpleasant enough as it is, even if you do not raise it," must have crushed the girl completely. Maria Theresa had hardened to such an extent that even her daughter's heart-breaking letter, written shortly after her first contact with married life, did not soften the Empress. " Life is a martyrdom," Caroline had written, " and it is all the more difficult as one must pretend to be contented. I now know what marriage is, and I have a deep pity for Antoinette, who has yet to experience marriage, I admit frankly that I would rather die than be forced to experience again what I have gone through. If I had not been taught by my religion to think of God, I should have killed myself, for it was hell to live like that for a week, I shall weep bitterly if ever my sister is in the same situation. . . ." Caroline's anguish did not prevent Maria Theresa from arranging an equally unhappy marriage for Amalia in the following year. She had been in love with a quiet young man, Duke Charles of Zweibriicken, and she implored her mother to let her marry him. She thought that she, too, like her sister Marie Christine, should be allowed to choose her own husband. But Amalia was not as strong as her sister, and she was forced to yield to her mother's wishes. In 1769 she was married by proxy to Duke Ferdinand of Parma. Amalia was twenty-two, while Ferdinand, obviously a case of arrested development, was only seventeen and still loved toys and games. Amalia's reactions to her unsatisfying marital relationship were like her sister Marie Antoinette's, Amalia became frivolous, she craved constant amuse- ments, and she was passionately fond of political intrigues. At first Maria Theresa merely scolded Amalia by letter- She pointed out to her daughter that a woman's job is to " devote herself to her husband/* that she had no right to be interested in politics, as the Court at Versailles was becoming distinctly annoyed at Amalia's intrigues against Tillot, Ferdinand of Parma's chief minister. Amalia ignored her mother's advice, though Maria Theresa tried to frighten her by telling her that " she was being constantly watched " by her private spies in Parma. Finally in disgust and to appease Versailles, Maria Theresa disowned Amalia. She no longer wrote to her, and she would not allow any of her other children to communicate with this unruly sister. Maria Theresa thought that Amalia would be distressed by this severity.

Quote
Indeed. I wonder if their elder sisters Maria Anna and Maria Elizabeth were as strong minded as them. Their sister Maria Josepha didn't seem to be like that.

The Empress's two daughters who remained at home were depressing companions* Marianne, whom her mother had appointed as the Abbess of a convent in Prague, was never is good health, and Elisabeth, who had lived only for her beauty, was embittered and spiteful after she was dis- figured by small-pox. Her brother Joseph once said of her that she " made a pointed arrow out of every harm- less piece of wood/' She never became resigned to the fact that she, who had once been so beautiful, should be doomed to the lonely life of a spinster. In her youth, brilliant marriages had been planned for her. The King of Poland had been one of her suitors, and after Marie Lescynska's death, there had been some talk of marrying her to that terrible old man, Louis XV. of France. Now Elisabeth had to be content with the honorary and tiresome post as head of the religious institution for aged women which Maria Theresa had founded in Innsbruck. The function of these women was to pray daily for the peace of the late Emperor Francis's soul. Later, after Maria Theresa's death, Joseph at once sent these two sisters to the religious institutions of which heretofore they had been only the official heads, but while the Empress lived her two unmarried daughters cast a continuous gloom on the palace. They constantly quarrelled with each other, and Maria Theresa did not think it unusual when, as she once wrote to Ferdinand, Elisabeth had been so angry with the world at large that she refused to speak to any one for thirty hours. " Immured in the Imperial Palace," an English visitor to Vienna described the "gloomy and tedious life " of Elisabeth and Marianne : " almost destitute of society, obliged to attend their mother wherever she moves, and compelled to assist at ceremonies or exercises of devotion, as if they were nuns rather than Princesses; scarcely are they known to exist by any of the foreign nations of Europe, and never were any persons less objects of envy.

At the end when She was dying Maria Theresa  "Towards the end, she was not troubled by political anxieties, by thoughts of Frederick the Great and the future of her dynasty. Instead, she was tormented by an intense realisation of the sad destinies she had forced upon her children. When she could hardly speak, she asked Marie Christine to assure her once more that she, at least, was happy in her marriage. Perhaps she wanted to explain to those of her sons and daughter who were with her, that her greatest duty had beaot tibe fulfilment of her earthly mission for the Family, the Hab&buigs, the Dynasty. As her mind grew less dear, she must have confused this mission with

God, for she said to her children: "I have sacrificed you all to God." She died on November 29,1780, at about nine o'clock in the evening.

http://elib.at/index.php?title=Maria_Theresia_of_Austria_-_Margaret_Goldsmith_-_1935
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Mari on March 12, 2009, 04:38:58 AM
Quote
I agree Maria Josepha seemed to be a gentle girl. Her mother wrote of her and Johanna in 1756:  I fear Johanna is pigheaded but clever in other ways.... Josepha still seems to be a good girl but not so capable.     She seems to be more like Marie Antoinette in temperament.   I also read that she prayed to her sister (Johanna) at the crypt to take her if her marriage would not be good for her soul.

"she gave orders that she was to be called at any time, ** during the day or at night," if they were ill. Whether she saw them or not, her sons and daughters were never for an instant allowed to forget her omnipotent presence. They felt that her invisible eye was COB* staatly watching them, that she knew about every step they took, every bite they ate, " It is my wish/* she commanded, " that the children are to eat everything set before them without making any objections. They are not to make any remarks about preferring this or that, or to discuss their food. They are to eat fish every Friday and Saturday and on every fast-day. Though Johanna has a repulsion against fish, no one is to give way to her in this matter. ... All my children seem to have an aversion against fish, but they must all over- come this, there is to be no relenting in this matter.** Affairs of State left her little leisure to devote to her children, but she often sat up until late in the night writing letters to their teachers about them. She admonished and occasionally praised them in writing; she was like the most impersonal of severe headmistresses. Innumerable memoranda about the education of the young archdukes and archduchesses have been handed down to us. All of them reflect Maria Theresa's growing attention to details. Her later instructions to the tutor of Archduchess Josepha, who died in her youth, are typical of the severity of these documents. Josepha, who was a very frail and neurotic child, was only ten years old when her mother wrote the following letter to her governess: " Only on Sundays is she to join us for church and dinner; she must go out often, and eat only simple food. For supper she is to have soup and one other dish; she must learn Spanish and Italian. She is to rise at seven o'clock; she will then say her morning prayers and read some holy book, after which she is to have breakfast," From eight to nine the little Archduchess had her writing lesson; three days a week she was given religious instruction from nine to tea. She was taught how to read German and Latin. At eleven she attended Mass, at twelve she dined. From half-past one until two she was taught history, so that she would have a slight idea of the history of any country where she might later go as a bride. From two to three she studied German grammar. At four o'clock her dancing-master arrived, and, curious idea of her puritanical mother, immediately after her dancing lesson, at five, " she recited her rosary very loudly." Then a short walk, supper, and to bed. Maria Theresa acknowledged only the existence in her children of some apparent disease like the measles. Nervousness or general weakness were considered by her to be a lack of goodwill. " I am more convinced than ever/' she once wrote to Josepha's governess, Countess Lerchenfeld, " that my daughter is not ill, but that she has bad habits, and these must be uprooted immediately and thoroughly. I have been too gentle with her, I have spoken to her with too much friendship in order to encourage her, but I cannot flatter myself that I can be successful with her until the source of her trouble, her violent temper and her selfishness, have been restrained* When she is even spoken to she becomes so irritated that she Is ready to weep in anger.** In the children's strict routine little time was assigned to play or recreation; it is not surprising that those of Maria Theresa's children, like Marie Antoinette, who survived their harsh youth, went to the opposite extreme and became extremely frivolous when they were older. Their frivolity shocked and surprised their mother; Maria Theresa was not gifted as a psychologist Maria Theresa continued to write long, admonishing memoranda to her children when they were grown up* Nagging, for this is not too strong a word, had become a habit with her. " To my astonishment/' she wrote, for instance, to her daughter Caroline after she had married Ferdinand of Naples, " I have heard from Brandis, from your ladies-in-waiting, and even from strangers, that you say your prayers carelessly, without veneration, attention, or deeper feeling. Don't be surprised if the whole day is bad after such a beginning. Recently you have acquired the habit of being rude to your ladies-in-waiting. . . . You are bad-tempered while they are dressing you; I cannot forget this rudeness in you and I shall never forgive it. ... Your voice and your speech are unpleasant enough as it is ; you must there- fore make a special effort to improve in this respect, you must never raise your voice. You are conscientiously to continue your exercises in music, painting, history, geography, and Latin. You must never be lazy, for indolence is dangerous for every one and especially for you. You must occupy your mind, for this will prevent you from thinking of childish pranks, from making unsuitable remarks, and from longing for foolish amusements. . . ." Maria Theresa had no idea that she was a harsh mother. She prided herself on being a most tolerant and affectionate parent. She would have been deeply hurt had she known that, as Marie Antoinette later confessed, none of Maria Theresa's children ever felt at ease ia the frightening and imposing presence of their markable mother. "

Same source as above! I am bringing in the kind of remarks Maria Theresa made to her Children because it explains Maria Amalia and the others a lot better. I remember reading somewhere that MA said "She feared more than loved her Mother." I haven't found much on Leopold and his closeness to any sibling!
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 12, 2009, 07:29:28 AM
Thanks for all that! I've read that biography by Goldsmith earlier but it is nice to remember all those details again...... the spying she did on Caroline, Amalia, and Marie Antoinette, she did it with Ferdinand, Leopold, and Josef too, based on the book  by Derek Beales. Later on, the same book mentioned that when MT died, Josef got hold of all those documents about him and had written his comments such as 'true', 'false', 'partly true', etc. on each report.  I think we can safely assume that false/ exaggerated/incomplete reports were also received about the others.

I believe MT was unduly harsh on her children and that affected them as youngsters and adults.  Isabella, who was said to have perfectly analyzed the character of MT, wrote Mimi that MT did not trust herself --- and this distrust she transferred on her children so she was suspicious of them and she appeared cold, too. Perhaps their father quite balanced this as MT herself wrote Kaunitz that Emperor Franz 'adored his children and could not deny them anything' but that she had a different nature.  So I agree, it's no wonder her children 'rebelled' in different degrees and I can view them with much more sympathy knowing all this.   
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 12, 2009, 10:33:27 PM
I've been wondering had Emperor Franz lived long enough, would Marie Antoinette and Amalia be married to their husbands...? I read that he was very much anti-French although he never opposed Maria Theresa in public..... The connection with Naples & Sicily he seemed to have approved.

I agree that Amalia seemed to have gotten a better deal than Marianne and Elisabeth.   Paul Tabori, one of MT's biographers, said that Amalia was 'content' in Parma... at least, life there was much more amusing there than in Vienna (I presume this had something to do with MT's control). I also read that Elisabeth complained to an English ambassador about her mother and her dreary life ---- she specifically said that such control over a daughter her age was outrageous!
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on March 13, 2009, 05:09:52 AM
Franz Stephan's anti-French sentiments might have made him feel good about his daughter Marie Antoinette eventually being no. 2 at the French court and moving France towards Austrian interests.  And he was perfectly friendly with Ferdinand's elder sister, Isabella, so there doesn't seem to be any reason why he would have opposed Maria Amalia's marriage, at least, not on the grounds that they were Bourbons (and indeed his own mother was a princess of Bourbon-Orleans).  It was alleged that one of the factors which allowed Marie Christine to make her marriage to a very minor royal was that the Emperor was not around to protest at his daughter's very unequal marriage, which suggests he had all the standard 18th century royal views about appropriate marriage alliances. 

I agree that the contrast of Amalia'a situation with that of Marianne and Elizabeth pointed up the moral of a bad marriage being better than no marriage.  However much she spied, advised/bullied by post, threatened or withdrew her favour, Maria Theresa could never directly tell her married daughters what to do.  They had the solid position (even if only in theory) of being under their husbands' control and if Marie Antoinette wanted to wear three-foot high headresses, or Marie Amalia wanted to go riding astride accompanied by guardsmen, or Maria Carolina take over the Neopolitan government, bottom line there was actually nothing Maria Theresa could directly do to stop it.  But Marianne and Elizabeth had no such independent status, or more importantly, access to independent funds, so were completely under their mother's control.  Of course, much depended on the parent - Louis XV's unmarried daughters basically seemed to feel living at the French court was much better than being married out of France, while George III's unmarried daughters longed for husbands and families of their own and to leave their parents. 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 14, 2009, 09:12:26 PM
I agree that Emperor Franz probably would have been pleased that his daughter was to be Queen of France.  And yes, he liked Isabella like all the family (except for Marianne, I read).  Does anyone know whether there was any other suitable Catholic prince for Amalia at that time besides Ferdinand of Parma?   

I think Amalia would've hated it in Naples-- because from what I have read, it was quite a poor, backward kingdom, regardless of  beautiful bay (but of course, being queen could quite make up for it).  I cannot decide if Ferdinand of Naples is 'better' than his cousin in Parma, although (IMHO) uglier.  And he also had mistresses, too. They might have 'clicked' in hunting and riding, though.  She would still have 'Spain problem' (interference) though.

Oh, I have the impression that Caroline only behaved diplomatically towards her husband because it suited her, shall we say, 'plans'? Not because it was in her nature to be patient, diplomatic, and charming.....wasn't she the very bad-tempered archduchess among the sisters.... it was also part of MT's advice to her. I specifically remember reading that she told Josef when he visited her in 1769 that her husband was a 'good fool'.... so I think she just pretended to be all that (at least in the early years), but of course that's just my opinion.  :)  So I cannot make up my mind whether this pretending was better than Amalia's more 'transparent' behavior (to put it very nicely, LOL).   

Of course, it's all speculation.....but having Elisabeth as a 'grandmother' to Marie Antoinette in France is just too much! She would have addressed Elisabeth as "my queen, my grandmother, and my sister"!

Does anyone know whether Maria Theresa ever wrote her Bourbon sons-in-law?  I read that she wrote her favorite son-in- law, Albert of Saxony, and also lectured him about how he ought to be behave!
 
   
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Marc on March 15, 2009, 10:01:58 PM
Well,as far as I have read...he was not so "obident" to Maria Theresia...she tolerated him,as she loved him like a man,but not as a politician...that's why she didn't let him seriously take part in it...

Anyway,I find it very strange that Maria Theresia was so generous to Princess Wilhelmina,her husbands mistress,who was so rude to her during his funeral...she must have hated her with all her heart and still found the way to make her husbands last wish come true in giving the money he promised to his mistress...

For other rulers it could be seen as a waste of money...not to talk about the self-pride which must have been at high-low at that time considering circumstances...
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 15, 2009, 10:31:04 PM
I read that Maria Theresa 'tolerated' this relationship..... as this lady sometimes joined the imperial family when dining.  Once, she was seated next to Maria Amalia and another time, next to Maria Elisabeth.  MT sat next to her daughters on both occasions.

The money MT gave to this mistress was, indeed, already promised.  I read that the order for release was already signed by Franz Stephan before the family set out for Innsbruck, where Emperor Franz died. I agree that the mistress was rude at the funeral.

I think as time went by MT and Franz's relationship became less and less pleasant. It was said that her rages were unshackled, often terrifying, and her husband borne most of it.  On certain issues, Franz also didn't understand his wife, for instance her obsession with regaining Silesia..... he gave up Lorraine, why couldn't she let go of Silesia? The empire was much more important in his view. It is no wonder that he turned to other women and his own interests....... and let's not forget, due to mutliple child-bearing and heredity, MT became less attractive as a woman as the years went by. I read that MT only 'idolized' her husband upon his death but the last decade or so were not so pleasant for both. 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: beladona on April 08, 2009, 03:53:40 PM
Marek listed Wilhelmine as daughter of Count Reinhard Neipperg and Countess Marie Franziska Khevenhüller-Frankenburg, it means, that Wilhelmine was aunt of Adam Adalbert Count Neipperg, who in 1821 secretly married Maria Luisa of Austria, former wife of Emperor Napoleon :)
Her husband Johann Adam Auersperg was 17 years older then her, he was widower, with one son (Joseph) from his previous marriage with very rich heiress, Katharina von Schönfeld. But Joseph died young in 1772 and marriage with Wilhelmina remained childless.
Here is portrait of Wilhelmina from Leo van Pas pages, where is written, that she has also love affair with Charles de Ligne. Any more info?
(http://www.genealogics.org/photos/138309.a.jpg)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Mari on November 15, 2009, 04:36:54 AM
 A new painting of Maria Amalia at least to me and a gallery of Maria Theresa and  Children. I have to think in these Paintings Maria Elizabeth was the most beautiful with Marie Antoinette running a close second.

http://www.zi.fotothek.org/obj/obj19051617/Galerie
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on November 15, 2009, 07:16:11 AM
To be honest, fascinating as these paintings are, I've always thought that they make Maria Theresa and her children and her childrens' spouses and families look extremely plain!
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 15, 2009, 09:43:27 PM
Yes. With plenty of determination !

I think the beauty was Maria Elizabeth, as her features seemed to be the most pleasing. Yet I think it was based on her portraits before the pox hit. She would have made a beautiful Queen (she nearly married Louis XV or the King of Poland).
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on November 19, 2009, 05:16:14 AM
Quote
I think the beauty was Maria Elizabeth, as her features seemed to be the most pleasing. Yet I think it was based on her portraits before the pox hit.

Maria Elizabeth was generally considered the greatest beauty, and I think Maria Amalia the next?  Though the Austrian archduchesses were amongst the best looking of the royals of their generation (though the standards were not high).  But smallpox scarring, which could leave very visible red marks and ridges on the skin, was never shown by painters, though it was very prevalent in eighteenth century society.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on November 19, 2009, 08:11:30 PM
Perhaps not very close to Maria Amalia but enough to make Amalia want to visit Maria Elisabeth in 1783?

Maybe Elisabeth lost some of her vanity once she had the smallpox and became more concerned with others like her siblings (when she wasn't in one of her bad moods, that is).  I remember reading she didn't care very much about anything or anyone, just her extraordinary beauty.  Then when she was forced to be single because of smallpox, she had tantrums (in various forms) about it. That is sad. I don't think she got along with her sister Marianne very well either; I remember reading she complained that whenever they had visitors (this was when Mimi, Amalia, Caroline, and Marie Antoinette were already married), Marianne (being older and ahead of her in rank) always dominated the conversation and from what I understand, she didn't like playing second fiddle to her........  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Mari on November 20, 2009, 03:01:41 AM
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Maybe Elisabeth lost some of her vanity once she had the smallpox and became more concerned with others like her siblings (when she wasn't in one of her bad moods, that is).  I remember reading she didn't care very much about anything or anyone, just her extraordinary beauty.
Quote


I fear She kept her vanity! In a  scathing letter Maria Theresa wrote Joseph she stated "your manner in this respect reminds me of the way Elizabeth tries everything of which she hears to restore her beauty."  The letter is quite critical.

http://books.google.com/books?id=EOjdC9YUWxYC&pg=PA300&dq=children+of+Maria+Theresa&lr=#v=onepage&q=children%20of%20Maria%20Theresa&f=true
p. 307  if the page doesn't come up click to the right
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on November 20, 2009, 04:23:41 AM
It was a bit hard for Maria Elisabeth when her mother put all her efforts into ensuring that her daughters (except for Marie Christine) were brought up to be obedient wives and mothers of rulers, and very little was expected from them in the way of education or intellect, and then there turned out to be no court in which she could fulfill the only role she had been trained for.  While personal vanity isn't a very attractive trait, it was about the only thing she had which was of value in her world - and then it got taken from her.  Maria Theresa was of course critical of this but she had very little sensitivity to any of her children except Marie Christine (and even then she didn't seem to be so much sensitive as blindly devoted).

I've always wondered whether Louis XV was really a genuine candidate for Maria Elisabeth - he had 3 grandsons as heirs, and his Saxon daughter-in-law, to whom he became very close after the death of the Queen and the Dauphin, was very anti-Austrian (she wasn't at all keen on Marie Antoinette for her son), so perhaps the smallpox damage was just an excuse for him to withdraw from a marriage in which he didn't have much interest in the first place.  He was actually a very reserved man, not particularly gregarious or keen on new people, and a new young wife might have been more than he really welcomed at that stage of his life.  And as for beauty, practically the whole of the French court was at his disposal, and he had the Parc aux Cerfs if he didn't fancy the aristocracy, so he didn't need to import it from Austria!
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on November 20, 2009, 05:43:47 AM
Thank you, Mari and CountessKate!

Yes, I've been wondering about Louis XV's interest on Maria Elisabeth as well.  I also remember reading that Maria Theresa first hoped to marry her to Charles III of Spain when he was widowed but the latter wasn't at all interested in remarrying then the alternative was Louis XV. Perhaps it was only Austria was truly hoping for the match, not France. I seem to remember reading that Francis Stephen wanted either Mimi or Elisabeth to marry his nephew, the Duke of Chablais. But MT disregarded such wish after he died. The Duke of Chablais was said to be waiting for an archduchess/cousin to marry even after FS died. In the end, MT's high hopes for Elisabeth came to nothing and perhaps life would've been better had she married her (quite obscure) cousin before the smallpox hit her.  I also remember reading that MT had no money to marry her, having spent much on Marianne and Mimi.  As Joseph allotted a portion of his (huge) inheritance from FS for the establishment of his younger siblings, that is not very likely but perhaps an excuse not to have her marry her cousin.      
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 20, 2009, 01:52:22 PM
I do feel sad for Maria Elisabeth. Her beauty should have given her a better situation at the marriage sweeps than to live out the rest of her life as an old maid. I guess she (like her siblings) were too attached to her childhood home to fly from the nest. Only Mimi seemed to have the best of both worlds. I do blieve that she and Maria Amalia were not close, that would most likely be differences in age.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on November 21, 2009, 03:06:50 PM
Quote
I guess she (like her siblings) were too attached to her childhood home to fly from the nest.

I've never read anything to suggest that if a suitable marriage prospect turned up, Maria Elizabeth wouldn't have flown the nest in a heartbeat, or sooner.  And I'm not sure her female siblings were so attached to their childhood home that they would have had problems leaving it if they had marriages like Marie Christine's to look forward to.  Being married off, against their will in the case of Maria Amalia and Maria Carolina, to lacklustre young men in foreign principalities, was a dreadful process and of course their home looked far more safe and inviting.  But if they had decent young men to whom they were attached, I'm sure there would have been no problem in flying the nest and leaving mother far, far behind.  Maria Amalia would have been prepared to put up with Zweibrucken which if not exactly love in a cottage, was not love in Schoenbrunn Palace, either.  Certainly the boys took off like rockets from dear old home when they got a chance.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Mari on November 23, 2009, 06:56:32 AM
I have read that Maria Elisabeth was bitter about the lack of a marriage prospect due to the loss of her beauty. I am sure She had been raised to expect Marriage would be in the cards and probably expected a great Marriage! Small Pox did not always leave a scar on the face. Just as often it was a scar or scars on the body. I cannot find a source which states anyone besides Maria Elisabeth was affected in such a drastic way. I have read several Memoirs on Marie Antoinette and none state that She had a scar on her face. They usually state She had Small Pox but that's it. Vigee Le Brun quite clearly states in her Memoirs that Marie Antoinette had beautiful skin. I also note that her Paintings look exactly like MA's Death Mask! Does anyone have a source that would mention who of the Daughters did have a pox scar on the face besides Maria Elisabeth.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on November 23, 2009, 07:49:14 PM
Well, according to forum member erzsi, Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun did not really find Marie Antoinette to be a beauty at all and she did have some scars from smallpox.....noticeable enough that Maria Theresa wanted them covered by powder. See post #25 in this thread.......

http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=13691.15

I think there might be some truth in what erzsi said; after all, people (even historians/authors) tend to flatter queens. Perhaps the other archduchesses who had the smallpox had scars but they weren't noticeable at all. I also read that Joseph's smallpox scars got more noticeable as he reached middle age; perhaps it happened to the rest as well.

Re: the post earlier on Amalia and Karl of Zweibrucken - not exactly love in a cottage but not love at Schonbrunn Palace either. So true!
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Mari on November 24, 2009, 02:46:14 AM
I found Vigee Le Brun to be pretty honest...for instance this:

Quote
It was then so terribly hot that one day when Her Majesty gave me a sitting we both fell asleep. I took great pleasure in doing this picture. The Queen of Naples, without being as pretty as her younger sister, the Queen of France, reminded me strongly of her. Her face was worn, but one readily judged that she had been handsome; her hands and arms especially were perfect in form and colour!
Quote

It seems She found Maria Carolina worn looking....
or this:
Quote
I also wanted to see a great court ball. I was invited to one. The Emperor Francis II. had taken for his second wife Maria Theresa of the two Sicilies, daughter to the Queen of Naples. I had painted this Princess in 1792, but I found her so changed on meeting her at this ball that I had difficulty in recognising her. Her nose had lengthened, and her cheeks had sunk so much that she resembled her father. I was sorry for her sake that she had not kept her mother's features, who reminded me strongly of our charming Queen of France.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Mari on November 24, 2009, 03:38:06 AM
But the below is on Marie Antoinette's complexion...thought the other above descriptions in my post just interesting  ;)

Vigee LeBrun  describing Marie Antoinette:
Quote
It was in the year 1779 that I painted the Queen for the first time; she was then in the heyday of her youth and beauty. Marie Antoinette was tall and admirably built, being somewhat stout, but not excessively so. Her arms were superb, her hands small and perfectly formed, and her feet charming. She had the best walk of any woman in France, carrying her head erect with a dignity that stamped her queen in the midst of her whole court, her majestic mien, however, not in the least diminishing the sweetness and amiability of her face.

 To any one who has not seen the Queen it is difficult to get an idea of all the graces and all the nobility combined in her person. Her features were not regular; she had inherited that long and narrow oval peculiar to the Austrian nation. Her eyes were not large; in colour they were almost blue, and they were at the same time merry and kind. Her nose was slender and pretty, and her mouth not too large, though her lips were rather thick. But the most remarkable thing about her face was the splendour of her complexion. I never have seen one so brilliant, and brilliant is the word, for her skin was so transparent that it bore no umber in the painting. Neither could I render the real effect of it as I wished. I had no colours to paint such freshness, such delicate tints, which were hers alone, and which I had never seen in any other woman.
Quote

So the Artist in analyzing each feature is not as flattering about her lips or her weight but is about her complexion. I think the graceful walk and the way MA held her head had a lot to do with her beauty and then She seemed to me to have beautiful skin. :) I would love to see where Erzi got the source that Vigee LeBrun changed her mind about Marie Antoinette's looks because it isn't in her personal Memoir and that is the only one She wrote!....

This is from the original Memoirs of Vigee LeBrun

http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/lebrun/memoirs/memoirs.html
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Mari on November 25, 2009, 04:13:53 AM
Quote
I've always wondered whether Louis XV was really a genuine candidate for Maria Elisabeth - he had 3 grandsons as heirs, and his Saxon daughter-in-law, to whom he became very close after the death of the Queen and the Dauphin, was very anti-Austrian (she wasn't at all keen on Marie Antoinette for her son), so perhaps the smallpox damage was just an excuse for him to withdraw from a marriage in which he didn't have much interest in the first place.  He was actually a very reserved man, not particularly gregarious or keen on new people, and a new young wife might have been more than he really welcomed at that stage of his life.  And as for beauty, practically the whole of the French court was at his disposal, and he had the Parc aux Cerfs if he didn't fancy the aristocracy, so he didn't need to import it from Austria!
Quote

I've always thought that MT had a greater interest than Louis XV in the Marriage. If so the question becomes what sort of Marriage could She have made and if She had married into a minor Kingdom who was available for her? With her Beauty in tact She certainly would have married someone....If She was older than her Husband that obviously wasn't a problem as Maria Amalia was older than her's! It would be interesting to speculate what sort of Wife She would have been?
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Rani on December 23, 2009, 12:21:58 PM
(http://i635.photobucket.com/albums/uu80/HeleneCaroline/0215.jpg)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 24, 2009, 10:51:43 AM
The Warrior Queen Empress in the guise of Athena, Goddess of Wisdom & War.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 01, 2010, 02:14:23 PM
She was deeply in love of Stephen and deeply pocessive of him, yet he allowed him mistresses. I think it is very hard for MT to be a wife & mother and ruler at the same time. Her letters to her children frequently saw the devoted mother clashed with the shrewed ruler.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on January 02, 2010, 03:23:04 AM
It's curious that MT loved her husband but didn't always treat him well and he was subjected to the worst of her rages. I've read that even before the War on the Austrian Succession, she was capable of rages that left her husband aghast.....Franz Stephan also couldn't understand why Silesia was such a big deal to her, after all he sacrificed Lorraine...

I've read that MT's jealousy of her husband's infidelities was great. She arranged the marriage of the Princess Auersperg to her elderly husband so that she would be far away from Vienna but FS ordered the husband to Vienna. Later on, MT pretended she didn't know of such affairs.  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on January 03, 2010, 07:28:17 AM
I think the trouble with the perception of the relationship of Maria Theresa and Franz Stephan is that basically, she was the driving force as a ruler and this overturned the normal expectations of the eighteenth century where the husband was the dominant partner.  Franz Stephan was a good, sensible partner but essentially lacked the toughness and single-mindedness which enabled Maria Theresa to pull the Habsburgs out of the War of the Austrian Succession, and put the Austrian empire back as a force to be reckoned with.  She was conventional enough to give lip-service to the idea of the husband as the superior in the marriage, and had Franz Stephan crowned as emperor, but in practical terms she was the ruler and Franz Stephan never challenged that.  In eighteenth century terms, if a male ruler had rages with his wife, that was perfectly all right, provided he didn't execute people around about indiscriminately at the time, but there is a very prissy sense of 18th/19th century shock of writers that a woman should so step out of her normal role as a submissive supporter and give in to stress and anger inherent in the pressures of government.  Certainly Queen Victoria, who had a much easier role, did the same with Prince Albert, until the continual strain of childbearing made it easier for her to give in and hand him the political controlling role, after which he became beloved Albert and her previous desire to maintain the upper hand was washed away in her memory.  Maria Theresa could not afford to give Franz Stephan the upper hand - he was not sufficiently determined to keep her inheritance intact, for exactly the reason Prinzheinelgirl puts forward - he had sacrificed his inheritance of Lorraine.  However, she effectively allowed Franz Stephan the right to mistresses, despite her personal jealousy, and he had a strong say in their childrens' marriages - for example, he played a large part in forcing Joseph to marry for a second time, and it is questionable whether Maria Christina would have been able to push through her marriage with Albert of Saxony had her father not conveniently died and her mother been overcome with grief.  But their partnership has always been perceived as unbalanced because it flouted the expectations of the time.  It didn't mean it wasn't a strong marriage - just not one that was conventional in the eighteenth century.  But Maria Theresa wasn't such a radical that she expected her childrens' marriages to be different from the norm and as a dutiful ruler, could not allow her family the luxury of their own choice of partners - and there is no indication that her husband was actually in any way different from her in his opinion about that area of royal family life.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on January 03, 2010, 10:19:29 PM
Thank you!

I'd like to add to the post above.......

I think Maria Theresa was quite disillusioned with the many failures of Franz Stephan in Austria's military campaigns; he wasn't born to be a general but liked to think so. Her father definitely wasn't confident that MT and FS could defend the Habsburg dominions after he died - I've read that he even made them sign a document renouncing their claim to the Habsburg lands if he could produce a son (he seemed to think he could have one with a second wife and did not expect Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick Wolfenbuttel to outlive him).

I also saw a lot of differences between husband and wife in the Austrian War of Succession and in the succeeding years.  For example, FS and most of the ministers (except one) wanted to make peace with Frederick the Great but MT would not hear of it. FS also wanted to write a personal letter to Frederick the Great but MT expressed her reservations about it, saying that Frederick the Great would only take advantage of Franz Stephan's good nature and said it was up to FS if he so wanted to. No one, especially FS, wanted the French alliance among the members of the State Council, except for MT and Kaunitz.  To her credit, MT wanted to conquer Lorraine for her husband and set the motions to do so (but was frustrated by Frederick the Great's actions)  but all that seemed to be forgotten by 1748. And to his credit, it was said that FS hardly contradicted his wife, at least not in public.   But I definitely read that along with her rages and other things, their relationship became less and less pleasant.

Incidentally, does anyone know of a good biography of Franz Stephan?  

 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on January 12, 2010, 10:32:04 PM
Portraits of Amalia and those of her family in Vienna, for those who have not seen them yet; I think this set was posted in another thread but the photobucket account is no longer active or deleted:

http://madameguillotine.wordpress.com/2010/01/05/imperial-portraits/

1.  Joseph, Maria Theresa, Isabella, Mimi
2.  Maria Anna, Maria Elisabeth, Franz Stephan and Leopold
3.  Maria Josepha, Ferdinand Karl and Maria Amalia
4.  (little) Maria Theresa, Maria Carolina, Maria Antonia and Maximilian Franz

(photo identification from the other thread)

and a wonderful one of the young Mimi:

http://madameguillotine.wordpress.com/2010/01/05/mimi/
 

Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 27, 2010, 08:11:05 AM
Well...I think MT wanted to be a better mother than her own mother. She succeeded in that, but her political work took much energy out of her. She also sincerely believe she was doing the right thing for them. I always believe had she not spent so much time defending her lands during the War of the Austrian Succession & The Thirty Year War. MT would have had more time for her children (especially her younger children). As it was she could die comforted that they knew that she loved them (in her own unique way). The death scene in which she blessed every one of her children was very moving. Her concern for her daughters (Antonia & Amalia) was real and genuine. One cannot imagine Catherine the Great doing the same thing.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on January 27, 2010, 09:42:04 AM
Well...I think MT wanted to be a better mother than her own mother. She succeeded in that, but her political work took much energy out of her. She also sincerely believe she was doing the right thing for them. I always believe had she not spent so much time defending her lands during the War of the Austrian Succession & The Thirty Year War. MT would have had more time for her children (especially her younger children). As it was she could die comforted that they knew that she loved them (in her own unique way). The death scene in which she blessed every one of her children was very moving. Her concern for her daughters (Antonia & Amalia) was real and genuine. One cannot imagine Catherine the Great doing the same thing.

Well, she might have had good intentions (and she claimed that in her deathbed as well) but sadly, actions weigh more than intentions or words.  I've read that she made a long reflection on the early years of her reign, assessing what she did well, what worked and on the failures and why, etc.  That was very good so why didn't she do the same thing with her children? Dereck Beales in his book on Joseph II said that when not lecturing and combating Joseph in Vienna, she turned her attention to her other children abroad and blamed them for their failures/faults. And Maria Theresa defended only her hereditary lands in the War on the Austrian Succession--in the Seven Years War, she wasn't defending anything;  it only happened because of her hatred of Frederick the Great (well, didn't she preach to Amalia on how one should forgive but she clearly never forgiven Frederick the Great) and her tenacious aim at getting back Silesia at all costs.  And she couldn't claim success in that either (nor in the French alliance she sought to achieve both ambitions).  

But to be fair, I haven't read any specifics on how and why she was concerned about Amalia at her deathbed, could you please share whatever you remember on it?   :)

Catherine the Great's two children (Paul and Anna) were taken away from her at once by Empress Elizabeth and her mother-in-law seldom allowed her  spend time with them; her other son was not recognized as legitimate so he was raised elsewhere, I believe.  If she didn't have a lot of maternal concern, part of it could be attributed to their lack of bonding, so to speak.  MT's situation was not the same.   She could've made more time for them but chose not to; and when she did see them, she was more critical than affectionate and, as Isabella of Parma believed, disciplined them excessively.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on January 27, 2010, 10:18:09 AM
I forgot to add that one of MT's biographers, J. Alexander Mahan, suggests that MT's scolding letters to her children were a result of her being physically and mentally ill (from smallpox --she was never well physically after that - and never getting over Franz Stehan's death, etc).
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on February 05, 2010, 08:47:51 PM
I agree. Power does have a price and MT was not joking when she said of all her daughters, Carolina seem to resembled her the most. I took it that means her "political" side. Carolina did her best in engaging Austria as ally of Naples and married her children to her siblings (resulting in the decendents: Duchess of Berry, Empress Marie Louise of France & Empress Leopoldina of Brazil). Carolina was a true daughter of Austria. Amalia & Antonia tend to be more spouses than rulers ( MT was often distressed that their poor reputation would have on her family and effects on Austria). I think Amalia took the middle road. Without the great power of Carolina, she was content to play the wife. Without the great wealth of Antonia, she had to live within her means. By mixing with the locals, she was never as unpopular as Antonia or feared as Carolina. If the French Revolution & Napoleon had not appeared, Amalia might have a better old age life than was given.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 09, 2010, 08:16:49 AM
Yes, I think so, too.  And at least he didn't blame Amalia for their misfortunes and for whatever went wrong, at least I have not read anything of that sort yet......that should make living in the Napoleonic times a bit easier.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on February 09, 2010, 01:37:55 PM
Yes. I wonder if she wrote letters to her husband and children during her last exile ?
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 10, 2010, 10:43:41 PM
You mean Amalia or her sister Caroline?  Amalia most likely wrote her children in Italy while her daughter Caroline visited her in Prague in 1803. Ferdinand of Parma, of course, was already dead by then.  I'm not sure though how Caroline of Naples's husband was during her last exile -- anyway, he already had a (beloved) mistress by then, didn't he? The one he married 2 months after Caroline died. So it seems he didn't care at all, he didn't even wait until the official mourning period ended......   

A nice feature on Marianna, Mimi, Elisabeth, Amalia, Johanna, Josepha, and Caroline..... (Marie-Antoinette is missing in this as the feature is on her sisters):

http://madameguillotine.org.uk/2010/02/10/marie-antoinettes-sisters/
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on February 11, 2010, 07:20:44 AM
Quote
A nice feature on Marianna, Mimi, Elisabeth, Amalia, Johanna, Josepha, and Caroline..... (Marie-Antoinette is missing in this as the feature is on her sisters):

http://madameguillotine.org.uk/2010/02/10/marie-antoinettes-sisters/

I would have to take issue on many of the statements in the feature - for example those on Maria Christina quite erroneously suggest that a rift was caused between her and Joseph by her passionate friendship with his first wife Isabel (although the only passion we have evidence for is on Isabel's side, of course).  There is no evidence of any kind either that Joseph was aware of the degree of attachment between the two women, or had any views about it.  There is however evidence that his imuch later nterference in Maria Christina's role as one of the Governors of the Austrian Netherlands was a contentious issue between them and it is far more likely to have been the cause of a rift between them. 
 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 11, 2010, 08:31:26 PM
Yes, it makes more sense that Mimi and Joseph's rift was due to their incompatible views on governing/policies. I also remember reading that Mimi did not let up on her entreaties to Maria Theresa on the Bavarian Succession issue in 1777-1779 as she didn't like her husband, who was in the service of Austria, to fight his native country in this war. Joseph did not like that at all. 

Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on February 18, 2010, 08:31:06 PM
A good education is very important. I don't think Amalia herself was that educated.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on February 19, 2010, 02:57:09 AM
Quote
I don't think Amalia herself was that educated.

I think it would be fairer to say her tastes did not appear to be intellectual.  Marie Antoinette's educational deficiencies are frequently cited, but some of her elder sisters demonstrated strong intellectual gifts.  Marianne, the eldest, shared many of her father's interests in what we now call natural history, and the sciences, and Marie Christine was similarly well able to impress her sister-in-law Isabel with her knowledge and intellect, and was a fair artist; clearly Maria Elisabeth was not interested in intellectual pursuits, but she must have received much the same education as the others.  In Marianne and Maria Christina it gave them a good grounding to pursue their tastes and interests in the future; Maria Elisabeth and Maria Amalia presumably had the same grounding but their tastes did not seem to run to books or philosophy or the arts, so beside the others they may have appeared ill-educated. 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 20, 2010, 04:08:32 AM
In 1772, when Amalia refused to comply with her mother's 23 rules to live by, she mentioned reading from some book about how people were entitled to choose what they wanted in their life. I can't imagine such books being allowed to be read by the archduchesses in Vienna, unless in secret, of course. Maria Theresa hated the philosophers and the Enlightenment (Joseph, of course, infuriated MT by reading "Enlightenment' books and by being a 'philosopher').  It must've been one of Ferdinand's 'enlightenment' books she quoted.  ;)

I think Amalia was much more interested in the outdoors and in performing on operas/theatricals at court. It was said that she was best performer (acting/singing) among her sisters.

Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on February 20, 2010, 12:20:04 PM
There is a well-known depiction of Maria Amalia, Maria Josepha, Maria Elisabeth and Maria Carolina (called 'Charlotte') in Gluck's 'Il Parnasso Confuso' on the occasion of Joseph II's marriage to Josepha of Bavaria by Weikert (http://www.photo.rmn.fr/cf/htm/CSearchT.aspx?V=CSearchT&SID=2K1KTS2PG5FPC&E=S_2K1KTS2PG5FPC&NoR=500&New=T - the picture and details of the elder archduchesses are rather muddled with the pictures of Marie Antoinette and her brothers in the ballet 'Le Triomphe d'Amour' on the same occasion).  The archduchesses were all expected to sing and dance, although Marianne was presumably not able to do much dancing due to her disabilities, and music was very much part of the education of all Maria Theresa's children.  Even Joseph was depicted with Marianne and Maria Elisabeth at the piano, or an earlier version of it (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Joseph_II_of_Habsburg_Lorraine_and_sisters.jpg).  Whether the archduchesses chose to continue this part of their education seems to be again a matter of taste or whether there was a suitable environment for that sort of thing.  Clearly at the court of France, dance and music were part of the ritual surrounding the king (although both Louis XV and XVI had tin ears and were not particularly interested in dancing), a talented archduchess could demonstrate her skills, but in Parma and Naples, where there were young men as rulers who did not appear to have very much interest in structured court rituals, it might have seemed too much of an effort to do much in that direction.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 21, 2010, 05:23:50 AM
I meant to say Amalia was considered the best performer among her sisters in Vienna, not after she left for Parma. Il Parnasso Confuso mentioned above was recorded some years back. I think it was soprano Julianne Baird who said that that they (she and the other cast members/musicians) were very much surprised by the vocal acrobatics of said opera -- and they were professional singers, unlike the archduchesses!  She said that MT's daughters were talented singers, especially those who had the roles of Apollo and Melpomene.  Maria Elisabeth and Maria Amalia took the leads in this opera while Maria Josepha and Maria Carolina has shorter/smaller roles.  I'm not sure what kind of soprano Elisabeth was (undoubtedly she was also had considerable singing talent) but it was Amalia who was mentioned to be a coloratura soprano --- and Metastasio practically waxed poetic rapture about her enchanting voice (which he didn't do with the others).   One can hear the samples of the songs here...... http://www.amazon.com/Gluck-Parnaso-confuso-Christoph-Willibald/dp/B0001LYEVE

Amalia had a singing master in Parma -- I can't recall his name at the moment -- but he was born a day after her (same year as well) and I've read that they got along very well.  I think she performed in the operas at the Colorno Palace Theater and so did Ferdinand - at least for some time (not sure if the theater still exists now but Lady Mary Coke said it was the prettiest little theatre she had ever seen). Lady Mary Coke was in Parma in 1773 and she wrote that she saw the Duke perform at the opera (not bad) and when it was over, she had supper with him and a few others.  But before they sat down to eat, Ferdinand told her how sorry he was she didn't see Madame L'Infante perform at the opera, for she had a very pretty voice. It strongly suggests that Ferdinand took pride in and enjoyed his wife's performances on stage.  

Since Maria Carolina was able to perform a technically demanding opera at age 12, we can also assume she was also talented singer but I haven't read that she performed in Naples.....How beautiful was Marie Antoinette's voice? I think she performed more in theatricals - plays -  not operas, in Versailles.  Is she a soprano like her sisters?
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: MarieCharlotte on March 02, 2010, 12:27:07 PM
I don't want to start a new thread, so I decided to post my question about Franz Stephan here:

Franz Stephan's parents Leopold Joseph of Lothringen and his wife Elisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans had 13 children. Does anyone know a source where I can find their exact birth and death dates? Thanks.

This is what I have:

- Leopold (1699-1700)
- Elisabeth Charlotte (1700-1711)
- Louise Christine (1701-1701)
- Marie Gabriele (1702-1711)
- Louis (1704-1711)
- Josepha Gabriele (1705-1708)
- Gabriele Louise (1706-1709)
- Leopold Clement Charles (1707-1723)
- Franz Stephan (08.12.1708-18.08.1765)
- Eleonore (1710-1710)
- Elisabeth Therese (1711-1741)
- Charles Alexandre (1712-1780)
- Anna Charlotte (1714-1773)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Marc on March 02, 2010, 06:24:32 PM
Here:

http://genealogy.euweb.cz/lorraine/lorraine5.html
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: MarieCharlotte on March 03, 2010, 03:31:12 AM
Another question:

Three of Leopold's children died in Lunéville in May 1711:
- Louis (May 10th)
- Elisabeth Charlotte (May 4th)
- Marie Gabriele (May 10th)

Does anybody know the cause of their early deaths? Was there some kind of epidemic plague in May 1711, for example the smallpox?

I know that child mortality was tremendous, but whenever I read that a mother lost three of her children within a few days, I ask myself how she could ever get over this loss.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Rani on March 03, 2010, 06:27:50 AM
In 1710/1711 was the pest in Europe, particularly in Germany.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: MarieCharlotte on March 03, 2010, 06:38:29 AM
In 1710/1711 was the pest in Europe, particularly in Germany.

So Franz Stephan's three siblings could have died of the plague? Oh, that's scary! :-( But I've always thought that royals fled as soon as they were informed about a severe illness like smallpox or typhoid.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on March 03, 2010, 06:57:41 AM
Quote
So Franz Stephan's three siblings could have died of the plague? Oh, that's scary! :-( But I've always thought that royals fled as soon as they were informed about a severe illness like smallpox or typhoid.

It's possible the plague could have killed them, but it could just have easily been the doctors who were responsible - as they were at approximately the same time in Versailles, where their cousins the Dauphine, the Dauphin and the Ducs de Bretagne and Anjou all caught measles.  The first three were all bled, purged and generally attended to by the doctors, and all perished, while the last was hidden by his governess and nurses and kept warm, fed a light diet and survived to become Louis XV.  So whatever illnesses they had could have been something not necessarily life-threatening, but the treatment rather than the illness killed them.  Noble children could actually be more at risk than those who didn't have access to expensive physicians.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: MarieCharlotte on March 03, 2010, 11:49:14 AM
It's possible the plague could have killed them, but it could just have easily been the doctors who were responsible - as they were at approximately the same time in Versailles, where their cousins the Dauphine, the Dauphin and the Ducs de Bretagne and Anjou all caught measles.  The first three were all bled, purged and generally attended to by the doctors, and all perished, while the last was hidden by his governess and nurses and kept warm, fed a light diet and survived to become Louis XV.  So whatever illnesses they had could have been something not necessarily life-threatening, but the treatment rather than the illness killed them. Noble children could actually be more at risk than those who didn't have access to expensive physicians.

Yes, I also thought of this possibility. But I don't think that there is a connection between the death of Franz Stephan's siblings and the ones who died in Versailles. The Dauphin, his wife Marie Adélaïde and the Duc de Viennois died in February 1912, the Duc de Bretagne in 1705. But Louis, the eldest son of Louis XIV., died at Château de Meudon on 14 April 1711.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Mandie, the Gothic Empress on March 03, 2010, 02:14:29 PM
Possibly of early death in the 1700s, is that people got bled and had poor highgene. Science was fairly still new - without people being called witches and so on-  to medicine.

And people thought back then that they can "bled" an illness out of you. which in some cases for women is death. Like Princess Charlotte of Wales (first wife of Leopold I of Belgium).
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on March 03, 2010, 02:56:24 PM
Yes, I wasn't implying that the deaths were related - just that it was very easy to die of illnesses which were not considered terminal even in the early eighteenth century.  But in fact, I see from the letters of Franz Stephan's grandmother the Duchess of Orleans that those children who died in 1711 did so from that great scourge, smallpox.  "Never has there been so much smallpox about as there is now", she wrote, "All my grandchildren in Lorraine are ill, at least the two boys and the eldest girl are."  A few days later she added "I have this moment received the sad news that my daughter's eldest son and dear second daughter are dead too, and that the other two princes aren't out of danger yet.  I'm frightened that my daughter may die or lose her reason, becuase the unhappiness of losing all one's children at once is unbearable.  In Lorraine the disease seems to have turned into a veritable plague".  Still later she wrote, "My poor daughter is inconsolable, and only wishes to die and join her children.....But I told her I was convinced that there could be no reunion after death, and that it was pointless to die in order to be with those one had lost.  My poor daughter has already lost eight children."

While it is also true that noble and royal families could flee sites of infection unlike less well-off people, their huge entourages and the relatively high occupancy of their homes (e.g. servants sleeping in the same rooms, to provide services to the children), it meant that they would often bring contagion with them via those in their service who had external contacts - essential personnel such as coachmen, footmen, cooks, grooms, pages - who could unknowingly be in contact with infected or sick persons and pass on the disease to the households in which they worked. 

It was possible to survive smallpox even in the eighteenth century, but the treatment meted out by the doctors was horrific and included bloodletting, suppositories, enemas, and oral purges, inflicting incredible damage on already compromised systems.  The Duchess of Orleans survived to the good old age of 70 with the help of her complete contempt for physicians, and her steadfast refusal to have anything to do with them, blaming them (probably rightly) for the death of her eldest son the Duc de Valois.  It is highly likely that her daughter, a loving mother, on the contrary ensured that her children were attended by Lorraine's finest physicians, keen to use whatever means were available to them to save their patients, with the usual results.   
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 11, 2010, 08:33:29 PM
It seems that Maria Amalia was all heart. There are similar stories of kindness from her sisters Marie Antoinette and Maria Carolina as well.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 11, 2010, 11:18:15 PM
Yes, not exactly the actions one would expect  of a 'harridan'......  ;)  And it seemed that she did it consistently over the years to a fairly large number of people and in spite of the reduced income - not exactly extremely handsome to begin with - in the Napoleonic years.  The exact terms used - 'spiritual relationship' and 'simple friendship' - do have a sincere ring in them....

I think Empress Maria Theresa was a good model for kindness and generosity to her subjects. That said, at times her bigotry in terms of religion and her sense of hatred/revenge also got in the way.  I haven't read much on Maria Carolina on this subject though -  and nothing yet on Maria Christina or Maria Elisabeth as well. I read that Archduchess Maria Anna was also generous.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on April 02, 2010, 07:41:07 AM
You are right. Mimi did seem to have an axe to grind on the situation of Amalia. She was childless and it must have hurt her that her sister had achieved some kind of happiness despite the fact it was a political marriage. Although I don't think Albert of Teshen did have a mistress ? One must also remember that Mimi was also the "supposed lover" of Ferdinand's big sister Isabella. The more I think of Mimi, the more I think she was complicated and maybe unfulfilled...
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on April 03, 2010, 05:57:30 AM
On the other hand, Marie Christine wrote to Albrecht in 1778, when they were parted for the first time since their marriage "Tout le temps je pense à toi, mon cher coeur, je t'aime, je t'adore" ("I think about you all the time, my dear heart, I love you, I adore you") and in another letter "Je me sens triste à la pensée de ne pouvoir te rejoindre, te prendre dans mes bras, te presser sur mon coeur car je t'aime tendrement comme le plus aimable des maris, passionnément comme un amant adoré, et tu sais si je puis aimer" ("I feel sad at the thought of not being able to join you, hold you in my arms, hold you in my heart because I love you dearly as the most amiable of husbands, passionately as an adored lover, and you know if I can love").  So if she was taking lovers, which certainly doesn't seem to have been a prominant part of her reputation, she nevertheless seemed to keep on being pretty keen on Albrecht.  He was shattered when she died, and had the beautiful Canova monument erected for her.  So unfair as it may be, it does look as if Marie Christine's marriage managed to stay the course, even if there were distractions on the way.  While Marie Christine didn't behave well to her siblings, I feel more of the blame should rest with Maria Theresa, who, when she was Governess of Hungary wrote to her such things as "J'ai eu cet après-midi un instant d'enfantillage quand à tois heurs vos soeurs sont entrées chez moi, j'ai cru voir reparaitre ma chere Mimi" ("I had this afternoon a moment of childishness when at three o'clock your sisters came to me, I thought to see my dear Mimi") - a greatly different tone, very tender and loving, compared to that which she used with Maria Amalia, for example, or Marie Antoinette.  Constantly being compared to her sisters to their detriment (and one must add Joseph's wife Isabel to this chorus of admiration), greatly indulged by her powerful mother, it's not surprising Marie Christine thought herself greatly superior to her other sisters, and they resented it.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on April 03, 2010, 09:50:42 AM
I guess all that favourism added much to Mimi's nature of spiteful tongue and tattle-taling. She wasn't even nice to Josef II and once spoke "If I am married to him, I will hang myself in a tree in the park in Schonbrunn." It was no wonder that her later powerfully placed sisters avoided her like the plague. As for the affair with the prince, Mimi probably wanted him as a conquest (like she took Isabella of Parma's affections to herself) than genuine love. Mimi seemed to be on the driving seat as far as her marriage and relationship with her mother. The only thing lacking was children. That is the only thing her sisters had that she was not able to compete. I viewed her views on Amalia's children spiteful and jealousy rather than the truth.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on April 03, 2010, 12:06:03 PM
I don't think there is any evidence of Marie Christine's affair with Prince Charles von Liechtenstein except for, as prinzheinelgirl has written, an allusion in Derek Beales' biography of Joseph II where it is a side issue to Joseph's relationship with Eleanore von Liechtenstein, so one can't tell whether it was a genuine full blown affair, a passing attraction, a platonic flirtation, or something else entirely - still less that "Mimi probably wanted him as a conquest".  And there is no evidence at all that she "took Isabella of Parma's affections to herself" in the sense that she initiated the relationship - indeed, since the remaining correspondence with her sister in law is entirely on Isabel's side, it appears that Isabel made the running, although one can infer a certain amount from what Isabel wrote, which doesn't add up to Marie Christine 'taking' Isabel's affections.  There just is no real historical evidence to build a case for Marie Christine being some kind of sexual predator as well as a rather bossy and too-much favoured sister.  Possibly she was jealous of her sisters' children - she was an affectionate aunt so she obviously was fond of them and would have liked to have them herself - but she herself had a fulfilling career as joint Governess of Hungary and then the Austrian Netherlands, so her contempt for sisters like Maria Amalia and Marie Antoinette was probably more based on the way in which the Empress perceived them, as rather frivolous, empty-headed young women who should be scolded and told what to do for their own good.  Very aggravating, and rather unfair - but it's interesting that her relationship with Maria Carolina, not a person likely to submit to elder-sisterishness, seemed much more cordial.  On Marie Christine's visit to Italy with Albrecht, where she wrote the condemnatory things about Maria Amalia, Mrs Bearne in her 1907 biography of Maria Carolina quotes an Englishman, John Moore, who wrote "The King and Queen [of Naples] lately paid a visit to four of the principal nunneries in this town.....to gratify the curiosity of the Archduchess and her husband....The gaiety and good-humour of the King, the affable and engaging behaviour of the royal sisters.....threw an air of cheerfulness on this scene".  So that part of Marie Christine's Italian visit seems to have been much jollier.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on April 03, 2010, 11:56:37 PM
On the other hand, Marie Christine wrote to Albrecht in 1778, when they were parted for the first time since their marriage "Tout le temps je pense à toi, mon cher coeur, je t'aime, je t'adore" ("I think about you all the time, my dear heart, I love you, I adore you") and in another letter "Je me sens triste à la pensée de ne pouvoir te rejoindre, te prendre dans mes bras, te presser sur mon coeur car je t'aime tendrement comme le plus aimable des maris, passionnément comme un amant adoré, et tu sais si je puis aimer" ("I feel sad at the thought of not being able to join you, hold you in my arms, hold you in my heart because I love you dearly as the most amiable of husbands, passionately as an adored lover, and you know if I can love").  So if she was taking lovers, which certainly doesn't seem to have been a prominant part of her reputation, she nevertheless seemed to keep on being pretty keen on Albrecht.

I don't think there is any evidence of Marie Christine's affair with Prince Charles von Liechtenstein except for, as prinzheinelgirl has written, an allusion in Derek Beales' biography of Joseph II where it is a side issue to Joseph's relationship with Eleanore von Liechtenstein, so one can't tell whether it was a genuine full blown affair, a passing attraction, a platonic flirtation, or something else entirely - still less that "Mimi probably wanted him as a conquest".  

Yes, that love affair with Prince Karl Borromaus of Liechtenstein (1730-1789) threw me off a little. However, it seems to have occurred. His wife Eleonore  (nee Princess of Oettingen-Spielberg) believed there was and was relieved/happy that her own husband was engaged elsewhere too (she thought her husband was getting suspicious of Joseph's letters to her). Derek Beales made another passing reference to Mimi's affair, stating that Eleonore (after a few months of finding out her husband's affair with Mimi) wondered if Maria Theresa's endorsement of her husband taking a post in Belgium was because she (MT) wanted her husband out of the archduchess' vicinity. So at the very least, it seems that the affair,to whatever degree it was, lasted a few months.....    

Curiously, MT did not seem to disapprove of Joseph's liaison with Princess Eleonore, despite the fact that she was married. Again, Derek Beales refers MT teasing Joseph that she (MT) was to see Eleonore that day and that she expected a letter from her as well and that "I  will be discreet, I won't delay it" (presumably from sharing its content with Joseph). Many times, MT a mass of contradiction!  

I guess all that favourism added much to Mimi's nature of spiteful tongue and tattle-taling. Mimi seemed to be on the driving seat as far as her marriage and relationship with her mother.

While Marie Christine didn't behave well to her siblings, I feel more of the blame should rest with Maria Theresa, who, when she was Governess of Hungary wrote to her such things as "J'ai eu cet après-midi un instant d'enfantillage quand à tois heurs vos soeurs sont entrées chez moi, j'ai cru voir reparaitre ma chere Mimi" ("I had this afternoon a moment of childishness when at three o'clock your sisters came to me, I thought to see my dear Mimi") - a greatly different tone, very tender and loving, compared to that which she used with Maria Amalia, for example, or Marie Antoinette.  Constantly being compared to her sisters to their detriment (and one must add Joseph's wife Isabel to this chorus of admiration), greatly indulged by her powerful mother, it's not surprising Marie Christine thought herself greatly superior to her other sisters, and they resented it.

I also think that while Prince Albert of Saxony loved Mimi and vice versa (I have no doubt she did, despite that affair with Prince Karl Borromaus), Albert derived great advantages from the marriage than Mimi and thus, putting Mimi in the driver's seat as Eric_Lowe put it. I remember reading Dauphine Maria Josepha (Albert's sister) writing their brother Franz Xavier about how displeased she was about Mimi's coat of arms upon her marriage. I cant recall all the details but she protested that Austria's arms were on such side instead of the Saxon one, and saying that the House of Saxony was "equal" to or "as important" as the House of Austria.  She even berated her brother for "allowing" such a thing!
  
Indeed, had MT kept Marie Christine (even though she was her favorite child) in check in her tale-bearing and criticizing others, Mimi might have learned to behave better to her siblings. What astonishes me is the fact that MT seemed to have "endorsed" Mimi's behavior. Granted she seemed blindly devoted to her favorite, but it seems that she actually enjoyed hearing such tales and criticisms? I don't know what to make of it, but it tells us something very important about MT's character as well....

Did MT think Amalia was 'empty-headed'?  Her chief complaints seemed to be Amalia's stubbornness and caprices, at least that's what I read from her letters to Count Mercy and Marie Antoinette...... On both counts, I fully agree with her views :)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on April 04, 2010, 06:20:18 AM
Perhaps 'wrong-headed' would be a better phrase.  I just don't think Marie Christine's criticism of Maria Amalia was just simple jealousy and bitchiness, there were more complicated things involved such as a sort of siding with Maria Theresa and to some extent, telling her what she expected to hear.  Thus, Maria Amalia had defied her mother and thus must be shown to have things wrong with her life - her beauty had gone, she had a poor relationship with her children, etc.  Telling mother that your rebellious sister had a good marriage and happy family and had kept her looks would probably not have been the right thing to say - and Marie Christine was adept at manipulating her mother. 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on April 04, 2010, 10:13:39 AM
I think Mimi did manipulate MT in her dealings with her, and the fact that she trusted Mimi's judgement on them made the "tattle-tale" aspect more apparent. I don't think Mimi said Amalia has lost her beauty. I guess what she was getting at was that Amalia had lost her "glamour". Indeed, an Austrian archduchess who used to be served has to do her own shopping in the market and mingle with the women there ! I could imagine Mimi's cringe with horror of discovering her sister had sunken so low. Also I believe Amalia had not took care to doll herself up for her sister's visit (which Mimi would expect the soverign Duchess of Parma to be in silks and brocades and shining with diamonds and gems). That would also affect Mimi's report as beauty gone, wretched and so forth. From with I read here from Prinzheinegirl, I gather she had been "countified" and worse in Mimi's eyes "proud of it". I also suspect that Amalia may have been an indulgent mother, so give rise to the subject of not obedient children. Most certainly in the Austrian tradition, the royal children at Parma was allowed much more freedom that Vienna or Versailles.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on April 11, 2010, 08:14:33 AM
I think there is a lot of confusion in the modern mind about what something like Versailles represented - that a court and its rituals and festivities was somehow 'fun'.  Basically it was the showcase for the monarch, and the rituals and 'etiquette' were designed to highlight the royal family's power and prestige, and to give courtiers access - the handing of his shirt to Louis XIV gave a courtier a moment in which to ask for an audience later, for example, at which one could argue a case or ask a favour.  In the case of Versailles, it was built to bring the nobility together under the Louis XIV's eye and although he entertained the courtiers, he also made it impossible for anyone to have access to the government, to preferment or any kind of pensions or power or influence, anywhere else.  Any noble who chose to live elsewhere was considered dead to him - and to other courtiers, so they could not be plotting against the monarchy.  The other side of the coin was that Louis XIV lived most of his life in full view of his courtiers, and seldom had a single moment alone.  It was a terrible strain, and his great-grandson Louis XV increasingly had more of a private life, to his courtiers' disgust - because they couldn't get at the fount of all privilege and power.  When Marie Antoinette cut herself off even further, she was in their perception, cutting the courtiers off from access to power, and was making what was seen as an important part of the government invisible.  It's not really the same, but if Michelle Obama were to suddenly declare she's had enough, she won't do any more public duties, she'll just live in the White House and see her only friends, there would be a storm of speculation and gossip and quite a bit of resentment - and it might well harm the presidency.  Versailles was a great court - a place of concentrated power, prestige and grandeur - but as a place to live, it was horrible.  "Ce pays-ci" - this country - was what the courtiers called it, and it indeed might be another planet. 

The Vienna court under Maria Theresa was indeed more relaxed, but one must remember her father Karl VI, maintained a fairly rigid etiquette and much further down the line, the Empress Elisabeth was supposed to be so horrified at the so-called 'Spanish' etiquette of the Habsburgs that she took off as soon as she could for more relaxed environments (though I’ve always been suspicious of that - it was an excuse but not much of a reason).  Basically etiquette and even the entertainments were there to show off the monarch in a prestigious environment, and hence the horror when Maria Amalia essentially endorsed Ferdinand’s even greater relaxation of court etiquette and mingling with the lower classes.  Not what a court was designed to do at all – but very popular when it was done by monarchs. 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on April 11, 2010, 01:44:18 PM
Yes. I was a bit shocked by what Amalia's sister Antonia and brother Josef II 's liking for "naturalness" in their courts. Josef II was down and about the people a lot, and when he visited France, he insisted on no ceremony and move around the local people there (Both Antonia & MT were not pleased), but he was very popular there. Amalia's acceptance of Ferdinand's casualness of court should be seen in that light too.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on April 11, 2010, 09:48:11 PM
Versailles was a great court - a place of concentrated power, prestige and grandeur - but as a place to live, it was horrible.  "Ce pays-ci" - this country - was what the courtiers called it, and it indeed might be another planet.  

Basically etiquette and even the entertainments were there to show off the monarch in a prestigious environment, and hence the horror when Maria Amalia essentially endorsed Ferdinand’s even greater relaxation of court etiquette and mingling with the lower classes.  Not what a court was designed to do at all – but very popular when it was done by monarchs.  

Thanks so much, CountessKate.  :)

That's what I had in mind, that Versailles was a horrible place to live.  I can understand what the power and prestige it represented but it was indeed another planet and so detached from the real France at that time.

Yes, Amalia and Ferdinand had their own ideas of how they wanted to live their lives as a couple and how their court was run. Parma's online library states that the two engaged in the 'frenzy of travel' among their residences in the capital, in Colorno and in Sala Baganza. I guess that was their idea of "living apart".

Yes. I was a bit shocked by what Amalia's sister Antonia and brother Josef II 's liking for "naturalness" in their courts. Josef II was down and about the people a lot, and when he visited France, he insisted on no ceremony and move around the local people there (Both Antonia & MT were not pleased), but he was very popular there. Amalia's acceptance of Ferdinand's casualness of court should be seen in that light too.

I think the problem with Marie Antoinette and her country living at the Petit Trianon was that most courtiers, except the favoured ones, were left out from the privilege of going to the Petit Trianon and that they were more bored than usual with nothing to do at Versailles while MA and her favorites spent their time there.  I think that was MA's mistake, excluding most of the courtiers. I'm going to check Storia di Parma again for the specifics of Amalia and Ferdinand's household. I'm sure it mentioned that the household was pretty big and it cost a lot as well.    

I think Joseph II hated pomp and ceremony as well but he was more like 'play-acting' when mingling with the people rather than a natural liking for it,  like with Amalia and Ferdinand for example. However, such mingling gave him a clear idea of what's happening on the ground, so to speak, hence his warning to MA on the actual state of France. It's a pity his mingling with his own people did not give him "proper" ideas of what his people truly wanted in terms of reforms.  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 08, 2010, 08:33:13 PM
I think the only person that could be truly counted on to save Marie Antoinette was Empress Maria Theresa. Although MT (in her latter years) loathed war, I don't think she would've watched by and tried to profit from the French governmental problems. She would've done something effective to save her daughter. I'm not sure about Leopold (never close to Marie Antoinette) nor Joseph, even if Maria Carolina tried to intervene. Antonia Fraser wrote that Joseph, despite his affection for MA, declared in 1789 that he will be neutral in the upheavals in France, no matter what happens to the King and Queen.  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on June 09, 2010, 05:47:10 AM
I think the only person that could be truly counted on to save Marie Antoinette was Empress Maria Theresa. Although MT (in her latter years) loathed war, I don't think she would've watched by and tried to profit from the French governmental problems. She would've done something effective to save her daughter. I'm not sure about Leopold (never close to Marie Antoinette) nor Joseph, even if Maria Carolina tried to intervene. Antonia Fraser wrote that Joseph, despite his affection for MA, declared in 1789 that he will be neutral in the upheavals in France, no matter what happens to the King and Queen. 

Given that measures to save Marie Antoinette would effectively have meant war with France, I'm not sure that even she would have done so.  But I agree that she was probably the only person who might have stood up against the French in their treatment of her daughter, if she had been alive.  And to be honest, once the French royal familiy's escape attempt had failed, they were much more closely guarded by far less corruptable jailers and it was going to take far more than just money or good will to free them.  Even a war was more to the advantage of the French revolutionary government than it was to Louis XVI or Marie Antoinette as it united the French against those supporting the royal family.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on June 09, 2010, 09:38:24 AM
Yes...however since all her direct family (mother & brothers) died, a nephew is not going to save her. Her fate was sealed.  :(
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on June 09, 2010, 01:18:12 PM
In fact, it's actually difficult to know what could have been done.  Even if Maria Carolina had sold everything she could have laid her hands on with Ferdinand's good will, all we're talking about is money to try to bribe jailors and procure an escape.  And if money couldn't effect this the first time, it's not likely it would have done much good after Marie Antoinette was imprisoned more severely.  If the Italian Bourbons and the Austrian Habsburgs had stood up and old the revolutionary government to take their hands off an Austrian Archduchess, or they would declare war, the result would have been just what happened later in the French revolutionary wars - the republican army would have got its act together in a blaze of defiance and flattened them, and Marie Antoinette would have died anyway.  Its not always remembered that it didn't take Napoleon to trounce the Bourbons and the Habsburgs - generals such as Dumouriez and Coustine were doing it before he came along.  Would diplomacy have done the trick?  I really don't think the revolutionary government was in a position to go soft on one of the primary hate-figures of the revolution - there is nothing I can think of which could have been achieved through diplomatic means under the particular circumstances they were in.  I honestly don't think Marie Antoinette's fate was sealed by her relatives failing to stand by her by some means or other - I think it was sealed when she and her family failed to escape in time.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on September 09, 2010, 05:46:08 AM
I think you are quite right on, CountessKate.  There is strong evidence that Maria Amalia loved her mother, despite their differences and her refusal  to be dictated upon.  

I also think Maria Amalia's hostility to Du Tillot was also because he slandered her at the foreign courts (according to a reliable source on Piacenza's  history); it's likely that she did view him as someone who should serve her and her husband,  instead of making things difficult for them. It wasn't as if she was prejudiced against commoners as there is evidence that she was more disposed to the commoners rather than the nobles.    

=====

Joseph II on Maria Amalia and his other siblings in a letter to the Comte de Provence in 1786 (my own loose translation):

"My friend,

For the discontent, which often finds itself exposed to a monarch, I seek the peace and domestic joys that robbed us of the throne, in the circle of my family.

My brothers are so dear to  me, and my sisters.... since I lost the joys of fatherhood, they have become my replacement for everything that I was robbed of fate.

The Grand Duke of Florence is a prince, the patriarchal virtues, has his home and father of his people at the same time, he is loved by everyone, Tuscany is the happiest country in Italy.

Archduke Ferdinand, governor-general of Milan, connects with the character of the German princes, the finest qualities of our late father, kind, benevolent and condescending towards the people for his friends.

The elector, my youngest brother is born to be rulers. I have the most tender friendship for these princes, and the land which he confided by Providence to lead, would complain if the dictator  usurped Germany would have prevented his elevation.

Such are imperfect features from the paintings of my family, I am too much the friend of these gentlemen, but that my heart could still be in the description of their characters,

From the circle of men, I hasten to make you an outline of the princesses, my sisters.

The oldest, Maria Anna, is  pious, virtuous and kind, a lady of higher human species, created for the joys of another world.

Christine, Governess General in the Austrian Netherlands and the wife of the Duke of Saxe Teschen, my second sister, a fine woman. The joys of motherhood would glorify her  lot in life.

The Archduchess Elisabeth is a very amiable lady.  

The Duchess of Parma (Maria Amalia) and the Queen of the Two Sicilies (Maria Carolina) are Amazons, if I may use an an allegory. Two ladies who have made their nation worthy of confidence and (with) talent enough to govern men and empires.

Antoinette, the queen of the Franks and the wife of Louis XVI. Her charms captivate two nations. She is revered by the people of the Gauls, loved and admired by her husband and of Europe.

You see, my  friend, in this picture, is the source of my joy. See in this, what are my compensation for the injuries which gives the diadem, and if approved would be the envy of morality, you envy me because of the happiness that my famiy provides, and what with the dearest gift of Providence.

Joseph"

(I think it was unlikely that Joseph was  wholly unaware  of Marie Antoinette's reputation and her unpopularity in France by 1786 for  it definitely started earlier. The only thing I can think of is affection for his sister regarding his flattering words on her).

Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on September 11, 2010, 01:52:45 PM
Quote
Joseph II on Maria Amalia and his other siblings in a letter to the Comte de Provence in 1786 (my own loose translation):

Given the recipient of this letter, I think it would be unwise to take it as truly indicative of Joseph's genuine feelings towards his siblings.  The Comte de Provence was not especially loyal to his brother Louis XVI and there were many rows between them; indeed, he was also suspected of malicious gossip about Marie Antoinette.  Joseph therefore may well have been painting a picture of a harmonious family of united brothers and sisters of which he was the head, which the Comte would do well to emulate with regard to his own family.  That is not to say that Joseph did not have warm feelings towards at least some of his siblings, but like many large families there were those to whom he was closer and those to whom he - at least in his actions - appeared to be indifferent to.  But he would have certainly known enough about the behaviour of the Comte de Provence to be unlikely to open up in any genuinely meaningful way to an enemy of a Habsburg Archduchess and his letter appears to me to have been written in a way which (very typical for Joseph) paints a strong moral.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on September 12, 2010, 01:21:23 AM
Given the recipient of this letter, I think it would be unwise to take it as truly indicative of Joseph's genuine feelings towards his siblings.  The Comte de Provence was not especially loyal to his brother Louis XVI and there were many rows between them; indeed, he was also suspected of malicious gossip about Marie Antoinette.  Joseph therefore may well have been painting a picture of a harmonious family of united brothers and sisters of which he was the head, which the Comte would do well to emulate with regard to his own family.  That is not to say that Joseph did not have warm feelings towards at least some of his siblings, but like many large families there were those to whom he was closer and those to whom he - at least in his actions - appeared to be indifferent to.  But he would have certainly known enough about the behaviour of the Comte de Provence to be unlikely to open up in any genuinely meaningful way to an enemy of a Habsburg Archduchess and his letter appears to me to have been written in a way which (very typical for Joseph) paints a strong moral.

Very good points. I was especially surprised on his comments on Marie Antoinette, (again) surely he would've known how unpopular she was becoming in France after 1781. And to praise her to the Comte de Provence no less.

Based on what I have read so far, he certainly liked Leopold and Marie Antoinette, and you did mention in another thread that he admitted liking Marie Carolina (I've read that she wrote him frequently from Naples).  I haven't read much on Mimi and him as well as Maximilian. And his letters suggest that he didn't like Maria Amalia at times and indeed blocked several things for her.  There seems to be distrust between him and the Archduke Ferdinand (who seemed to have set spies on him as well). And he also didn't treat Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth very well in Vienna.  Given that, it is also possible that he did feel affection for all his siblings, that is when he wasn't annoyed with them (i.e. he was very annoyed at Marie Antoinette's big failure to promote his interests at Versailles),  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on September 12, 2010, 11:06:07 AM
Joseph seemed to be fond of his younger sisters - Derek Beales notes in his biography that he was fond of Maria Josepha as well as Marie Antoinette, and he was certainly concerned for Maria Carolina.  But as you say, prinzheinelgirl, he didn't behave very well to Marianne and Maria Elizabeth, neither of whom were keen on going off to their respective nunneries when their mother died.  And he may have been fond of Leopold, but he nevertheless caused him to feel a lot of resentment on many occasions when he interfered financially or politically which he was rather prone to do.  So even those to whom he felt affection did not escape his relentless attentions, and in certain respects Maria Amalia did well to create a view of herself which labelled her as dangerous to meddle with.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on September 13, 2010, 08:36:58 AM
Thanks!

Based on what I have read so far, Joseph mentioned Maria Amalia in his letters to Maria Theresa and to Leopold.  Although to be fair, the only times he seemed quite hostile to her was when Maria Amalia was 'misbehaving' in Parma (1772-1773), and also when she wanted to visit Vienna. Had he approved, Maria Amalia would've likely visited Vienna, perhaps before MT died.  It seemed to be a project that was resurrected from time to time (1775 or 1776-1780) and MT didn't seem to be very disapproving.  Too bad MT seemed to have been tired of always quarreling with Joseph, and likely just accepted what he said.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 18, 2010, 05:23:44 PM
There I really pitied those Archduchesses. MT expect them to be popular, ruled their husbands and not to forget she was Austrian ? Marie Antoinette's advice from her mother on this made her unpopular even though she did nothing. Divided loyalities are very diffucult (from the land of your birth to your land of adoption). MC never really thought of herself as Italian, but one to see Austria's interest go through. That is why I said she was Austria's dutiful daughter. Her marriage to Ferdinand was a political marriage, so it would be easy to disregard him in that way. One cannot use today's standard of a marriage to judge MC. As far as she was concerned, she gave birth to the heir and provided daughters for foreign alliances. That was as much as they expect a queen consort. Which was why Marie Antoinette's childlessness was such a thorn to her for the longest time.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on September 19, 2010, 03:24:34 AM
There I really pitied those Archduchesses. MT expect them to be popular, ruled their husbands and not to forget she was Austrian ? Marie Antoinette's advice from her mother on this made her unpopular even though she did nothing. Divided loyalities are very diffucult (from the land of your birth to your land of adoption).

I think is is where cleverness and good instincts should come together (how to thread this divided loyalties thing). Maria Carolina seemed to do quite well in the early years regarding this, but wasn't able to maintain it for some reason.  Marie Antoinette didn't need her mother's (sometimes unsound) advice to make her unpopular both at court and with the people...her heedlessness, carelessness, thoughtlessness did her in. Maria Amalia seemingly (mainly) escaped this dilemma and was able to maintain her popularity (at least with the masses, if not with all the nobles).

One cannot use today's standard of a marriage to judge MC.

Nowhere in my above post did I compare the 18th century royal marriages with today's standards.  Although I might add, some princesses who married abroad didn't share the same reputation as the archduchesses (interfering, etc.; Maria Amalia is included, of course).
 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: ivanushka on September 19, 2010, 07:41:05 AM
There I really pitied those Archduchesses. MT expect them to be popular, ruled their husbands and not to forget she was Austrian ?

Agreed.  It seems to me that Maria Theresa never seemed to realise that the advice she gave her daughters; namely to make themselves totally beloved in their new countries and be deferential to their husbands while also constantly advancing Austrian interests was totally contradictory.  If the daughter devoted herself to her husband and the interests of her new country then she might well end up supporting policies that were anti Austrian and if she constantly pushed the Habsburg advantage then she would probably have to dominate her husband to do so and might well lose popular support in the process.  Though I admire MT as a ruler, as a mother she really does seem to have expected her daughters to perform miracles and then been displeased with them because they didn't.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on September 19, 2010, 10:53:07 PM
I see the points above and I concur with some. I am not much a fan of Maria Theresa's parenting skills and I find her advice bewildering (impractical) at times (not all, of course). But up to when should be "blame" rest on Maria Theresa's shoulders? Note that Maria Theresa died in 1780, more than sufficient time to "amend" and find a balance between loyalty to one's country of birth and the adopted one as well as learning from one's mistakes before 1789 and beyond....that is my point.

Also, I have read that Maria Carolina did not (mostly) allow her mother to interfere in her personal and political decisions..... so what now? Should we blame MT for all her later troubles, her unpopularity with the Neapolitans and Sicilians? Same with troubles Marie Antoinette and Maria Amalia had.....Based on what I have read,  MT got blamed for her criticisms, sometimes unsound advice, and for sacrificing her daughters for reasons of state... Hence, their failures. I somewhat  concur with it, but we must also factor in the personal accountability of her daughters.  I think in analysing the lives of the archduchesses and the outcome of such, both (MT and the personal accountability of said daughters) are equally important.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 20, 2010, 02:38:41 PM
Well...I think by the time Mt laid down the advice, the psycological damage is done. Modern science had proved that is a child is not given enough love and reafirmation by his/her parent, they would must likelly develope a lack of confidence in some level. MT (liater QV & Queen Alexandra) used their children 's love & trust to built in obidence. That is why the punishment was so harsh to Mata Amalia when her siblings were forbidden to write to her. A more psycologically use of isolation I have yet to see. Also I stressed again MC's marriage is a political marriage not a love match like Mimi's. MC did not have the worst marriage though if compared to the one by George IV & Caroline of Brunswick.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on September 20, 2010, 10:37:52 PM
I'm not sure if and how Maria Theresa's lack of love as you put it affected Maria Carolina and the others (other than being jealous of Mimi, of course). Because I seem to have read that MC was her second favourite daughter, after Mimi, so MT probably showed more affection to her than to the others (assumming not the same level as what Mimi got of course). Perhaps Franz Stephan's love was enough? Would you call MC as less than confident?  I think it was Marie Antoinette who seemingly lacked confidence, not MC (nor Maria Amalia).

Of course MC had a political marriage with Ferdinand of Naples but I think it could've been better had both parties made more concessions and had been more forgiving to each other. Incidentally, I have read recently The Unruly Queen, a biography of Caroline of Brunswick...another fascinating, eccentric and controversial royal. I agree that MC's married life was better than hers, but the end wasn't much better either.


There I really pitied those Archduchesses. MT expect them to be popular, ruled their husbands and not to forget she was Austrian ?

Plowing through various biographies of Maria Theresa, I think CA Macartney (spelling?) in Maria Theresa and the House of Austria, summarised best her view of her daughters' duties: yes, they were not to forget that they were Austrians and should win their husband's approval/favor, but they were not to interfere with state matters (unless given directives of that sort by Vienna); it appears to be a selective sort of thing (politics). And I think I understand now why MT was very distressed at her daughters' very blatant interference in state/political matters (not that it was uncomplicated nor do I fully agree with her view). Their role, aside from favoring Austria (again, only at their mother's call), was to bear children, please their husbands, and keep up the dignity of their house and status by correct, dignified behavior (Maria Amalia and Marie Antoinette obviously failing in the last one, especially Maria Amalia).  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on September 21, 2010, 07:12:40 AM
Quote
Modern science had proved that is a child is not given enough love and reafirmation by his/her parent, they would must likelly develope a lack of confidence in some level. MT (liater QV & Queen Alexandra) used their children 's love & trust to built in obidence.

I think it is rather unfair to look at the relationship of Maria Theresa and her children in the light of modern relationships and expectations.  Eighteenth century parents were much more remote figures, and royalty especially was seldom intimate or 'loving' in the way we would see as natural today.  As a mother, Maria Theresa took an intense interest in her children, although their daily bringing up was left to others - very much the norm for other royal families right up until the 20th century (and Queen Elizabeth II has been criticised for a certain remoteness in her childrens' upbringing).  While her interest could be overbearing, and her messages as others here have observed, were mixed, none of her children could deny that as far as contemporary standards went she was a concerned and involved mother.  Children's obedience was one of the major requirement of parents of the age and naturally Maria Theresa demanded it - this was standard at the time and none of her children could have expected anything different, even if they disagreed or rebelled.  The major problem was not that she didn't love them or appear to do so, it was that she favoured one daughter over others and thus set up expectations which she was not prepared to meet for her other children, particularly Maria Amalia who was old enough to know what was going on and to expect something different from what she got.  But I would agree with prinzheinelgirl that none of Maria Theresa's daughters appeared to lack confidence except perhaps Marie Antoinette, and any such problems stemmed largely from her situation in France and the fact that she was unable to perform her major role of bearing heirs to the throne.  Her mother's advice might have been demanding and intrusive, but it actually was quite good in terms of establishing herself in the good graces of Louis XV, keeping onside with his mistress, not spending too much money, and keeping out of the plots of Mesdames.  Marie Antoinette could have lied and wriggled and felt that she could have done without the continual stream of advice, but neither she nor any of her sisters could have said their mother didn't 'love' them in the terms they or their contemporaries would have understood it.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 22, 2010, 12:58:49 PM
MT did not care if their marriages were happy or not, it is all for Austria. She wanted them to be popular so that they could push the agenda for their mother country.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on September 23, 2010, 09:02:35 AM
MT did not care if their marriages were happy or not, it is all for Austria. She wanted them to be popular so that they could push the agenda for their mother country.

I don't think that's true at all.  Like many conventional eighteenth century parents, Maria Theresa believed that her daughters' marital happiness lay in pleasing their husbands, performing their royal duties graciously, and working tactfully behind the scenes to support their Austrian family.  If they fulfilled that criteria, they would have happy marriages.  Every other royal family whose daughters made royal marriages pretty much thought the same.  There wasn't the expectation of romantic love to the same degree, marriage to someone of the same rank was most appropriate, and the general feeling was that this was the proper destiny of a princess.  Of course it was difficult leaving home at a young age and going to another country, with new relationships to navigate and tricky political situations to face.  But plenty of young women managed - after the first difficulties Maria Amalia settled down, Marie Antoinette certainly got on reasonably well with the Dauphin despite their sexual problems, and the imported Isabel of Parma married a very difficult man with great success.  To imply that Maria Theresa brutally married off her daughters and wanted them to do well in their new roles just to push the Habsburg political agenda is to ignore the fact that a mother of Maria Theresa's status at the time was expected to do the best for her dynasty and to get the highest ranking husbands for her daughters, and this is what she did, with one notable exception in Maria Christina.  She was acting, as she and her contemporaries saw it, as a good mother doing the best for her daughters.  Maria Carolina's marriage did not work out, but this is not to say that it could not have done so had she not lost the abililty - or will - to keep her husband on her side. 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on September 23, 2010, 09:35:06 AM
I agree with this. I'm not much of a fan of Maria Theresa but I must admit that, based on some evidence, she tried to help her daughters cope in their married life despite sacrificing them for state reasons. I don't know what sort of advice she gave Maria Carolina on her Ferdinand (other than the letter MC got upon her departure from Vienna), but I do find her advice to Maria Amalia very sensible (on how to cope with her husband's womanising ).... that foolish love (I take it to mean, she meant romantic love) is soon past, but Maria Amalia and her Ferdinand should work on respect, trust and friendship, which is the basis of a presumably happy marriage and for the good of the house (long after passion is gone).  All 3 traits seemed to be missing in MC's marriage.

Also, I just read that it was Maria Christina (Mimi) who paved the way for MC's ouster of Tanucci. It seems that Mimi counseled her sister (while she visited her in Naples in 1776) on how to work on Tanucci's ouster with her husband. I have not found much evidence that MC was indeed very intelligent, even though she was praised as such. And she supposedly had total control of Ferdinand , but after 8 years, she still wasn't successful in this respect and, apparently, the brilliant steps/advice/schemes had to come from Mimi (a master manipulator), not her..... Sir Nathaniel Wraxall wrote about this. Also, many of her ideas for reform came from Joseph and Leopold.  I think, in this respect, a very fawning English biographer was right in admitting that her intellect was overly praised by her admirers. Not to mention that crack by Joseph and Leopold on her mind....
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 23, 2010, 10:26:25 AM
I don't think MT consuel MC that way. Most surely after Ferdinand "used" her and said rather ungallantly that "she sweat like a pig and sleep like a log", MT should have talked to her on how to win his love. Nothing of the sort was found. Instead MC had to resort to sex and cunning to get herself preganant with a male child before she would be allowed into the counsel (as mother of the heir). It was okay to have love, respect with a small duchy (and do remember Amalia went with grudges after the failed attempt to get Karl as her husband). Like MC she took control, although Amalia's bullying worked because she was older than Ferdinand of Parma and that he was much sweeter than his cousin in Naples. It seems like MC, MA & even Marie Antoinette liked to be in some sort of countrol, because of their mother was the boss in their family. As for MT, yes she wanted good for her daughters, but yet she also wanted them to perform for the interests of Austria. Those interests more than once clashed in their advice to their children. Who was sometime confused but was intimidated by her.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on September 23, 2010, 11:17:57 PM
I don't think MT consuel MC that way. Most surely after Ferdinand "used" her and said rather ungallantly that "she sweat like a pig and sleep like a log", MT should have talked to her on how to win his love. Nothing of the sort was found. Instead MC had to resort to sex and cunning to get herself preganant with a male child before she would be allowed into the counsel (as mother of the heir).

Consummating the marriage and being intimate thereafter were part of their duties. I don't think Ferdinand "used" her in this respect (except when he passed on those diseases to her later on), although his remark above was indeed uncalled for and definitely uncouth. I think it would be interesting to read Maria Theresa's letters to Maria Carolina on Ferdinand. I do remember she counseled MC to never let her husband know that she didn't like him, if she found herself unable to do so but there must be others....anyway, we see MC follow this advice in the early years only for by mid 1770s she was already bullying Ferdinand to a certain degree.  

It was okay to have love, respect with a small duchy (and do remember Amalia went with grudges after the failed attempt to get Karl as her husband). Like MC she took control, although Amalia's bullying worked because she was older than Ferdinand of Parma and that he was much sweeter than his cousin in Naples.

I'm not sure I follow what you said here.  Are you saying love and a workable marriage could only be found if a royal married someone from a small state?

Also, all the sweetness (and goodness, I may add) shown by Ferdinand of Parma to Maria Amalia would not have amounted to anything had she remained immersed in her grudges. In this respect, Maria Amalia was different from MC. She was willing to move on, despite whatever issues she may have with Ferdinand and vice versa,  and try to make her personal relationship with her husband work. I'm not even sure how Maria Amalia's being older than her husband factored in the bullying (which seems to be exaggerated for there is evidence that Ferdinand was very taken by his wife and she didn't need to bully him to get whatever she wanted, and they were on the same page as to Du Tilot and wanting to be free). She could be older but if she was timid and uninvolved, they would've gotten nowhere in politics. Although I can think of two instances wherein Maria Amalia did threaten her husband, Ferdinand could also be stubborn and did what he wanted.

It seems like MC, MA & even Marie Antoinette liked to be in some sort of countrol, because of their mother was the boss in their family. As for MT, yes she wanted good for her daughters, but yet she also wanted them to perform for the interests of Austria. Those interests more than once clashed in their advice to their children. Who was sometime confused but was intimidated by her.

Yes, all 3 appeared to be quite eager to take control at different point, most likely influenced by what they saw growing up. However, we must remember that personal accountability is also factor here.  I don't think all 3 were robots and did all what their mother asked. It was up to them whether to take their mother's advice or not. They were, after all, only accountable (in the final analysis) to their husbands, not MT. Although it appears that love for their mother and loyalty to their house also factors, it was up to them to find a balance in all this.  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 28, 2010, 01:08:09 PM
Yes. I can see similar approaches in mother & daughter. No wonder she said MC was the most like her. Yet MC lacked her wisdom in some ways. Indeed MT could be quite hypicritcal sometimes as Frederick The Great once said about MT taking part in dividing Poland "The more she cried, the more she took !". Marie Antoinette was also baffled by her mother's double standards sometimes...
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on September 29, 2010, 09:12:44 AM
If one looks at Maria Theresa objectively, she wasn't such an exceptional person (ruler) after all, at least not in the league with the two "greats" of the 18th century, i.e. Frederick the Great and Catherine the Great. There is no way you can call her brilliant (extremely intelligent) either, although she did display (good) common sense (not all the time though) and her reign was mostly judged as successful.   On the personal side, she also had many, many glaring faults. So, honestly, I can't see how Maria Carolina being compared to her mother (as the daughter most like her) is a great compliment.  My only guess is that MT's reputation for defending her heritage (from 1740-48) sealed her reputation as "brilliant" or similar as far as (most) historians/authors are concerned.  Of course, her achievements should be recognised but she also got overly praised. She wasn't even popular with her own subjects from the late 1760s to 1780.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 29, 2010, 10:33:19 AM
I think her greatness was that she kept most of her inheritance in tact and as the last of the original Hapsburgs, tried to have real family lives instead of a court. Most of her children had a happy and relaxed childhood until their father's demise. Even Marie Antoinette looked back that part of her life with rose tainted glasses. MT was a much more humane parent than Catherine was ever to her own son Paul. It is of course true that MT failed in many ways, she was always seen as the mother of her people.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on September 29, 2010, 11:51:48 AM
Quote
MT was a much more humane parent than Catherine was ever to her own son Paul.

In fact, Derek Beales in his first volume of biography on Joseph II, makes the case that Franz Stephan and Maria Theresa were quite as brutal to Joseph in forcing him to marry against his will for the second time, as Catherine was to Paul in his bereavement.  In this, they were in fact less successful than Catherine was in finding a second spouse for their heir, since Maria Josepha was neither as attractive nor as intelligent as Isabel and indeed it was a most unhappy marriage, unlike that of Paul's second marriage.  Catherine's behaviour towards her son, while severe, could hardly be deemed 'inhumane' and many eighteenth century rulers devoted a lot of time to keeping their heirs in check, and preventing them from having anything to do with politics.  Had Franz Stephan lived, it is likely that Maria Theresa would have used his authority to prevent Joseph from instituting a lot of the policies he would have liked, which she could not prevent in her co-ruler.  So I don't think Maria Theresa was necessarily more 'humane' than Catherine - and while I fully concur with the view that Maria Caroline could have made a better job of her marital relationship than she did, at least in the longer term, there was nothing humane in sending a daughter off to Naples to the unattractive Ferdinand.  Maria Theresa undoubtedly considered she was acting as a 'good' mother in making this match, but equally she knew she was being a harsh one, albeit for the good of the dynasty and for the future prospects of her daughter. 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 29, 2010, 02:27:47 PM
Well. I know but at least the children had a good childhood. In Schonbrun Palace, there is a room called the breakfast room. In that room there are plaster pieces made by the archduchesses for their parents, MT lovingly use it to decorate her room where she had breakfast every day. It must be quite fun for the children doing some work for their parents. One could imagine the elder girls teaching the younger ones (like Antonia & Carolina) how to make them. The atmosphere of Schonbrunn was considerably much more relaxed than other counts where the young archduchesses made friends with their maids and little animals. I don't think the same in Versailles, St Petersburg or Potsdam.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on September 30, 2010, 07:59:03 PM
In fact, Derek Beales in his first volume of biography on Joseph II, makes the case that Franz Stephan and Maria Theresa were quite as brutal to Joseph in forcing him to marry against his will for the second time.... Maria Theresa undoubtedly considered she was acting as a 'good' mother in making this match, but equally she knew she was being a harsh one, albeit for the good of the dynasty and for the future prospects of her daughter.  

I think I remember Beales saying that Franz Stephan was quite guilty of hypocrisy because he declared himself against political matches. Maria Theresa, on the other hand, seemed to have little sympathy for her children's matches (excepting her favourite of course) and just deemed that her counsels from afar should be able to make up for whatever unhappiness she meted out to them.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on October 01, 2010, 12:31:10 AM
Link to portraits of Maria Theresa and her two daughters Archduchesses Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth..... :

http://www.bka.gv.at/site/3866/default.aspx


Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on May 19, 2011, 06:07:40 AM
I'm very curious about the order of precedence in the Maria Theresa's family. If anyone could help me out, I'd be most grateful.

I'm assuming the sons ranked first before the daughters but age also mattered, therefore Archduchess Maria Anna was ahead in rank of all the daughters. Or was the rank of the archduke/archduchess based on age?

Then when most of them married, the order of precedence would've been what?... This is what I have in mind:

1.   Joseph, Holy Roman Emperor
2.   Maria Carolina, Queen of Naples
3.   Marie Antoinette, Queen of France
4.   Maximilian, Archbishop-Elector of Cologne, Duke of Westphalia, and Prince-Bishop of Munster (or should Leopold precede him?)
5.   Leopold, Grand Duke of Tuscany
6.   Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria and Governor of Milan (or should Maria Amalia precede him as wife of a sovereign?)
7.   Maria Amalia, Duchess of Parma (wife of sovereign who was styled as HRH and also an Infante of Spain)
8.   Maria Christina, Duchess of Teschen (was the duchy considered sovereign like Parma & does being Governor of Hungary and later on the Austrian Netherlands count?)
9.   Maria Anna, Archduchess of Austria
10. Maria Elisabeth, Archduchess of Austria

I assume Maria Amalia had to curtsey to Maria Carolina when she visited Naples and also to Leopold and Ferdinand when she visited them. Then Mimi had to curtsey to Maria Amalia when she went to Parma, and Maria Anna to Maria Amalia when the latter visited her in Klangenfurt? Any thoughts?

Also, what was their correct style as archdukes and archduchesses? HI & R or HRH?  In the Order of Maria Luisa, Maria Amalia (listed as the 8th recipient of the order) was styled as HI & R The Duchess of Parma.  

Thank you!
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Marc on May 19, 2011, 04:20:38 PM
I think all Archdukes/Arcduchesses are styled HI & RH...

Maybe the order of precedence in case of equal status members depended on how much they years they ruled and the one who ruled longer gets the precedence-I think that today is like that for Kings and Queens...
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: ivanushka on May 19, 2011, 05:57:31 PM
The order of precedence question is a very interesting one and raises some fascinating issues of family dynamics.  Obviously all the siblings would have grown up knowing Joseph was going to be Emperor so would be accustomed to the idea of giving precedence to him.  However amongst each other it must have caused some friction.  Would Maria Amalia really have been expected to curtsey to Maria Carolina?  I appreciate that Queen outranks Duchess but as they were sisters would they not perhaps have put the formality to one side even for the official greeting?  Would they even have been allowed to?  I had always imagined that Max would have ranked fairly lowly as the Electorate of Cologne was a fairly small state - or was the mere fact of being an Elector sufficient?  I guess I'm probably looking at it with too modern an eye.  I do love the idea of Mimi having to curtsey to Amalia, and bet Amalia loved it too!!! 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: ivanushka on May 19, 2011, 06:03:14 PM
Recently I've been speculating as to what would have happened re the foreign marriages if Josepha had survived to marry Ferdinand of Naples.  I believe that Caroline was her mother's first choice for marrying Louis XVI.  Do you think Antoinette would then have married Ferdinand of Parma?  I was wondering if perhaps MT might still have decided to send Amalia to Parma and instead tried to marry Antoinette to one of Louis' brothers.  As presumably the French alliance was considered the most important, MT might have felt it preferable to have two daughters at Versailles.  Not only could they give each other much needed emotional support but also two daughters working together would probably have more chance of safeguarding Austrian interests than one daughter alone.  What do people think?
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on May 19, 2011, 10:59:24 PM
I think all Archdukes/Arcduchesses are styled HI & RH...

Maybe the order of precedence in case of equal status members depended on how much they years they ruled and the one who ruled longer gets the precedence-I think that today is like that for Kings and Queens...

Thanks. I read either HI & RH or HRH for the archdukes and archduchesses, I get confused.

I also thought about it and as Queens, Maria Carolina and Marie Antoinette had equal ranks. But MC was queen of two separate realms (Naples & Sicily were separate domains but united by personal rule of Ferdinand) while Marie Antoinette had only 1 domain, France (part of Navarre was already incorporated by France so the title Queen of Navarre was mere courtesy, I would think). In this case, MC also ahead of her sister in terms of being Queen so I guess she took precedence before her sister.  Sadly, the two never met again after MC left Vienna so there was no instance where the order of precedence could've been applied after they married.

The order of precedence question is a very interesting one and raises some fascinating issues of family dynamics.  Obviously all the siblings would have grown up knowing Joseph was going to be Emperor so would be accustomed to the idea of giving precedence to him.  However amongst each other it must have caused some friction.  Would Maria Amalia really have been expected to curtsey to Maria Carolina?  I appreciate that Queen outranks Duchess but as they were sisters would they not perhaps have put the formality to one side even for the official greeting?  Would they even have been allowed to?  I had always imagined that Max would have ranked fairly lowly as the Electorate of Cologne was a fairly small state - or was the mere fact of being an Elector sufficient?  I guess I'm probably looking at it with too modern an eye.  I do love the idea of Mimi having to curtsey to Amalia, and bet Amalia loved it too!!!  

Yes, I also think Joseph as the heir  had precedence over Maria Anna, even if the latter was older even when they were all children.  Mimi's "warning" to Isabella of Parma about Maria Anna gives us a glimpse of the order of precedence because Mimi said Maria Anna would try to "bully" Isabella and try to take precedence over her at court events. Presumably, based on this, Isabella was ahead in rank over Maria Anna (the eldest archduchess) as wife of the Crown Prince.  Then Maria Theresa wrote Maria Carolina that she, after Maria Josepha left for Naples,  take rank after Maria Amalia.

Well, MC seemed to be "prissier" than her sister, I think she would've expected Maria Amalia to curtsey to her and show other signs of deference since she outranked her older sister and the latter was, after all, a visitor in Naples.  I can only speculate at this point but I guess it's one of the reasons why she was **pissed** with her sister and wrote badly of her to Mimi. Maria Anna, Maria Elisabeth, Leopold, and Ferdinand did not seem to have any problems with Maria Amalia's visits. It would be interesting to know the details of MC's stop overs in Parma as well.

I've looked it up, the Duchy of Teschen was part of the lands of the Bohemian Crown and (seemingly) was not an independent state. So it seems that Maria Amalia ranked higher than Mimi as wife of a sovereign even though both were duchesses.

Most likely in the Holy Roman Empire, Maximilian outranked Leopold since he was Prince-Elector while Leopold was only an Archduke of Austria (before succeeding Joseph that is) and Grand Duke Tuscany (Tuscany wasn't even part of  the HRE anymore)....I've read that  Franz Stephan had a hard time convincing the Germans that he was an ideal candidate for Emperor as the only domains he held in the German states were the Duchy of Teschen and the County of Falkenstein (both very insignificant). 

Recently I've been speculating as to what would have happened re the foreign marriages if Josepha had survived to marry Ferdinand of Naples.  I believe that Caroline was her mother's first choice for marrying Louis XVI.  Do you think Antoinette would then have married Ferdinand of Parma?  I was wondering if perhaps MT might still have decided to send Amalia to Parma and instead tried to marry Antoinette to one of Louis' brothers.  As presumably the French alliance was considered the most important, MT might have felt it preferable to have two daughters at Versailles.  Not only could they give each other much needed emotional support but also two daughters working together would probably have more chance of safeguarding Austrian interests than one daughter alone.  What do people think?

The question is, would Ferdinand of Parma and Marie Antoinette been a better match than Ferdinand and Maria Amalia? For all her eccentricity, stubborness and capriciousness, Maria Amalia was a big help to Ferdinand in pushing for independence (which they both wanted and which the people wanted as well), knew how maintain the love of the masses, and was intelligent (despite absolutely refusing to study), thoughtful, and bore no grudges (in the long run).  Assuming the same timetable for marriage, in July 1769, Marie Antoinette would've been only 13 years old, small and "underdeveloped" for her age and not much of a  beauty (I've recently read that her portraits back then flattered to great degree, and in reality, she was very "German" in her looks and had "pinched" face) while Ferdinand developed a taste for very pretty and voluptuous girls very early on, Marie Antoinette would've disappointed him in that respect so  I don't think he would've been very taken with her. Underneath Ferdinand's "immaturity", he was also indolent,  insolent and complicated.  Traits that very much echo Marie Antoinette as well.  For Parma to "move on" (that is free from foreign interference), Marie Antoinette would not have been a big help in that respect.



 
    
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on May 19, 2011, 11:32:26 PM
As presumably the French alliance was considered the most important, MT might have felt it preferable to have two daughters at Versailles.  Not only could they give each other much needed emotional support but also two daughters working together would probably have more chance of safeguarding Austrian interests than one daughter alone.  What do people think?

Well, two daughters would've ensured the succession better rather than one, among other things. Of course, that meant more chances of a half Bourbon-half Habsburg on the throne which I think would've pleased Maria Theresa very much.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on May 20, 2011, 12:47:23 AM
Further to my post above on the possible Ferdinand of Parma/Marie Antoinette match, here is the exact description of her as a child/adolescent:

============
She was a very German-looking child. Lady Jackson describes her as having a long, thin face, small, pig-like eyes, a pinched-up mouth, with the heavy Hapsburg lip, and with a somewhat misshapen form, so that for years she had to be bandaged tightly to give her a more natural figure.

At fourteen, when she was betrothed to the heir to the French throne, she was a dumpy, mean-looking little creature, with no distinction whatever, and with only her bright golden hair to make amends for her many blemishes.

(Source: http://fascinatinghistory.blogspot.com/2005/12/count-fersen-marie-antoinette.html )
=============

Also, I read elsewhere in this forum that she had smallpox scars on her face, which had to be powdered, which of course, worried her mother, who knew of the French King's (Louis XV) taste in beautiful women, his future granddaughter would not have pleased him very much in terms of appearance. Oh, she had  bad teeth, too!

Truth be told (and MA's fans would hate for saying this), MA does not seem to be a beauty at any point, whether as a child, adolesent, lady.

Altogether, not the type of girl who would attract Ferdinand of Parma, who certainly liked **very pretty and voluptuous girls** !
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Bourgogne on May 22, 2011, 09:15:42 PM
Further to my post above on the possible Ferdinand of Parma/Marie Antoinette match, here is the exact description of her as a child/adolescent:

============
She was a very German-looking child. Lady Jackson describes her as having a long, thin face, small, pig-like eyes, a pinched-up mouth, with the heavy Hapsburg lip, and with a somewhat misshapen form, so that for years she had to be bandaged tightly to give her a more natural figure.

At fourteen, when she was betrothed to the heir to the French throne, she was a dumpy, mean-looking little creature, with no distinction whatever, and with only her bright golden hair to make amends for her many blemishes.

(Source: http://fascinatinghistory.blogspot.com/2005/12/count-fersen-marie-antoinette.html )
=============

Also, I read elsewhere in this forum that she had smallpox scars on her face, which had to be powdered, which of course, worried her mother, who knew of the French King's (Louis XV) taste in beautiful women, his future granddaughter would not have pleased him very much in terms of appearance. Oh, she had  bad teeth, too!

Truth be told (and MA's fans would hate for saying this), MA does not seem to be a beauty at any point, whether as a child, adolesent, lady.

Altogether, not the type of girl who would attract Ferdinand of Parma, who certainly liked **very pretty and voluptuous girls** !


The overabundance of testimonies of all MA's contemporaries about her irresistible charm, is enough to reduce to nothing that strange demonstration, which would make us believe that MA was something like a monstruous dog...

Totally stunning...

The more harsh memorialists about MA's appearence say the same thing : her features were not perfectly regular, but her seduction was so strong that she would have been able to be prefered to all more beautiful women.

I don't even want to waste my time in a collection of citations, it would be to easy, and to long... There is NOT ONE testimony which reports that MA was ugly (that seems to be ridiculous to even have to write this....)

Maybe only two citations, especially about this inane story about smallpox scares on her face, when Mme Vigée-Lebrun wrote :

(FR)"Mais ce qu'il y avait de plus remarquable dans son visage, c'était l'éclat de son teint. Je n'en ai jamais vu d'aussi brillant, et brillant est le mot; car sa peau était si transparente qu'elle ne prenait point d'ombre. Aussi ne pouvais-je en rendre l'effet à mon gré : les couleurs me manquaient pour peindre cette fraîcheur, ces tons si fins qui n'appartenaient qu'à cette charmante figure et que je n'ai retrouvé chez aucune autre femme."

= "But the most remarkable thing in her face, was the radiance of her complexion. I had never seen something more sparkling, and sparkling is the word ; for her skin was so translucent that it didn't take the shades. Then I wasn't able to reproduce this effect like I would have loved to. My colours were inadequate to paint this freshness, these so fine tones which belonged only to this lovely face, and which I never found in one single other woman..."

And the "Mémoires Secrets" by Bachaumont, when MA came in France in 1770 (very important, because this chronicle was only a manuscript not made for a publication, and was very opposed to the french court. That's the reason why the first publication took place in London only in 1783).

Even this inimical lampoonist, who later was merciless about MA during the necklace affair, reports here :

(FR) "Voici exactement le portrait de madame la Dauphine. Cette princesse est d'une taille proportionnée à son âge, maigre sans être décharnée et telle que l'est une jeune personne qui n'est pas encore formée. Elle est très bien faite, bien proportionnée dans tous ses membres. Ses cheveux sont d'un beau blond, on juge qu'ils seront un jour d'un châtain cendré, ils sont bien plantés. Elle a le front beau, la forme du visage d'un ovale beau mais un peu allongé, les sourcils aussi bien fournis qu'une blonde peut les avoir. Ses yeux sont bleus sans être fades, et jouent avec une vivacité pleine d'esprit. Son nez est aquilin un peu effilé par le bout. Sa bouche est petite, ses lèvres sont épaisses, surtout l'inférieure qu'on sait être la lèvre autrichienne. La blancheur de son teint est éblouissante et elle a des couleurs naturelles qui peuvent la dispenser de mettre du rouge. Son port est celui d'une archiduchesse..."

I translate "skim through" :

= "Here's the exact description of the Dauphine... This princess is of an average height for her age, she's thin, without to be scrawny, just like a young girl not fully developped yet. She's very shaply, well proportioned in all her body. Her hair is beautiful blond... The forehead beautiful, the face beautiful oval but a little too long, the eyebrow as thick as a blonde can have it... Her eyes are blue but not dull, and they play with a spark full of wit. Her nose is aquiline, a little sharp on the end. Her mouth is small, her lips are fleshy, espacially the lower lip, which is known as "the austrian lip". The sparkling whitheness of her skin is dazzling, and she's got natural color (on her cheeks) so that she doesn't need to use any blusher. Her bearing is the bearing of an archduchess..."

Such a girl would'nt have been lovely enough for Ferdinand of Parma. Yeah right!

The more funny in all that is (the future) Louis XVI's word, when he saw the Comtesse de Provence (Marie-Joséphine of Savoy), her young brother's wife. He said to Marie-Antoinette : "When I look at you and when I look at her, I must admit that I was really treated like the elder-brother!"

And in another moment, the Comte de Provence himself asked to the Dauphin his opinion about Marie-Joséphine's physical appearence.
He answered : "Not good! I wouldn't have wanted a woman like this!"
Provence said with bitterness : "I'm very happy for you to have received better than me..."



Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on May 23, 2011, 05:36:10 AM
The overabundance of testimonies of all MA's contemporaries about her irresistible charm, is enough to reduce to nothing that strange demonstration, which would make us believe that MA was something like a monstruous dog...

Totally stunning...

Lady Jackson certainly didn't find her an appealing child for whatever reason.  However, I can't totally discount her description of her - MA was indeed misshapen.  For example, one shoulder was indeed noticeably higher than other. She had to wear a shoulder pad.    

"But the most remarkable thing in her face, was the radiance of her complexion. I had never seen something more sparkling, and sparkling is the word ; for her skin was so translucent that it didn't take the shades. Then I wasn't able to reproduce this effect like I would have loved to. My colours were inadequate to paint this freshness, these so fine tones which belonged only to this lovely face, and which I never found in one single other woman..."

Another member posted at the Marie Antoinette thread about her smallpox scars which had to be covered by powder, and which quite worried her mother. It was a German author who wrote it, why would that German author write that if there wasn't any semblance of truth? A (hostile) French author maybe just to criticise her.  The praise by Vigee Le Brun on her complexion was also explained on the same thread. I hope it hasn't been deleted.


And the "Mémoires Secrets" by Bachaumont, when MA came in France in 1770 (very important, because this chronicle was only a manuscript not made for a publication, and was very opposed to the french court. That's the reason why the first publication took place in London only in 1783).

Even this inimical lampoonist, who later was merciless about MA during the necklace affair, reports here :

I translate "skim through" :

= "Here's the exact description of the Dauphine... This princess is of an average height for her age, she's thin, without to be scrawny, just like a young girl not fully developped yet. She's very shaply, well proportioned in all her body. Her hair is beautiful blond... The forehead beautiful, the face beautiful oval but a little too long, the eyebrow as thick as a blonde can have it... Her eyes are blue but not dull, and they play with a spark full of wit. Her nose is aquiline, a little sharp on the end. Her mouth is small, her lips are fleshy, espacially the lower lip, which is known as "the austrian lip". The sparkling whitheness of her skin is dazzling, and she's got natural color (on her cheeks) so that she doesn't need to use any blusher. Her bearing is the bearing of an archduchess..."

Quote

Other accounts put MA small for her age and underdeveloped, she was almost 15 years old but looked like 12. Her tutor Abbe Vermond hoped she'll grow taller and it was only
in late 1772 or 1773 that she became taller and fuller. Louis XV was very disappointed about her (almost non-existent) bosom when she arrived in 1770!  I find the statement "thin (but) very shapely" contradictory too.

Such a girl would'nt have been lovely enough for Ferdinand of Parma. Yeah right!

Like I said, MA was small and underdeveloped in 1769/1770. She was nowhere shapely ("voluptuous") and looked about 12 and was a bit untidy as well (she neglected her teeth and was not above wearing dirty clothes (or was it underwear). To each his own on this matter, that's fine.  :)  But I have my own reasons for believing otherwise based on what I know (facts) on Ferdinand's taste in women.  

The more funny in all that is (the future) Louis XVI's word, when he saw the Comtesse de Provence (Marie-Joséphine of Savoy), her young brother's wife. He said to Marie-Antoinette : "When I look at you and when I look at her, I must admit that I was really treated like the elder-brother!"

And in another moment, the Comte de Provence himself asked to the Dauphin his opinion about Marie-Joséphine's physical appearence.
He answered : "Not good! I wouldn't have wanted a woman like this!"
Provence said with bitterness : "I'm very happy for you to have received better than me..."

Of course, Marie Antoinette is definitely much better looking than the Comtesse de Provence.   As one member of this forum said, the archduchesses were considered goodlooking at that time although their beauty was also a bit exaggerated (the only one in my opinion was exceptionally lovely was Maria Elisabeth).
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on May 23, 2011, 06:08:24 AM
Sorry for the quite  messed up post above!

To add to the above, yes, it's true that being pleasing or charming sometimes counts more than being regularly beautiful. I don't find Catherine the Great a beauty at any point (but see how her ex-lover the King of Poland idealised her looks) and she herself said she was told she was ugly but that she pleased).
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: ivanushka on May 23, 2011, 10:28:56 AM
People said the same thing about Marie Adelaide of Savoy (mother of Louis XV).  When Louis XIV first met her he wrote to Madame de Maintenon saying that she wasn't pretty exactly but she had a quality that pleased much more.  Years ago I read a book on the Bourbons where the writer said a similar thing about Marie Antoinette.  I think the words were that "it was generally conceeded at Versailles that if not exactly pretty, Marie Antoinette was sublimely attractive".  As I remember the writer commented on her complexion, the elegant way in which she moved and most of all, her remarkable charm.  It's interesting that both these women were direct descendents of Mary Queen of Scots; another woman whose charm was said to be legendary.  In her biography of MQoS, Antonia Frazer discussed Mary's appearance and concluded that it wasn't so much a case of her being an outstandingly beautiful woman (though contemporaries certainly rated her a great beauty) as an outstandingly attractive one.  I think the same could be said of Marie Antoinette.  You can find fault with her features but the overall impression, combined with her personality, was dazzling. 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on May 27, 2011, 02:54:50 AM
As I remember the writer commented on her complexion, the elegant way in which she moved and most of all, her remarkable charm.

Again, not sure about her complexion - at least her facial complexion, which had smallpox scars. Perhaps it wasn't bad enough and with powder, it wasn't very noticeable.
 
I'm also unsure about her so-called remarkable charm. One had to remember that Marie Antoinette (even as Dauphine) had her own fair share of rages and tantrums.  When she was forced to receive Prince Maximilian of Zweibrucken in her parties, she didn't react very well and had tears of rage in her eyes. And that was just one of many incidents incident when she showed her bad temper. I'm sure she received those she liked and who she deemed on her side very well. As for the others....... well......

You can find fault with her features but the overall impression, combined with her personality, was dazzling.  
 
But Marie Antoinette's personality wasn't always pleasant.... that's why I'm hesitant to believe whatever (fawning) authors say when there's strong evidence otherwise. I think people just fawned over her (some of her contemporaries and writers) because she was Queen of the (supposedly) best (but in reality, fast crumbling) kingdom in Europe. I also think her death (which I wholly say she didn't deserve whatever her glaring faults were) contributed to people "idolising" her.  For example, one can read her "memoirs" by her nursemaid's son (a certain Weber) and certainly it was no objective work.

I think Marie Antoinette's attributes were exaggerated, much like Maria Carolina's and Maria Christina's. English authors tend to inflate Maria Carolina's attributes because she fought on the English side. I look at her portraits, for instance, but do not see a very beautiful woman like some authors claim.  Nor was she very intelligent and evidence points out that she was only a "copier" but not a real intellectual and couldn't even get rid of the hated Tanucci after 8 years on her own.

The same with Mimi, touted to be Maria Theresa's most intelligent and most talented daughter by a number of authors. However, evidence strongly suggest that it was Maria Anna who was the outstanding daughter. Even Joseph, who thought extremely high of himself, seemed to pale in comparison to Maria Anna.

Interestingly a forum member asked me much earlier if I thought MT's daughters were just too "idealised"...... my answer is a resounding "yes"! I think MT's children, especially the daughters, are very interesting yet indeed, "idealised".  What does the others think?    
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on May 27, 2011, 03:53:20 AM
You can find fault with her features but the overall impression, combined with her personality, was dazzling.  

The first 2 lines of my post above should have read....

But Marie Antoinette's personality wasn't always pleasant or even tempered.... do you mean that even if she's prone to bad temper, she was still "fascinating"?  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on May 28, 2011, 02:48:56 AM
An older and overweight Mimi, at the forefront during the bombing of Lille in 1792:

(scroll down to the bottom part of the page)

http://maria-antonia.justgoo.com/t243p45-marie-christine

Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on May 31, 2011, 04:10:30 AM
Letter by the prominent German writer Luise Gottsched on meeting Maria Theresa, Franz Stephan, and their children in 1749:

===================
Letter To Fräulein Thomasius, of Troschenreuth and Widersberg, at Nürnberg.

Vienna, 28 September, 1749.

MY ANGEL: First, embrace me. I believe all good things should be shared with one's friends. Hence must I tell you that never, in all my life, have I had such cause to be joyfully proud as on this day. You will guess at once, I know, that I have seen the Empress. Yes, I have seen her, the greatest among women. She who, in herself, is higher than her throne. I have not only seen her, but I have spoken with her. Not merely seen her, but talked with her three-quarters of an hour in her family circle. Forgive me if this letter is chaotic and my handwriting uneven. Both faults spring from the overwhelming joy I feel in the two delights of this day---the privilege of meeting the Empress and the pleasure of telling your Highness of the honor.

This morning we went at ten to the palace. We took our places where Baron Esterhazy, who procured us admission, told us to stand. He supposed, as we did, that we, with the hundreds of others who were waiting, might be permitted to see her Majesty as she passed through the apartment on her way to the Royal Chapel. After half an hour we had the happiness of seeing the three Princesses go by. They asked the Court-mistress who we were. Then, on being told our names, they turned and extended their hands for us to kiss. The eldest Princess is about ten years old. As I kissed her hand, she paid me a compliment. She said she had often heard me highly spoken of. I was pleased, of course, and very grateful for her remarkable condescension. Forgive me if this sounds proud. Worse is to follow. I cannot tell of the incredible favor of these exalted personages without seeming to be vain. But you well know that I am not vain.

About eleven o'clock, a man-servant, dressed in gorgeous livery, came and told us to follow him. He led us through a great many frescoed corridors and splendid rooms into a small apartment which was made even smaller by a Spanish screen placed across it. We were told to wait there. In a few moments, the Mistress of Ceremonies came. She was very gracious to us. In a little while, her Majesty entered followed by the three princesses. My husband and myself each sank upon the left knee and kissed the noblest, the most beautiful hand that has ever wielded a scepter. The Empress gently bade us rise. Her face and her gracious manner banished all the timidity and embarrassment we naturally felt in the presence of so exalted and beautiful a figure as hers. Our fear was changed to love and confidence. Her Majesty told my husband that she was afraid to speak German before the Master of that language. "Our Austrian dialect is very bad, they say," she added. To which my man answered that, fourteen years before, when he listened to her address at the opening of the Landtag, he had been struck by the beauty and purity of her German. She spoke, on that occasion, he said, like a goddess. Then the Empress laughed merrily, saying "It is lucky I was not aware of your presence or I should have been so frightened that I should have stopped short in my speech."

She asked me how it happened that became so learned a woman. I replied, "I wished to become worthy of the honor that has this day befallen me in meeting your Majesty. This will forever be a red-letter day in my life." Her Majesty said, "You are too modest. I well know that the most learned woman in Germany stands before me." My answer to that was "According to my opinion, the most learned woman, not of Germany only, but of all Europe, stands before me as Empress." Her Majesty shook her head. "Ah, no," she said, "my familiar acquaintance with that woman forces me to say you are mistaken."

Her husband, the Emperor Franz I, joined our group and chatted with us most affably. Some of the younger children were called in and properly reverenced. Then the Empress asked if we would like to see her remaining babies, upstairs. Of course, we were enchanted at the thought. Following the Mistress of Ceremonies, we went upstairs to the three little angels there, whom we found eating their breakfast under the care of the Countess Sarrau. After kissing the little, highborn hands, we were conducted through the private rooms of the palace, an honor not vouchsafed to one stranger out of a thousand. Finally we returned to the waiting room, where all congratulated us upon the unusual honor shown.

( source: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1749gottschen-mariatheresa.html )

===========

It seems that Maria Anna at age 10-11 was already widely read in German (certainly not the first language of their family), and seemingly aware of who the good writers are.

The three babies/ "little angels" mentioned are, of course, Charles, Maria Amalia, and Leopold.


Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: ivanushka on May 31, 2011, 03:55:03 PM
But Marie Antoinette's personality wasn't always pleasant or even tempered.... do you mean that even if she's prone to bad temper, she was still "fascinating"?  

I've no doubt that Marie Antoinette was far from perfect.  In fact the writer I quoted earlier did also describe her as being shallow and superficial.  In her defence, I do think the life she lead in France was often a very difficult one.  Much of the court would have viewed her with suspicion simply because she was Austrian and therefore perceived as an enemy.  All the blame for non consumation of the marriage was placed on her shoulders when really it was her husband to blame.  Her own new French family was not the easiest: the aunts seemed to have made trouble for her, particularly Adelaide and her two sisters in law, being real sisters, would probably have sided with each other against her whenever disputes arose.  She must often have felt very frustrated and this feeling can often lead to less than gracious behaviour towards those she perceived as hostile to her, together with an eagerness to cling to those who she believed were totally on her side such as Lamballe and Polignac.

That said, I do think Marie Antoinette possessed some sort of X factor or charisma; some quality that when she focused it on someone they were more often than not drawn to her.  Maybe I'm biased because she was one of the first historical figures I was ever interested in but I've read a lot of biographies of her over the years and even those that did not fawn over her commented on her charm and the extraordinary effect it could have on people
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 01, 2011, 09:56:49 AM
That said, I do think Marie Antoinette possessed some sort of X factor or charisma; some quality that when she focused it on someone they were more often than not drawn to her.  Maybe I'm biased because she was one of the first historical figures I was ever interested in but I've read a lot of biographies of her over the years and even those that did not fawn over her commented on her charm and the extraordinary effect it could have on people

Well, Maria Amalia, despite her very marked oddity and reportedly loss of good looks, still  drew people to her!  I wouldn't call it charm but more of fascination (of an unexplainable kind). But still... she was liked, especially by the masses and that was more or less, consistent throughout her stay in Parma.  I do understand what you're trying to say in this context and Marie Antoinette.

It's too bad Marie Antoinette (having a similar effect on people) didn't use it where it mattered most. I guess she wasn't as "outwardly" focused like her sister in Parma, being mainly concerned with herself and her situation and should I say her prejudices?

I guess we have a different experience on Marie Antoinette, because the more I read about her the more I get ( bit by bit) more dismayed by her choices. I do understand her situation in the early years but after her mother died (I have no doubt Maria Theresa's criticisms had that  effect on her) and she had children, I couldn't (for the life of me) make more excuses for her.  Unless one could say she was "permanently damaged" by her earlier experiences?  But she was loved by the masses at first, never mind the people at Versailles, had she kept it up (her popularity with them), perhaps she had a better ending!  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on June 02, 2011, 08:20:07 AM
I think in all this one shouldn't forget the celebrity factor - the genuine reverence for royalty at the time and the dazzle that could be cast over very ordinary actions simply by the possessor of that royal position.  Fanny Burney, a pretty shrewd observer, could become rather silly when describing the royal family she served, and indeed there are plenty to gush even today when there is so much less reverence.  Reading Luise Gottsched's letter I was struck not by the intelligence of Maria Anna of which this is hardly a stunning example, but by the sincere and deep appreciation from Gottsched of a polite but bland remark from a ten year old (who actually didn't say she had read any of her writing, by the way - it's not clear why it demonstrates Maria Anna was widely read in German).  Unbiased observers seem hard to find.  In many ways their reactions seem less to do with the persons they are describing, and more to do with the observers own feelings, e.g. Gottsched's feeling of achievement at having gained the notice of the greatest patroness in the land.  Everything connected with the meeting with the royal family had a golden glow for her.  I wonder whether the question of the beauty or otherwise of Marie Antoinette and her sisters in their youth is simply impossible to disentangle from that royalty dazzle in the eyes of their beholders.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 03, 2011, 12:21:37 AM
I think in all this one shouldn't forget the celebrity factor - the genuine reverence for royalty at the time and the dazzle that could be cast over very ordinary actions simply by the possessor of that royal position.  Fanny Burney, a pretty shrewd observer, could become rather silly when describing the royal family she served, and indeed there are plenty to gush even today when there is so much less reverence.

You're right CountessKate. That is why I have serious reservations on the some of the (supposed) attributes of Maria Theresa's daughters.

Reading Luise Gottsched's letter I was struck not by the intelligence of Maria Anna of which this is hardly a stunning example, but by the sincere and deep appreciation from Gottsched of a polite but bland remark from a ten year old (who actually didn't say she had read any of her writing, by the way - it's not clear why it demonstrates Maria Anna was widely read in German). 

Certainly nothing Luise Gottsched wrote about indicates Maria Anna was widely read in German, that was my "fault". I mixed up my remark with another source I read before.

I wonder whether the question of the beauty or otherwise of Marie Antoinette and her sisters in their youth is simply impossible to disentangle from that royalty dazzle in the eyes of their beholders.

Well, all we have are portraits (which could be flatter to an unrecognizable degree from the actual appearance of the sitter)  and the remarks of contemporaries. I guess in this respect only Maria Elisabeth, who was universally praised for being unusually beautiful and who was extremely vain (and indication that people indeed were dazzled by her beauty, something that she took pride in), could be safely classified as the beauty.

However, Maria Theresa and Franz Stephan were both good-looking, some of their children could be (safely) classified as attractive. Not all though..... Maria Anna was never praised as such (and indeed she herself wrote that she felt loved in Klangenfurt, where beauty didn't matter), Maria Carolina's features (even as a young lady) strike me as rather hard and angular (the one by Mengs seem to be the pretty and "soft" but then I'm not familiar with his work). Even looking at Marie Antoniette's last portraits in Vienna do not convince me of their likeness to the 14-year old Antoine, who was described as small and undeveloped like a 12 year old, whereas by portrait by Ducreaux in 1769 depict a lady looking older (and more developed) than 14. Same with the portrait of her playing the harpsichord.   

Maximilian was described as rather "ugly" even as a young man. Leopold's early portraits, if they're to be of any indication,  also do not depict a very handsome young man.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 03, 2011, 02:04:52 AM
Has anyone read about Maria Theresa's last days, specifically when she was dying?

According to Sir Nathaniel William Wraxall, he had it from "reliable sources" at Maria Theresa, at her deathbed, refused to give her blessing to Maria Amalia despite the earnest entreaties of Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth.....

It does not seem to follow the logic that just few weeks before her death, they appeared to be in rather good terms so that Maria Theresa was (still) contemplating to let Maria Amalia visit Vienna (a project that was certainly brought up from time) but Joseph strongly objected to it....
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on June 03, 2011, 06:19:44 AM
Has anyone read about Maria Theresa's last days, specifically when she was dying?

According to Sir Nathaniel William Wraxall, he had it from "reliable sources" at Maria Theresa, at her deathbed, refused to give her blessing to Maria Amalia despite the earnest entreaties of Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth.....

It does not seem to follow the logic that just few weeks before her death, they appeared to be in rather good terms so that Maria Theresa was (still) contemplating to let Maria Amalia visit Vienna (a project that was certainly brought up from time) but Joseph strongly objected to it....

Derek Beales describes the deathbed of Maria Theresa in some detail, and there is certainly no indication that she made anything other than an exemplary end for a christian empress, thanking the children who were present for their love and commending them to the care of Joseph and generally behaving in the spiritual manner considered appropriate at the time.  It seems very unlikely that a woman so conservative in morality and religion and so genuinely free from hypocrisy would have behaved in so unchristian a manner as to pointedly exclude one of her children from her blessing after she had received extreme unction, and therefore prepare to meet her maker in a very unfit state of grace. 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 03, 2011, 09:41:55 AM
Derek Beales describes the deathbed of Maria Theresa in some detail, and there is certainly no indication that she made anything other than an exemplary end for a christian empress, thanking the children who were present for their love and commending them to the care of Joseph and generally behaving in the spiritual manner considered appropriate at the time.  It seems very unlikely that a woman so conservative in morality and religion and so genuinely free from hypocrisy would have behaved in so unchristian a manner as to pointedly exclude one of her children from her blessing after she had received extreme unction, and therefore prepare to meet her maker in a very unfit state of grace.  

Thanks! What you wrote makes perfect sense and more logical, since there's evidence that  Maria Amalia and Maria Theresa's relationship was better at that point. I also think that MT would not have much to complain about Maria Amalia's "antics" in Parma at that point (except perhaps the fact that her menage never "returned to reason" as MT put it earlier in a letter to Archduchess Maria Beatrix, at least by MT's standards). By then, there were no more squabbles with France and (apparently) Spain.  

I was not very sure if I can 100% believe such a claim (and not because I like Maria Amalia) because Sir Nathaniel William Wraxall doesn't seem to be such an important personage at the Viennese court to know such things. Besides, he alluded that it was due to Maria Amalia "committing the greatest irregularities". What greatest irregularities, at least at that point? I think MT would've at least been a bit relieved that Maria Amalia wasn't so "controversial" anymore. I think she had more to worry about, i.e. Joseph and Marie Antoinette.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on June 03, 2011, 02:02:09 PM
It sounds like Wraxall might have picked up the sort of gossip which, as you say prinzheinegirl, came from circles not very close to the imperial family - behind the times and sensationalist.  The quarrels between Maria Amalia and Maria Theresa would have been known about, but not necessarily that there had been a reconciliation, and the fact of Maria Amalia not being allowed to visit Vienna (as much due to Joseph as to Maria Theresa) might have suggested to the ill-informed that the quarrel still continued.  Wraxall no doubt drank all the juicy titbits in, and wasn't sufficiently in the swim to distinguish fact from fiction. 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 04, 2011, 05:42:59 AM
You're right.  Thinking about it, only family members and very close ladies-in-waiting were allowed at Maria Theresa's deathbed if I recall it right. Unless the source was Mimi, the tale bearer?  Nothing in Maria Amalia's (known) correspondence suggest that she was distressed that her mother withheld her blessing and supposedly still angry with her; surely Maria Anna and/or Maria Elisabeth, who were close to her, at least hinted at such if it were true.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on June 04, 2011, 06:22:26 AM
You're right.  Thinking about it, only family members and very close ladies-in-waiting were allowed at Maria Theresa's deathbed if I recall it right. Unless the source was Mimi, the tale bearer?  Nothing in Maria Amalia's (known) correspondence suggest that she was distressed that her mother withheld her blessing and supposedly still angry with her; surely Maria Anna and/or Maria Elisabeth, who were close to her, at least hinted at such if it were true.

I don't recall that Maria Christina was a talebearer in the sense that she was a gossip, and I cannot think under what circumstances she or indeed any of her siblings would make remarks about their mother's last days which seem actively malicious.  To have received the last sacraments and yet die unreconciled to a child would show the empress to have been in peril of her immortal soul and have made an unchristian and improper death.  Given that the empress during her last weeks took communion in public and showed herself to the court to be acting with the dignity and propriety expected of her at the time, it seems extraordinary that she would pursue a family quarrel in a petty way such as withholding her blessing to a child when at the point of meeting her maker.  And in the highly unlikely event that she did, I hardly think her children would have allowed the fact to have come out, as it would cast aspersions on the whole dynasty.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 04, 2011, 09:52:26 AM
I don't recall that Maria Christina was a talebearer in the sense that she was a gossip, and I cannot think under what circumstances she or indeed any of her siblings would make remarks about their mother's last days which seem actively malicious.  To have received the last sacraments and yet die unreconciled to a child would show the empress to have been in peril of her immortal soul and have made an unchristian and improper death.  Given that the empress during her last weeks took communion in public and showed herself to the court to be acting with the dignity and propriety expected of her at the time, it seems extraordinary that she would pursue a family quarrel in a petty way such as withholding her blessing to a child when at the point of meeting her maker.  And in the highly unlikely event that she did, I hardly think her children would have allowed the fact to have come out, as it would cast aspersions on the whole dynasty.

I agree.

I'll see if I can look up the names of Maria Theresa's ladies-in-waiting at that time. What quarrel would they have with Maria Amalia, if ever,  to leak such a thing if it were true? It's highly unlikely Maria Amalia was quarreling with them, at any rate. I'm sure Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth would not let outsiders know, they loved Maria Amalia at any rate and likely wanted to protect her (and their mother as well). Joseph didn't like Maria Amalia but it's not a given he would say such a thing. Maximilian seemed to get along well with Maria Amalia. Maria Amalia said Mimi didn't love her, but like in Joseph's case, it's not a given she would say such a thing either, even if she didn't love her sister. Was Duke Albert of Saxe-Teschen also present? But I cannot comment about him (since I know or read little of him at this point).
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on June 04, 2011, 04:02:53 PM
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Was Duke Albert of Saxe-Teschen also present?

The members of Maria Theresa's family who were present at her actual death were Joseph, Max Franz and Albert.   Marie Christine, Elisabeth and Marianne were present during her last weeks of life and had breakfast with her and the other three on the morning of her death (she died at about nine in the evening of the 29th November).  Beales notes that Marianne wrote an account of her death as did Albert in his memoires, and there is another account by Joseph's mistress/friend, Princess Leopoldine of Liechtenstein who presumably had the information from Joseph.  In her last year, 1780, the one she seemed most at odds with was Joseph, but she was very loving towards him in her final days and he was obviously very moved at 'her courage, resignation, steadfastness and patience'.  It would seem strange if she could be so loving towards Joseph, about whom she had recently shared many anxieties with her minister Kaunitz, and been intransigent about his sister, whose 'irregularities' were surely not of very recent date, since their 'reconciliation' (admittedly not very enthusiastic) occurred with the birth of Maria Amalia's first son, Louis, in 1773. 

Beales quotes from one of these accounts of her death (unspecified) that Maria Theresa 'was already losing her memory, and she spoke to him [Joseph], contrary to her usual practice, in French'.  One thought that occurs is that in her somewhat confused state at the end Maria Theresa may simply have not specifically blessed Maria Amalia, or lumped her in with some general remarks about her children who not present, which was interpreted in the least charitable light as an intentional omission. 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 05, 2011, 03:41:14 AM

The members of Maria Theresa's family who were present at her actual death were Joseph, Max Franz and Albert.   Marie Christine, Elisabeth and Marianne were present during her last weeks of life and had breakfast with her and the other three on the morning of her death (she died at about nine in the evening of the 29th November).  Beales notes that Marianne wrote an account of her death as did Albert in his memoires, and there is another account by Joseph's mistress/friend, Princess Leopoldine of Liechtenstein who presumably had the information from Joseph.

Thank you again. I'll try to look up Marianne's, Albert's, and Princess Leopoldine of Liechtenstein's accounts of Maria Theresa's last day/death.



In her last year, 1780, the one she seemed most at odds with was Joseph, but she was very loving towards him in her final days and he was obviously very moved at 'her courage, resignation, steadfastness and patience'.  It would seem strange if she could be so loving towards Joseph, about whom she had recently shared many anxieties with her minister Kaunitz, and been intransigent about his sister, whose 'irregularities' were surely not of very recent date, since their 'reconciliation' (admittedly not very enthusiastic) occurred with the birth of Maria Amalia's first son, Louis, in 1773.  


Indeed, Maria Amalia's 'irregularities' happened years ago. It doesn't really make much sense.  Maria Amalia's own correspondence with her friends touch on her mother from time to time, which strongly suggest they kept in touch and were on relatively good terms.

I haven't read much about their reconciliation, I'm curious why was it "not very enthusiastic"?  On Maria Theresa's part or her daughter? Both?
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on June 05, 2011, 11:25:54 AM
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Indeed, Maria Amalia's 'irregularities' happened years ago. It doesn't really make much sense.  Maria Amalia's own correspondence with her friends touch on her mother from time to time, which strongly suggest they kept in touch and were on relatively good terms.

I haven't read much about their reconciliation, I'm curious why was it "not very enthusiastic"?  On Maria Theresa's part or her daughter? Both?

I was thinking about Maria Theresa more particularly.  In Leopold's admittedly rather bitter notes of 1778-1779 on his family, not long before Maria Theresa died, he wrote that she "is especially angry with Parma, wants to hear nothing more about it, and mingles no longer wither directly or indirectly in its business."  However, Maria Amalia was one of the few who didn't seem to mind being on bad terms with her mother, and as far as I am aware was not the one who broke down and sought a reconciliation, so it doesn't appear from either side that they were on especially fond terms, though the decencies were observed.   
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 05, 2011, 10:15:19 PM
I was thinking about Maria Theresa more particularly.  In Leopold's admittedly rather bitter notes of 1778-1779 on his family, not long before Maria Theresa died, he wrote that she "is especially angry with Parma, wants to hear nothing more about it, and mingles no longer wither directly or indirectly in its business."  However, Maria Amalia was one of the few who didn't seem to mind being on bad terms with her mother, and as far as I am aware was not the one who broke down and sought a reconciliation, so it doesn't appear from either side that they were on especially fond terms, though the decencies were observed.  

Thanks for this. I've read that bit about Maria Theresa being particularly angry with Parma, but didn't know it was from Leopold. I also think it was Maria Theresa who wasn't particularly enthusiastic about their reconciliation.  I'm not saying MT didn't love her daughter but it seems she was angry one, not Maria Amalia. It's really puzzling, what would MT be so angry about?  Maria Amalia's (irrational) menage? But she was not alone who decided on it, it was a mutual decision by her and Ferdinand.  In other words, a decision by the spouses themselves, nothing MT can control or have a say on.  Maria Amalia losing interest in politics? But MT was so adamant that her daughter should only please her husband and not get involved in matters of state.  By that time (1778-79), she was mainly into her country pursuits and traveling. Nothing so irregular or controversial.  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on June 06, 2011, 07:17:50 AM
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It's really puzzling, what would MT be so angry about?  Maria Amalia's (irrational) menage? But she was not alone who decided on it, it was a mutual decision by her and Ferdinand.  In other words, a decision by the spouses themselves, nothing MT can control or have a say on.  Maria Amalia losing interest in politics? But MT was so adamant that her daughter should only please her husband and not get involved in matters of state.  By that time (1778-79), she was mainly into her country pursuits and traveling. Nothing so irregular or controversial.   

Maria Theresa's chief object in establishing her daughters in foreign courts was to provide a behind-the-scenes influence in favour of Austria.  Since Maria Amalia continually refused to use her political influence - far too upfront for Maria Theresa's comfort - for any other object than her own purposes (one can argue whether or not they were intended to benefit Parma, but at any event they were certainly not intended to benefit Austria), it would be a constant nagging thorn in Maria Theresa's side that in this small duchy her daughter continued to ignore any attempts to advise her.  However much her other children may have wished to free themselves from her influence, or however they covertly went against her wishes, it was all done with outward respect and they seemed genuinely to wish to stand well with her.  This never seemed to be the case with Maria Amalia once she started to take political power in Parma.  Whether or not Maria Amalia had actually given up politics for a country life and travel, she did not submit in any further way to her mother and clearly, any views Maria Theresa may have had concerning Parma's political directions were ignored by Maria Amalia and by Ferdinand.  It wouldn't take a particular event for Maria Theresa to continue to feel continually provoked and annoyed with the situation in Parma and her conspicuous lack of influence there.  In contrast with the other married daughters, both Maria Carolina and Marie Antoinette were respectful to their mother and Maria Carolina certainly pursued a pro-Austrian political policy, and there was certainly no question of Maria Christina's loyalty to Maria Theresa - so Maria Amalia's postition would continue to stand out from the others.   
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 07, 2011, 05:36:37 AM
Maria Theresa's chief object in establishing her daughters in foreign courts was to provide a behind-the-scenes influence in favour of Austria.  Since Maria Amalia continually refused to use her political influence - far too upfront for Maria Theresa's comfort - for any other object than her own purposes (one can argue whether or not they were intended to benefit Parma, but at any event they were certainly not intended to benefit Austria), it would be a constant nagging thorn in Maria Theresa's side that in this small duchy her daughter continued to ignore any attempts to advise her.   

Yes, Maria Theresa wanted her daughters to influence their (adopted) courts although outwardly she scolded her daughters and wrote, in Maria Amalia's case, that her only role was to please her husband. As for  Maria Amalia using her  political influence, I think it was both ways: both for what she (personally) wanted and what the people wanted. She knew the power/importance of public opinion and demonstrated that she was willing to court it. Certainly, she also didn't lose her influence on her husband, personal or political-wise. Ferdinand could be annoyed with her (and with her vagaries, who wouldn't?) but it was never a permanent anger, and his ministers certainly knew where she stood (Ferdinand never denied her anything and instructed his ministers to fulfill whatever it was she wanted).

However much her other children may have wished to free themselves from her influence, or however they covertly went against her wishes, it was all done with outward respect and they seemed genuinely to wish to stand well with her.  This never seemed to be the case with Maria Amalia once she started to take political power in Parma.  Whether or not Maria Amalia had actually given up politics for a country life and travel, she did not submit in any further way to her mother and clearly, any views Maria Theresa may have had concerning Parma's political directions were ignored by Maria Amalia and by Ferdinand.  It wouldn't take a particular event for Maria Theresa to continue to feel continually provoked and annoyed with the situation in Parma and her conspicuous lack of influence there.  In contrast with the other married daughters, both Maria Carolina and Marie Antoinette were respectful to their mother and Maria Carolina certainly pursued a pro-Austrian political policy, and there was certainly no question of Maria Christina's loyalty to Maria Theresa - so Maria Amalia's postition would continue to stand out from the others.   

I get your point...Maria Theresa would've perceived Maria Amalia's disinterest in politics later on as not doing her duty, never mind if the 'irregularities' lessened or were totally banished.

I think  there's proof that Maria Amalia showed her respect to her mother but in a very different way from her sisters, i.e. Maria Carolina and Marie Antoinette.  Now, as to how this respect was "lost in translation" or not reported to her  for there's no proof that she ever gave up her spies in Parma (unless the only respect that Maria Theresa counted was total obedience to her), I cannot say for now.

I also think that Maria Amalia's refusal or disinterest in doing what MT wanted benefited her (Maria Amalia). Unlike Marie Antoinette or Maria Carolina, she was not  perceived as working against her (adopted) people.  It's very telling that even though she wasn't as active in politics later on, she kept her people's affections.   
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on June 07, 2011, 09:52:46 AM
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I think  there's proof that Maria Amalia showed her respect to her mother but in a very different way from her sisters, i.e. Maria Carolina and Marie Antoinette.  Now, as to how this respect was "lost in translation" or not reported to her  for there's no proof that she ever gave up her spies in Parma (unless the only respect that Maria Theresa counted was total obedience to her), I cannot say for now.

I'm not sure Maria Theresa would have been able to perceive any difference between what I think you're suggesting, a sort of outward disrespect and inward, or personal, respect.  If Maria Amalia did respect her mother in terms of her abilities and just the fact that she was her parent, I'm not sure it would have made Maria Theresa any happier since she considered any form of rebellion in a very severe light and outward disregard of her wishes could not be mitigated by personal respect.  When one thinks of other sovereigns, complete submission was demanded from their children and George III, Catherine the Great, Louis XV, Carlos III - all Maria Theresa's contemporaries - were no different in demanding what they considered the proper respect due from their children, though not all got it.  But Maria Amalia was very different in her outward attitude compared to other daughters of sovereigns and her siblings and it is clear that Maria Theresa greatly resented it.

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I also think that Maria Amalia's refusal or disinterest in doing what MT wanted benefited her (Maria Amalia). Unlike Marie Antoinette or Maria Carolina, she was not  perceived as working against her (adopted) people.  It's very telling that even though she wasn't as active in politics later on, she kept her people's affections.

Very true!
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: ivanushka on June 07, 2011, 11:21:28 AM
I'm not sure it would have made Maria Theresa any happier since she considered any form of rebellion in a very severe light and outward disregard of her wishes could not be mitigated by personal respect. 

That's why I've always had a lot of sympathy for Amalia, Caroline and Antoinette.  It's one thing to follow her wishes to the letter when living in Vienna, but once they were married, living in other countries and subject to the will of their husband and, indirectly, to the wishes or needs of their new subjects, such a policy of submission to the wishes of a parent becomes totally impractical.  I think Amalia could have been a little more diplomatic in her dealings with her mother but ultimately she was just doing what she had to do to establish herself in her new home.  I think that Maria Theresa was in many ways a very admirable woman and I've no doubt she loved her children but she never seemed to fully understand the often difficult positions her married daughters found themselves in. 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 08, 2011, 01:58:51 AM

I'm not sure Maria Theresa would have been able to perceive any difference between what I think you're suggesting, a sort of outward disrespect and inward, or personal, respect.  If Maria Amalia did respect her mother in terms of her abilities and just the fact that she was her parent, I'm not sure it would have made Maria Theresa any happier since she considered any form of rebellion in a very severe light and outward disregard of her wishes could not be mitigated by personal respect.  When one thinks of other sovereigns, complete submission was demanded from their children and George III, Catherine the Great, Louis XV, Carlos III - all Maria Theresa's contemporaries - were no different in demanding what they considered the proper respect due from their children, though not all got it.  But Maria Amalia was very different in her outward attitude compared to other daughters of sovereigns and her siblings and it is clear that Maria Theresa greatly resented it.


Maria Amalia showed her mother outward (as well as personal/inward) respect (that is, other than obeying her). But you're right in your assessment that Maria Theresa wouldn't have been happier with it. From what I've read of Maria Theresa, based on her character and the times, she brooked no contradictions. She wasn't also a genius, lacking a "sixth sense" - although she displayed common sense and had her fair share of good judgments as well - she didn't seem to understand "subtleties", that is the ability of drawing distinctions. Maria Amalia certainly knew how to draw distinctions and with her stubbornness, it's not surprising she appeared to be disrespecting her mother....
 

That's why I've always had a lot of sympathy for Amalia, Caroline and Antoinette.  It's one thing to follow her wishes to the letter when living in Vienna, but once they were married, living in other countries and subject to the will of their husband and, indirectly, to the wishes or needs of their new subjects, such a policy of submission to the wishes of a parent becomes totally impractical.  I think Amalia could have been a little more diplomatic in her dealings with her mother but ultimately she was just doing what she had to do to establish herself in her new home.  I think that Maria Theresa was in many ways a very admirable woman and I've no doubt she loved her children but she never seemed to fully understand the often difficult positions her married daughters found themselves in.  


I agree that Maria Amalia could've behaved more diplomatically but it seems that in this case, she was likely convinced that what she was doing was good for her in the long run? Of course, that's only my guess at this point since I have yet to read the reason(s) for her "disobedience" once in Parma (the Karl of Zweibrucken connection is not likely since she didn't pine for him and had clearly moved on).  Maria Amalia had a very good "public radar", she also knew how to use it well!  It wasn't as if she didn't love her mother and while there's love, there's also respect. Had Maria Theresa lived long enough into the late 1780s/early 1790s, perhaps she would've understood that it wasn't such a bad thing (not doing what she wanted all the time as well as working for Austrian interests--whether perceived or actual), judging from what happened in the end to both Marie Antoinette and Maria Carolina.  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on June 08, 2011, 05:08:03 AM
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Had Maria Theresa lived long enough into the late 1780s/early 1790s, perhaps she would've understood that it wasn't such a bad thing (not doing what she wanted all the time as well as working for Austrian interests--whether perceived or actual), judging from what happened in the end to both Marie Antoinette and Maria Carolina. 

Given that almost every historian and biographer of Maria Theresa up to the present day has gone along with her view of Maria Amalia as practically deranged because of her self-willed opposition to her mother, I think it unlikely that Maria Theresa herself would have changed her views with regard to this particular daughter.  After all, Marie Antoinette was more obviously dutiful but Maria Theresa knew quite well her daughter lied to her about her extravagance and promotion of friends, which she greatly disapproved of, and she obviously had deep concerns about her future.  And Maria Carolina was in the end exiled from Naples because her allies put pressure on her husband to do this - and he wasn't sufficiently interested enough to stand up for her.  He was quite happy to let the Austrians dictate his policies after she was gone, though, so looking at it from Maria Theresa's often-expressed point of view, Maria Carolina would have brought her problems on herself by not being sufficiently deferential to her husband and keeping him happy - but Austrian interests would have been served.  And it's not as if Parma was able to stand up to Napoleon and keep going on its own - and Maria Amalia ended as an exile as well.  I feel that if Maria Theresa had lived to see her daughters' fates, she may well have felt that if they'd only done what she'd told them, they might have averted many of their disasters. 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 08, 2011, 05:40:11 AM
Given that almost every historian and biographer of Maria Theresa up to the present day has gone along with her view of Maria Amalia as practically deranged because of her self-willed opposition to her mother, I think it unlikely that Maria Theresa herself would have changed her views with regard to this particular daughter.  

I think at the very least, if she was unbiased, she would've acknowledged that her daughter did one thing right, Maria Amalia knew how to keep her people's affections. Indeed,  Parma couldn't cope with the French invasion (only because it lacked the manpower to do so), but both Ferdinand and Maria Amalia were loved by their people. It was only the French that "ruined" their rule. Had the French Revolution been nipped in the bud, no French invasion of Italy. In all likelihood both Ferdinand and Parma would've been left in peace and could not have been poisoned (as Ferdinand was suspected to be) and in Maria Amalia's case, exiled. Parma had a lot of rebels after 1802 and that clearly showed the people identified with their sovereigns after both were lost to them.  

Like you, I kind of doubt that MT would acknowledge such, for she was such a biased person....  because she didn't seem to like Maria Amalia much (just like she seem didnt like her other daughter Maria Anna). If she never mentioned Maria Anna's qualities (considerable talents and high intelligence) but only the latter's illnesses, there's a strong likelihood that she would not also acknowledge whatever Maria Amalia did right!

My main issue with Maria Theresa's biographers (and indeed most authors who had written about  Maria Amalia in passing, say, at a biography of Marie Antoinette or Maria Carolina) is that they didn't bother to cover the real details of Maria Amalia's life in Parma. Their details/information on her were also sorely lacking, not only in substance, but in quantity (most of them only cover up to Du Tillot and De Llano and the reconciliation but Maria Amalia was in Parma for 33 years, and up to 1773 was only 4 years). Some are just plain lies or mere inferences.  Hopefully, that will be changed a few years from now.  :)  Not that she was perfect, far from it, but she did much better than people supposed and indeed, most of her siblings. Yes, I have read at certain forums that Maria Amalia went "insane" or similar, it's funny that people picked up such notions from such biased (or should I say irresponsible? in the sense that they didn't bother to research well enough)  authors!

After all, Marie Antoinette was more obviously dutiful but Maria Theresa knew quite well her daughter lied to her about her extravagance and promotion of friends, which she greatly disapproved of, and she obviously had deep concerns about her future.  And Maria Carolina was in the end exiled from Naples because her allies put pressure on her husband to do this - and he wasn't sufficiently interested enough to stand up for her.  He was quite happy to let the Austrians dictate his policies after she was gone, though, so looking at it from Maria Theresa's often-expressed point of view, Maria Carolina would have brought her problems on herself by not being sufficiently deferential to her husband and keeping him happy - but Austrian interests would have been served.  And it's not as if Parma was able to stand up to Napoleon and keep going on its own - and Maria Amalia ended as an exile as well.  I feel that if Maria Theresa had lived to see her daughters' fates, she may well have felt that if they'd only done what she'd told them, they might have averted many of their disasters.  

I agree in case of Marie Antoinette. Although particular pieces of her advice were quite self-serving, Maria Theresa was right about warning MA about being extravagant and interfering in court appointments and patronages, etc. (something which MA didn't know anything about but dabbled nevertheless to satisfy her "vanity" of being "powerful").  I haven't read much about her advice to Maria Carolina but as she preached submission/pleasing her husband to Maria Amalia, I guess she had done the same with MC. I also agree with what you wrote about MT wanting MC to be sufficiently deferential to Ferdinand.  But she was likely also to be worried to a considerable degree about MC's low popularity with the Neapolitans, and indeed that was one of the reasons why the Jacobins were able to take control of Naples... something that never happened to Parma (there were Jacobins there but were largely ignored by the people when they portrayed Maria Amalia - prominently proclaimed as the sister of the "infamous" Marie Antoinette of France and therefore cut from the same cloth - as a Messalina).  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 14, 2011, 11:07:12 PM
Some financial information on the family:

Last will of Franz Stephan (on the establishment of the Family Fund):

"What We hereby reserve to Ourselves is, as mentioned in the preceding, the right to dispose freely of such funds as We determine to dedicate to the better support and maintenance in a manner appropriate to their station of Our children and issue. (...) And likewise We transfer to this fund the maintenance of Our family; thus it shall in future no more be a burden on the State other than in those cases where this is customary for the sake of a dowry or the fitting out of Our House."

Franz Stephan left a private fortune of 18,000,000 guldens in 1765 (aside from 2,000,000 florins in Tuscany). It would've been worth approximately £3,860,000,000 today.  I've also read that part of the money, as agreed by Maria Theresa and Joseph II, was used to lower state debt and to pay for the establishment of the remaining archdukes and archduchesses (dowries, other wedding expenses, etc.). So I wonder why Marie Antoinette's dowry was not paid then? Louis XVIII wrote Emperor Franz I/II much later on that since that was the case, the dowry should be paid directly to MA's daughter, Marie-Therese-Charlotte of France, who was set to get married herself.  

Maria Theresa's annual allocation from the state was 150,000 guldens paid for by the Privy Chamber Payments Office. Plus another 8,000 paid every first of the month and 4,000 paid every e 15th of the month as well. That would be 294,000 guldens a year for her private expenses. Prince Charles of Lorraine had an annual allowance of 150,000, the highest allocation after Maria Theresa.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 14, 2011, 11:32:31 PM
I came across some information on the 4 eldest daughters of Maria Theresia and Franz Stephan, especially on  Maria Elisabeth (1737-40) and Maria Carolina (1740-41), who died early....

==========


Maria Elisabeth  was a cheerful and lively girl, the joy of her grandfather Emperor Charles VI.  He liked playing with his "Spring Waltz". When the family was in Laxenburg on the 7th June 1740, Maria Elisabeth suddenly started to  vomit. Throughout the day, stomach cramps and vomiting alternated.

On the same evening at nine clock, Maria Elisabeth, aged 3,  died  in the arms of her father Franz Stephan. He wrote about the death of his daughter: "At eight clock, they called me and handed me a note from the doctor, from which I took, 'It is time that you come to carry away your wife, because the child will not live long'. A little confused I went away and when I arrived, my wife was quite dissolved in tears. I took her by the hand and led her to her apartments. Then I went back to the patient. She fell back and died in my arms."

========

Maria Anna was the second child of Maria Theresa.  She was later called "Marianna" or "Mariandl". Little is known about her first two years of life. When her brother Joseph on 13 March 1741 came to the world, her older sister Maria Elizabeth and her younger sister Maria Carolina, already passed away. From then on it was all about the long-awaited successor to the throne. Marianna was hardly noticed. There were only two great performances that they put the child in the immediate center of attention. These were the two coronations of Maria Theresia as Queen of Hungary in 1741 and Queen of Bohemia in 1743.

In the two subsequent years by two other highly successful competitors for her mother's affections: Maria Christina (Mimi) and Maria Elizabeth (Liesl). Marianna had a soft body and a nice hands, but her face was soon hard and angular. She saw herself as very similar to her  father, who was generally described as good-looking man.

She was versatile (multi-talented), her dancing was also to above-average in skill. In the studies, she was eager and more focused than most of their siblings. Particularly striking was her phenomenal memory .

In the ever-growing crowd of children, there were rivalries and taunts. Their prime target was Marianna. In the competition for the love of their mother Marianna always drew short.   Joseph had a special position because he was the heir, but also against Mimi and Liesl Marianna she wasn't loved as much. Liesl was indeed flirtatious and superficial, but so (unearthly/superlatively?) beautiful that everyone was fascinated by her.

Mimi's appearance was not so overwhelming, but it was cute and cuddly, and endowed with feminine wiles. The mother was so besotted with her, that Mimi virtually got away with anything, what with the others were strictly prohibited.

Marianna from the third year of her life -  after the birth of his brother Joseph - what the  Viennese called an "invalid"" onwards. There was no winter without coughing. Maria Theresa hardly mentioned her advantages/talents in her correspondence, but always her physical ailments.

========

On 12th January 1740 , just five days after the death of the eldest child Maria Elisabeth, Maria Theresa brought her third child, Maria Carolina, into the world. But this child's life was not long. At 12 months old, her little Highness suddenly and unexpectedly (on 24 January 1741) had an illness. About noon the following day, Maria Carolina died. During the autopsy of the corpse, there was none found either in the head or something within the body, which can cause a sudden death. In her stomach, there was only a little nurse's milk.

The cause: Lack of vitamin D

As children's seizures or convulsions were referred to then cramping (convulsive) seizures in children. It is an overexcitability of the nervous system caused by the disturbance of calcium and phosphorus metabolism due to a lack of vitamin D.

The other siblings had better luck.

The small children in that time were always wrapped securely and protected from light and sun as possible, suffered a lot because of this  deficiency. In the following years, three more children suffered from convulsions. Favorite daughter, Maria Christina, got the disease - also accompanied by fever - at the age of seven. Archduke Ferdinand became ill in May 1755 in the age of one year, but survived the convulsions rapidly. Months later, it hit eight-year Leopold. They wrote his complaints, however, a repletion, that plethora, and overloading of the stomach. He also got lucky. The symptoms disappeared after a few days.

=========

On the anniversary of their mother, 13 May 1742,  Maria Christina, known as Mimi, was born. Within the family, she was noted for her beauty and intelligence.

Like all children of Maria Theresa,  Mimi was brought up very religiously. Daily morning and evening prayers had Mimi kneeling, confession and communion were prescribed at least once a month and fasting was strictly adhered to. Also, learning  languages was important for the children. In Italian and French Marie Christine made great progress. In music, Mimi showed no special talent, but she had talent for drawing and painting.

From childhood, Marie Christine gained the full affection of their mother. It was criticized by Maria Theresia much less harshly and (less) insultingly than her siblings: "... I'm quite happy with your letters, but your spelling is too flighty. It must be uniform and not be in a hurry in writing, you (have) to look how the beginning is very different from the end. "

At 18, Marie Christine got her own household under the direction of the High Steward, Count Losy Losynthal. About this time began her enthusiastic  friendship with Isabella of Parma, the first wife of Joseph.

Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 15, 2011, 04:26:32 AM
Sorry, the post above on the non-payment (?) of Marie Antoinette's dowry should be:  Louis XVIII reminded Emperor Franz I/II that since Marie Antoinette's dowry hasn't been paid  back to France, the amount should go to directly to (her daughter) Marie-Therese-Charlotte, who was in Vienna....Franz was incensed at such a reminder, and said Marie-Therese was being treated properly, like the princess that she was, like the archduchesses (his sisters).... Why should MA's dowry be paid back to France?
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on June 15, 2011, 09:45:41 AM
Sorry, the post above on the non-payment (?) of Marie Antoinette's dowry should be:  Louis XVIII reminded Emperor Franz I/II that since Marie Antoinette's dowry hasn't been paid  back to France, the amount should go to directly to (her daughter) Marie-Therese-Charlotte, who was in Vienna....Franz was incensed at such a reminder, and said Marie-Therese was being treated properly, like the princess that she was, like the archduchesses (his sisters).... Why should MA's dowry be paid back to France?

There is an extract from Ernest Daudet's book ' Madame Royale, daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette: her youth and marriage' (http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/ernest-daudet/madame-royale-daughter-of-louis-xvi-and-marie-antoinette-her-youth-and-marriag-hci/page-13-madame-royale-daughter-of-louis-xvi-and-marie-antoinette-her-youth-and-marriag-hci.shtml) which shows this refers to a nasty quarrel between Louis XVIII and Franz I/II about Madame Royale's money, and the French assertion that Marie Antoinette's dowry had not been paid, although the Austrians actually had a receipt (the French said it was a forgery).  One has to say that the relationship between the Bourbons and Habsburgs were pretty dismal at that point, but as far as the dowry went, it looks like it had been paid as non-payment had not come up before.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 15, 2011, 09:18:56 PM
There is an extract from Ernest Daudet's book ' Madame Royale, daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette: her youth and marriage' (http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/ernest-daudet/madame-royale-daughter-of-louis-xvi-and-marie-antoinette-her-youth-and-marriag-hci/page-13-madame-royale-daughter-of-louis-xvi-and-marie-antoinette-her-youth-and-marriag-hci.shtml) which shows this refers to a nasty quarrel between Louis XVIII and Franz I/II about Madame Royale's money, and the French assertion that Marie Antoinette's dowry had not been paid, although the Austrians actually had a receipt (the French said it was a forgery).  One has to say that the relationship between the Bourbons and Habsburgs were pretty dismal at that point, but as far as the dowry went, it looks like it had been paid as non-payment had not come up before.

Thanks for the link, CountessKate.

I agree that the dowry of Marie Antoinette was seemingly paid for. Austria was still struggling with the costs of the Seven Years War but Franz Stephan's legacy, the Family Fund, was more than sufficient to pay for it. It also appears that there was no complaints about any non-payment on the dowries of both Maria Carolina and Maria Amalia, so it would just be so inconsistent if Marie Antoinette's alone wasn't paid for. Joseph II was being a bit stingy about Marie Antoinette's wedding expenses, wanting to trim down her cortege on the way to France, but a dowry was an essential thing to pay.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on June 16, 2011, 11:52:54 AM
It was written that Sisi's famous ruby parure once part of Marie Antoinette's dowry that was returned to Vienna.I wonder if it was sold back or just returned as part of the agreement ?
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 16, 2011, 09:00:51 PM
Marie Antoinette sent her personal jewels, the ones she brought from Austria and part of her dowry, to Brussels (Mimi in particular) for safekeeping in 1791. It seems she sent over quite a sizeable amount of money as well (I wonder where she got it, the family almost had no money by then; Fersen had to mortgage his estates to pay for their escape). Since the jewels were part of her dowry, it was her personal property.  Mimi sent the money and jewels to Vienna so I guess that's how the ruby parure came to Sisi's possession later on. I think dowries were given back to either the princess (once widowed) or her family (if the princess pre-deceased her hsuband).
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on June 17, 2011, 09:27:45 AM
Marie Antoinette sent her personal jewels, the ones she brought from Austria and part of her dowry, to Brussels (Mimi in particular) for safekeeping in 1791. It seems she sent over quite a sizeable amount of money as well (I wonder where she got it, the family almost had no money by then; Fersen had to mortgage his estates to pay for their escape). Since the jewels were part of her dowry, it was her personal property.  Mimi sent the money and jewels to Vienna so I guess that's how the ruby parure came to Sisi's possession later on. I think dowries were given back to either the princess (once widowed) or her family (if the princess pre-deceased her hsuband).
Dowries were not returned as such but provisions were made in elaborate contracts for the maintenance of royal widows, and often for the disposition of their property should they die before their husbands (much of their personal possessions were traditionally given to their senior ladies in waiting or gentlemen attendants as part of their salaries in the form of perquisites or 'perks' of the job both at the time of service and on the death of the royal mistress.  That is why Joseph II had to ask his daughter's governess for the child's dressing gown as a sentimental keepsake when she died, as it would have been part of the governess's perks, and why so few clothes etc. were kept by royal women until almost the 20th century).  Marie Antoinette's legal rights to the disposition of her jewels would have been controlled by the provisions of her marriage contract (and for women were often at the mercy of what their husbands required) but basically the circumstances meant that her treatment of the jewels and whatever cash she had as her own property were effectively respected by her Austrian and French families.

Although Franz did not show himself to be particularly generous with the remaining Bourbon family, I have to say it was an infernal cheek of Louis XVIII/his followers to carp about the dowry of Marie Antoinette which had never previously been raised as an issue and frankly seems more like a bit of private extortion in an attempt to gain more from the Habsburgs.  Only if the dowry had not been paid, would the Habsburgs have actually been in a position where they owed the Bourbons money - otherwise the Bourbons would have been responsible for the maintenance of Marie Antoinette's daughter who was being supported by Austria, and thus the Habsburgs were owed money.   But basically everyone seems to have behaved very badly about this.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on June 18, 2011, 05:34:05 AM
Quote
It seems she sent over quite a sizeable amount of money as well (I wonder where she got it, the family almost had no money by then; Fersen had to mortgage his estates to pay for their escape).

According to Bernard Morel, in his huge book on 'The French Crown Jewels', Marie Antoinette's hairdresser Leonard made two journeys with her jewellery, one to London to sell various items and raise money for the royal couple; it might be the proceeds from this sale which eventually reached Brussels when Leonard took Marie Antoinette's remaining jewels to Marie Christine.

Quote
Mimi sent the money and jewels to Vienna so I guess that's how the ruby parure came to Sisi's possession later on.

Morel states that when Marie Therese arrived at Vienna, she sold the ruby and diamond parure to the Emperor Franz, at the time of her marriage to her cousin the Duc d'Angouleme in 1799 (the parure included items from the French crown jewels which under the old regime were not Marie Antoinette's to dispose of; but possession is nine-tenths of the law, especially in this situation).   The parure was completely altered in 1854 at the time of Franz-Joseph's marriage to Elisabeth of Bavaria and went with the Habsburgs into exile in 1918.  It was subsequently either sold or disappeared amongst the jewels which were lost in the swindle practiced upon the imperial couple.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 18, 2011, 06:42:35 AM

Dowries were not returned as such but provisions were made in elaborate contracts for the maintenance of royal widows, and often for the disposition of their property should they die before their husbands (much of their personal possessions were traditionally given to their senior ladies in waiting or gentlemen attendants as part of their salaries in the form of perquisites or 'perks' of the job both at the time of service and on the death of the royal mistress.  That is why Joseph II had to ask his daughter's governess for the child's dressing gown as a sentimental keepsake when she died, as it would have been part of the governess's perks, and why so few clothes etc. were kept by royal women until almost the 20th century).  Marie Antoinette's legal rights to the disposition of her jewels would have been controlled by the provisions of her marriage contract (and for women were often at the mercy of what their husbands required) but basically the circumstances meant that her treatment of the jewels and whatever cash she had as her own property were effectively respected by her Austrian and French families.


Thank you. I had the impression that (in general) dowries were returned either to the princess or her family.  Because Maria Amalia asked for hers (which was generally acknowledged as a rightful claim) from her Spanish-in-laws and from her son Louis.  I think Ferdinand  (later on) made a will/document about it being returned to her (he was concerned about her welfare once he was gone, and long before the French invasion of Italy when money wasn't as plentiful as before; she was certainly a spendthrift with money so he most likely thought she needed more than a widow's income). I also read that Prince Anthony of Saxony paid back the remaining dowry (I guess the amount was prorated?) of his deceased first wife, Maria Carolina of Savoy, to her family. I guess it is a case-to-case basis, then, and largely with the the husbands deciding on it (if not in originally stated in the marriage contract).  


According to Bernard Morel, in his huge book on 'The French Crown Jewels', Marie Antoinette's hairdresser Leonard made two journeys with her jewellery, one to London to sell various items and raise money for the royal couple; it might be the proceeds from this sale which eventually reached Brussels when Leonard took Marie Antoinette's remaining jewels to Marie Christine.


Again, thank you. That certainly clear things up! Although poor Fersen was never seemed to have been reimbursed, in part or in full, of what he spent for Marie Antoinette and her family (he certainly tried to claim it from various courts).  MA certainly should've made some provision for it later on, she had the money!

Morel states that when Marie Therese arrived at Vienna, she sold the ruby and diamond parure to the Emperor Franz, at the time of her marriage to her cousin the Duc d'Angouleme in 1799 (the parure included items from the French crown jewels which under the old regime were not Marie Antoinette's to dispose of; but possession is nine-tenths of the law, especially in this situation).  

Marie Therese selling the ruby and diamond parure to her relatives is another proof that the Habsburgs dealt with the money and jewels honestly; it seems everything was accounted for.....I agree with the last phrase (possession is 9/10 of the law, especially in this situation)... but I can't help but think it was still not right move..... Marie Antoinette claimed some things that were not rightfully hers!   And I thought she was above such things even if she was a spendthrift!  I think it was both desperation and anger that made her do it!

  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 24, 2011, 07:17:23 AM
Here is a link to two portraits (perhaps) of Maria Theresa and her sister Maria Anna by Antoine Pesne:

http://www.artvalue.com/auctionresult--pesne-antoine-1683-1757-france-1-portrait-of-a-princess-proba-1868171.htm

Can someone please verify or deduce if said portraits were indeed them?
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on June 24, 2011, 08:43:17 AM
They're nice portraits, and generally seem to be of the right period, but there's nothing I can see which suggests that they are Maria Theresa and Maria Anna.  As far as I know, Pesne never painted at the court in Vienna and I don't know of other well-known Austrian royal or noble portraits in his oeuvre.  He was born in France, studied in Italy between 1705 and 1710, and was summoned to Berlin in 1710 by Frederick I who had become interested in him due to a portrait he had executed of the Prussian ambassador in Venice.  Pesne stayed in Berlin mostly until his death in 1757 - I'm not aware that he made any voyages subsequently to Austria.  The most likely time at which he could have been in Vienna long enough to paint two portraits was in 1710, on his way to Berlin from Italy, and Maria Theresa and Maria Anna were not yet born, nor was their father in Vienna, but in Spain.  I don't know how possible it is that the portraits could be the daughters of the current Emperor, Joseph I, the Archduchesses Maria Josepha and Maria Amalia; I would have thought Pesne wasn't well enough known at the time to have been requested to paint such distinguished sitters.  Overall, it seems a bit of a stretch that these are really Maria Theresa and Maria Anna if they are genuinely Pesne portraits. 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 26, 2011, 05:26:11 AM
Thank you very much.  I'm not sure  if the features of said sitters correspond to Maria Theresa's and Maria Anna's.  It is indeed very remote possibility and the only thing I can think of about Antoine Pesne's connection to Vienna was that King Frederick I of Prussia was quite close Emperor Charles VI.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 03, 2011, 03:00:43 AM
From a German forum on Marie Antoinette, on the imperial family's heights:

Empress Maria Theresia was about  1.60 m tall and weighed at the end of her life over 120kg. At her wedding, however, had barely weighed 50kg ...

Joseph II was conisdered the  prettiest man of his family because he was, for a time, astonishingly tall and slender. He was about 172m to max. 1.75 m. All other brothers were shorter than him. Leopold  II was 1.68 m tall, athletic, and later on, also overweight. Ferdinand should have been only 1.63 m tall and pretty soon after his departure from Vienna had become very corpulent, was fond of drinking, and was also very lazy. Good-natured Maximilian as an adult was only  1.60 m tall (maximum), and as time went by grew extremely corpulent. His waist circumference  measured at 1.80 m. As for Karl, who died at 15-16 years old,  he was not fully grown, but he will certainly have moved from a scale of 1.60 m-1. 65m.  

Maria Josepha likely at 1.57m, Maria Elisabeth at 1.59 m and Maria Anna 1.56 m tall. Maria Christina was as tall as her mother at 1.60 m and Maria Carolina seemed to be the tallest among the girls at almost 1.70 m but both were rather big-boned. Marie Antoinette was said to be no taller than 1.55m.

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Maria Amalia was not mentioned, but the studies on her remains put her height at 1.62-63m. I think she was taller in her youth and later on, she also had a back problem, in which she was said to have a small hump. Old-aged people also tend to be smaller than in their prime as well.    
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 03, 2011, 08:47:44 PM
Very interesting facts on Maria Elisabeth and Joseph II:

Friedrich Weissensteiner in  Die Töchter Maria Theresias (Daughters of Maria Theresa) stated  that Maria Elisabeth took a foundling under her care, a little girl, later on but unfortunately it was just mentioned in passing.....

I've also read that Joseph II also "adopted" a girl from one of his visits in Russian Empire.  Supposedly he sent a courtier to procure a beautiful slave girl (*ahem*) but ended up with a little girl, then 6 years old, who was educated at Viennese court. He left her 1000 florins in annual pension in his will, and she married the valet of a nobleman later on.....(Source: the book  "Potemkin, Prince of Princes" by Simon Sebag Montefiore -- an excellent book and author, by the way).

I guess with these "adoptions" (albeit informally), it was only Maria Anna and Maximilian who didn't experience "parenthood" in some way (well, Joseph was a father but both his daughters died very young)...
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 04, 2011, 09:29:07 AM
Collection of digital portraits at the Austrian National Library :

http://www.bildarchivaustria.at

(Click on Portratsammlung then Osterreich then Habsburg-Lothringen then 18.Jh.)

You'll find Maria Amalia (But it looked to me her mother-in-law Louise Elisabeth of France, with Ferdinand of Parma as a toddler), Maria Elisabeth, Maria Anna, Archduke Ferdinand, Franz Stephan at the beginning, then Joseph II and Leopold II at the middle, with Maria Theresa, Maria Christina, Marie Antoinette, and Archduke Maximilian at the end.... I guess Maria Carolina, Maria Josepha, Archduke Karl Joseph and the rest are somewhere there.)....

Enjoy!  

Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 10, 2011, 11:31:24 PM
Link to a (supposed) portrait of Archduchess Maria Christina:

http://www.artnet.com/artists/lotdetailpage.aspx?lot_id=F17B613DCC7F11D5DAB02EACF466F63A
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 19, 2011, 03:43:51 AM
Leopold II in 1776 on Marie Christine:

She lives for herself and refuses to associate with any of her sisters…She has a lot of talents and knows how to take advantage of the Empress’s weak spots. She commiserates with her, agrees with her, is with her at all hours and all the time, writes her notes constantly, and in this way she has won her over fully and does with her what she wishes, answering and often talking back to her, demanding a lot, and the Empress gives her what asks for so as not to agitate her, because then she shows her worst side and because she doesn’t want to lose her…She treats everyone with great haughtiness, and in the course of things, despite some occasional courtesies, she is hated and feared by everyone, because she has a sharp tongue and repeats everything to the Empress…”

So, Mimi was also quite nasty to her mother when she wanted something .... MT was absolutely blind regarding this child. I don't know who was more culpable, mother or daughter?
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 20, 2011, 02:53:24 PM
Well every parent has a favorite in their hearts even if they do not admit it. Mimi was MT's favorite. Plain & simple.  ;)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 21, 2011, 12:35:32 AM
It does say something about the real character of Maria Theresa, though. I don't see why she is so idealised...
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: ivanushka on July 21, 2011, 09:40:47 AM
I understand that the ill fated Karl/Charles was the favourite son, and even though I don't think he was quite as favoured as Mimi I still think the favouristism caused friction between him and his siblings.  I guess that if you do have a very large number of children then inevitably you may end up feeling closer to some than others.  However you should never let your children see it.  I think that Maria Theresa was an admirable woman in many ways but the blatant way she favoured some children over others was a great failing and makes her far less attractive as a personality.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on July 21, 2011, 10:16:42 AM
Quote
I understand that the ill fated Karl/Charles was the favourite son, and even though I don't think he was quite as favoured as Mimi I still think the favouristism caused friction between him and his siblings.  I guess that if you do have a very large number of children then inevitably you may end up feeling closer to some than others.  However you should never let your children see it.  I think that Maria Theresa was an admirable woman in many ways but the blatant way she favoured some children over others was a great failing and makes her far less attractive as a personality.

I agree absolutely, and would add that Leopold also considered Ferdinand was favoured above him, which says something about Leopold as well (and it is interesting that he and Maria Christina made common cause when Maria Theresa was dead and the brake was off with Joseph, who seemed likely to lose them a chunk of Habsburg lands - he got on much better with her when they were on a more even footing).  Still, I do feel that Maria Theresa's shortcomings as a parent shouldn't obscure her very real success as a ruler, nor that she felt strongly for all her children, even if she had her favorites.  Nor should the fact that Maria Christina was unduly indulged - and behaved slightingly to some of her siblings - obscure her successes as a ruler also - and her policies in the Austrian Netherlands were better than Joseph's.  I don't think it emerges as a black and white situation.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 21, 2011, 10:09:43 PM
Still, I do feel that Maria Theresa's shortcomings as a parent shouldn't obscure her very real success as a ruler, nor that she felt strongly for all her children, even if she had her favorites.  Nor should the fact that Maria Christina was unduly indulged - and behaved slightingly to some of her siblings - obscure her successes as a ruler also - and her policies in the Austrian Netherlands were better than Joseph's.

I don't find her such a bad ruler, although her need for vengeance and strong biases left much to be desired. But from all I have read, she seemed "unstable" as well -- her rages, her illusions of many things. I also find her love for her children very inconsistent. What matters more, professions of love or her actual actions? I, for one, find it so untruthful  of her to claim that she loved Maria Anna best of all her children when Maria Anna was on the verge of death at age 17. However, her actions (before and after such illness) speak otherwise. Maria Elisabeth was favoured when she was still a beauty but later on, she treated her as badly as she did Maria Anna because Maria Elisabeth no longer had a "purpose".  Even her claim of Marie Antoinette being so dear to her (when MA was about to leave Vienna) do not seem to be 100% true... if MA was so dear to her, she could've paid her more attention with regard to her development. There is a certain discrepancy between her words and her actions.                                                                                                                                                                                                      
I think there was more than Mimi being the favourite.... it's likely that her siblings would not have resented her so much if she wasn't nasty to them. But then, that was part of her strategy to win over her mother, to tell on her siblings. Mimi certainly knew how to play on her mother's suspicions (real or imagined).  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on July 22, 2011, 10:31:15 AM
I think Maria Theresa wasn't a hypocrite in that she genuinely believed she loved all her children equally (it was just that she thought Maria Christina deserved more!), and felt especially emotional when they were needy (e.g. Maria Anna when gravely ill) or about to leave home (Marie Antoinette), and couldn't understand why her children were so ungrateful as to doubt that she was doing everything possible for their benefit.  But the emotional highs did not last, although in fairness she continued to take an intense interest in all her children until the last, even if the interest was intrusive or inappropriate.  One of the difficulties I have always had with the correspondence between Maria Theresa and Marie Antoinette is how it depicts a rather grim struggle between mother and daughter, where the mother had very detailed reports available to her on all her daughter's doings, and yet wrote to her daughter as if she was not aware of the latest contretemps, while the daughter wriggled or fibbed or outright lied about what she was up to, without knowing her mother was perfectly well aware of this - both of them professing the greatest love for one another.  It was rather a model of her relations with her other children in many ways, though I've always thought she and Maria Amalia had the most healthy relationship - a huge blowup, followed by the daughter appearing unfazed by her mother's severence of relations, and the mother having to resign herself to keeping out of her daughter's business.  But with Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth, who Leopold certainly thought were ill-treated by their mother towards the end of her life, I think it was rather a case of their having to bear the brunt of an ageing and increasingly infirm woman who was starting to decline in mental abilities and very much resented the whole business.  It is not, unfortunately, a phenomenon unknown to caregivers with the elderly today.

Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 23, 2011, 08:00:58 AM
Thanks, CountessKate, for helping me understand Maria Theresa. I truly have quite a hard time understanding her psyche. Her contradictions simply astonish me, that's why I have hard time just "swallowing" what many authors state about her, i.e. idealising her. I think what she lacked was also self-reflection. If her children were so ungrateful and rebelled in different ways, she never appeared to realise her role in such. I understand that she was monarch and used to being blindly obeyed but she did have some analysis done with her spiritual adviser, Taroucca. It's a pity she didn't seem to continue with it... it seems that she only did because she wanted to analyse why the Frederick the Great got Silesia, after all.   I think what Isabella of Parma said, that MT lacked trust in herself (in modern parlance self-esteem) and she transferred such to her children, is true.

Even with  Franz Stephan, she played "tricks" on her mind, perhaps to make herself feel better because she didn't treat him very nicely. After his death, she claimed that all her actions were centered around him but going into an alliance (which FS abhorred) with France permanently put a stop to any remaining hopes FS had in recovering Lorraine. And that was just one example. Another instance is that she called her cousin Maria Antonia of Bavaria (Electress of Saxony) earlier as her "dear cousin and friend" during the Seven Years War while much later on, to rally Marie Antoinette to Bavarian cause of Austria, she called the Electress an "intriguer".  Let's not go into her declarations of spying (to her son Archduke Ferdinand) as not good: that people, even servants,  have the right to privacy but she engaged on it for years. And if she didn't like to hear gossip (i.e. bad things) about other people, why was she so ready to believe all the stories coming to Vienna about her children abroad?  

I find MT and Marie Antoinette's correspondence to be sad, laced with professions of love but both sides playing a game with each other. So I have never been convinced that Marie Antoinette did right in "charming" her mother in letters. I don't think Maria Amalia was always right in disobeying her mother on certain matters but, at very least, she was honest (see reply to her mother's 23 rules of conduct). In that respect, I agree -- I can see that their relationship was the healthiest in terms of honesty. Both sides eventually knew their limits as far as the other was concerned: MT could never dictate to her as long as Ferdinand of Parma shielded Maria Amalia, and Maria Amalia not given permission to visit Vienna (and according to what I have recently read, didn't receive that many presents as some of her other siblings from their mother).  I read that MT destroyed majority of her children's letters but kept many by Marie Antoinette and Joseph II.  I have to say, Maria Anna seemed to love her mother - she didn't feel loved by her but Maria Anna wanted it nevertheless. I have not read anything about Maria Elisabeth wanting her mother's love after she got disfigured by smallpox.  

I have to say though that I've read many accounts stating that MT had a terrible temper even as a young lady (newly married to FS) so it was there all along, old age and her ill health simply aggravated it.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: ivanushka on July 23, 2011, 12:34:22 PM
I've always thought she and Maria Amalia had the most healthy relationship - a huge blowup, followed by the daughter appearing unfazed by her mother's severence of relations, and the mother having to resign herself to keeping out of her daughter's business.

I agree and think they had a relationship far more typical of modern mothers and daughters than those of the eighteenth century.  Nowadays most newly married women would resent their mothers constant interference in their lives and even the most timid of new mothers would probably be furious if her own mother tried to tell her how to raise her children.  At the same time the older mother would feel that she had more experience of life, knew better than her daughter and was simply trying to help.  This could well lead to a huge blow up which hopefully would soon, but not in all cases, be forgiven and forgotten.  I think Amalia's attitude to her mother was a simple and pragmatic one being "You are my mother.  I love you and would naturally like to make you happy.  However I now have a new husband and children and their needs and the interests of my new home state have to come first.  Ideally Parma policy will always favour Austria, but if I feel another policy is better for Parma (and thus for my husband and children) then so be it, and if you can't accept that then it's your problem, not mine."
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 24, 2011, 06:48:22 AM
The article on Parma's online library is not fawning over Maria Amalia. However, it does state that the duchess fought against foreign interference in the duchy all her life, which strongly suggests that her "rebellion" was not personally directed at her mother -- she was against any kind of interference, period. I'm certain that she loved her mother, but unfortunately Mara Theresa took it personally and bore grudges/resentment.

I must add, though, that MT was especially angry at the world at large in the later years --- she was dissatisfied with everything and everyone, except her beloved Mimi. She never learned to let go as well.  What a sad way to end a life.   

I can't help but think about what MT's reaction would be had her grandson in Parma, Louis, been her son instead? Although dismayed and presumably hurt and angry by their son's decision to exchange Parma for Etruria, both Maria Amalia and Ferdinand still supported their son. Their love as parents was greater than their anger/dismay over his decision. I somehow have a hard time picturing Maria Theresa, had she been his mother and assuming she was against such an exchange, reacting in a similar way......
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on July 24, 2011, 07:54:08 AM
Quote
I can't help but think about what MT's reaction would be had her grandson in Parma, Louis, been her son instead? Although dismayed and presumably hurt and angry by their son's decision to exchange Parma for Etruria, both Maria Amalia and Ferdinand still supported their son. Their love as parents was greater than their anger/dismay over his decision. I somehow have a hard time picturing Maria Theresa, had she been his mother and assuming she was against such an exchange, reacting in a similar way......

I think it is very hard to know what Maria Theresa would have done had she been alive during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars.  The exchange of Parma for Etruria was not a matter of Louis' personal preference, but one of political treaty and essentially he had no real choice.  Maria Theresa would not have been entirely unfamiliar with the situation from her own earlier reign - Franz Stephan had to give up Lorraine, which was very distressing for him, and she herself had to give up Silesia to Prussia following the war of the Austrian succession, so she knew that some loss of lands was unavoidable in the political arena.  And she would have had another Habsburg enemy - Napoleon - to add to her original one in Frederick the Great, so she would have known exactly who to blame and it was unlikely to have been Louis.  But frankly, I don't see her surviving the upheavals of the period and the deaths of her French family members, to be in much shape by that stage (aged 84!) to put up too much of a fuss about the treaty of Aranjuez, amongst all the other disasters, even if Louis had been her son rather than her grandson.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: trentk80 on July 24, 2011, 04:24:04 PM
It seems to me that what prinzheinelgirl meant was what Maria Theresa would have done had she been in Maria Amalia's place (being Duchess of Parma, not wanting the exchange of Parma for Etruria... but still loving and supporting her son?) rather than what she would have done or thought regarding the treaty of Aranjuez had she been alive during the Napoleonic years.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 25, 2011, 01:03:50 AM
Thank you, trentk80. That was the context that I had in mind... and also Maria Theresa's  tendency to get angry whenever her children did something she didn't approve of.


 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on July 25, 2011, 05:42:03 AM
It seems to me that what prinzheinelgirl meant was what Maria Theresa would have done had she been in Maria Amalia's place (being Duchess of Parma, not wanting the exchange of Parma for Etruria... but still loving and supporting her son?) rather than what she would have done or thought regarding the treaty of Aranjuez had she been alive during the Napoleonic years.

I would in that case in fact repeat my general statement - I think it is difficult, if not impossible, to answer.  Maria Theresa was shaped by her position, her history, her marriage and her family as it was, with her in the driving seat.  Because, as the acting sovereign of her country, she was domineering and demanded utter obedience from her children, it's doesn't necessarily follow that she would have behaved in the same way if she had been the younger daughter of an empress married into a much more limited sphere, with far less attention paid to her wishes.   We know from her past history as an empress that she swallowed unpalatable political situations which she could not help with a practical political shrewdness - she may very well have carried on in the same way if she had been a Duchess of Parma, and given way far less to her frustrations with anger, and engaged more tactfully and sympathetically with her children.  The question seemed designed to show Maria Theresa up as likely to have behaved nastily to Louis in this situation compared to the very supportive way in which Maria Amalia and Ferdinand behaved.  But I don't think it's as black and white as that.  Maria Theresa as Duchess of Parma would have been a different person, and might have been much more like her daughter than anyone imagined. 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 25, 2011, 06:13:12 PM
Although Maria Theresa was deeply in love with Franz Stephen when she married him. Imagine if she had to marry Frederick the Great of Prussia !
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 25, 2011, 10:03:27 PM
The question seemed designed to show Maria Theresa up as likely to have behaved nastily to Louis in this situation compared to the very supportive way in which Maria Amalia and Ferdinand behaved.  But I don't think it's as black and white as that.  Maria Theresa as Duchess of Parma would have been a different person, and might have been much more like her daughter than anyone imagined.  

For me, whether she ended up as  duchess or Empress, Maria Theresa had one trait -- she kept grudges and resentments -- which seemed to be largely absent in Maria Amalia. One of those people she had never forgiven was one of Franz Stephan's friends -- as a newly married couple, said friend gave an advice to FS which she didn't like. So she had it early on, even if she wasn't Empress-Queen yet. That is why I made that remark that I doubt her reaction would've been as positive.

However, I agree... assuming she was a mere duchess of a small state,  she probably wouldn't be so imperious.  One of her biographers said that it was fortunate that her hands were tied to certain things for if she had a free hand in everything, she would've likely committed more atrocities (referring to the fact that she planned the Seven Years War as revenge to Frederick the Great) for she was both stubborn and vengeful.      

The only clear traits I can think of that MT and Maria Amalia had in common were stubbornness, a tendency to being temperamental (more mother than daughter and Maria Amalia - as opposed to her  mother - grew calmer as she aged), and being generous (in giving money and presents) to a fault.

Although Maria Theresa was deeply in love with Franz Stephen when she married him. Imagine if she had to marry Frederick the Great of Prussia !

A deep love which later on turned Franz Stephan into bearing the brunt of her rages. She also discarded his interests when it served her own need for revenge on Frederick the Great and recovering Silesia (she turned to France for an alliance which put a permanent stop to FS's hopes of recovering Lorraince). No wonder FS turned to other women, the Princess Auersperg in particular later on. And no wonder she idealised him later on and made it up in her mind - but was opposed to reality - that all her actions were centered around him. She was lucky that FS wanted peace most of all, and he didn't oppose her in public. However, in private, things seemed quite different and she had to swallow certain things, i.e. Princess Auersperg dining en famille with her, FS and their older children!
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on July 26, 2011, 09:36:08 AM
Quote
One of her biographers said that it was fortunate that her hands were tied to certain things for if she had a free hand in everything, she would've likely committed more atrocities (referring to the fact that she planned the Seven Years War as revenge to Frederick the Great) for she was both stubborn and vengeful.   

That seems an extraordinary remark for any serious biographer to make.  She would likely committed more atrocities?  What atrocity was she accused of commiting in the first place?  She was far from the only person responsible for the Seven Years' War, given the keen involvement of France and Russia, and given the fact that Frederick the Great had grabbed Silesia by force without any rationnale except his own desire for more land for Prussia, it's not as if he occupied a higher moral ground than she did.  Of course, she didn't behave like a meek, biddable woman in seeking to attack Prussia, always something which frightened eighteenth and nineteenth century biographers in particular, but to accuse her of 'atrocities' in the first place seems pretty much of a stretch.  And then to remark that she would possibly have committed more if given her way just piles on the absurdity.  This is where I feel genuine history/biography starts to diverge from the path supported by evidence and becomes speculative fiction, and it is always heralded by the sort of remark that "X must have thought" or "X very likely did" without any convincing evidence.  I'm very willing to accept that Maria Theresa had poor parenting skills, was manipulative and could be harsh to her children, especially her daughters, and unfairly gave one daughter much greater favours which the daughter in question certainly took full advantage of.  But I really don't see the evidence for her being an atrocity-commiting vengeful monster of unbridled grudges and resentments.  And yes, her relationship with Franz Stephan was unsatisfactory on both sides - but although Franz Stephan has been portrayed as the 'softer' partner, and credited with a more amicable relationship with his children, he was fully as determined as she to force their son Joseph to marry again after Isabel's death, which Derek Beales' biography clearly demonstrates.  Yet it has been Maria Theresa who was usually given the complete responsibility for this parental insensitivity, which was actually not the case.  I agree absolutely with the view that Maria Theresa was not as great as she's often depicted, especially in her family relationships.  But neither am I convinced that she was as black as some have seen her, either.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 26, 2011, 11:34:34 PM
That seems an extraordinary remark for any serious biographer to make.  She would likely committed more atrocities?  What atrocity was she accused of commiting in the first place?  She was far from the only person responsible for the Seven Years' War, given the keen involvement of France and Russia, and given the fact that Frederick the Great had grabbed Silesia by force without any rationnale except his own desire for more land for Prussia, it's not as if he occupied a higher moral ground than she did.  Of course, she didn't behave like a meek, biddable woman in seeking to attack Prussia, always something which frightened eighteenth and nineteenth century biographers in particular, but to accuse her of 'atrocities' in the first place seems pretty much of a stretch.  And then to remark that she would possibly have committed more if given her way just piles on the absurdity.  This is where I feel genuine history/biography starts to diverge from the path supported by evidence and becomes speculative fiction, and it is always heralded by the sort of remark that "X must have thought" or "X very likely did" without any convincing evidence.  I'm very willing to accept that Maria Theresa had poor parenting skills, was manipulative and could be harsh to her children, especially her daughters, and unfairly gave one daughter much greater favours which the daughter in question certainly took full advantage of.  But I really don't see the evidence for her being an atrocity-commiting vengeful monster of unbridled grudges and resentments.  

The biographer was Paul Tabori, who was Hungarian-British. One could say that due to his heritage, he would've been partial to make excuses for Maria Theresa. Although his biography ("Maria Theresa" in "the Women who made History" series) had some fanciful accounts and incorrect information (some names and titles were incorrect), I find it a fair biography of Maria Theresa. He covered both MT and Frederick the Great in almost equal parts in the course of the two wars, and I must say, Frederick the Great comes off better (even if he started their animosity), and I am no fan of his (except that I will acknowledge that he was truly a genius).  

The atrocity the author mainly pointed out was the Seven Years War, which was hatched by MT and Kaunitz. Why was the minister Kaunitz so highly favoured by her, for instance? Because he was the only one in the council who supported her intent to get back at Frederick the Great and recover Silesia. Kaunitz could boast of no special diplomatic success prior to being in charge of the Foreign Ministry and being Chancellor. In addition, he was a libertine who was a disciple of the Enlightenment, he was absurd in his eccentricities, etc. In short, not someone who would likely have MT's confidence... In Kaunitz, she found someone who shaped her grudges and resentments into a new policy, i.e. the alliance reversal in favour of France.    

There were many accounts in the book that clearly showed MT's need for revenge and/or feed on her grudges aside from Frederick the Great, with the Hungarians and Jewish population of Prague for example. Even her ministers had to plead with her that her orders were inhumane (i.e. she heard unsubstantiated gossip that the Jews in Prague profited from her war with the Bavarian Elector, Emperor Charles VII, and since she hated the Jews anyway, she gave orders that they be banished to nowhere and must leave Prague in the middle of the winter).  Accounts that are easily verified by history....  

Overall, I think the book, while it had some inaccuracies and fanciful accounts, still flattered Maria Theresa. At the end, it even presented her as very wise and "mellow"(?). But it presented her errors and motives in detail that supports the author's claim. I can post some excerpts/examples here.    The author also presented many of MT's good actions and decisions, i.e. wanting to have better conditions for the serfs in Hungary and trying to industrialise that country (which the Hungarians stubbornly resisted).

And yes, her relationship with Franz Stephan was unsatisfactory on both sides - but although Franz Stephan has been portrayed as the 'softer' partner, and credited with a more amicable relationship with his children, he was fully as determined as she to force their son Joseph to marry again after Isabel's death, which Derek Beales' biography clearly demonstrates.  Yet it has been Maria Theresa who was usually given the complete responsibility for this parental insensitivity, which was actually not the case.  I agree absolutely with the view that Maria Theresa was not as great as she's often depicted, especially in her family relationships.


I agree that Franz Stephan in Joseph's case (and also with Mimi, had he lived longer, she would've likely been married to her cousin the Duke of Chablais instead of Albert of Saxony) was also insensitive.  I also doubt if FS had much time for his children, especially the younger ones, as he was credited with.  But I give him credit for wanting to keep peace with his wife, at least in public, despite his strong feelings against some of her decisions and after making the  (extremely painful) decision of renouncing Lorraine in order to marry her, he never seemed to bring up said matter again, no matter their differences.      
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on July 27, 2011, 08:59:39 AM
Quote
The biographer was Paul Tabori, who was Hungarian-British. One could say that due to his heritage, he would've been partial to make excuses for Maria Theresa. Although his biography ("Maria Theresa" in "the Women who made History" series) had some fanciful accounts and incorrect information (some names and titles were incorrect), I find it a fair biography of Maria Theresa. He covered both MT and Frederick the Great in almost equal parts in the course of the two wars, and I must say, Frederick the Great comes off better (even if he started their animosity), and I am no fan of his (except that I will acknowledge that he was truly a genius). 

The atrocity the author mainly pointed out was the Seven Years War, which was hatched by MT and Kaunitz. Why was the minister Kaunitz so highly favoured by her, for instance? Because he was the only one in the council who supported her intent to get back at Frederick the Great and recover Silesia. Kaunitz could boast of no special diplomatic success prior to being in charge of the Foreign Ministry and being Chancellor. In addition, he was a libertine who was a disciple of the Enlightenment, he was absurd in his eccentricities, etc. In short, not someone who would likely have MT's confidence... In Kaunitz, she found someone who shaped her grudges and resentments into a new policy, i.e. the alliance reversal in favour of France.   

There were many accounts in the book that clearly showed MT's need for revenge and/or feed on her grudges aside from Frederick the Great, with the Hungarians and Jewish population of Prague for example. Even her ministers had to plead with her that her orders were inhumane (i.e. she heard unsubstantiated gossip that the Jews in Prague profited from her war with the Bavarian Elector, Emperor Charles VII, and since she hated the Jews anyway, she gave orders that they be banished to nowhere and must leave Prague in the middle of the winter).  Accounts that are easily verified by history.... 

Overall, I think the book, while it had some inaccuracies and fanciful accounts, still flattered Maria Theresa. At the end, it even presented her as very wise and "mellow"(?). But it presented her errors and motives in detail that supports the author's claim. I can post some excerpts/examples here.    The author also presented many of MT's good actions and decisions, i.e. wanting to have better conditions for the serfs in Hungary and trying to industrialise that country (which the Hungarians stubbornly resisted).

I agree that Franz Stephan in Joseph's case (and also with Mimi, had he lived longer, she would've likely been married to her cousin the Duke of Chablais instead of Albert of Saxony) was also insensitive.  I also doubt if FS had much time for his children, especially the younger ones, as he was credited with.  But I give him credit for wanting to keep peace with his wife, at least in public, despite his strong feelings against some of her decisions and after making the  (extremely painful) decision of renouncing Lorraine in order to marry her, he never seemed to bring up said matter again, no matter their differences.   

Thanks for the very helpful clarification.  I still don't find the viewpoint convincing, as it seems to hold Maria Theresa to a different standard than to her male contemporaries.  If it was atrocious to wish to gain territory by force of arms, then she was atrocious, but so were pretty much all the other sovereigns of Europe at the time, including Frederick.  Plotting to regain stolen territory, and bearing implacable hostility to the stealer, were not qualities which would have been considered inappropriate in male sovereigns and I can't see why Maria Theresa was worse for wanting to punish Frederick and regain Silesia than Frederick was in taking it in the first place. 

I agree that Maria Theresa's anti-semitic views were ugly (though not unique - they were opinions shared by many in her day) but I don't think it shows that she held grudges and wished for revenge so much as her conservative cultural/religious feelings overcame whashould have been better judgement.

With regard to Kaunitz, Franz Stephan was a child of the enlightenment in his scientific studies which caused Maria Theresa no problems, and so I think it's a bit simplistic to put her into a total anti-enlightenment camp.  There were certainly things about the new ideas she considered pernicious, as did other autocratic sovereigns, but she certainly didn't write all reform or new ideas off.  And as for his being a libertine, Kaunitz told her squarely it was no business of hers, and she presumably valued him enough to leave that issue alone.  She was pretty used to men having mistresses; her uncle Joseph I had them, her father Charles VI  had them, Franz Stephan had them, Franz Stephan’s father had them, her sons Joseph and Leopold had them – she may have wished for men to be more virtuous but she was hardly under much illusion about aristocratic male chastity in the eighteenth century.  She advised Maria Amalia to put up with her husband’s infidelity as she did herself, she negotiated with Madame de Pompadour, she advised Marie Antoinette not to get across Louis XV by ignoring Madame du Barry, and while it’s clear she herself had the usual double standard of the time where women needed to be absolutely spotless in reputation, she certainly saw no sense in getting rid of someone who could serve her well just because his morals with regard to women were not as she would have liked. 

I think it’s actually very hard not to like Frederick the great – for all his faults, he was an attractive character.  But I think it’s a mistake to compare him with Maria Theresa – it’s comparing pears and apples, and it seems to me that by doing so Paul Tabori came down on the Frederick side to the detriment of Maria Theresa, which I don’t think is a really useful historical approach, though I haven’t read the book so this is really a view at second hand.  I think we are really missing a modern biography in English of Maria Theresa of the thoroughness of Derek Beale’s biography of Joseph II – although this took about thirty years to complete, which I don’t think many publishers would be willing to wait for these days!

Can I just add, that although we aren’t always in agreement, it’s a real pleasure to argue about these matters with someone so knowledgeable and well read – and it encourages me so much to keep reading and researching.  So thank you!
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 27, 2011, 01:23:11 PM
I think the fundamental problem is that Frederick the Great did not have much respect for women (except his sister Wilhelmina, Margravine of Bayreuth). The shameful way he treated his own wife and of course "stolen" Silesia from Maria Theresa deemed him a rogue. Maria Theresa, lived a moralistic life (as opposed to Catherine the Great), loved her husband and bore children without complaint (even Queen Victoria & Queen Mary complained the trials of giving birth). She gave her children much freedom before the state have uses of them in marriages. Maria Theresa genuinely loved her children (Catherine the Great hated her son & heir) even though she could be a stern mother and disciplinarian at times. At her death bed, the Empress blessed all her children before she died, I found that very moving...
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 28, 2011, 12:30:07 AM

Thanks for the very helpful clarification.  I still don't find the viewpoint convincing, as it seems to hold Maria Theresa to a different standard than to her male contemporaries.  If it was atrocious to wish to gain territory by force of arms, then she was atrocious, but so were pretty much all the other sovereigns of Europe at the time, including Frederick.  Plotting to regain stolen territory, and bearing implacable hostility to the stealer, were not qualities which would have been considered inappropriate in male sovereigns and I can't see why Maria Theresa was worse for wanting to punish Frederick and regain Silesia than Frederick was in taking it in the first place.  
Paul Tabori's view was that their animosity was started by Frederick but perpetuated by Maria Theresa... so overall she seemed more culpable. He had many quotes - unless he mainly fabricated them, which doesn't seem to be the case, to tilt favour to Frederick's credit - that show both sides.  He also wrote that on his deathbed, Charles VI advised his daughter not to presume on Frederick the Great's gratitude (because Charles VI persuaded his father to spare his son) nor friendship (he was a good friend of Franz Stephan) but to arrange things so that Frederick would see the benefit of staying at her side. But it seems she disregarded this advise.

He presented many details on the War on the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War, which showed that it was MT who mainly prolonged it - many of her allies urged her to give up the war, even his most trusted Kaunitz urged her at some point. It also showed Frederick's views on playing duplicity on both sides while profiting from the wars (well, he was the real winner on both wars, right?).  Europe was at peace after 1748, no one wanted a war - only MT did.  What struck me most was Kaunitz's remark to MT at the end of the Seven Years War when they signed the treaty: "It's fortunate we haven't been more humiliated."; it certainly pertains that they started said war with their intrigues and forming the coalition against Prussia but they did not achieve their goal while Frederick the Great's prestige went even higher after it.   

There are also two sections in the book that presented the views of the Hungarians in between the two wars and after 1763, when MT demanded more and taxes from them to improve the army and to pay for the loans of both.  The Hungarians were indifferent to her demands: not only were their many grievances left unanswered for so many years but what do they care about Frederick the Great and Silesia? Unfortunately for MT (and to their delight), she pledged during her coronation to preserve their privileges so her hands were tied. The Magyars were only willing to make concessions as long as it suited them, not what suited their sovereign. I think that was why the author wrote that it's fortunate that her hands were tied on certain things for had she had her way on everything, she could have more means to seek revenge.       



Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 28, 2011, 01:49:30 AM
With regard to Kaunitz, Franz Stephan was a child of the enlightenment in his scientific studies which caused Maria Theresa no problems, and so I think it's a bit simplistic to put her into a total anti-enlightenment camp.  There were certainly things about the new ideas she considered pernicious, as did other autocratic sovereigns, but she certainly didn't write all reform or new ideas off.  And as for his being a libertine, Kaunitz told her squarely it was no business of hers, and she presumably valued him enough to leave that issue alone.  She was pretty used to men having mistresses; her uncle Joseph I had them, her father Charles VI  had them, Franz Stephan had them, Franz Stephan’s father had them, her sons Joseph and Leopold had them – she may have wished for men to be more virtuous but she was hardly under much illusion about aristocratic male chastity in the eighteenth century.  She advised Maria Amalia to put up with her husband’s infidelity as she did herself, she negotiated with Madame de Pompadour, she advised Marie Antoinette not to get across Louis XV by ignoring Madame du Barry, and while it’s clear she herself had the usual double standard of the time where women needed to be absolutely spotless in reputation, she certainly saw no sense in getting rid of someone who could serve her well just because his morals with regard to women were not as she would have liked.  

I made a slight mistake on my post above on this. Maria Theresa punished the Jews of Prague after hearing (public opinion/gossip) that they profited from the Prussians, not with the Elector of Bavaria. But it says that while only some of the (German and Czech) Bohemians were punished in Prague, she punished the Jews collectively. Tabori also states that MT in the end couldn't punish the Jews as she wished for the whole world (England, Turkey, the Dutch Republic, etc.) spoke for them.

With regard to Kaunitz, Franz Stephan was a child of the enlightenment in his scientific studies which caused Maria Theresa no problems, and so I think it's a bit simplistic to put her into a total anti-enlightenment camp.  There were certainly things about the new ideas she considered pernicious, as did other autocratic sovereigns, but she certainly didn't write all reform or new ideas off.  And as for his being a libertine, Kaunitz told her squarely it was no business of hers, and she presumably valued him enough to leave that issue alone.  

I think I read much earlier that Franz Stephan hid his free masonry/enlightenment involvement from her -- she had him watched and would try to catch him. But he always slipped away.... So I think FS did as he liked and she just resigned herself to it (like she eventually did with his womanising).

Overall, Kaunitz wa not a likeable character nor was he brilliant - and the shrine that he worshipped on, i.e. the alliance with France, proved to be utterly useless. He was lazy and inconsistent in his work, with his silly hypochondria and just lounging at times. He was also quite nasty in his dealings with other people. Yet, Maria Theresa extremely valued him until the very end even if he was proven wrong in the reversal of alliances. Not to mention the huge debt that Austria incurred for the Seven Years War. Certainly, she valued his advice over Franz Stephan's at times. Why? Was it because he was the only one who put up and encouraged certain ideas of hers?

I think it’s actually very hard not to like Frederick the great – for all his faults, he was an attractive character.  But I think it’s a mistake to compare him with Maria Theresa – it’s comparing pears and apples, and it seems to me that by doing so Paul Tabori came down on the Frederick side to the detriment of Maria Theresa, which I don’t think is a really useful historical approach, though I haven’t read the book so this is really a view at second hand.  I think we are really missing a modern biography in English of Maria Theresa of the thoroughness of Derek Beale’s biography of Joseph II – although this took about thirty years to complete, which I don’t think many publishers would be willing to wait for these days!

Frederick the Great was a very interesting and brilliant character.  Certainly, he deserved  "the Great" after his name for his achievements and being a genius.  But I haven't even read one biography of him.  But based on what I have read so far, he was not a very humane character.... which for me, counts the most. Paul Tabori in his book was categorical in stating that although it was no picnic to serve at Maria Theresa's army, it was much more humane there than at Frederick's, where human life had no value at all.

Like I said earlier, Tabori's book had errors ... and certainly, his was not a perfect view of Maria Theresa. Overall, I still find his book on her credible, especially the sections on Hungary... it's an old book, and just like Stefan Zweig's of Marie Antoinette it had no bibliography... but I checked out many quotes and accounts from there and they seem to hold very well (not all but certainly many...) I had no idea that Derek Beales' book on  Joseph II in 2 volumes took 30 years, but I agree that a new biography on Maria Theresa - a fair and thorough one - in English is on my wishlist.    


Can I just add, that although we aren’t always in agreement, it’s a real pleasure to argue about these matters with someone so knowledgeable and well read – and it encourages me so much to keep reading and researching.  So thank you!

The pleasure is mine, CountessKate. And I return the compliment many times!  :)


Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 28, 2011, 03:14:39 AM
I think the fundamental problem is that Frederick the Great did not have much respect for women (except his sister Wilhelmina, Margravine of Bayreuth). The shameful way he treated his own wife and of course "stolen" Silesia from Maria Theresa deemed him a rogue.

That was one of the reasons why Maria Theresa despised Frederick the Great. In the course of the war, the Hungarian Hussars were able to capture papers from his tent, which clearly proved he slandered her. MT was beside herself with anger when she received those papers!

Maria Theresa genuinely loved her children (Catherine the Great hated her son & heir) even though she could be a stern mother and disciplinarian at times. At her death bed, the Empress blessed all her children before she died, I found that very moving...

While MT may have genuinely loved her children, I find her kind of love "exhausting" or inconsistent. If you followed her, she loved you. If you didn't, she withheld her love and got back at you at some way. It was not an unconditional love. But then, perhaps that was love in the 18th century royal world.... of course, some parents now still act like that.

I don't think Catherine the Great hated her son Paul -- I have a book on her and one on Potemkin, with accounts that  showed her love for her son. But like Maria Theresa (with some of her children), she didn't seem to like him, and their constant differences undermined their relationship. In one of her letters to Potemkin, she told him not to show up at certain hours for it was her time with her son, and seeing Potemkin with his pink bandanna would upset Paul! One can both love and like a person while it is also possible to love but not like a person. I think that was the case with Catherine the Great as far as her son was concerned.

Are you sure Maria Theresa blessed all her children at her deathbed? I seem to recall one source that categorically states that MT refused to bless Maria Amalia, despite the pleadings of Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth..... 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 28, 2011, 03:20:45 AM
Part of my reply earlier (reply #268) refers to the following paragraph, not the one after it! My apologies...and I'm adding to my earlier post as well (in bold font).

I agree that Maria Theresa's anti-semitic views were ugly (though not unique - they were opinions shared by many in her day) but I don't think it shows that she held grudges and wished for revenge so much as her conservative cultural/religious feelings overcame whashould have been better judgement.

I made a slight mistake on my post above on this. Maria Theresa punished the Jews of Prague after hearing (public opinion/gossip) that they profited from the Prussians, not with the Elector of Bavaria. But it says that while only some of the (German and Czech) Bohemians were punished in Prague, she punished the Jews collectively. Tabori also states that MT in the end couldn't punish the Jews as she wished for the whole world (England, Turkey, the Dutch Republic, etc.) spoke for them and it wouldn't do any good to her reputation internationally if she pushed through with her original plan.  Still, she made them pay a "penalty" tax of 300,000 guldens for alledgedly profiting from her enemy, the Prussians...
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: ivanushka on July 28, 2011, 09:03:25 AM
I think the fundamental problem is that Frederick the Great did not have much respect for women (except his sister Wilhelmina, Margravine of Bayreuth). The shameful way he treated his own wife and of course "stolen" Silesia from Maria Theresa deemed him a rogue. Maria Theresa, lived a moralistic life (as opposed to Catherine the Great), loved her husband and bore children without complaint (even Queen Victoria & Queen Mary complained the trials of giving birth). She gave her children much freedom before the state have uses of them in marriages. Maria Theresa genuinely loved her children (Catherine the Great hated her son & heir) even though she could be a stern mother and disciplinarian at times. At her death bed, the Empress blessed all her children before she died, I found that very moving...

It's funny, Eric.  I was thinking exactly the same thing.  To me, Frederick has always seemed a very damaged individual who wasn't really capable of genuine affection - his sister Wilhemina being the exception.  From the little I know of his relationship with his wife, his treatment of her does seem to have been utterly dismissive.  True, he didn't want to marry her, but she probably didn't have much say in the matter either and common decency would at least require him to endeavour to achieve friendly relations with her.  He was also very lucky that Empress Elizabeth of Russia died when she did as by that time Prussia was on the point of destruction.  Maria Theresa certainly had flaws as a human being - demanding total obedience from her children and often being rather hypocritical in her treatment of them - but I do believe that her heart was in the right place, that she did love them, did want the best for them and genuinely believed that she was doing her best to achieve it. 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 28, 2011, 09:50:46 AM
It's funny, Eric.  I was thinking exactly the same thing.  To me, Frederick has always seemed a very damaged individual who wasn't really capable of genuine affection - his sister Wilhemina being the exception.  From the little I know of his relationship with his wife, his treatment of her does seem to have been utterly dismissive.  True, he didn't want to marry her, but she probably didn't have much say in the matter either and common decency would at least require him to endeavour to achieve friendly relations with her.  

His wife was the Austrian nominee. He didn't like the idea nor her. He also didn't seem to like women, particularly women who directed the policies in Europe -- Maria Theresa, Empress Elisabeth, Madame de Pompadour, and later on Catherine the Great (his own nominee!).  

He was also very lucky that Empress Elizabeth of Russia died when she did as by that time Prussia was on the point of destruction.  

Indeed. But since all the lucky stars seemed to be at his side, whether in the first war or the second,  it was divine will  that he got Silesia. It was something that the pious and God-fearing Maria Theresa never understood (which I find ironic) hence her hatred of him until the very end.

Maria Theresa certainly had flaws as a human being - demanding total obedience from her children and often being rather hypocritical in her treatment of them - but I do believe that her heart was in the right place, that she did love them, did want the best for them and genuinely believed that she was doing her best to achieve it.  

What greatly troubles me about Maria Theresa as a mother is that she never hesitated to harm her children (in whatever way she could) whenever she thought they were out of the line (she wasn't always right in her accusations)  -- by fueling/perpetuating slanders about them (i. e. believing unsubstantiated reports about Maria Amalia's so-called lovers, causing Du Tillot and his party- and perhaps even his successor Del Llano -- to continue their stories ), making damaging remarks about one to another child, telling everyone of her disputes with Joseph, etc. She did not always protect her children or even Austria's prestige whenever she felt slighted by them. Or did she simply not understand the effects of what she did?  
  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 29, 2011, 12:10:38 AM
Further to the post earlier on the hatred for the Jews in Prague, I've just read that Maria Theresa had a chilly relationship with her Bohemian subjects as a whole, not only with the Jews. She called the St Wenceslas Crown as a 'fool's cap' and described it as heavier on her head than the Hungarian crown....and for many years, she wasn't able to forgive the Bohemians for paying homage to her enemy, the Elector of Bavaria, when Prague was conquered by the Bavarian and French troops.  The thing is, the Bohemians found themselves forced to pay homage to Charles VII as their king, it was not done willingly. But MT couldn't see that distinction and saw it as a betrayal of her subjects (she wasn't crowned sovereign yet at that point , the coronation was done in 1743) in her greatest hour of need. While the Bohemians  referred  to her as the "stepmother of Bohemia".

I'm sorry if I upset anyone here, but the above information lends more credence to MT bearing grudges and resentments for years whenever she felt slighted.

(The source above is the World of the Habsburgs, a wonderful  site on the Habsburgs and the historical context of the times, which a project of the Austrian federal government so the information can be relied upon.)

Regarding the author Paul Tabori mentioned earlier,  he was a member of the Austrian P.E.N. Club and a colleague of Stefan Zweig; they also collaborated on a book.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on August 12, 2011, 03:03:23 AM
Here are the exact quotes in German regarding Mimi's thoughts and feelings on Marie Antoinette. The letters were indeed addressed to her friend (and distant cousin) Eleonore of Liechtenstein (as forum member Marc suggested earlier in the Maria Amalia thread); my German is rather poor so I wouldn't like to translate it word per word (although I get what they mean in general); perhaps someone in the forum could translate?

1.08.1789:
"Was sagen Sie, meine teure Freundin, über die schreckliche Lage meiner Schwester in Paris ? Ich leide sehr mit ihr. Wer hätte gedacht, daß es in einer Stadt wie Paris solche Grausamkeiten gäbe. (...)"

06.09.1789:
"Dieser gute König ist sehr zu bedauern, dies hat er nicht verdient. Seine Absichten und Pläne waren nur auf das Glück und das Wohlergehen seiner Völker gerichtet.
Er war zu meiner Schwester zu gut, aber auch zu launenhaft. Sie ist jetzt das Opfer. Die Erbitterung, die man gegen sie hegt, alles das, was man gegen sie sagt und druckt, ist unvorstellbar. Trotzdem hat sie meiner Meinung nach das einzig Richtige getan: weder Drohung noch Furcht konnten sie aus Versailles wegbringen und sie vom König trennen."

25.06.1791:
"Ich habe seit dem Tod meines angebeteten Vaters und meiner Mutter kein größeres Leid erfahren als die Nachricht von dem unglücklichen Schicksale meiner armen Schwester. Sie werden wissen, daß sie kaum vier Meilen weit von der Grenze gefangengenommen wurde. Wenn sie einen anderen Weg eingeschlagen hätte, wäre sie gerettet gewesen wie Monsieur und seine Frau. Ich bin untröstlich über meine unglückliche Schwester und ihre unschuldigen Kinder."

11.11.1793:
"Hätte Maria Theresia geglaubt, daß sie Kinder zu Welt setzen würde, damit diese zum Spielball der Bösen werden, zu Boden gedrückt durch die Meute, bedeckt mit Schande, um schließlich am Schafott zu sterben? Ich kann mich nicht trösten über die Leiden, die die letzten Stunden dieser Unglücklichen gezeichnet haben."
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Marc on August 12, 2011, 09:58:44 PM
Good to know I guessed right about which Eleonore is in question...and thanks for putting quotes in one place!
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 14, 2011, 11:52:13 AM
I hope someone could translate that. :-(
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Marc on August 14, 2011, 07:06:09 PM
Eric,if you are really interested, copy>paste>google translate ;P

I did it and it works ;)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 15, 2011, 08:10:08 AM
I tried but...Guess I am a bit low tech... :(
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on August 15, 2011, 12:15:24 PM
Not a very good translation, and I find the second section a little obscure in parts; corrections welcome!

08/01/1789:
"What do you say, my dear friend, about the terrible situation of my sister in Paris? I suffer so much with her. Who would have thought that in a city like Paris there could be such cruelty. (...)"

09/06/1789:
"This good king is very much to be pitied, and does not deserve his situation. His policies and plans were focused only on the happiness and welfare of his people. He was too good to my sister, but also capricious. She is now the victim. The bitterness which is felt against her, and all that is said and printed about her, is unimaginable. Nevertheless, she has done in my opinion the only right thing: neither threat nor fear will take her away from Versailles and separate her from the king. "

06/25/1791:
"I have not suffered so much since the death of my adored father and my mother as I have in learning of the misfortunes of my poor sister. You will know that they were captured barely four miles from the border. If they had taken a different route, they would have been saved as Monsieur and his wife were. I am heartbroken about my unfortunate sister, and her innocent children. "

11/11/1793:
"Had Maria Teresa believed that she would bring children to the world to be at the mercy of the wicked, thrown to the ground by the mob, covered with shame, and finally to perish on the scaffold? Nothing can console me for the suffering of these unfortunate beings in their last hours.”
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 15, 2011, 04:36:17 PM
Thanks CountessKate ! Appreciate it ! :-)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: joahannagabriela on January 24, 2012, 09:36:39 PM
Why does Johanna Gabriela wasn't called as Maria Johanna unlike her sister they were called maria.....
is it true that the Godfather of Johanna Gabriela is King George III of England?
isn't that MAria Josepha is the favorite sister of Joseph II, does it means that Joseph have a close relationsip with Johanna too?
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on February 07, 2012, 04:49:45 PM
Johanna Gabriela's full name was in fact Maria Johanna Gabriela Josepha Antonia.
Joseph wasn't particularly fond of Johanna Gabriela, but his wife Isabel was, and was very upset at her death.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: ivanushka on February 08, 2012, 08:51:13 AM
Joseph wasn't particularly fond of Johanna Gabriela, but his wife Isabel was, and was very upset at her death.

Do you know why Joseph wasn't particularly fond of Johanna: was she not a very likeable personality or was it just one of those things?  As she died so young we know so little about her.  Apparently her sister Josepha was both very pretty and very sweet.  I've always imagined Johanna was too but probably only because I associate one with the other being that they were so close in age, both engaged to the same man and both died so young.  Not that that means much, I guess.  After all, Caroline and Antoinette were always considered a pair and yet they were very different personalities!
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on February 08, 2012, 02:05:41 PM
[[/quote]
Do you know why Joseph wasn't particularly fond of Johanna: was she not a very likeable personality or was it just one of those things?  As she died so young we know so little about her.  Apparently her sister Josepha was both very pretty and very sweet.  I've always imagined Johanna was too but probably only because I associate one with the other being that they were so close in age, both engaged to the same man and both died so young.  Not that that means much, I guess.  After all, Caroline and Antoinette were always considered a pair and yet they were very different personalities!
[/quote]

Derek Beales writes in his biography of Joseph II that "he notoriously enjoyed baiting his sisters.  The archduchess Josepha...must have been an exception, since Joseph was extremely fond of her."  He therefore suggests that it was not that Joseph was particularly fond of his sisters but not of Johanna, but that he was not especially friendly with any of his sisters, except for Josepha.  She was supposed to have a particularly gentle and pliant personality, which perhaps appealed to Joseph, who had uneasy relationships with women generally, and many of his sisters had strong personalities which not unnaturally clashed with his.  He was charmed with Marie Antoinette when he visited her in France many years after she had left Austria, possibly because she appeared to be willing to defer to him, and certainly put herself out to charm him; and he adored his first wife Isabel, who similarly charmed and deferred to him, whatever her private feelings might have been.  Johanna may simply not have appeared particularly deferential or pleasant, and therefore might have been lumped in with the other sisters, while Josepha's more obvious sweetness marked her out for his favour.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: ivanushka on February 09, 2012, 01:11:39 PM
Yes, now I think about it, I can see that Joseph who may have felt uncomfortable with forceful women may have problems with a lot of his sisters.  Christine, Amalia and Caroline were all very strong personalities and Johanna may well have taken after them.  As for Elizabeth, I believe that before the smallpox she was very narcissistic and someone once said that her best friend was her mirror.  Joseph does always seem to have been fond of Antoinette and perhaps it was because she was very similar to Josepha in both looks and personality.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on May 19, 2012, 12:51:10 AM
Below is a very nice portrait of an archduchess (because of the style of crown) by Johann Gottfried Auerbach (1697-1753), which has been tentatively suggested to be one of the daughters of Josef I, either Maria Josefa or Maria Amalia.  As a result, the portrait has been misiinterpreted on several websites (including Wikipedia) as a portrait of the archduchess Maria Amalia, the daughter of Maria Theresa.  As she would have been 7 when Auerbach died, this seems somewhat unlikely, but nevertheless I don't think the features of the archduchess portrayed resemble either of Josef I's daughters, while the style of dress suggest a dating of after the mid 1720s, when hoops started to widen and flatten, at which stage Maria Josefa and Maria Amalia would have been married women and unlikely to have been portrayed as archduchesses.  It clearly isn't Maria Theresa and it doesn't much resemble her sister, Maria Anna, either.  So I'm wondering whether it could possibly be Maria Theresa's daughter, Marianne (this was her name in the family which I'm using to differentiate her from her aunt).  There is some resemblence between the features of the archduchess in this portrait to Jean-Etienne Liotard's pastel drawing of Marianne in 1762, and at the latest date at which she could have been portrayed by Auerbach, in 1753, she would have been 14 or 15.  Here are the two portraits; what do others think?

(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaAmalia15.jpg)  (http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaAnna.jpg)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on May 19, 2012, 07:48:42 AM
Yes, now I think about it, I can see that Joseph who may have felt uncomfortable with forceful women may have problems with a lot of his sisters.  Christine, Amalia and Caroline were all very strong personalities and Johanna may well have taken after them.  As for Elizabeth, I believe that before the smallpox she was very narcissistic and someone once said that her best friend was her mirror.  Joseph does always seem to have been fond of Antoinette and perhaps it was because she was very similar to Josepha in both looks and personality.

Archduchess Maria Johanna was said to be strong-willed although more talented than her younger sister, Maria Josepha.  Joseph II lacked modesty and thought he had the best mind in the family so people who had a mind of their own probably did not sit very well with him.  He did like Maria Carolina better than he did Marie Christine or Maria Amalia or Maria Elisabeth. I wonder why. Perhaps he felt a bit sorry for what she had to put up with in the early years of her marriage. There seems to no mention that he liked her that much in Vienna.

Below is a very nice portrait of an archduchess (because of the style of crown) by Johann Gottfried Auerbach (1697-1753), which has been tentatively suggested to be one of the daughters of Josef I, either Maria Josefa or Maria Amalia.  As a result, the portrait has been misiinterpreted on several websites (including Wikipedia) as a portrait of the archduchess Maria Amalia, the daughter of Maria Theresa.  As she would have been 7 when Auerbach died, this seems somewhat unlikely, but nevertheless I don't think the features of the archduchess portrayed resemble either of Josef I's daughters, while the style of dress suggest a dating of after the mid 1720s, when hoops started to widen and flatten, at which stage Maria Josefa and Maria Amalia would have been married women and unlikely to have been portrayed as archduchesses.  It clearly isn't Maria Theresa and it doesn't much resemble her sister, Maria Anna, either.  So I'm wondering whether it could possibly be Maria Theresa's daughter, Marianne (this was her name in the family which I'm using to differentiate her from her aunt).  There is some resemblence between the features of the archduchess in this portrait to Jean-Etienne Liotard's pastel drawing of Marianne in 1762, and at the latest date at which she could have been portrayed by Auerbach, in 1753, she would have been 14 or 15.  Here are the two portraits; what do others think?

Yes, the features in the two portraits are indeed similar. As for it being Maria Amalia, Maria Theresa's daughter, I'm not sure the features correspond to hers much. In that family portraits by Meytens done in the 1750s (where she was at the back with  Maria Johanna and Maria Josepha) she was depicted as a rather grown girl; certainly looking older and more "mature" than her older sisters Marie Christine (wearing black) or even Maria Elisabeth in front, and she was only around 7-10 years old at most. I wonder if she just "matured" too early?  not only with her sisters, but Leopold and Charles in front seem "puny" compared to her....  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on May 19, 2012, 03:53:28 PM
Quote
He did like Maria Carolina better than he did Marie Christine or Maria Amalia or Maria Elisabeth. I wonder why. Perhaps he felt a bit sorry for what she had to put up with in the early years of her marriage. There seems to no mention that he liked her that much in Vienna.

I don't think being in Vienna brought out the best in Joseph in relation to his sisters.  He certainly ignored Marie Antoinette as a young girl there, but despite significant criticism of her beforehand, when he met her again as a married woman in Paris he succumbed to her charm, while Maria Carolina was equally ignored in Vienna but possibly bonded with him a bit more when he escorted her to her marriage in Naples.  Perhaps the freedom of foreign travel, and the attraction of individual attention from his sisters together with a familial intimacy free from the competitive scrum of the huge family in Austria, softened his hypercritical attitude towards them.  It's not unnatural - I don't have a huge family, but nevertheless I interact much better on a one-to-one basis than I do when we are all together.   
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on May 20, 2012, 07:12:26 AM
Actually, I now see it wasn't Joseph who escorted Maria Carolina to Naples; he had promised Josepha he would do this for her but obviously couldn't face doing it for her replacement, Maria Carolina - though he promised to visit her in the future.  But I think the general principles of Joseph liking his sisters better outside Austria seems to apply nonetheless.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on May 20, 2012, 08:33:33 PM
I don't think being in Vienna brought out the best in Joseph in relation to his sisters.  He certainly ignored Marie Antoinette as a young girl there, but despite significant criticism of her beforehand, when he met her again as a married woman in Paris he succumbed to her charm, while Maria Carolina was equally ignored in Vienna but possibly bonded with him a bit more when he escorted her to her marriage in Naples.  Perhaps the freedom of foreign travel, and the attraction of individual attention from his sisters together with a familial intimacy free from the competitive scrum of the huge family in Austria, softened his hypercritical attitude towards them.  It's not unnatural - I don't have a huge family, but nevertheless I interact much better on a one-to-one basis than I do when we are all together.  

Joseph was a difficult child and obviously a difficult man as well (to put it mildly). IMHO, Maria Carolina and Marie Antoinette were lucky to have been ignored by him as young girls. I'm not too sure but I think it would've been Maria Elisabeth and Maria Amalia who borne the brunt of his sarcastic remarks and castigations in Vienna. Their less-than-interested attitude towards learning and reading (although Maria Amalia seemed to step up on this later on) would've classified them as "vain airheads" in his book. I doubt if Marianne (who certainly had superior intellect than him!... although i doubt if he acknowledged such.) or Mimi (not as intelligent as Marianne but could certainly hold her own and sort of "protected" as their mother's favourite) would've been his favourite targets. Johanna wasn't favoured by him either but she was only 12 when she died, I doubt if she had much to do with him.

As for him visiting his sisters when they were married, yes, Maria Carolina and Marie Antoinette appeared to love him and grew emotional when he left. I'm not sure about Maria Amalia... if she was similarly emotional.  I read a letter by Maria Amalia, wherein she mentioned to one of her best friends that he scolded her greatly in one of his visits.  On the other hand, whatever her shortcomings (real or imagined), he praised her capability for ruling. Nevertheless, she does not seem one to hold rancour and genuinely mourned his death.  No idea how he and Maria Elisabeth got on after she transferred to Innsbruck.  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on May 21, 2012, 03:05:47 AM
Quote
No idea how he and Maria Elisabeth got on after she transferred to Innsbruck.   

Joseph described Maria Elisabeth to Leopold in a letter of 1781 as "merely mad" as opposed to Marianne who, according to him, was "like a harpy", suggesting he at least felt no very warm feelings after Maria Elisabeth had left the court.  Derek Beales says both sisters went off to their respective convents unwillingly, strongly encouraged by the emperor (or rather, discouraged from staying in Vienna).  Joseph did not appear to wish to have anything to do with them subsequently, not even sending for Maria Elisabeth when he was dying.  It's not clear what the archduchesses felt, but as neither were renowned for extreme good nature, it would have been very natural to have resented this unpleasant treatment.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on May 21, 2012, 06:29:00 AM
Joseph described Maria Elisabeth to Leopold in a letter of 1781 as "merely mad" as opposed to Marianne who, according to him, was "like a harpy", suggesting he at least felt no very warm feelings after Maria Elisabeth had left the court.  Derek Beales says both sisters went off to their respective convents unwillingly, strongly encouraged by the emperor (or rather, discouraged from staying in Vienna).  Joseph did not appear to wish to have anything to do with them subsequently, not even sending for Maria Elisabeth when he was dying.  It's not clear what the archduchesses felt, but as neither were renowned for extreme good nature, it would have been very natural to have resented this unpleasant treatment.

Thanks!

I wonder why was Maria Elisabeth termed as "mad"? Marianne being "like a harpy" is quite unclear to me as well. I think I've read Marianne could be unkind to the servants in Vienna (like Maria Christina and Maria Carolina) but I'm also unsure if it was due to her ill health (or if such a claim came from a reliable source). It seemed to me that she was happier in Klagenfurt, where she felt loved by the people. She also maintained a stimulating environment there, with her salon, masonic lodge, and continuing her scientific interests. As for Maria Elisabeth, she also seemed happier in Innsbruck -- being the center of attention there, going out (certainly not like a nun) and not being answerable to anyone on a day-to-day basis. I think it's just Joseph disparaging those whom he clearly didn't like.  

Incidentally, Maria Elisabeth was not a vain airhead who wasn't interested in anything except her good looks -- she had a very strong interest in music.  Not only did she have a lovely voice but she was the most (musically) talented among her siblings. She played the keyboard extremely well and built up a rather impressive collection of music, which was inherited by one of her nephews (a son of Leopold, if I remember it right).  Not to mention her artworks (rather good for an amateur).
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on May 21, 2012, 08:59:38 AM
Quote
I wonder why was Maria Elisabeth termed as "mad"? Marianne being "like a harpy" is quite unclear to me as well. I think I've read Marianne could be unkind to the servants in Vienna (like Maria Christina and Maria Carolina) but I'm also unsure if it was due to her ill health (or if such a claim came from a reliable source). It seemed to me that she was happier in Klagenfurt, where she felt loved by the people. She also maintained a stimulating environment there, with her salon, masonic lodge, and continuing her scientific interests. As for Maria Elisabeth, she also seemed happier in Innsbruck -- being the center of attention there, going out (certainly not like a nun) and not being answerable to anyone on a day-to-day basis. I think it's just Joseph disparaging those whom he clearly didn't like. 
Joseph seems to have had an extreme example of eighteenth century contempt for confident women - any female who appeared at all strongly disputatious certainly went iinto his bad books.  Marianne I imagine was the more likely to have made a more outspoken fuss about going off to Klagenfurt - she was the one who showed annoyance about having to give precedence at court to Joseph's new wife Isabel of Parma - so possibly this is the reason why she received the more insulting epithet of 'harpy', while Elisabeth, who seems to have been more likely to have been miserable in a lower key compared to her sister, was 'merely mad'.  I am sure you are right they eventually did find themselves better off in their respective convents, as the centre of attention and deference in a way that they certainly weren't before, and with greater freedom to do what they wanted, but that is not the same as actually wanting to leave the only homes they had ever known for 42 years (Marianne) and 37 years (Maria Elisabeth), pushed out by their brother who clearly showed he had no use for them.  As Derek Beales remarked, Joseph's banishment of his sisters and his own dislike of court ceremony made his court "the meanest, the most masculine and the least attractive in Europe". 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on May 21, 2012, 09:37:18 AM
Joseph seems to have had an extreme example of eighteenth century contempt for confident women - any female who appeared at all strongly disputatious certainly went iinto his bad books.  Marianne I imagine was the more likely to have made a more outspoken fuss about going off to Klagenfurt - she was the one who showed annoyance about having to give precedence at court to Joseph's new wife Isabel of Parma - so possibly this is the reason why she received the more insulting epithet of 'harpy', while Elisabeth, who seems to have been more likely to have been miserable in a lower key compared to her sister, was 'merely mad'.  I am sure you are right they eventually did find themselves better off in their respective convents, as the centre of attention and deference in a way that they certainly weren't before, and with greater freedom to do what they wanted, but that is not the same as actually wanting to leave the only homes they had ever known for 42 years (Marianne) and 37 years (Maria Elisabeth), pushed out by their brother who clearly showed he had no use for them.  As Derek Beales remarked, Joseph's banishment of his sisters and his own dislike of court ceremony made his court "the meanest, the most masculine and the least attractive in Europe".  

I agree - Marianne made it clear that Maria Elisabeth was "beneath" her by monopolising their visitors when they were finally the last two sisters left in Vienna and Maria Elisabeth was unhappy at having to defer to such (since Marianne had precedence over her). I've read that Maria Theresa wanted her two daughters to remain in Vienna after she died but Joseph disregarded her wish.  I also remember reading that  Maria Theresa had a palace built for Marianne in Klangenfurt?

And now that you mentioned it, attachment to the only home they knew could very likely be a strong factor in wanting to stay, despite Joseph's unpleasantness. Maria Amalia, who seemed to have loved her new home (Parma) more than any of her (married) sisters, was excessively attached to the town of Sala Baganza. Why? Because, as Marie Louise (who later on purchased her great-aunt's estate there and she appeared to love it as much as her great-aunt, both willing to stay in a mere "hole" for extended periods of time) later on put it, "it was just like home" (referring to Laxenburg).  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: ivanushka on May 21, 2012, 10:51:59 AM
Perhaps the freedom of foreign travel, and the attraction of individual attention from his sisters together with a familial intimacy free from the competitive scrum of the huge family in Austria, softened his hypercritical attitude towards them.  It's not unnatural - I don't have a huge family, but nevertheless I interact much better on a one-to-one basis than I do when we are all together.   

I think that's very likely.  The problem with a very large family is that often siblings get labels early in life; ie "the pretty one," "the clever one" "the funny one", etc and it can become very difficult to escape them.  A one to one interraction far away from the childhood environment can often lead to siblings seeing each other in a different and far more appreciative life.  This would have been particularly true with regard to Joseph's relationship with Antoinette.  When she left Vienna she would have been (in his eyes) just a sweet child, but when they met again seven years later she had transformed into a fascinating woman.  Also I guess the fact that both she and Caroline were now Queens (and therefore far more politically powerful than they had been in Vienna) meant that he would have to treat them on a more equal footing.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Bourgogne on June 16, 2012, 07:39:01 PM

(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaAmalia15.jpg) 

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/68/Archduchess_Maria_Anne_of_Austria.jpg)

Come on, CountessKate! How can you ask if this portrait depicts Marianne... ;-) Who else could it be...? :-)

Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on June 19, 2012, 03:49:57 PM
Quote
Come on, CountessKate! How can you ask if this portrait depicts Marianne... ;-) Who else could it be...? :-)


These are the two daughters of Joseph I, one of whom is supposed to be the sitter for the portrait:
(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/M-Amaliaelder4.jpg)
Archduchess Maria Amalia, Electress of Bavaria and Holy Roman Empress
or 
(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MJoSaxony6.jpg)
Archduchess Maria Josefa, Electress of Saxony and Queen of Poland

The portraits of the two archduchesses are from when they were about the right age, but one can see the style of hair and dress is quite different and there seems very little facial resemblence, although possibly there is some sort of similarity with the eyes - they were Marianne's first cousins once removed.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Bourgogne on June 19, 2012, 06:18:33 PM

The portraits of the two archduchesses are from when they were about the right age, but one can see the style of hair and dress is quite different and there seems very little facial resemblence, although possibly there is some sort of similarity with the eyes - they were Marianne's first cousins once removed.

Yes I know well Marie-Amalia and Maria-Josepha, but it's definively sure they are not the archduchess on Auerbach's portrait. As you say, there is not any ressemblance, not the most little one...  And above all, the fashion is completely different, 1720's for Maria-Amalia and Marie-Josepha, while 1750's on Auerbach's portrait (MA and MJ would have been then ca 55 years old!)

Remember also her brother's face and compare : the debate is over... It's Marianne :-)

(http://www.altesses.eu/Sn/MariaAnnaJo.jpg)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on August 19, 2012, 04:38:23 AM
A nice picture of Maria Christina, though she's not everyone's favorite archduchess:

(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaChristina15.jpg)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Bourgogne on August 19, 2012, 04:44:12 PM
A nice picture of Maria Christina, though she's not everyone's favorite archduchess:

(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaChristina15.jpg)

Amazing!!!! I had never seen this one....!!! Thank you sooo much for this portrait!!! Do you know where it is, who's the painter...?...

PS. "Not everyone's", maybe (?), but mine, certainly ;-)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 19, 2012, 08:55:59 PM
Mimi looks very nice in the red dress and jewels.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on August 20, 2012, 03:18:00 AM
Quote
Amazing!!!! I had never seen this one....!!! Thank you sooo much for this portrait!!! Do you know where it is, who's the painter...?...


It was painted in 1766 by Marcello Bacciarelli and is apparently in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Bourgogne on August 20, 2012, 07:52:26 PM

It was painted in 1766 by Marcello Bacciarelli and is apparently in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

Thank you very much... Strange I never saw it in KHM, which I visited many times, and also not in Ambras near Innsbruck, where almost all the Habsburg portraits of the KHM are now "relocated"... But there are so many portraits which are not exposed............  :(
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on August 21, 2012, 04:29:45 AM
There is actually a photo of the portrait on the wall in the Kunsthistorisches Museum on Flickr, which was taken in 2010: http://www.flickr.com/photos/washuotaku/7125167477/
Of course by now it might have been changed for something else. That's the trouble with the really large collections - there's not enough room for what are deemed to be 'minor' pieces and they appear and disappear quite quickly.  You can only depend on the big showstoppers, and even then they can be on loan, or taken down for cleaning or restoration.  My father made a special journey to Chicago to see Seurat's La Grande Jatte and it wasn't there.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Bourgogne on August 21, 2012, 06:54:04 PM
There is actually a photo of the portrait on the wall in the Kunsthistorisches Museum on Flickr, which was taken in 2010: http://www.flickr.com/photos/washuotaku/7125167477/
Of course by now it might have been changed for something else. That's the trouble with the really large collections - there's not enough room for what are deemed to be 'minor' pieces and they appear and disappear quite quickly.  You can only depend on the big showstoppers, and even then they can be on loan, or taken down for cleaning or restoration.  My father made a special journey to Chicago to see Seurat's La Grande Jatte and it wasn't there.

Same misadventure as your father, for me, in Musée d'Orsay to see the magnificient Bouguereau's Birth of Venus... I was so disapointed. But ok I'm living in Paris, so it was not a big problem to come back later...
The link you give is really very very interesting because I remember very well to have seen the portrait of Sainte Catherine of Sienna by Tiepolo, in the KHM, which is here on the left of our Mimi's portrait... And now I'm sure Mimi's portrait wasn't there at that time, because of course, I could not have forgoten it, if it would have been exposed near the Tiepolo. Btw, my last visit in the KHM was before 2010 :-)
Thank you again and again for all your kind informations...
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 23, 2012, 09:15:23 AM
I think that they should catalog the pieces that is not on show some like the NPG in London.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 18, 2013, 12:34:31 AM
The saddest case was Maria Elisabeth whose beauty should have landed her a husband, but never happened. :-(
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 20, 2013, 06:50:48 PM
Thanks for the info...I wonder how ME herself thought about the failed marriage proposals and all. She was to be Queen of Poland or France, but neither crown came to her.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on August 24, 2013, 01:20:46 AM
Thanks for the info...I wonder how ME herself thought about the failed marriage proposals and all. She was to be Queen of Poland or France, but neither crown came to her.

I think she may have been thankful that neither came to her, given how things ended in both countries.  France was in bad shape even in the late 1760s - which MT nor Kaunitz was able to realize - and Poland partitioned with the King of Poland ended his life in exile in Russia.  ME lived rather long enough to experience either situation.

As for Maria Elisabeth and her cousin the Duke of Chablais, the post as Governor of Bohemia would have been possible. Mimi & Albert were intended for the Netherlands, with their post in Hungary was only temporary until their uncle Charles of Lorraine passed away; Archduke Maximilian was originally intended to replace them in Hungary. Archduke Ferdinand was fine as Governor of Milan and waiting to inherit Modena with his wife Beatrix. Leopold was to take over Joseph's position eventually. Leaving Maria Anna out for practical reasons (and she was Princess-Abbess in the HRE with a splendid income), everything and everyone else in the family could've been sorted out satisfactorily but it didn't happen for ME. For me, that is the greater tragedy, not the smallpox or the French & Polish matches that didn't come through.  

From this article I learned MA had more children in her late 30s who did not live more than 2 or 3 years and then also twins who died at birth when she was 43!

It must have been very sad to lose them but also very dangerous before the days of modern medicine to bear children at such an age. (Maria Carolina's last two children were born when she was 40 and 41 and Leopold's wife was 42 for her last child- Beethoven's future student Archduke Rudolph.)

I think her (poor) health and/or perhaps estrangement at some level with her husband contributed to the six-year gap between their fourth and fifth children, Carlotta Maria born in 1777 and Philip Maria born in 1783.  She also had at least one miscarriage in the 1770s. Obviously a second son was desirable since Louis was sickly; not sure if Parma had a semi-Salic law or if it was changed by Ferdinand  but I read during Duke Philip's time, it was stipulated that in the absence of Ferdinand's heirs, it would go to his sister Maria Luisa and her children. They tried but they had more girls than boys and none of their children born in 1780s survived long. Maria Amalia also married rather late for that time, at age 23.  

Then, for MA to lose both her husband as well as Parma in 1802, son Louis in 1803 and her daughter Caroline in 1804, one family loss after another shortly before she herself died. Very sobering to think of these tragedies she had to go through near the end of her life after being the beautiful and glamorous princess in Vienna prior to her marriage. Does anyone know after she was forced out of Parma why she ended up going to live in Prague instead of Vienna? Since she was in Prague was she able to go to Saxony to visit Caroline and her grandchildren?

She was never in good health, at least when she came to Parma, despite Maria Theresa's reassurance to Charles III of Spain that her daughter's health promises numerous progeny. She was already rather in ill when she arrived in Prague. I'm not very clear on the details of her relationship with her nephew Franz I/II but she knew him from her visits to Tuscany in the 1780s. He was said to be the one who supported her financially while in exile, presumably from the family fund/trust fund that her father Franz Stephan left them. Perhaps the Austrian court was just too crowded (with Franz's numerous siblings and children) and anyway, Maria Elisabeth, although she visited rather often, was based in Innsbruck and later on, Linz. Maria Amalia's daughter Caroline and son in law Maximilian visited her in Prague in the spring of 1803. Not sure if they brought any of their children but she did get at least one visit.

I think that overall she fared better than most of her sisters or even fared better than all of her sisters (in many aspects).  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Gabriel Antonio on October 01, 2013, 11:54:48 PM
Thanks for the info...I wonder how ME herself thought about the failed marriage proposals and all. She was to be Queen of Poland or France, but neither crown came to her.

I am trying to follow everything being said about Marie Elizabeth's potential marriages. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Was she considered as a possible wife for Louis XV after Queen Marie L. died in 1768? If so, it is quite a coincidence she was born in the exact same month (one week apart) and year as Madame Du Barry, August 1743. ( who in an unofficial capacity had the same job. ) ME would have then become the grandmother in law of her own sister MA in 1770?

And the potential Polish Crown- here is where I am very confused; was she actually considered to marry Stanislaw Poniatowski- a former lover of Cathernine the Great? A daughter of Maria Theresa would be allowed to do that? Or, are we talking about one of the older brothers of MC's husband Albert of Saxony who could have possibly been a contender for the Polish crown instead of the oldest brother who had died right after his father Augustus III?.

And was the Duke of Chablais the uncle of the 2 sisters who became wives of Louis XVI's brothers? And, when it did not work out for ME to marry him, didn't he then marry his own niece, a younger sister of the two sisters?

And finally Maria Amalia's Zweibrucken- did not he end up becoming the Elector of Bavaria in 1777- the state Joseph wanted so much to become a part of the Habsburg Empire? ( Frederick the Great: "Over my dead body.") I bet Joseph would have wanted ME to be married to him at this point.

 Poor Marie Elizabeth!
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 02, 2013, 11:13:58 AM
Well...She did not have to be exiled and that is points for being unmarried.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Gabriel Antonio on October 02, 2013, 11:22:36 PM
Quote
Amazing!!!! I had never seen this one....!!! Thank you sooo much for this portrait!!! Do you know where it is, who's the painter...?...


It was painted in 1766 by Marcello Bacciarelli and is apparently in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

Thank you for sharing this painting. Marcello Bacciarelli may for some an unfamiliar name; but he was a wonderful artist working in Dresden for Augustus III and then in Warsaw for Stanislaw Poniatowski. I did not know he was also in Vienna- but it makes sense after Augustus III and before he was appointed by SP that he would be there in the 1760s. Bernardo Bellotto did the same thing.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on October 03, 2013, 02:18:35 PM
Quote
I am trying to follow everything being said about Marie Elizabeth's potential marriages. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Was she considered as a possible wife for Louis XV after Queen Marie L. died in 1768? If so, it is quite a coincidence she was born in the exact same month (one week apart) and year as Madame Du Barry, August 1743. ( who in an unofficial capacity had the same job. ) ME would have then become the grandmother in law of her own sister MA in 1770?

And the potential Polish Crown- here is where I am very confused; was she actually considered to marry Stanislaw Poniatowski- a former lover of Cathernine the Great? A daughter of Maria Theresa would be allowed to do that? Or, are we talking about one of the older brothers of MC's husband Albert of Saxony who could have possibly been a contender for the Polish crown instead of the oldest brother who had died right after his father Augustus III?.

And was the Duke of Chablais the uncle of the 2 sisters who became wives of Louis XVI's brothers? And, when it did not work out for ME to marry him, didn't he then marry his own niece, a younger sister of the two sisters?

And finally Maria Amalia's Zweibrucken- did not he end up becoming the Elector of Bavaria in 1777- the state Joseph wanted so much to become a part of the Habsburg Empire? ( Frederick the Great: "Over my dead body.") I bet Joseph would have wanted ME to be married to him at this point.

 Poor Marie Elizabeth!

The widowed Louis XV was very much taken with Marie Antoinette when she arrived in France to marry his grandson, and rather fancied the idea of marrieage to her sister, writing to the marquis de Ruffec (part of his private diplomatic group) in 1770, 'Let [François-Michel Durand de Distroff, French chargé d'affaires in Vienna] take a good look at her figure, from head to foot and without leaving out anything he can see of the Archduchess Elisabeth; let him also find out about her character, all in deepest secrecy and without arousing suspicions in Vienna".  However, he didn't persist with the notion - whether because he cooled with regard to Marie Antoinette, thought Maria Elisabeth's smallpox scarring was too unpleasant, or just cooled on the idea of marrying again, is not clear.  So this project was never really a goer. 

Stanislaw Poniatowski made matrimonial overtures to Maria Theresa for Maria Elisabeth but due to the instability of his throne and his lack of private fortune the Empress was not enthusiastic (although she did not immediately reject the offer), though when Catherine the Great learned of it she very firmly indicated she would not agree to such a marriage, and Poniatowski was too dependent on Russian backing to go against her.

Maria Elisabeth's chances as replacement for Marie Christine as wife to Benedetto Maria Maurizio, Duc de Chablais, seem to have been scuppered by the size of the establishment Maria Theresa granted to Marie Christine and Albrecht of Saxony, and Joseph's refusal to provide for another brother-in-law who was not useful in a dynastic sense, e.g. a ruling sovereign.  Chablais was indeed the uncle of the Comtesses de Provence and Artois and did marry his niece Maria Anna of Savoy.  They apparently had a happy marriage, though there were no children.

Joseph's grab at Bavaria would not have been improved by Maria Elisabeth's marrying the Duke of Zweibrucken and producing more heirs to Bavaria who would cut out the Habsburgs; there has been some suggestion that this is one reason he supported Maria Amalia's marriage to the Duke of Parma, to get her off the scene.  So a sister married to a Bavarian would never have been a goer for Joseph until far too late.

Yes, poor Maria Elisabeth - all the matrimonial projects were a bit emphemeral.  Though frankly, Queenship of France or Poland could have had rather chancy outcomes; the Duc de Chablais sounds the best candidate.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 03, 2013, 08:01:27 PM
Poor Maria Elisabeth indeed.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on October 07, 2013, 12:50:23 PM
(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaChristina18_zps8ad2b64c.jpg) (http://s8.photobucket.com/user/cfarnon/media/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaChristina18_zps8ad2b64c.jpg.html)

Maria Christina, by an anonymous court portraitist.  She is wearing The Ordre de l'Union Parfaite.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 07, 2013, 06:46:59 PM
That would be "Mimi" isn't it. The one with the sharp tongue ?
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Gabriel Antonio on October 10, 2013, 09:39:53 PM
Thank you Countess Kate for your insightful and thought provoking responses to my comments/questions regarding Maria Elizabeth's marriage possibilities. Regarding Stanislaw Poniatowski, why was Catherine the Great against the marriage? I suppose there could have been a number of reasons, but were two of them not wanting too much potential Austrian influence in Warsaw and also that Frederick the Great probably would be against this? I also think of the potential irony if ME had become the Queen of Poland and then having her mother and brother involved in the first partition in 1772.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on October 11, 2013, 09:21:16 AM
Thank you Countess Kate for your insightful and thought provoking responses to my comments/questions regarding Maria Elizabeth's marriage possibilities. Regarding Stanislaw Poniatowski, why was Catherine the Great against the marriage? I suppose there could have been a number of reasons, but were two of them not wanting too much potential Austrian influence in Warsaw and also that Frederick the Great probably would be against this? I also think of the potential irony if ME had become the Queen of Poland and then having her mother and brother involved in the first partition in 1772.

I believe Catherine the Great was chiefly opposed to any influence on Poniatowski other than her own - and marriage with an Austrian archduchess would have been immensely prestigious to Poniatowski though strictly speaking his Pacta conventa - his employment contract as King of Poland, so to speak - prohibited marriage to anyone but a Polish noblewoman.  As for Frederick the Great, he certainly would have been hostile to any increase of backing or prestige for Poniatowski, and for Austrian interests in Poland, though that would have probably been seen as a benefit by Maria Theresa (though not by Joseph).  As for the partition of Poland - had Maria Elisabeth been Queen, who knows what position she might have taken?  She might have seen it as an opportunity for her Polish family to rule in a reduced but hereditary dependent Austrian state, such as Marie Christine in Belgium.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 11, 2013, 12:04:33 PM
A missed opportunity. I read the King of Poland (ex-lover of Catherine the great) was very handsome.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on May 21, 2014, 01:43:06 PM
I found some rather nice portraits of Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth by Pierre Bernard, on the Norton Simon Museum website:

(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaAnna-13_zpsa9b0fabe.jpg) (http://s8.photobucket.com/user/cfarnon/media/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaAnna-13_zpsa9b0fabe.jpg.html)

Maria Anna

(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaElizabeth-20_zps1efa8885.jpg) (http://s8.photobucket.com/user/cfarnon/media/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaElizabeth-20_zps1efa8885.jpg.html)

Maria Elisabeth
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on May 21, 2014, 10:25:47 PM
Where are they located now ? Not in Schonbrunn or Hofburg I was there...
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on May 22, 2014, 02:57:50 AM
The Norton Simon Museum is located in Pasadena, California.  I believe the portraits are not currently on exhibition.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on May 24, 2014, 01:35:01 AM
Thanks for the info.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on May 30, 2014, 05:54:38 AM
Lovely portraits of the Archduchesses Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth.... thanks, CountessKate!  Would you also happen to know when those were painted - they looked young -  and if they were the only two of the archdukes/archduchesses alive then that were painted by Pierre Bernard?
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on May 30, 2014, 11:27:35 AM
Lovely portraits of the Archduchesses Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth.... thanks, CountessKate!  Would you also happen to know when those were painted - they looked young -  and if they were the only two of the archdukes/archduchesses alive then that were painted by Pierre Bernard?

They are dated 1763, when Maria Anna was 25 and Maria Elisabeth 20.  Bernard's entry in the 'Dictionary of pastellists before 1800' states rather vaguely that "A number of portraits of the Austrian Royal family date from 1763" (http://www.pastellists.com/Articles/Bernard.pdf) and the article shows there was a portrait of Maria Amalia and Maria Christina included in the set, together with their mother Maria Theresa and these were all part of the Alfons and Eugene Rothschild collection - Viennese Rothschilds - and were sold in the 1940s.  There seem to be several versions of the portrait of Maria Theresa and one (but not that owned by the Rothschilds I believe) was auctioned by Christies in 2012: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/paintings/pierre-bernard-portrait-of-maria-theresa-empress-5530448-details.aspx.  I've not found the other two portraits of Maria Christina and Maria Amalia anywhere - presumably they are in either private collections or languishing in museum stores.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on May 31, 2014, 07:23:29 AM
They are dated 1763, when Maria Anna was 25 and Maria Elisabeth 20.  Bernard's entry in the 'Dictionary of pastellists before 1800' states rather vaguely that "A number of portraits of the Austrian Royal family date from 1763" (http://www.pastellists.com/Articles/Bernard.pdf) and the article shows there was a portrait of Maria Amalia and Maria Christina included in the set, together with their mother Maria Theresa and these were all part of the Alfons and Eugene Rothschild collection - Viennese Rothschilds - and were sold in the 1940s.  There seem to be several versions of the portrait of Maria Theresa and one (but not that owned by the Rothschilds I believe) was auctioned by Christies in 2012: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/paintings/pierre-bernard-portrait-of-maria-theresa-empress-5530448-details.aspx.  I've not found the other two portraits of Maria Christina and Maria Amalia anywhere - presumably they are in either private collections or languishing in museum stores.

Thanks a lot for the detailed reply.  I've looked into the articles by Pastellists and Christies, and he also painted Franz Stephan. As for Maria Amalia, it might be this portrait? http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=15649.0 (see reply #4)... unsure, or at least, similar to it.  I really like the ones on Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth. They are the best of the bunch.  Maria Christina's wasn't so good and both Franz Stephan's and Maria Theresa's seem to be all right (the likeliness to other portraits are apparent).
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on June 01, 2014, 12:51:56 PM
Quote
Thanks a lot for the detailed reply.  I've looked into the articles by Pastellists and Christies, and he also painted Franz Stephan. As for Maria Amalia, it might be this portrait? http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=15649.0 (see reply #4)... unsure, or at least, similar to it.  I really like the ones on Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth. They are the best of the bunch.  Maria Christina's wasn't so good and both Franz Stephan's and Maria Theresa's seem to be all right (the likeliness to other portraits are apparent).

I did wonder at first whether the Maria Amalia portrait you linked to was part of the Bernard set but that series is anonymous as far as I know and the portraits are miniatures; additionally, the Maria Christina portrait by Bernard isn't similar.  Here are three of the miniatures, from left to right Maria Christina, Maria Carolina, and Maria Amalia:

(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaChristinaampMariaCarolinaampMariaAmalia_zps63784f61.jpg) (http://s8.photobucket.com/user/cfarnon/media/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaChristinaampMariaCarolinaampMariaAmalia_zps63784f61.jpg.html)

Frequently court painters were dealing with sitters' reluctance to sit for very long, or had to create likenesses in their subjects' absences, so had to base their images on other portraits, or templates which were run up in court painters' studios, so the anonymous miniaturist or Bernard might have copied the other.  Though as Bernard's image appears to be more sophisticated, it's more likely that his portrait was the template.

I think it's hard to compare two large coloured images with two small black-and-white images - I'd have to see the other two before making a judgement!
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 02, 2014, 08:09:58 AM
You're right, CountessKate. Especially on the fact that the anonymous one of Mimi is not similar to the one by Bernard. Thanks! Please let us know if you find the two portraits..

Anyway, I am glad to note that on the Bernard portrait (as well as on others) Maria Anna was sumptuously attired and accessorised..... for me that shows that even though Maria Anna wasn't loved much by Maria Theresa (although her father's favourite, and always next to her father in family portraits), she was still recognised and treated as the "first" (i.e. highest ranking) archduchess at court... contrast her clothing and jewels with those of Maria Elisabeth's, who while pretty, didn't have the same quality of dress and jewels/accessories.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on September 12, 2014, 10:50:06 PM
Miniature of the complete family - minus the three archduchesses that died young -  by Antonio Bencini (after Meytens); it nor the link doesn't seem to have been posted before:

http://wallacelive.wallacecollection.org/eMuseumPlus?service=ExternalInterface&module=collection&objectId=65692
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Bravecoeur on October 12, 2014, 09:17:40 AM
Thanks for the info...I wonder how ME herself thought about the failed marriage proposals and all. She was to be Queen of Poland or France, but neither crown came to her.

I think she may have been thankful that neither came to her, given how things ended in both countries.  France was in bad shape even in the late 1760s - which MT nor Kaunitz was able to realize - and Poland partitioned with the King of Poland ended his life in exile in Russia.  ME lived rather long enough to experience either situation.
I agree, although some authors suggest that Poland probably would not have been partitioned if Maria Elisabeth had been Queen there.

When people/biographers frequently write "Poor Maria Elisabeth!", I have to admit that to me it seems a little weird that a woman is pitied for - to speak in modern terms - not being forced to marry some random guy and not being sent away to a foreign country far away from her family. Yes, she might have been happier, but she also might have been way more miserable, no one knows...

As for Maria Elisabeth and her cousin the Duke of Chablais, the post as Governor of Bohemia would have been possible. Mimi & Albert were intended for the Netherlands, with their post in Hungary was only temporary until their uncle Charles of Lorraine passed away; Archduke Maximilian was originally intended to replace them in Hungary. Archduke Ferdinand was fine as Governor of Milan and waiting to inherit Modena with his wife Beatrix. Leopold was to take over Joseph's position eventually. Leaving Maria Anna out for practical reasons (and she was Princess-Abbess in the HRE with a splendid income), everything and everyone else in the family could've been sorted out satisfactorily but it didn't happen for ME. For me, that is the greater tragedy, not the smallpox or the French & Polish matches that didn't come through.
Thank you very much for this paragraph! I could not agree more. We have to consider that by 1771 ALL other siblings had some sort of position. As was already said here there are reports that Maria Elisabeth was very resentful about this situation, and in 1780 Maria Theresia reports in a letter that she started to cry because she feared she would grow old alone in Vienna with Joseph. (Maria Elisabeth "commença à sangloter. ... que tous étaient établis et elle seule était délaissée et destinée à rester seule avec l'empereur, ce quelle ne ferait jamais. Nous avions toutes les peines a la faire taire." Maria Theresia to Marie Christine, 29 May 1780, printed in Arneth, Letters, Vol. 2, p. 462). Doubtless Joseph wanted to have his sisters gone, but considering this quote I am not sure whether Maria Elisabeth really resented leaving Vienna in 1781, same probably applies to Maria Anna. And speaking of Maria Anna, this is what really strikes me: Maria Anna was appointed abbess of the noble convent in Prague in 1766. Only a few months earlier the convent in Innsbruck was opened (to commemorate Franz Stephan's death) and this convent was modelled very closely after the Prague example. So why not appoint Maria Elisabeth abbess in Innsbruck?
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 12, 2014, 08:52:58 PM
Love to know more about Archduchess Maria Elizabeth. She was friendly to Maria Amalia, Duchess of Parma.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on October 13, 2014, 06:21:18 AM
Quote
And speaking of Maria Anna, this is what really strikes me: Maria Anna was appointed abbess of the noble convent in Prague in 1766. Only a few months earlier the convent in Innsbruck was opened (to commemorate Franz Stephan's death) and this convent was modelled very closely after the Prague example. So why not appoint Maria Elisabeth abbess in Innsbruck?

Do you mean why not appoint Maria Anna abbess in Innsbruck?  The Theresian Royal and Imperial Ladies Chapter of the Castle of Prague to which Maria Anna was appointed abbess had also been founded by Maria Theresa, in 1755, so was therefore the older and more prestigious order, and perhaps where she had been destined for some time.  The appointment also conferred ecclesiastical rank.  But if you do mean Maria Elisabeth, in 1766 she would still presumably have been considered a matrimonial player even though as it turned out Marie Christine had ended up with such a huge marriage settlement, Maria Theresa and Joseph were not prepared to support another minor matrimonial royal spouse such as the Duke of Chablais, for her.  However, she was still in the running for marriage projects for major players such as Louis XV in 1770, so appointing Maria Elisabeth as abbess in Innsbruck in 1766 was perhaps too much of a commitment of a viable matrimonial resource at that stage to a religious foundation (especially since she fell ill with smallpox in 1767 at which point she lost her looks due to scarring).  It would also be fair to say that the Maria Theresianisches Damenstift in Innsbruck was envisaged as more of a lay order for noblewomen dedicated to prayers for the Emperor so was not necessarily the sort of establishment that, in 1766, would have been an obvious destination for either sister at that stage of their lives.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Bravecoeur on October 13, 2014, 07:16:46 PM
@Eric_Lowe OK, I'll write more about her soon.

Quote
And speaking of Maria Anna, this is what really strikes me: Maria Anna was appointed abbess of the noble convent in Prague in 1766. Only a few months earlier the convent in Innsbruck was opened (to commemorate Franz Stephan's death) and this convent was modelled very closely after the Prague example. So why not appoint Maria Elisabeth abbess in Innsbruck?

But if you do mean Maria Elisabeth, in 1766 she would still presumably have been considered a matrimonial player even though as it turned out Marie Christine had ended up with such a huge marriage settlement, Maria Theresa and Joseph were not prepared to support another minor matrimonial royal spouse such as the Duke of Chablais, for her.  However, she was still in the running for marriage projects for major players such as Louis XV in 1770, so appointing Maria Elisabeth as abbess in Innsbruck in 1766 was perhaps too much of a commitment of a viable matrimonial resource at that stage to a religious foundation (especially since she fell ill with smallpox in 1767 at which point she lost her looks due to scarring).
Yes I did mean Maria Elisabeth. And I did not want to suggest appointing her abbess right in 1766, but at least earlier than 1781.

I think that there are some contradictions in the literature. Either she was, as you say (and I agree with you) still in the running for major marriage projects, despite the small pox scars. Or she was not because she was "too ugly" (as literature often suggests) - but then Vienna could have looked for another position for her right after 1767.

As you point out correctly, the smallpox did not put an immediate end to the marriage projects. However, to my knowledge there is no correspondence about a marriage project with Louis XV after 1769, so we can assume that by 1770 Vienna had given up this plan. Also as you have pointed out Maria Theresia and Joseph did not want to support a possible husband. So, were there even any major players as husbands left at that time? And even if there were, at some point Maria Elisabeth (who was 27 in 1770) must have left the age when she was regarded as “marriage material” or not? I don't know much about these marriage tactics I just assume.
Quote
It would also be fair to say that the Maria Theresianisches Damenstift in Innsbruck was envisaged as more of a lay order for noblewomen dedicated to prayers for the Emperor so was not necessarily the sort of establishment that, in 1766, would have been an obvious destination for either sister at that stage of their lives.
This I do not understand. Maria Anna was appointed abbess of Prague in 1766 (aged 28), Maria Elisabeth was 28 in 1771 so at any point when she was not considered "fit to be married" anymore she could have been appointed abbess in Innsbruck. As said, Innsbruck was pretty much just a smaller (and less prestigious) version of the Prague convent, so if Prague was fit for Maria Anna, Innsbruck should have been fit for Maria Elisabeth. I can check a book on the Innsbruck convent but as far as I know the abbess was NOT required to take part in the daily mourning prayers. And it was certainly not a convent for elderly ladies, the women in 1765 were rather young. As these convents were not a religious order, the ladies took part in court life (with some restrictions) and could leave the convent again, if they found a suitable husband (I am not sure if this is also applicable for an abbess).
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 13, 2014, 10:49:41 PM
Yes. I read a lot about how Maria Anna wasn't marriage material from the beginning because she was "sickly". Maria Elizabeth was quite the opposite being the beauty in the family before the pox incident.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on October 14, 2014, 04:33:43 AM
Quote
I did not want to suggest appointing her abbess right in 1766, but at least earlier than 1781.

I agree that this does seem a fair bit later than a realistic appraisal of Maria Elisabeth's matrimonial prospects would have indicated.  However, my impression is that she herself might have held out at becoming Abbess as a sort of final commmitment, even when there was no longer any real hope she might be married.  That post did seem to be held by royal ladies who had either given up their matrimonial ambitions or who had never had them.  When one of the marriage plans for Maria Elisabeth fell through, Maria Theresa wrote to Marie Christine that "she began to sob....[saying] that all [the others] were established and she alone was left behind and destined to remain alone with the Emperor, which is what she will never do.  We had great difficulty in silencing her."  It may be that she simply dug her toes in and became emotional if the prospect was raised, and was consequently left alone from embarrassment rather than made to take the appointment, until Joseph became sole ruler after Maria Theresa's death and there was no other option. She may also have reasoned that becoming Abbess might have given Joseph the excuse to push her out to Innsbruck - though as he didn't bother with an excuse, it probably seemed better to go as an Abbess than to go as a mere canoness. 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Bravecoeur on October 14, 2014, 02:15:05 PM
However, my impression is that she herself might have held out at becoming Abbess as a sort of final commmitment, even when there was no longer any real hope she might be married.  That post did seem to be held by royal ladies who had either given up their matrimonial ambitions or who had never had them.
This is an interesting thought. Yes, one would have to look at what exactly it meant to become an abbess and compare with other abbesses. Interesting question. Nevertheless there are quotes that she resented not to have anything, while we lack any hint that any position was considered for her prior to 1780. If they didn't want to close the door I'm sure there would have been honorary positions, honorary governor posts (although the latter maybe contradicts the centralisation rationale a bit).

When one of the marriage plans for Maria Elisabeth fell through, Maria Theresa wrote to Marie Christine that "she began to sob....[saying] that all [the others] were established and she alone was left behind and destined to remain alone with the Emperor, which is what she will never do.  We had great difficulty in silencing her."
If I may correct you, this was not about a failed marriage plan, this was in 1780 when Maria Theresia told her about her (successful) plan to secure Maria Elisabeth's youngest brother, Maximilian Franz, the posts as Coadjutor of the Archbishop Elector Spiritual of Cologne and Coadjutor as Prince-Bishop of Münster. I have quoted it above:
As was already said here there are reports that Maria Elisabeth was very resentful about this situation, and in 1780 Maria Theresia reports in a letter that she started to cry because she feared she would grow old alone in Vienna with Joseph. (Maria Elisabeth "commença à sangloter. ... que tous étaient établis et elle seule était délaissée et destinée à rester seule avec l'empereur, ce quelle ne ferait jamais. Nous avions toutes les peines a la faire taire." Maria Theresia to Marie Christine, 29 May 1780, printed in Arneth, Letters, Vol. 2, p. 462).

It may be that she simply dug her toes in and became emotional if the prospect was raised, and was consequently left alone from embarrassment rather than made to take the appointment,
Well, Leopold noted in his critical diary, that Maria Elisabeth was very bitter that she had not received any post which sounds more as if she expected it. And the quote above also suggests that she wished to have some sort of being "established" (while it does not contain bitterness about being unmarried).

She may also have reasoned that becoming Abbess might have given Joseph the excuse to push her out to Innsbruck - though as he didn't bother with an excuse, it probably seemed better to go as an Abbess than to go as a mere canoness.
Yes but then the quote above suggests that she herself didn't even want to stay alone with Joseph in Vienna. But true we do not know anything how this appointment to abbess came about, whether it was her wish too or solely his decision. (Theoretically as Maria Anna resigned from her Post in Prague, Maria Elisabeth could have gone there too.) But I have never read that there was any discussion that she could be a mere canoness have you?


Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on October 14, 2014, 05:41:12 PM
Thanks for the correction with regard to the dates - it wasn't clear from the reference given by Derek Beales in his biography of Joseph II, and moreover he seemed to think it was a marriage project which had fallen through rather than Maximillian's appointment.

It was my understanding that Maria Elisabeth was reluctant to leave Vienna for Innsbruck when Joseph made it clear he was not prepared to allow his sisters to stay there following the death of Maria Theresa, and it might be that because of this I have misread the situation; she may have been reluctant to leave the court for good and not have the ability to move back and forth as she pleased, but the position of abbess might be the one sweetener that made the deal palatable to her.  Looked at it that way, the other aspect which is noticeable prior to this is that both Maria Theresa and Joseph thought very poorly of Maria Elisabeth - in the letter you mention, Maria Theresa adds "il est triste de voir si peu de raisonnement" [it is sad to see so little reasoning].  In fact, it seems perfectly sensible for her to fear that she would have no establishment except an unsatisfactory position at Joseph's court in the future.  It may be that Maria Theresa simply didn't consider Maria Elisabeth capable of running her own show, and Joseph was certainly not going to stand up for her, though he might have thought it worth giving her the appointment after the empress's death to get rid of her.  So it may be that Maria Elisabeth did want to be Abbess, but Maria Theresa was not prepared to allow it.  Though all this is speculation - it's very difficult in the absence of anything from Maria Elisabeth herself.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Bravecoeur on October 15, 2014, 07:19:04 AM
Thanks for the correction with regard to the dates - it wasn't clear from the reference given by Derek Beales in his biography of Joseph II, and moreover he seemed to think it was a marriage project which had fallen through rather than Maximillian's appointment.
You're welcome. I did not know what your source was, from all your previous insightful statements and quotes I thought you may have read the original editions of the letters.

It was my understanding that Maria Elisabeth was reluctant to leave Vienna for Innsbruck when Joseph made it clear he was not prepared to allow his sisters to stay there following the death of Maria Theresa, and it might be that because of this I have misread the situation;
I don't think you misread it, I think this is the general portrayal of the situation. Joseph certainly wanted to put an end to the Viennese "republique feminine" (I think Beales writes this too). In another later letter he says that there was a lot of crying about his actions. I once had had a look into the edition of Joseph's letters to Leopold and if my limited French did not mislead me this quote seems to refer more to the court and ladies around the sisters but not the sisters themselves. But I could be wrong.

Looked at it that way, the other aspect which is noticeable prior to this is that both Maria Theresa and Joseph thought very poorly of Maria Elisabeth - in the letter you mention, Maria Theresa adds "il est triste de voir si peu de raisonnement" [it is sad to see so little reasoning].  In fact, it seems perfectly sensible for her to fear that she would have no establishment except an unsatisfactory position at Joseph's court in the future.
I totally agree.

It may be that Maria Theresa simply didn't consider Maria Elisabeth capable of running her own show, and Joseph was certainly not going to stand up for her, though he might have thought it worth giving her the appointment after the empress's death to get rid of her.  So it may be that Maria Elisabeth did want to be Abbess, but Maria Theresa was not prepared to allow it.  Though all this is speculation - it's very difficult in the absence of anything from Maria Elisabeth herself.
Again I agree, it is a pity that there is so little knowledge about Maria Elisabeth's thoughts/wishes. Another speculation - at least relating to Innsbruck - could be that Maria Theresia wanted to remain fully in charge of this convent which clearly meant a lot to her. Appointing her daughter would have meant to hand over some/most competencies.

@Eric Lowe As promised, some more information on Maria Elisabeth's life after 1780 which is somewhat neglected by biographers, it appears as if she was removed away from Vienna to the province, into a convent, quiet religious life, nothing happened, done. (Of course this is an oversimplification now.)

However, on the one hand, the convent itself was not a nunnery – the ladies could with some restrictions participate in court life, and if a suitable husband was found, leave the convent. Both Joseph and later Maria Elisabeth abolished some of the religious duties. These duties anyways mostly applied to the ladies and the dean – whereas the Archduchess was required to partake only on special holidays. She also did not live in the convent but in the imperial castle in Innsbruck (to which the convent was connected or was part of respectively). After 1781 there was a small but vivid court life around Maria Elisabeth, which was enriched by visits of siblings (I think Maria Amalia’s visit was already mentioned here) but also benefited from Innsbruck’s geographical position at the Germany-Italy route which brought noble visitors into the city (They were usually welcomed by Maria Elisabeth with diners, balls, theatre etc, sometimes also sightseeing trips in the vicinity).

For the Tyrolean nobility and administration (probably also economy) it was of quite some importance to have a court again (with interruptions Tyrol had had their own sovereign and court until 1665). Thus it was clear from the beginning that for the Tyroleans Archduchess Maria Elisabeth would be more than "just" an abbess. Some panegyric poets celebrated her as the emperor’s embodiment in the province. In fact, Joseph was concerned about this and instructed the governor that her social/symbolic position must not lead to any meddling with political matters. And to my knowledge she did not. This symbolic/social position remained and probably increased over the years. For example in 1790 Leopold made Maria Elisabeth his representative at the act and celebration of the Tyroleans’ oath of allegiance. In the same year the convent received a seat in the regional diet. In the 1790s, when the French troops threaten Tyrol’s borders, Maria Elisabeth signed proclamations asking the population to join the militia and to defend the country. At this time she appears to be some sort of a substitute sovereign/governor. In these years she also left Innsbruck for several times when the military situation seemed dangerous and in 1805 when Tyrol was ceded to Bavaria, Maria Elisabeth left Tyrol, “abdicated” as abbess and moved east to Linz where she died in 1808.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on October 19, 2014, 02:10:58 AM
Bravecoeur & CountessKate: Thank you very much for the details on Maria Elisabeth.  They were very insightful.

She is one of my favourite princesses and  more than two centuries after their failed match, I am for "Team Maria Elisabeth of Austria-Benedetto of Savoy".  She was very interesting and for me, "short-changed" by her mother (never mind Joseph, who didn't seem to like his sisters - or women - much). Leopold treated her better. As stated above, he allowed his sister to be his official representative and he also increased her allowance (no doubt from the trust fund that their father created but one had to give him credit for it).

May I just add that in the proclamations she signed upon the French threats, she pledged to sell her watches (studded with jewels, no doubt) to help the cause of the Austrians... She was visited Vienna several times, during Leopold's (short) reign as well as her nephew Franz's. It was said that she developed a sharp tongue, which did not spare her nephews, specifically Franz and Rainier.  She, however, left her outstanding musical collection to one of Leopold's sons (I forgot which son).  But I don't know why her niece Marie Therese of France was "appalled" by her?  Another niece, Caroline of Parma, did not seem to find her such. Or at least, I never encountered a letter or a reference stating such.  

As for Maria Anna, she herself stated that she was very happy in Klagenfurt, that she felt very much loved there (which she never did in Vienna,  or at least perhaps after her father died - she was daddy's girl, after all). So I think Maria Anna died happy in her (final) home.  Not a bad ending at all.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on October 19, 2014, 02:24:26 AM
Love to know more about Archduchess Maria Elizabeth. She was friendly to Maria Amalia, Duchess of Parma.

The friendly relations between the two sisters likely started in childhood, despite Maria Amalia being brought up separately from her siblings.  They only had 2.5 years age gap and both were mostly left behind in terms of imperial trips (the children that frequently accompanied their parents on trips were Maria Anna, Joseph, Mimi, Karl,  and Leopold.... although I can't say I understand why Leopold, the youngest in the entourage and younger than ME and Amalia, was preferred over his older sisters... Perhaps gender?). Also, after Franz Stephan died and Maria Theresa was in seclusion, it was left to ME and Amalia, together with their sister-in-law and (second) cousin Maria Josepha, to represent the imperial family at court events.    

I seem to remember reading in one of MT's biographies that ME and Amalia were both "very envious" of their sister Maria Josepha, because she was already set to marry Ferdinand of Naples while they didn't have a fiance (this was in 1767 nefore the smallpox epidemic,  if I'm not mistaken).... does anyone know if this was even close to the truth?  Of course, the imperial children had their share of rivalries... so it is possible. Still, I am wary of authors making such claims (no reference cited either). Based on all I have read, Amalia does not strike me as envious of her siblings. ME seemed self-possessed as well, at least before the smallpox.   I did read though that Amalia requested their mother for Maria Carolina to keep her company at court events after MJ died.  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on October 19, 2014, 03:28:36 AM
I agree, although some authors suggest that Poland probably would not have been partitioned if Maria Elisabeth had been Queen there.

Oh, that is almost certain.  They couldn't risk being seen as robbers of their in-laws. That is the most plausible reason why Maria Amalia wasn't allowed to marry Karl of Zweibrucken and also why they turned down Karl again, after he asked for Maria Elisabeth's hand in the early 1770s. MT was said to be very interested and pleased with Karl's personal qualities, whose father also served Austria (and MT was fond enough of Frederick Michael of Zweibrucken to tolerate his "tantrums" and to placate him).  

Well, Leopold noted in his critical diary, that Maria Elisabeth was very bitter that she had not received any post which sounds more as if she expected it. And the quote above also suggests that she wished to have some sort of being "established" (while it does not contain bitterness about being unmarried).

Even with the "centralisation" issue, any suitable post in the following could've been made available for Maria Elisabeth, had they wanted to: Bohemia, Moravia, Hungary (considering they were aiming for another post for Archduke Maximilian and indeed this was done before MT died  -- and she was thrilled by it), Australian Silesia, Tyrol, Carinthia,Carniola, Gorizia, etc. I read MT spent a lot of money for Maximilian to be Archbishop of Cologne and also for Ferdinand in Milan (for palaces). Joseph thought younger sons and daughters had no right to money or prestigious posts.  Ferdinand & Maximilian were among the youngest in the family. Maria Elisabeth was not.  Yet MT chose to establish her youngest sons well yet do nothing for Maria Elisabeth. No wonder Maria Elisabeth was very resentful at having nothing at all.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on December 17, 2014, 10:18:05 AM
The Albertina has some very nice drawings by Martin van Meytens the younger of some of Maria Theresa's daughters, presumably studies for paintings:

(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/JohannaGabriella-4_zpsd2656402.jpg) (http://s8.photobucket.com/user/cfarnon/media/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/JohannaGabriella-4_zpsd2656402.jpg.html)

Johanna Gabrielle aged (I think - the age is running off the page) 2 (1752)

(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaJosefa-14_zps52ac1ccc.jpg) (http://s8.photobucket.com/user/cfarnon/media/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaJosefa-14_zps52ac1ccc.jpg.html)

Maria Josepha aged 1 (1752 also).
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on December 17, 2014, 10:21:09 AM
(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaChristinaampMariaAmalia-1_zps41a70864.jpg) (http://s8.photobucket.com/user/cfarnon/media/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaChristinaampMariaAmalia-1_zps41a70864.jpg.html)

Maria Christina and Maria Amalia, aged 10 and 6 respectively, so no doubt done in the same year as their younger sisters above, 1752.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on December 17, 2014, 10:24:32 AM
Two portraits of Maria Anna, the first in 1752 when she was 14, the other undated (but she looks a little older):

(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaAnna-11_zps0a3842ed.jpg) (http://s8.photobucket.com/user/cfarnon/media/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaAnna-11_zps0a3842ed.jpg.html)

(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaAnna-14_zpsbb1128c6.jpg) (http://s8.photobucket.com/user/cfarnon/media/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaAnna-14_zpsbb1128c6.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on December 17, 2014, 10:27:59 AM
And Maria Elisabeth, aged 9, so drawn in 1752 as were all the others (except the undated one of Maria Anna which doesn't look part of the set):

(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaElizabeth-22_zps0d9967c0.jpg) (http://s8.photobucket.com/user/cfarnon/media/German%20and%20Austrian%20courts/MariaElizabeth-22_zps0d9967c0.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Bravecoeur on December 17, 2014, 02:43:55 PM
And Maria Elisabeth, aged 9, so drawn in 1752 as were all the others (except the undated one of Maria Anna which doesn't look part of the set)

Thank you for posting them, very nice and I haven't seen those before! Can they be seen in the permanent exhibition of Albertina?

May I just add that in the proclamations she signed upon the French threats, she pledged to sell her watches (studded with jewels, no doubt) to help the cause of the Austrians...
You may. ;) That's an important part of the proclamations. However, she did not pledge to sell her watches/clocks, she pledged that she would give these watches/clocks to especially brave men. Which, according to other proclamations, she did. I do not know anything about who was decorated though; and personally I do doubt whether these really would have been the most exquisite, jewel-studded items. For the Tyrolean defenders, common people, even a "plain" gold watch would have been a treasure, especially when coming from "Her Imperial Highness". Too bad there is nothing known about these details.

She, however, left her outstanding musical collection to one of Leopold's sons (I forgot which son).
Oh, she not only had a clock collection but also a collection of musical instruments? Very interesting! I have never heard about it. Do you happen to remember where you read this?

But I don't know why her niece Marie Therese of France was "appalled" by her?
Yes this would be interesting to know; as far as I remember Marie Therese also described her as very pious, which I have not really read anywhere else. Although Marie Therese described her as appalling there still seem to have been a few letters between the two of them.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on December 17, 2014, 03:07:49 PM
Quote
Can they be seen in the permanent exhibition of Albertina?

No clue, I'm afraid, I haven't been to Vienna in years.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 22, 2014, 06:52:55 AM
Need to go to Vienna.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on December 24, 2014, 01:51:36 AM
You may. ;) That's an important part of the proclamations. However, she did not pledge to sell her watches/clocks, she pledged that she would give these watches/clocks to especially brave men. Which, according to other proclamations, she did. I do not know anything about who was decorated though; and personally I do doubt whether these really would have been the most exquisite, jewel-studded items. For the Tyrolean defenders, common people, even a "plain" gold watch would have been a treasure, especially when coming from "Her Imperial Highness". Too bad there is nothing known about these details.

Thank you for the correction. It's been years since that I read that information on the watches/clocks so my recall is not perfect. I do find that gesture of Maria Elisabeth touching. I seem to remember reading Maria Amalia sent a pearl-encrusted banner to a contingent of the Austrian soldiers -from Prague, I think - so the sisters seemed to show support to their soldiers.

Oh, she not only had a clock collection but also a collection of musical instruments? Very interesting! I have never heard about it. Do you happen to remember where you read this?
It was a collection of musical pieces. The source is  the Life of Haydn and/or the  Cambridge Companion to Haydn. It seems that she had an extensive collection and was very talented in music (lovely voice, could play difficult pieces at the keyboard and most likely, able to compose music as well -- only those who showed talent progressed to making their own compositions among the imperial children).

Yes this would be interesting to know; as far as I remember Marie Therese also described her as very pious, which I have not really read anywhere else. Although Marie Therese described her as appalling there still seem to have been a few letters between the two of them.
I read that the young archduchesses made frequent but short visits to the Ursuline convent in Vienna. There was a recorded visit of a young Maria Amalia at age 8 with her ladies-in-waiting. Maria Elisabeth likely did the same. This was frequently done in the 1760s. The visits likely added to their religiousity/piousness. Oh, and there was music/singing in the visits as well.

Maria Elisabeth seemed to show genuine concern to her niece Marie Threrese so the reaction is a bit puzzling...
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on December 24, 2014, 02:14:16 AM
Lovely, lovely drawings of the archduchesses. Thank you very much, CountessKate!
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on December 24, 2014, 03:10:37 AM
Would like to correct a post above....

The teenaged Maria Elisabeth made the most frequent visits to the Ursuline convent in Vienna (among the imperial children). So convent life and having a pious/religious bent was not so odd for her at all.....
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Bravecoeur on December 24, 2014, 09:01:09 AM
Quote
Can they be seen in the permanent exhibition of Albertina?

No clue, I'm afraid, I haven't been to Vienna in years.
I see. May I then ask how/where you discovered these? I have never seen them before I think.

It's been years since that I read that information on the watches/clocks so my recall is not perfect. I do find that gesture of Maria Elisabeth touching. I seem to remember reading Maria Amalia sent a pearl-encrusted banner to a contingent of the Austrian soldiers -from Prague, I think - so the sisters seemed to show support to their soldiers.
I'm not quite sure yet how I feel about these gestures. ;) There's so little known. Was it planned by the government with the sisters merely agreeing / signing the proclamations and thereby acting as straw women? Or was it the sisters idea and initiative? And irrespectively of that, if the province got lost, who'd be the real loser: the dynasty that loses land, revenue, reputation and power, or the militia peasant for whom live usually would continue pretty much the same as it was, albeit under a new ruler? Viewed from this perspective such proclamations seem more results of self interest rather than anything else...

Oh, she not only had a clock collection but also a collection of musical instruments? Very interesting! I have never heard about it. Do you happen to remember where you read this?
It was a collection of musical pieces. The source is  the Life of Haydn and/or the  Cambridge Companion to Haydn. It seems that she had an extensive collection and was very talented in music (lovely voice, could play difficult pieces at the keyboard and most likely, able to compose music as well -- only those who showed talent progressed to making their own compositions among the imperial children).[/quote]
Thank you for this info, I will check it! I have never read the composing about Maria Elisabeth, are you sure it was her and not one of the sisters?

The teenaged Maria Elisabeth made the most frequent visits to the Ursuline convent in Vienna (among the imperial children). So convent life and having a pious/religious bent was not so odd for her at all.....
Again a new aspect for me! (Again, do you happen to remember who writes this?) That somehow seems a bit conflicting with the portrayal of her by some biographers who claim she was just vain and didn't care about anything as a youth / young woman. (Of which I'm critical anyways.) And if she had this genuine piety it seems all the more surprising that she wasn't considered fit for the role as abbess earlier...

PS: Merry Christmas and/or a relaxing festive season to all of you!
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on December 24, 2014, 10:07:14 AM
I'm not quite sure yet how I feel about these gestures. ;) There's so little known. Was it planned by the government with the sisters merely agreeing / signing the proclamations and thereby acting as straw women? Or was it the sisters idea and initiative? And irrespectively of that, if the province got lost, who'd be the real loser: the dynasty that loses land, revenue, reputation and power, or the militia peasant for whom live usually would continue pretty much the same as it was, albeit under a new ruler? Viewed from this perspective such proclamations seem more results of self interest rather than anything else...

Not sure about Maria Elisabeth but Maria Amalia was always fond of the soldiers (at least in Parma) so sending a banner with pearls to the soldiers  seems genuine.

Thank you for this info, I will check it! I have never read the composing about Maria Elisabeth, are you sure it was her and not one of the sisters?

The music pieces/collection is mentioned in Haydn's biography(ies)/references. I will try to check the exact source(s) on the music compositions of the imperial children.  I clearly remember reading that their music lessons were tailored according to their skills/talents and not all were given composition lessons. It was also noted that Maria Elisabeth's keyboard practice books were plenty and contained demanding pieces. Mancini also praised her lovely singing voice. Well, I read that Mimi was not talented in music.... Marianne was not mentioned much as well in this aspect. That leaves her and Amalia, who were both praised to the highest heavens by their teachers (Amalia for her singing). And the younger archduchesses - for having good voices - to some extent but it is very likely Maria Elisabeth.

Again a new aspect for me! (Again, do you happen to remember who writes this?) That somehow seems a bit conflicting with the portrayal of her by some biographers who claim she was just vain and didn't care about anything as a youth / young woman. (Of which I'm critical anyways.) And if she had this genuine piety it seems all the more surprising that she wasn't considered fit for the role as abbess earlier...

PS: Merry Christmas and/or a relaxing festive season to all of you!

The information on the frequent visits of Maria Elisabeth and her siblings - most were said to be spontaneous - to the Ursuline convent in Vienna in the 1760s is found in the book Convent Music and Politics in Eighteenth Century Vienna.

I think most authors just 'parrot' Maria Theresa's criticisms of her children. Hence, Maria Elisabeth was nothing but an extremely vain princess who was not interested in anything but her beauty. But she did have strong interests/talents... For instance, I find  a painting by her more striking than Mimi's own works (referring to "The Lady with a Hat" artwork of hers).

Happy Christmas too all!
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on December 25, 2014, 05:56:05 AM
Found it....Maria Elisabeth's collection of music pieces/scores and musical talent is also discussed here....(please refer to the abstract by Martin Eybl)

http://www.gfm-dhi-rom2010.de/1/program/free-papers/sektion-iv/
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on December 25, 2014, 06:15:01 AM
Quote
I see. May I then ask how/where you discovered these? I have never seen them before I think.

They're from the Albertina collections online.  This is the link: http://sammlungenonline.albertina.at/Default.aspx?lng=english2
Just type in Martin van Meytens.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Bravecoeur on January 05, 2015, 09:30:41 AM
They're from the Albertina collections online.  This is the link: http://sammlungenonline.albertina.at/Default.aspx?lng=english2
Just type in Martin van Meytens.

The information on the frequent visits of Maria Elisabeth and her siblings - most were said to be spontaneous - to the Ursuline convent in Vienna in the 1760s is found in the book Convent Music and Politics in Eighteenth Century Vienna.

Found it....Maria Elisabeth's collection of music pieces/scores and musical talent is also discussed here....(please refer to the abstract by Martin Eybl)

http://www.gfm-dhi-rom2010.de/1/program/free-papers/sektion-iv/

Thank you soooo much, this was a surprising and wonderful Christmas present indeed! I'm thoroughly impressed by your level of information, you read the newest books, follow conferences, the museums' online databases... totally on top of things! Hopefully the presentation will be published, his topic sounds like a hitherto empty sheet.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on January 10, 2015, 02:28:21 AM
Thank you for your kind words. It's really just a very strong interest so I try to read as many sources as I can find.  I find Maria Elisabeth more and more interesting, definitely not just a vain beauty whose life was ruined by smallpox.  Interestingly, a publication on the Habsburgs stated that unmarried princesses (like her and older sister Maria Anna) probably led a better life than their married sisters. After all, they had freedom, the rank and money - Maria Anna was able to leave a  considerable inheritance to her convent, for instance - plus they could pursue their own interests without a lot of burdens, not to mention being paired with a "repulsive" prince and expected to produce a lot of babies.

On another topic, I recently read that  Maria Anna asked to be buried in Franz Stephan's dressing gown - her father's daughter indeed - and that she be buried as a nun, not as a princess. I guess that is why she was not buried in Vienna.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 11, 2015, 11:31:38 PM
Unmarried princess were not treated kindly or with respect. Just like those unmarried daughters of Louis XV.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on January 12, 2015, 06:35:44 AM
Unmarried princess were not treated kindly or with respect. Just like those unmarried daughters of Louis XV.

Not necessarily. Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth were loved/respected by the people in Klagenfurt and Innsbruck.  Their two married sisters Maria Carolina and Marie Antoinette - who even produced the necessary heir(s) - were not. Maria Amalia was. It also depends on what they have done in their respective roles.

As for Louis XV's unmarried daughters, I don't know much about them except that they did not seem to be pleasant and did not bother to endear themselves to the people. That certainly contributed to perhaps not being treated kindly, as you put it. Again, it also depended on what they did or did not do.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 24, 2015, 12:05:59 AM
I mean by their parents. Louis XV refer to his unmarried daughters as hags. He was charmed by his eldest daughter Elisabeth, Madame de Infanta, but her begging became too much even for him yet. But he never ease to esteem her unlike her unmarried sisters.

Maria Theresa was the same. She was troubled by her married daughters, but deep down (even for Amalia) she was proud of them and the usefulness they had for Austria. That was not the same for the unmarried girls. Don't think she bothered with them much. Her son Josef was kinder to them.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on January 26, 2015, 06:37:29 AM
I mean by their parents. Louis XV refer to his unmarried daughters as hags. He was charmed by his eldest daughter Elisabeth, Madame de Infanta, but her begging became too much even for him yet. But he never ease to esteem her unlike her unmarried sisters.

Maria Theresa was the same. She was troubled by her married daughters, but deep down (even for Amalia) she was proud of them and the usefulness they had for Austria. That was not the same for the unmarried girls. Don't think she bothered with them much. Her son Josef was kinder to them.

I get what you mean now.  But wasn't Louis XV also charmed by Louise Elisabeth's twin, Anne Henriette?  At least, that's what I read but I don't know much about those twins, except for Louise-Elisabeth as Duchess of Parma.

As for Maria Theresa, I agree that she didn't think much of Maria Anna or Maria Elisabeth.  Don't know why in Maria Anna's case for she was certainly the most intelligent child and seemed more gifted than Mimi in terms of the arts (drawing/painting). Her letters, if they pertain to Marianne, talk only of Marianne's health although I haven't read many on her. IMHO, it had something to do with Marianne being her father's favourite and being "another girl" (when a boy was very much expected and wished for).  As for Liesl, she was favoured until she lost her looks and later on, MT dismissed her as not having good reasoning. Not sure of that claim, although I think she (like Maria Amalia) simply had no interest in studying.  If I recall it correctly, Leopold thought (from his visits to Vienna) that  MT treated his two sisters unkindly. Perhaps being unmarried also contributed to that. Also read that MT's only disappointment with Mimi is not having more children but don't know how true that claim is.    
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on January 26, 2015, 08:37:38 AM
Quote
But wasn't Louis XV also charmed by Louise Elisabeth's twin, Anne Henriette?

Anne-Henriette was probably his favorite daughter, but Louis XV was fond of all his daughters and I can't recall any evidence that he ill-treated them.  He gave them appropriate establishments (albeit not independent ones) and created an apartment for them at Versailles near his own by pulling down Louis XIV's grand 'ambassador's staircase'.  They were not given any political influence, but neither were his (married) male heirs so that gives no support to the case for marital status indicating better treatment.  Mme Infante had specific ambitions for an establishment outside Spain which dovetailed with French aims of continuing an alliance with Spain, limiting Austrian ambitions in Italy, and (in the case of Mme de Pompadour), employing the duc de Richelieu outside Versailles all of which were achieved for the cost of a very small war.  But none of this indicates that Madame Infante was Louis' favorite because she was married as such, or that Louis XV treated his single daughters badly because they were unmarried, which of course was largely his doing, or rather, not-doing.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on January 27, 2015, 07:02:34 AM
Thank you very much, CountessKate, for the detailed information/explanation on Louis XV and his daughters.  I understand their relationship(s) much better now.

As for Maria Theresa, perhaps her distrust of her children (according to Isabella of Parma) added to the perceived inattention to both Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth.  Also, the only one she didn't seem to constantly criticise was Mimi and perhaps being in Vienna together gave her more opportunities to criticise the two and perhaps largely ignore them (rather than those far away although her spies certainly gave partial/inaccurate information on those abroad). MT was very generous to Maria Anna though, at least in terms of money, settling on her an annual allowance that was four times more (80,000 florins rather than the usual 20,000 for the non-heirs). If I'm not mistaken, that was not from the money left by Franz Stephan.  

Anyway, here is a link of a group portrait of Franz Stephan, MT and Joseph (as a young child), which I don't think is posted before:

http://germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org/sub_image.cfm?image_id=2910
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on February 08, 2015, 11:26:56 AM
I don't know why Maria Elizabeth was ignored. She was the beauty in the family and yet no husband was found for her. Her younger sisters were married off rather young. So I really don't understand MT in her dynastic plans. Historians credit her for the dynastic marriage with all branches of the Bourbons (Parma, France, Naples & Spain (Leopold's wife was a Spanish Infanta, daughter Charles III of Spain), but failed with Maria Elisabeth...
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 09, 2015, 07:35:41 AM
I think it has something to do with Franz Stephan and the timing of his death.  Maria Anna was obviously out of the running.  The next one was Mimi, who was strongly resisting her  father's plan re: the Duke of Chablais. FS was strongly for it and to be honest, I don't know how Maria Theresa could've overruled him on this - considering he was the head of the family, not her. Most likely, the plan was to get Mimi settled first before Maria Elisabeth.  Maria Josepha's match was already decided with Ferdinand of Naples by 1765.  FS was strongly against the match with France so that leaves Maria Elisabeth (who was also said to be a "back-up" candidate for Benedetto of Savoy), Maria Amalia, Maria Carolina and Maria Antonia with no firm matches.  His death "cleared" the way for Mimi to marry her Albert and MT to formally discuss Marie Antoinette's match with the future Louis XVI (negotiations started only in 1766).  That leaves Maria Elisabeth, Maria  Amalia and Maria Carolina (before MJ died). Benedetto was still keen on a match and I don't understand the reason that there was no money for Maria Elisabeth to marry her cousin.  MT could've split Mimi's extremely generous dowry of 4,000,000 florins (after all she got the Duchy of Teschen). It could also be a way of honoring the last wishes of FS.  She could've given a post to  Maria Elisabeth and Benedetto too (Archduke Maximilian was to be Governor of Hungary before the post in Cologne was won for him so the centralisation policy was not strongly enforced - it appeared rather selective).  Ferdinand of Parma's purported match with Beatrice d'Este was clearly just wishful thinking and an unfounded dream of the minister Du Tillot:  her grandfather and father were both very much pro-Austria and Francesco III of Modena served as Governor of Milan; also, Beatrice was first engaged to Leopold at age one, the year Ferdinand of Parma was born (1751). I don't know about the Orleans princess for Parma but Charles III of Spain seemed keen on cementing Spain's relationship with Austria and he seemed to have carried more weight on this matter as Parma was a branch of Bourbon-Spain, not Bourbon-France. The other Bourbon marriages were finalized after FS died.

I can  see why Maria Elisabeth, married or not, was  bitter about not having an establishment of her own: MT spent a fortune on palaces for other members of the family and gave them significant posts. But there seemed  nothing at all for her.   Even Maria Anna's home in Klagenfurt was a palace (known now as the Episcopal Palace) built by MT for her (1769-1776). ME, of course, did not need a palace for there was already one in Innsbruck (assuming she was to stay there eventually; I think MT wanted them to stay in Vienna after her death). However, it did seem that MT didn't give her much thought or showed her special attention through such things.

Oh, an earlier post on their allowances: younger sons got 40,000 florins not 20,000 so Maria Anna got double (later reduced when she went to Klagenfurt).  I've read that ME's allowance in Innsbruck was 50,000 florins.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on February 15, 2015, 10:34:03 PM
That is sad that MT ignored her once marketable daughter entirely. Maria Elisabeth was proud of her beauty and said Louis XV & the Polish King (ex-boyfriend of Catherine The Great) were for her. She could have made a nice Queen of Poland, pretty sure Catherine nixed the possibility for her. Although beautiful, she did not seem to have the spirit of Maria Amalia or Charlotte (Maria Carolina).
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Превед on February 16, 2015, 04:35:39 PM
She could have made a nice Queen of Poland, pretty sure Catherine nixed the possibility for her.

Perhaps more out of the political calculation that it would be pretty cumbersome to have Maria Theresa's daughter and Joseph II's sister as Queen of Poland if they were to divide her kingdom between them, don't you think?
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 17, 2015, 05:20:46 AM
I believe Maria Theresa loved all her children, maternal love was there. However, she also liked and disliked them (i.e. favourites and non-favourites) and that showed in her actions and favours. MT assured Maximilian in a 1774 letter that although he was the youngest in the family and not born for ruling, they have made provisions for an adequate position for him. That he can expect not much responsibilities and enjoy life while being generously provided for. It was indeed very generous, younger children were not entitled to such and could not expect them. Take Maria Carolina's case too. Unflattering reports about her were not welcome in Vienna while such reports Maria Amalia and Marie Antoinette were almost always believed and welcomed.

Back to Maria Elisabeth, I think she was happier in Innsbruck. She was described as depressed and cranky in Vienna but seemed lively in her other home. That way, she was also free and while Joseph could scold her still, it wasn't the same as being at his mercy 24/7 or as Leopold claimed, being badly treated by their mother. All in all, a much better place for her. Maria Amalia was on the same situation - waiting for a special favour or sign although I can think of at least one situation where Joseph interfered. Not sure if she got any special favours. But at least MT seemed to love/like her grandchildren in Parma.

Re: Queen of Poland for ME, unsure when the plan to partition Poland was first thought of. I think it took years to do it.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 17, 2015, 07:42:25 AM
The exact words from Empress Maria Theresa to Archduke Max in 1774 assuring him of a good future; I believe the post in Cologne was not yet thought of and the posts in Hungary and in the Teutonic Knights were referred to:

"You are the youngest of my children and the eighth archduke. As thus, you  have the (great) good fortune not to be destined for (a) ruling office, your life will be all the more happy and you will have less responsibility to bear. But your station obliges you to take even greater care of all that pertains to your person. We have made provision for you to have an honourable and adequate position in life."

I don't know what she meant by the "eight" archduke; maybe it is just a mistake or mistranslation. At any rate, it appeared that much thought was given to his future. Does not sound like the "typical" 40,000 florins/year archduke who was only to serve the Emperor all his life.  

I should also correct the post above re: Maria Amalia waiting for favours. I meant the time after her wedding and the troubles with her mother thereafter. MT did show her special attention upon her marriage by wanting to grant her and her husband a pension from Austria but Joseph did not agree. So it was said that she lobbied for France and Spain to increase their pensions to Parma, which is, of course, was a very nice gesture (and needed by her spendthrift daughter).

Of course, we can't know all their actions. But Maria Elisabeth's obvious displeasure/tantrum on being the only one left out in the family (Maria Anna had a "downgraded" post but it was obviously her choice, not her mother's) does point out that either nothing was done for her or no serious efforts were made.

As for Vienna not welcoming unfavourable reports on Maria Carolina in Naples, said reports came from the minister Kaunitz's daughter in law who was the wife of the Austrian ambassador in Naples. Apparently, Joseph II"s glowing reports on his sister in 1769 was also more for "public relations" and the spy-ambassador's wife could not condone MC's conduct, which coming from an inner circle member and one who is loyal to Austria, speaks volumes of MC's bad behaviour. But MC was not be scolded severely (or punished) like Marie Antoinette or Maria Amalia...such reports were unwelcome (although MT also complained that they came infrequently, what a contradiction).
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on February 17, 2015, 12:26:37 PM
Quote
I don't know what she meant by the "eight" archduke; maybe it is just a mistake or mistranslation.

She may have been factoring in some of Leopold's sons, ahead of Max Franz in the succession of course, who in 1779 were proposed by their father a Prince Bishop of Cologne.  The original idea of Max Franz as eventual governor of Hungary, with a military career, started with his coadjutorship of the Teutonic Order to Karl Alexander of Lorraine as Grand Master.  Although the Teutonic Order prohibited Max Franz from marrying, it did not commit him to an ecclesiastical role which both Maria Theresa and Joseph opposed.  Max Franz fell ill with a disease of the knees in 1778 and thereafter his health made him unfit for military service including the governorship of Hungary. Maria Theresa nevertheless resisted having him created a prince-bishop until Leopold's request of the Cologne principality for one of his sons made her think again, as she thought them far too young.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 18, 2015, 05:39:30 AM
She may have been factoring in some of Leopold's sons, ahead of Max Franz in the succession of course, who in 1779 were proposed by their father a Prince Bishop.

You are correct, thank you. I thought of her sons only and counting Leopold'sons alive by 1774 would indeed make Max the 8th archduke. Leopold thought way ahead but that was only practical since he had 5 sons by then and were likely to have more. Securing the post in Cologne for Max was a triumph for Austria. I dont think MT did wrong in this and most likely Maria Elisabeth wasn't expecting a very high level post like Max's but one that could afford her some semblance of an honourable and adequate position. She also cried about being stuck in Vienna with Joseph, not a pleasant person nor sympathetic to her. Can't understand why she wasn't given a  "token" post in any of their lands; after all, Tuscany, Hungary, Milan, and the Austrian Netherlands were "ruled" her siblings/uncle under Vienna's directions. Setting up something like that for her in Tyrol, a princely county, for instance -aside from abbess duties - would not have been too much. That is why I like Leopold - he tried to do the right things for the non-favourites like ME and Maria Amalia. He seemed fine with Maria Anna too, naming his second daughter/fourth child after her and getting her as the godmother (when as a rule he mostly got "senior" - by rank or age - relatives/family members as godparents for his children)... not as cold as his mother blamed him to be.

As for the Kaunitz daughter in law who criticised Maria Carolina in Naples, she was even a distant relative through their Oettingen ties,  sister of the famous Eleonore of Liechenstein, so very much included in the family's inner circles.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 19, 2015, 02:20:45 AM
Maria Anna is the subject of a study started in July 2013:

Austrian Portraiture in the 18th century. The collection of the Elisabethinen convent in Klagenfurt.

The project aims to investigate approximately 135 portraits from the collection of the Elisabethinen convent in Klagenfurt bequeathed by the Austrian archduchess Maria Anna (1738-1789). The convolute consists of oil paintings and pastels showing Habsburg aristocrats and contemporary clerics, including an ancestral gallery as well as a depiction of Maria Theresia and Franz Stephan in carnival costumes. An extraordinary density of children’s portraits further characterizes the collection.
 
The project’s main objectives are a contextualization of the artworks within regional and transregional 18th-century art production and distribution, an attribution to artists and workshops, and a reconstruction of the history of the collection before and after the accession of Maria Anna’s estate by the Elisabethinen convent after her death in 1789. The role of the archduchess herself will be also considered from a feminist perspective, as she acted not only as collector but also as a well-recognized engraver and painter.


The link and full article: http://www.dieangewandte.at/jart/prj3/angewandte/main.jart?rel=en&reserve-mode=active&content-id=1371642582530&aktuelles_id=1376294158068

Her natural history collection was bequeathed to her major domo Count Joseph Enzenberg, who shared her passion for the same, but the items were later sold.  The link to the article that mentions it: http://www.repository.naturalis.nl/document/148635

Also, she had a summer home at Klagenfurt called Schloss Annabischl (not named after her but after the wife of the first owner). It is small, just like her sisters' pleasure homes (Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon, Maria Amalia's Casino dei Boschi).

Maria Anna's funeral is summarized by an abstract made by Angelina Pötschner: http://www.bda.at/text/136/1091/11315/#pötschner

Maria Theresa's, Maria Anna's and Maria Elisabeth's portraits are displayed at Austria's Federal Chancellery-Stone Room: https://www.bka.gv.at/site/3866/default.aspx . They describe Maria Anna as  "an archduchess with an impressive biography."
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 19, 2015, 03:06:28 AM
Accprding to Worldwide Guide To Women in Leadership:

"In Bohemia there were 4 cases of a female "office-nobility" Amtsadels, who were all raised to the position of Princess of the Realm (Fürstenstand), The Abbess of St. Georg at the  Hradschin in Prauge (Äbtissin zu St. Georg auf dem Hradschin zu Prag), the Abbess of the Free Wordly Chapter for Noble Ladies of the Holy Angels in the New Town of Prague (Äbtissin des freiweltlich adeligen Damenstifts zu den Heiligen Engeln auf der Neustadt in Prag), the Abbess of the Theresian Royal and Imperial Ladies Chapter of the Castle of Prague (Äbtissin des k.k. Theresianischen adeligen Damenstifts ob dem Prager Schlosse) and The Prioress of the Duchal Savoyian Ladies' Chapter in Vienna (Oberin des Herzoglich Savoyschen Damenstiftes in Wien)

The Theresianian Noble Chapter at the Hradschin in Prague (The Theresian Royal and Imperial Ladies Chapter of the Castle of Prague (Äbtissin des k.k. Theresianischen adeligen Damenstifts ob dem Prager Schlosses - Äbtissin des Prager Hradschin Convents - Äbtissin des Hradschin) (Secular Abbess). Other versions of the name are: Adelichen Damenstiftes auf dem Prager Hradschin/Theresianische Anstalt für adelige Frauen in Prag/The k.k. Theresianische adelige Damenstift at the Prague Hradschin,

The Abbey was founded by Empress Maria Theresia in 1755, from 1766 the Abbess enjoyed princely ecclesiastical rank (fürstliche geistliche würde), only temporal duties and a high income, in 1791 the right to crown the Queens of Bohemia was transferred to her. The position of Princess-Abbess of the Chapter was the second highest non-imperial office after the Chancellor."

So, it appears that the princely ecclesiastical rank was made with Maria Anna in mind.  Not sure when it was made the second highest non-imperial office after the Chancellor (that doesn't sound like Joseph's work and the post was vacant for nine years after Maria Anna resigned) but that made it even more prestigious. Maria Anna had no reason to complain about her establishment (not that I read she ever did and it certainly befits her rank as the eldest of the surviving imperial children). It was also a post that was reserved only for archduchesses (after her, in 1790, was Leopold's second daughter and her goddaughter, Archduchess Maria Anna, who had the privilege of crowning her mother Maria Luisa as Queen of Bohemia).
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 19, 2015, 03:40:00 AM
Although beautiful, she did not seem to have the spirit of Maria Amalia or Charlotte (Maria Carolina).

Maria Elisabeth was, in general, lively. She appeared to have regained her gaiety/spirits once in Innsbruck. She was brave and rallied the people of Tyrol during the Napoleonic years. I also read that her nephews (Leopold's sons, even Franz who was the emperor) were not spared her "sharp" tongue.  I'm just starting to learn more about, though. In what way(s) was she different from her sisters?

Also, to correct the post earlier, Leopold's daughter Maria Anna became Princess-Abbess in Prague in 1791 and the post in Prague was vacant for 10, not 9, years.  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on February 19, 2015, 11:15:04 PM
Yes. Although Maria Elisaberth never found one she liked to marry like Mimi did or Amalia tried.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 21, 2015, 04:46:44 AM
Mimi first wanted to marry a prince of Wurttemberg. Amalia's first choice of a prince - by the way, Karl of Zweibrucken was certainly not a penniless prince as most assumed, Frederick Michael  left a very considerable fortune to his family (it was said that he managed his various revenues very well) - was rejected but then she was rather lucky the second time around in the sense that she did love - and not only out of duty -  her husband (despite their differences). As for  Maria Elisabeth, she seemed to have a crush on Charles-Joseph, Prince de Ligne but he was already married when she was 12 years old and I'm not sure if a Prince de Ligne would rank high enough for the imperial family  even if unmarried (that information on the Prince de Ligne was mentioned earlier in this thread but may have been deleted). Who knows, she may have been lucky the second time around like her two sisters?  Her private life is not very well researched.  

Also, on Maria Elisabeth's last years, she lived in Linz at the Khevenhüller mansion (Freihaus Khevenhüller, Alstadt 30) and it was a building with modern amenities like plumbing and an elevator. She still enjoyed going to the theatre and would often go to the newly-built one in town. She suffered the least among her sisters in those hard, unhappy years (French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars).

In addition to what was discussed re: Maximilian Franz's establishment, Maria Theresa also wanted to transfer Franz's Stephan's estates in Holitsch, Sassin, Göding and Eckartsau to him - provided that Joseph agreed. But I don't know if he did.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on February 21, 2015, 12:15:27 PM
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re: Maximilian Franz's establishment, Maria Theresa also wanted to transfer Franz's Stephan's estates in Holitsch, Sassin, Göding and Eckartsau to him - provided that Joseph agreed. But I don't know if he did.

Under Maria Theresa's will, Max Franz was allowed the use and the income of Franz Stephan's 4 estates in addition to his generous income as Coadjutor and later grand master of the Teutonic Order, until he received the revenues of the Archbishopric of Cologne and the Bishopric of Münster (he did not take up these positions until 1784).  However, Joseph made him renounce his claim to these estates and sent him off to the headquarters of the Teutonic Order apparently in order to have funds to meet other provisions of Maria Theresa's will and to recoup some of the 1 million florins spent on the elections for Cologne and Münster.  Later however, it appears Max Franz sometimes joined him at the much reduced court in Vienna which was now very masculine and mean, even more than that of Prussia apparently.  Max Franz does not appear to have borne Joseph any ill-will for this behaviour - he certainly didn't hurt for money - but Joseph's other actions relating to the terms of the will annoyed other beneficiaries, particularly Leopold and Maria Christina.  In fairness to Joseph, he appeared to feel that he and Maria Theresa had jointly arranged the disposition of the imperial private fortune in 1765 on the death of Franz Stefan, and Maria Theresa's own will was a variation of a contract to which he had not agreed.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on February 22, 2015, 11:37:00 PM
Indeed. Maria Elisabeth's life was not well researched.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 23, 2015, 04:59:48 AM
Under Maria Theresa's will, Max Franz was allowed the use and the income of Franz Stephan's 4 estates in addition to his generous income as Coadjutor and later grand master of the Teutonic Order, until he received the revenues of the Archbishopric of Cologne and the Bishopric of Münster (he did not take up these positions until 1784).  However, Joseph made him renounce his claim to these estates and sent him off to the headquarters of the Teutonic Order apparently in order to have funds to meet other provisions of Maria Theresa's will and to recoup some of the 1 million florins spent on the elections for Cologne and Münster.  Later however, it appears Max Franz sometimes joined him at the much reduced court in Vienna which was now very masculine and mean, even more than that of Prussia apparently.  Max Franz does not appear to have borne Joseph any ill-will for this behaviour - he certainly didn't hurt for money - but Joseph's other actions relating to the terms of the will annoyed other beneficiaries, particularly Leopold and Maria Christina.  In fairness to Joseph, he appeared to feel that he and Maria Theresa had jointly arranged the disposition of the imperial private fortune in 1765 on the death of Franz Stefan, and Maria Theresa's own will was a variation of a contract to which he had not agreed.

CountessKate, again, thank you very much for the detailed information. Been curious on the empress' last will for some time. Why the annoyance of Mimi and Leopold and do you know who else in the family got money, estates and personal possessions from Maria Theresa? Maria Anna got their mother's rosary and I imagine many ancestral/family portraits, which she brought to Klangenfurt. It was mentioned either here or at another thread that Louis XVIII later on asked about any inheritance due to Marie Antoinette from her mother and/or father but it appeared there was none?

I agree that Joseph acted correctly on this matter and Maximilian also behaved very well (he did not have a reason to complain despite the fact that he had to renounce the estates). I  read that he was the favourite nephew of his uncle Charles of Lorraine so he likely also inherited from him (Charles of Lorraine left a fortune to an illegitimate son).Speaking of favourite nephews and nieces, I read that Maria Anna was the favourite of her aunt and namesake.

Indeed. Maria Elisabeth's life was not well researched.
Maria Elisabeth does not even seem to have a biography of her own, only a  book that also featured her sisters.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on February 24, 2015, 04:25:49 AM
Which book is that ? In German ?
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 24, 2015, 06:04:22 AM
Which book is that ? In German ?

Yes, in German like  Die Tochter Maria Theresias. It has been translated into Spanish, I think.  I am sure there is at least 1 more book but  I can't  recall the title right now.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on February 24, 2015, 08:21:22 AM
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I read that he was the favourite nephew of his uncle Charles of Lorraine so he likely also inherited from him (Charles of Lorraine left a fortune to an illegitimate son).

Since Charles of Lorraine died in debt (he does not seem to have had the financial acumen of his brother Franz Stefan), Joseph decided that he would not be bound by the detailed provisions of the will since all members of the imperial family had to obtain his consent as head of the family before making their wills, and Charles had not done so.  Joseph decided to sell off Charles' property to pay his debts.  I don't know what may have happened to his illegitimate family; they may have been provided for already, since as I understand it, Charles kept them very much under wraps in order not to offend Maria Theresa, and a public naming in a will would have done just that.  Max Franz would have been provided for by Charles' death anyway because he would succeed to the Grand Mastership of the Teutonic Order (and the income) in Charles' place.  Leopold was infuriated by Joseph's decision which he considered "unjust, despotic, absurd and outrageous'.  I don't know if that was due to any bequest he or others in whom he was interested would have been deprived of, or whether - as usual - he was infuriated by Joseph's lack of consultation with his heir.

Quote
Why the annoyance of Mimi and Leopold and do you know who else in the family got money, estates and personal possessions from Maria Theresa?.....It was mentioned either here or at another thread that Louis XVIII later on asked about any inheritance due to Marie Antoinette from her mother and/or father but it appeared there was none?

I don't know about personal possessions - I assume all members of the family received mementos and there does not appear to be any contention about this. 
Following Franz Stefan's death in 1765, Joseph and Maria Theresa set up a fund of 8 million florins to provide for Joseph's brothers and sisters.  Although this fund was not in itself in Maria Theresa's will it's provisions are essential to explain her intentions in relation to her family after her death.  Half of the fund was allocated in 1766 to Albert of Saxony as the husband of Marie Christine, in order for the couple to maintain a court in Pressburg.  Marianne's appointment as Abbess in Prague, agreed before Franz Stefan's death I believe, was endowed with an annual income of 80,000 florins, a very handsome settlement.  Each of the others were to receive 50,000 florins per annum until they were 'established'.  In the case of the girls, by the time of Maria Theresa's death Maria Amalia was Duchess of Parma, Maria Caroline Queen of Naples, and Marie Antoinette Queen of France, so were due no further sums (it was not, strictly speaking, an inheritance and Louis XVIII's enquiry was ignorant, greedy and impertinent though of course a measure of his desperation at the time).  Leopold was Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinand was due to succeed as Duke of Modena, and Max Franz as Elector of Cologne.  Ferdinand would continue to receive 50,000 florins until his father-in-law died.  Although Max Franz would not become Archbishop of Cologne and Bishop of Münster until 1784, he was already Grand Master of the Teutonic Order by the time of Maria Theresa's death although her will might not have taken that into account since Charles died in July 1780 and Maria Theresa only 4 months later, hence possibly her bequest of the four estates mentioned earlier; although presumably, like Ferdinand, Max Franz would have been entitled to the 50,000 florins anyway until he entered into his establishment.  Maria Theresa's will provided for Marianne to exchange her Prague convent for that of Klagenfurt as this was less expensive than Prague and more salubrious; her 50,000 florins would therefore go further.  The will also provided for Maria Elisabeth to go to Innsbruck with 50,000 florins.  Maria Theresa did not wish either Marianne or Maria Elisabeth to be forced to go to their convents but the money certainly helped Joseph to 'persuade' them to leave Vienna.  The only parts of Maria Theresa's will relating to the imperial family which Joseph altered were the provision for Max Franz and as I indicated before, these did not seem to create any ill-will in themselves.
However, Maria Theresa had made very ample provision for the continuation of court pensions and other provisions for aristocratic imperial supporters which annoyed Joseph who was looking to recoup funds expended on Bavarian War and in general to reduce funds for the nobility.  It seems it was chiefly in the ways he chose to take forward his court reforms which reduced or disregarded Maria Theresa's bequests which alienated Leopold, who was not consulted and who felt again Joseph was being high-handed and tactless. 
Marie Christine was aggrieved at not receiving more under Maria Theresa's will - although she had already received half of the fund established for all the imperial brothers and sisters - and Joseph took the opportunity to challenge some property arrangements Maria Theresa had made before her death in Marie Christine's favour, forcing Marie Christine to borrow some funds from Leopold to recompense Joseph.  Leopold felt he had to lend Marie Christine the money, as she had made his son Charles her heir.  However, it probably added to Leopold's irritation with Joseph.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 25, 2015, 03:41:33 AM

Since Charles of Lorraine died in debt (he does not seem to have had the financial acumen of his brother Franz Stefan), Joseph decided that he would not be bound by the detailed provisions of the will since all members of the imperial family had to obtain his consent as head of the family before making their wills, and Charles had not done so.  Joseph decided to sell off Charles' property to pay his debts.  I don't know what may have happened to his illegitimate family; they may have been provided for already, since as I understand it, Charles kept them very much under wraps in order not to offend Maria Theresa, and a public naming in a will would have done just that.  Max Franz would have been provided for by Charles' death anyway because he would succeed to the Grand Mastership of the Teutonic Order (and the income) in Charles' place.  Leopold was infuriated by Joseph's decision which he considered "unjust, despotic, absurd and outrageous'.  I don't know if that was due to any bequest he or others in whom he was interested would have been deprived of, or whether - as usual - he was infuriated by Joseph's lack of consultation with his heir.

Thank you for the explanation. That he died in debt is quite surprising. Charles Alexander was paid very handsomely by Maria Theresa and there were a lot of money given to him on other occasions. Yes, I read that he had to keep his affairs and illegitimate children - or was it even a second family? - a secret but I didn't know that he had to obtain consent from Joseph for his will. However, I did read that he could ignore directives from Vienna and MT wasn't inclined to force/argue with him so ignoring the rules on wills was not a big surprise.

I don't know about personal possessions - I assume all members of the family received mementos and there does not appear to be any contention about this.  

Thank you again for the detailed explanation on all this.  I hope all daughters - and even some of the granddaughters - got personal items of Maria Theresa. As mentioned earlier, Maria Anna took with her a large number of ancestral/family portraits - as well as some of the nobility -  so those were likely from her mother.

The will also provided for Maria Elisabeth to go to Innsbruck with 50,000 florins.  Maria Theresa did not wish either Marianne or Maria Elisabeth to be forced to go to their convents but the money certainly helped Joseph to 'persuade' them to leave Vienna.  

Happy to hear that Maria Elisabeth, in this instance, got the same treatment as other family members. Judging from how lively she was again in Innsbruck, it doesn't sound like it was a death sentence to her. Or she may have just made the best of the situation and regained her composure/high spirits, etc.

However, Maria Theresa had made very ample provision for the continuation of court pensions and other provisions for aristocratic imperial supporters which annoyed Joseph who was looking to recoup funds expended on Bavarian War and in general to reduce funds for the nobility.  It seems it was chiefly in the ways he chose to take forward his court reforms which reduced or disregarded Maria Theresa's bequests which alienated Leopold, who was not consulted and who felt again Joseph was being high-handed and tactless.  
Marie Christine was aggrieved at not receiving more under Maria Theresa's will - although she had already received half of the fund established for all the imperial brothers and sisters - and Joseph took the opportunity to challenge some property arrangements Maria Theresa had made before her death in Marie Christine's favour, forcing Marie Christine to borrow some funds from Leopold to recompense Joseph.  Leopold felt he had to lend Marie Christine the money, as she had made his son Charles her heir.  However, it probably added to Leopold's irritation with Joseph.

Leopold was right to be annoyed but I can't say Joseph was wrong in reducing them either.  MT was very extravagant - in the past, it was Franz Stephan who 'tempered' that tendency - but it would fall into Joseph to meet all obligations. Austria's finances were not very good - I remember it rarely registered a surplus ( only of 3 years in all of MT's reign?). Of course, it was his fault that Austria got into further financial obligations because of his ambition in acquiring Bavaria. Also the nobles and other beneficiaries would hardly be pleased with the reductions or disregard of the will.

Sorry to hear that Maria Christina wanted more -  she already got an 'obscene' dowry as well as a duchy. MT also continued to be very generous to her and her husband. I remember reading that Mimi didn't even have the funds to move to Brussels and it was Leopold who lent her the money (200,000 florins, if I recall it right). Unconceiveable - no money with her dowry, revenues from Teschen, her compensation as Governor of Hungary and other gifts from her mother? Joseph did the right thing in trying to balance this matter.  I see more clearly now - aside from not having the "autonomy" in the Austrian Netherlands -  why she  harshly criticised Joseph to Leopold (whereas earlier, she even spied for him).

  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on February 25, 2015, 06:26:25 AM
Quote
Sorry to hear that Maria Christina wanted more -  she already got an 'obscene' dowry as well as a duchy. MT also continued to be very generous to her and her husband. I remember reading that Mimi didn't even have the funds to move to Brussels and it was Leopold who lent her the money (200,000 florins, if I recall it right). Unconceiveable - no money with her dowry, revenues from Teschen, her compensation as Governor of Hungary and other gifts from her mother? Joseph did the right thing in trying to balance this matter.  I see more clearly now - aside from not having the "autonomy" in the Austrian Netherlands -  why she  harshly criticised Joseph to Leopold (whereas earlier, she even spied for him).

I agree that Maria Christina showed herself to be very grasping over Maria Theresa's will.  I'm not saying it in mitigation, but she and Albert ran their court in Hungary along generous lines and wanted to do the same in the Austrian Netherlands and this cost serious money (it wasn't a matter of just moving to Brussels, it was a matter of making a splash as incoming governors, something which had clear political targets).  Joseph wished to reduce all court expenditure over which he had control as a matter of principle, and while in certain respects it was a good idea and better for the general welfare of his subjects to reduce what was effectively subsidies to the nobility, he went too far the other way and by cutting himself off from court life he also cut himself off from advice on the ground within the empire.  Whatever one may think of Maria Christina's personal characteristics, she was a clear-minded politician and Joseph's severe limitations on her and Albert's powers as governors certainly helped to lose the Austrian Netherlands for the Habsburgs.  While Maria Christina appeared greedy over Maria Theresa's will, there was something vindictive about Joseph's behaviour as well - he did appear to be revelling in trampling over his family which he'd not been able to do when his mother was alive.  Maria Christina may have needed a bit of a knock back, but in indulging in his well-known dislike of his sisters (with the exception of Marie Antoinette and Maria Josepha - and to some extent, though not much, Maria Carolina), he basically   knocked down an effective political operator who could have introduced his desired reforms in a much more tactful way.  It was this which brought Maria Christina and Leopold together, although Leopold had not liked Maria Christina's hold on Maria Theresa, in working behind Joseph's back to try and find ways to hold on to the Austrian Netherlands which was - as Derek Beales pointed out in his biography of Joseph - effectively treason towards the emperor, though not to the dynasty.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 26, 2015, 05:07:59 AM

I'm not saying it in mitigation, but she and Albert ran their court in Hungary along generous lines and wanted to do the same in the Austrian Netherlands and this cost serious money (it wasn't a matter of just moving to Brussels, it was a matter of making a splash as incoming governors, something which had clear political targets).  Joseph wished to reduce all court expenditure over which he had control as a matter of principle, and while in certain respects it was a good idea and better for the general welfare of his subjects to reduce what was effectively subsidies to the nobility, he went too far the other way and by cutting himself off from court life he also cut himself off from advice on the ground within the empire.  Whatever one may think of Maria Christina's personal characteristics, she was a clear-minded politician and Joseph's severe limitations on her and Albert's powers as governors certainly helped to lose the Austrian Netherlands for the Habsburgs.

The cost of the 'move' is clearer now. Was wondering how on earth it can cost that much. But Mimi also should have known Joseph's preferences and tendencies. She was unrealistic in wanting the same in Brussels. Especially since she was suspected to have worked behind the scenes against Joseph in the Bavaria issue. And it seems compromise was not in their natures.

Whatever one may think of Maria Christina's personal characteristics, she was a clear-minded politician and Joseph's severe limitations on her and Albert's powers as governors certainly helped to lose the Austrian Netherlands for the Habsburgs.  While Maria Christina appeared greedy over Maria Theresa's will, there was something vindictive about Joseph's behaviour as well - he did appear to be revelling in trampling over his family which he'd not been able to do when his mother was alive.  Maria Christina may have needed a bit of a knock back, but in indulging in his well-known dislike of his sisters (with the exception of Marie Antoinette and Maria Josepha - and to some extent, though not much, Maria Carolina), he basically   knocked down an effective political operator who could have introduced his desired reforms in a much more tactful way.  It was this which brought Maria Christina and Leopold together, although Leopold had not liked Maria Christina's hold on Maria Theresa, in working behind Joseph's back to try and find ways to hold on to the Austrian Netherlands which was - as Derek Beales pointed out in his biography of Joseph - effectively treason towards the emperor, though not to the dynasty.

I never read any significant or numerous achievements of Mimi in Hungary or the Austrian Netherlands so this is interesting. For one touted to be so talented and intelligent, there doesn't seem much to show- been wondering on that matter. Thank you for mentioning this characteristic. And I very much agree that they - all rulers in fact - needed feedback from the ground (although it also appears that Joseph didn't like or trust her; can't say I fully understand why he agreed to be extremely  generous to her in 1766). Joseph, Maria Carolina and Marie Antoinette all failed in that.  Joseph (like Mimi) was unpleasant and I agree that he appeared to be revelling in trampling over his family (Maximilian and Maria Amalia didn't hold any grudges though and that's one trait I really like about them).  Earlier Habsburgs rebelled against  their Emperor (Matthias and Rudolf) so treason within  is not new in their dynasty.

Didn't Leopold also dislike Mimi's personal characteristics? Guess he had to overcome his dislike because of his son among other considerations. If I recall it right, Archduke Ferdinand also joined in the anti-Joseph circle... what were his issues? He already shown his displeasure even when Maria Theresa was alive. Speaking of Ferdinand,  Leopold wrote scathingly of him at least once.



Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 26, 2015, 05:43:08 AM
I meant both advice and feedback from the ground...

Anyone knows why Leopold seemed to distrust and even perhaps dislike Ferdinand (it seemed mutual, like in the case of letters being opened)? Aside from the favouritism showed by their mother?
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on February 27, 2015, 06:06:36 AM
Quote
If I recall it right, Archduke Ferdinand also joined in the anti-Joseph circle... what were his issues? He already shown his displeasure even when Maria Theresa was alive. Speaking of Ferdinand,  Leopold wrote scathingly of him at least once.

During Maria Theresa's lifetime, Leopold disliked and distrusted Marie Christine and Ferdinand because of the favoritism the Empress showed to both.  All three bonded however in anger over their treatment by Joseph, who in the 1780s made it absolutely clear to Marie Christine and Ferdinand that they were to have no say in the decision-making as governors of Belgium and Lombardy respectively and that their roles would be purely representational.  They were not opposed to the reforms he wished to institute, but wanted to discuss them and have their say, as Belgium in particular was proving troublesome.  Leopold was not in the same situation, but was similarly dismayed at the pace and inflexibility of Joseph's approach and his lack of consultation with Leopold who would have to pick up the pieces when he himself came to rule.  While Leopold may not have particularly liked his sister and brother, they were all united in wishing to ensure the smooth continuation of the dynasty's rule and did not have confidence (which was entirely justified) in Joseph's proceedings.

Quote
I never read any significant or numerous achievements of Mimi in Hungary or the Austrian Netherlands so this is interesting. For one touted to be so talented and intelligent, there doesn't seem much to show- been wondering on that matter.


Marie Christine and Albert as governors pursued a steady course of improving Hungarian agriculture and the Hungarian army, setting aside their art patronage which was considerable.  It was not brilliant, but one has to question how effective the far more radical pace of change Joseph instituted in Hungary was in supporting the Habsburg rule - which was, after all, what all Maria Theresa's children were seeking to do.  In Belgium Marie Christine had no political say until the damage was done, so much was catch-up.  If Joseph had taken advice from his siblings with experience, he might have tempered his reforms to produce a more stable result for his dynasty.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 28, 2015, 02:53:58 AM
During Maria Theresa's lifetime, Leopold disliked and distrusted Marie Christine and Ferdinand because of the favoritism the Empress showed to both.  

Thank you. I find it interesting that while Ferdinand was one of their mother's favorites, he also didn't like Mimi.  Ferdinand wasn't as disliked as Mimi by their siblings so I think he behaved better to them. That Mimi was the "ultimate" favorite of their mother was not her fault (that was from the cradle although Isabella of Parma's advice to Mimi regarding Maria Theresa seemingly strengthened that favoritism). I think their dislike or distrust (in some, both) was mainly because of how Mimi behaved towards them and they saw how she manipulated - and even badly treated - their mother.

As for Leopold disliking Ferdinand, I don't remember the exact words right now but in essence, he thought his younger brother had no talents/brains nor a particularly good man (because of vices?). I don't think he was that bad though. If he was totally without redeeming qualities, then he would not have been rather popular in Milan/Lombardy.  

All three bonded however in anger over their treatment by Joseph, who in the 1780s made it absolutely clear to Marie Christine and Ferdinand that they were to have no say in the decision-making as governors of Belgium and Lombardy respectively and that their roles would be purely representational.  They were not opposed to the reforms he wished to institute, but wanted to discuss them and have their say, as Belgium in particular was proving troublesome.  Leopold was not in the same situation, but was similarly dismayed at the pace and inflexibility of Joseph's approach and his lack of consultation with Leopold who would have to pick up the pieces when he himself came to rule.  While Leopold may not have particularly liked his sister and brother, they were all united in wishing to ensure the smooth continuation of the dynasty's rule and did not have confidence (which was entirely justified) in Joseph's proceedings.

I have not read much about the relationship of the four siblings during this stage (except for Leopold & Joseph).  That they set aside their personal dislike/ differences for the smooth continuation of the dynasty is very commendable and nice.  I remember reading that all three tried to undermine Joseph's directives but their joint efforts were not enough (which is another interesting thing).    

What about the others? I see Maria Amalia and Maximilian as "neutral", Marie Antoinette was most likely on Joseph's side (although she obviously still liked her brother Ferdinand) and Maria Carolina with Leopold (and it most likely didn't help that Joseph opposed her ambition to match her daughters with Leopold's two heirs) but she didn't go against him...?  Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth?

Marie Christine and Albert as governors pursued a steady course of improving Hungarian agriculture and the Hungarian army, setting aside their art patronage which was considerable.  It was not brilliant, but one has to question how effective the far more radical pace of change Joseph instituted in Hungary was in supporting the Habsburg rule - which was, after all, what all Maria Theresa's children were seeking to do.  In Belgium Marie Christine had no political say until the damage was done, so much was catch-up.  If Joseph had taken advice from his siblings with experience, he might have tempered his reforms to produce a more stable result for his dynasty.

I see now that at least progress was made in agriculture and in the army.  So she certainly did not do badly like her two sisters (Marie Antoinette and Maria Carolina) and while driven away from the Austrian Netherlands - twice, I think - that was more Joseph's doing.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on February 28, 2015, 06:56:21 AM
Quote
What about the others? I see Maria Amalia and Maximilian as "neutral", Marie Antoinette was most likely on Joseph's side (although she obviously still liked her brother Ferdinand) and Maria Carolina with Leopold (and it most likely didn't help that Joseph opposed her ambition to match her daughters with Leopold's two heirs) but she didn't go against him...?  Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth?

It's hard to tell how these particular siblings felt about one another, in the absence of personal correspondence or other evidence.  In Leopold's memorandum on his family which was written in 1778-79, he felt that Maria Theresa treated his "sisters Maria Anna and Elizabeth....very badly", which does imply a certain sympathy, but in writing of why the empress did this, Leopold also suggested he agreed with the reasons: "Maria Anna because she always intrigues in everything and...Elizabeth because she gossips and passes everything on as soon as she hears it.....[the empress] repeats that she cannot trust either daughter and is quite unhappy with them." In other words, he did not agree with the apparent harshness with which the empress treated these sisters, but he didn't appear to deny he thought Maria Anna intrigued and Maria Elisabeth gossiped and was indiscreet. 
In the same memorandum, Leopold wrote of Max Franz that the "empress loves Maximilian very much, but she believes he is completely on the emperor's side and is thus totally lost and ruined by the fickleness of life-none of which is true.....She values him not at all."  He therefore distinguished Max Franz from his two sisters by defending him, suggesting he himself put a value on this brother if his mother did not.  Leopold and Max Franz corresponded on affairs of the empire at the end of Joseph's life, when Leopold was essentially intriguing with his brothers and sisters to ensure he was in a strong position to establish himself as emperor and to recoup what Joseph had lost.  He was also in correspondence with Maria Carolina at that stage for the same reasons.  Of course this doesn't add much in personal terms, though it does establish the real worry the siblings had about the fate of the empire and their determination to provide support for the next emperor. 
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 28, 2015, 10:47:48 PM
It's hard to tell how these particular siblings felt about one another, in the absence of personal correspondence or other evidence.  In Leopold's memorandum on his family which was written in 1778-79, he felt that Maria Theresa treated his "sisters Maria Anna and Elizabeth....very badly", which does imply a certain sympathy, but in writing of why the empress did this, Leopold also suggested he agreed with the reasons: "Maria Anna because she always intrigues in everything and...Elizabeth because she gossips and passes everything on as soon as she hears it.....[the empress] repeats that she cannot trust either daughter and is quite unhappy with them." In other words, he did not agree with the apparent harshness with which the empress treated these sisters, but he didn't appear to deny he thought Maria Anna intrigued and Maria Elisabeth gossiped and was indiscreet.  

I'm not surprised that both archduchesses behaved that way. Not that it excuses them but the general atmosphere in Vienna was -  and elsewhere where the imperial children were  -  prone to backbiting, prying and fighting (except maybe in Parma after France and Spain gave up their control of the duchy).  Maria Theresa also didn't help in solving this, she was the first to promote such (she was played one child vs. the other, said damaging things about one sibling to another). Not to mention the apparent "idleness" of two (well, Maria Elisabeth more than Maria Anna).  And to be fair to the two, MT disapproved of her children's behavior, except Mimi's (although she still favored Maria Carolina, Ferdinand and Maximilian - on Maria Carolina, I haven't read any particularly special/costly gifts; it's just that bad reports on her were unwelcome).

In the same memorandum, Leopold wrote of Max Franz that the "empress loves Maximilian very much, but she believes he is completely on the emperor's side and is thus totally lost and ruined by the fickleness of life-none of which is true.....She values him not at all."  He therefore distinguished Max Franz from his two sisters by defending him, suggesting he himself put a value on this brother if his mother did not.  Leopold and Max Franz corresponded on affairs of the empire at the end of Joseph's life, when Leopold was essentially intriguing with his brothers and sisters to ensure he was in a strong position to establish himself as emperor and to recoup what Joseph had lost.  He was also in correspondence with Maria Carolina at that stage for the same reasons.  Of course this doesn't add much in personal terms, though it does establish the real worry the siblings had about the fate of the empire and their determination to provide support for the next emperor.  
   

Again, thank you very much, CountessKate.

It's weird how MT "dismissed" Maximilian simply because she thought him pro-Joseph. It seems to me that her perspective was either a child was for her or against her. No wonder Maria Amalia was in her bad books (i.e. defying her mother and I'm almost sure it also didn't help that MT knew Amalia liked Joseph, although he didn't like her). Maximilian didn't do badly like the others in terms of being a ruler or consort and he wasn't into quarreling with or intriguing against his siblings.  I agree that all of this showed worry among the siblings about the fate of the empire and their dynasty and also to help pick up the pieces after Joseph. But it also showed their personal characteristics, without the interference/influence of their mother.  
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 01, 2015, 04:40:42 AM
In Leopold's memorandum on his family which was written in 1778-79, he felt that Maria Theresa treated his "sisters Maria Anna and Elizabeth....very badly", which does imply a certain sympathy, but in writing of why the empress did this, Leopold also suggested he agreed with the reasons: "Maria Anna because she always intrigues in everything and...Elizabeth because she gossips and passes everything on as soon as she hears it.....[the empress] repeats that she cannot trust either daughter and is quite unhappy with them." In other words, he did not agree with the apparent harshness with which the empress treated these sisters, but he didn't appear to deny he thought Maria Anna intrigued and Maria Elisabeth gossiped and was indiscreet.  

With this, I see more reasons why Maria Theresa didn't permit Maria Amalia to visit Vienna.  To be fair, it seemed like something being discussed over a number of years (4-5 years) so it wasn't an outright rejection of her daughter's request.  The possibility of Maria Amalia intriguing with Maria Anna and gossiping with Maria Elisabeth - both of whom were close to Maria Amalia - was probably more than she could bear.... I understand better her fear - although unjustified -  of having more troubles in Vienna (and she had enough of those, she said). As far as I understood it, Maria Amalia just badly wanted to see her mother and she would return to Parma (there was no reason for her not to). It was Joseph who finally rejected the visit and told his mother to firmly drop the idea (it could only cause trouble, he claimed) and a month later, MT died (not sure if she sent a final rejection to Maria Amalia).
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Bravecoeur on November 16, 2015, 03:21:19 AM
Indeed. Maria Elisabeth's life was not well researched.
Maria Elisabeth does not even seem to have a biography of her own, only a  book that also featured her sisters.
[/quote]
Which book is that ? In German ?

Yes, in German like  Die Tochter Maria Theresias. It has been translated into Spanish, I think.  I am sure there is at least 1 more book but  I can't  recall the title right now.
prinzheinegirl is right, as always. ;) There is no biography of Maria Elisabeth, apart from chapters in books that deal with all sisters or all siblings. There are three published in German:
Charlotte Pangels, Die Kinder Maria-Theresias (1980), the most extensive one, the most balanced one she also gives sources and in my opinion is the only one worth reading.
Friedrich Weißensteiner, Die Töchter Maria Theresias (1994), pretty much the same contents, but shorter and very judgmental
Hanne Egghardt, Maria Theresias Kinder (2010), is even shorter and brings also nothing new (at least not on ME)

Btw. this summer a book (French and German) was published on the Innsbruck 1765 wedding/death which covers many topics about Maria Theresia's family, especially the Lorraine ancestors, the travels of court, the depiction of Maria Theresia's family in the Innsbruck castle, and Leopold as well as Maria Elisabeth too. https://winklerverlag.com/v2351x/index_en.html (https://winklerverlag.com/v2351x/index_en.html)
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on November 17, 2015, 04:08:48 AM
Thank you very much, bravecoeur, for the content summary on the books related to Maria Elisabeth, and for this new publication which also features Maria Elisabeth.  Little by little information is being "unearthed" about her.

I'm unsure whether or not Maria Anna has her own biography while the only one I know of Maria Christina was written in the 19th century and in German. Someone reliable should do a book on each of the three sisters.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Bravecoeur on November 17, 2015, 09:07:30 AM
You're welcome.Unfortunately I have no overview on English Biographies of this kind, which I am sure exist too?
I'm unsure whether or not Maria Anna has her own biography while the only one I know of Maria Christina was written in the 19th century and in German.
Yes, there is one on Maria Anna from 1910, that was funnily not published in Klagenfurt but in Innsbruck:
Adolf  Innerkofler (ed),  Eine große Tochter Maria Theresias: Erzherzogin Marianna in ihrem Hauptmonument, dem Elisabethinen-Kloster zu Klagenfurt. Jubelgabe zur Feier des 200jährigen Bestehens vom Elisabethinen-Konvent, Innsbruck 1910. The German title can be translated as "A great daughter of Maria Theresia: Archduchess Marianna in her main monument, the Elizabethan convent of Klagenfurt. Jubelee present in celebration of the 200 year anniversary of the Elizabethan convent".

Furthermore not a book  but a contribution that is 110 pages long (!) so half a book ;) documents Maria Anna's 8 years in Klagenfurt: Othmar Rudan, Erzherzogin Maria Anna in Klagenfurt 1781 – 1789. In: Carinthia 1 170 (1980), 185–295.
Now compare this with how little has been written on Maria Elisabeth's 25 years in Innsbruck... I have read neither of these two works, this information is from another volume of the series I posted yesterday, not sure whether it has already been mentioned here. p. 60 https://winklerverlag.com/v1859x/v1859x_lep.htm (https://winklerverlag.com/v1859x/v1859x_lep.htm)

Quote from: prinzheinelgirl
Someone reliable should do a book on each of the three sisters.
Definitely a great idea! The problem is a bit, I think, that (court) biography is not such a "sexy" topic in academia, which leaves the area to other writers who mostly recycle existing material but don't look for new sources in the archives (exceptions are Renate Zedinger on Franz I Stephan, Derek Beales on Josef II and certainly a few more).
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on November 20, 2015, 06:53:47 AM
You're welcome.Unfortunately I have no overview on English Biographies of this kind, which I am sure exist too?

Can not recall any at this moment but my memory isn't perfect. Perhaps the others can help on this.

Yes, there is one on Maria Anna from 1910, that was funnily not published in Klagenfurt but in Innsbruck:
Adolf  Innerkofler (ed),  Eine große Tochter Maria Theresias: Erzherzogin Marianna in ihrem Hauptmonument, dem Elisabethinen-Kloster zu Klagenfurt. Jubelgabe zur Feier des 200jährigen Bestehens vom Elisabethinen-Konvent, Innsbruck 1910. The German title can be translated as "A great daughter of Maria Theresia: Archduchess Marianna in her main monument, the Elizabethan convent of Klagenfurt. Jubelee present in celebration of the 200 year anniversary of the Elizabethan convent".

Furthermore not a book  but a contribution that is 110 pages long (!) so half a book ;) documents Maria Anna's 8 years in Klagenfurt: Othmar Rudan, Erzherzogin Maria Anna in Klagenfurt 1781 – 1789. In: Carinthia 1 170 (1980), 185–295.
Now compare this with how little has been written on Maria Elisabeth's 25 years in Innsbruck... I have read neither of these two works, this information is from another volume of the series I posted yesterday, not sure whether it has already been mentioned here. p. 60 https://winklerverlag.com/v1859x/v1859x_lep.htm (https://winklerverlag.com/v1859x/v1859x_lep.htm)

Thanks for this. At least Maria Anna is not being totally ignored. I think she is most intelligent and talented overall among the siblings but is "underrated" due to Maria Christina's "prominence" as the favourite daughter of Maria Theresa as well as Maria Carolina being hailed as the daughter most like MT (did MT really state that?).

I think Maria Elisabeth is also categorized as not interesting enough like Maria Anna - 'princesses at convents' and there were plenty of those at that era.  But they did influence their second homes and Maria Elisabeth was at the forefront in Tyrol (one of the small but nevertheless important Habsburg domains) after Joseph died.

Definitely a great idea! The problem is a bit, I think, that (court) biography is not such a "sexy" topic in academia, which leaves the area to other writers who mostly recycle existing material but don't look for new sources in the archives (exceptions are Renate Zedinger on Franz I Stephan, Derek Beales on Josef II and certainly a few more).

Have not heard of that one of Franz Stephan - thank you for this - but Derek Beales's books on Joseph II are both fantastic.  More than worth their rather expensive price tags... I am rather reserved about (some) independent historians as they not only merely recycle information but also invent their own "facts" (speculation or conjecture is fine but should be stated as such - not presented as facts) . I would rather wait for a long time for works similar to Derek Beales's.

So, as far as the family is concerned, this is the summary as far as biographies are concerned?

Maria Theresa - numerous biographies but nothing as comprehensive as Beales's masterful work on Joseph II
Franz Stephan - with a number of biographies but nothing in English?
Maria Anna - half a book (life in Klangenfurt) + a publication on her convent
Joseph II- numerous biographies
Maria Christina - a few books in German
Maria Elisabeth - none; mentioned in the chronicles of Tyrol
Maria Amalia - 1932 biography in Italian
Leopold - a few biographies in German?
Maria Carolina - early 20th century biographies in English (Acton, Bearne) + a few in German
Ferdinand - ?
Marie Antoinette - countless books
Maximilian - ?
   
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Bravecoeur on November 29, 2015, 06:48:16 AM
I think Maria Elisabeth is also categorized as not interesting enough like Maria Anna - 'princesses at convents' and there were plenty of those at that era.  But they did influence their second homes
I totally agree!

I am rather reserved about (some) independent historians as they not only merely recycle information but also invent their own "facts" (speculation or conjecture is fine but should be stated as such - not presented as facts) .
I didn't want to be this harsh so I didn't say it this way - but essentially, again, I totally agree. :)

Have not heard of that one of Franz Stephan - thank you for this
You're welcome. Here is a link to the book: http://www.amazon.de/Schriftenreihe-oesterreichischen-Gesellschaft-Erforschung-Jahrhunderts/dp/3205781090/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1448799788&sr=8-1&keywords=zedinger+franz+lothringen (http://www.amazon.de/Schriftenreihe-oesterreichischen-Gesellschaft-Erforschung-Jahrhunderts/dp/3205781090/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1448799788&sr=8-1&keywords=zedinger+franz+lothringen) I have not found that it was translated. The author speaks French very well, which helps with this kind of research ;) so she might have published in French too...

I've updated the list:

Maria Theresa - numerous biographies but nothing as comprehensive as Beales's masterful work on Joseph II
Franz Stephan - a few biographies but nothing in English
Maria Anna - half a book (life in Klangenfurt) + a publication on her and her convent
Joseph II - numerous biographies
Maria Christina - a few books in German
Maria Elisabeth - none (apart from articles and notes) + a publication on her convent
Maria Amalia - 1932 biography in Italian, no German biography
Leopold - a few biographies in German*
Maria Carolina - early 20th century biographies in English (Acton, Bearne) + a few in German
Ferdinand - none (apart from articles and notes)**
Marie Antoinette - countless books
Maximilian - two biographies in German***
   
*There are numerous articles and specialised publications on Leopold, and also a few biographies in German, notably the two volumes by Adam Wandruszka (and as he reigned in Tuscany for so long, I am certain there are Italian biographies too but haven't checked):
Adam Wandruszka: Leopold II. Erzherzog von Österreich, Großherzog von Toskana, König von Ungarn und Böhmen, Römischer Kaiser, 2 Bände (Band I: 1747–1780, Band II: 1780–1792), Vienna, Munich 1963 and 1965.
Helga Peham: Leopold II. Herrscher mit weiser Hand. Styria, Graz u. a. 1987

** Have not found any biography as a book (there are certainly the articles in the volumes on MT's children and shorter biographical articles).

*** I checked. There are two German biographies on Maximilian Franz, both by the same author:
Max Braubach: Max Franz von Österreich, letzter Kurfürst und Fürstbischof von Münster. Versuch einer Biographie (etc.), Münster i. W.: Aschendorff, 1925
Max Braubach: Maria Theresias jüngster Sohn Max Franz. Letzter Kurfürst von Köln und Fürstbischof von Münster. Herold, Wien u. a. 1961.
Also there are number of special books on his role in certain political aspects in Münster and Colgne.
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on December 17, 2015, 12:56:22 AM
Franz Stephan had his own place in Vienna called "Kaiserhaus".  The link...

http://www.kaiserhaus.info/english/history.htm

Thank you to bravecoeur for the lead on this (book on Franz Stephan, which mentioned said palace) and for the wonderful update above.The book's summary mentions that FS amassed riches in only a short time and did not want any of his children to feel poor (did he feel poor at any point?).  I remember reading Maria Theresa was displeased/in despair that he didn't leave any big bequests to the other children and Joseph was the sole heir (But the family trust fund FS established should have taken care of keeping them in style with their rank).  MT was counting on the bequests. The summary of the book also states that FS is misjudged.

I see that Archduke Ferdinand is also neglected in terms of a biography but he seemed to have been appreciated by the people of Milan, nevertheless....
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Greenowl on May 13, 2017, 03:04:00 PM
Today, 13th. May 2017, marks 300 years since the birth of Empress Maria Theresia!
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Missing on June 23, 2017, 08:35:09 AM
[image] [image] why do i always got these whenever i tried to post a photo?
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Missing on June 23, 2017, 09:00:50 AM
Höfische Porträtkultur: Die Bildnissammlung der österreichischen Erzherzogin Maria Anna (1738-1789)
check out this book, though i didnt understand it but i has some good portrait of some descendant of MT , however it had a limited preview only in google book :(
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: Forum Admin on June 23, 2017, 10:21:22 AM
Because you can't upload photos directly here. You have to put it up on a different server, such as shutterfly or snapfish and then embed the code from there between the [img] tags, not [image]
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on December 28, 2018, 03:01:31 AM
Very happy to find out that Maria Amalia has a new biography- after the first one published in 1932. It is not for sale but perhaps can be made available by request....

https://www.facebook.com/parmavpraze/photos/a.2020476721534278/2060250490890234/?type=3&theater

To update the list (and explanations) posted earlier by Bravecoeur:

Maria Theresa - numerous biographies but nothing as comprehensive as Beales's masterful work on Joseph II
Franz Stephan - a few biographies but nothing in English
Maria Anna - half a book (life in Klangenfurt) + a publication on her and her convent
Joseph II - numerous biographies
Maria Christina - a few books in German
Maria Elisabeth - none (apart from articles and notes) + a publication on her convent
Maria Amalia - 1932 biography in Italian, another one in 2018 (both not in German or English)
Leopold - a few biographies in German*
Maria Carolina - early 20th century biographies in English (Acton, Bearne) + a few in German
Ferdinand - none (apart from articles and notes)**
Marie Antoinette - countless books
Maximilian - two biographies in German***

*There are numerous articles and specialised publications on Leopold, and also a few biographies in German, notably the two volumes by Adam Wandruszka (and as he reigned in Tuscany for so long, I am certain there are Italian biographies too but haven't checked):
Adam Wandruszka: Leopold II. Erzherzog von Österreich, Großherzog von Toskana, König von Ungarn und Böhmen, Römischer Kaiser, 2 Bände (Band I: 1747–1780, Band II: 1780–1792), Vienna, Munich 1963 and 1965.
Helga Peham: Leopold II. Herrscher mit weiser Hand. Styria, Graz u. a. 1987

** Have not found any biography as a book (there are certainly the articles in the volumes on MT's children and shorter biographical articles).

*** I checked. There are two German biographies on Maximilian Franz, both by the same author:
Max Braubach: Max Franz von Österreich, letzter Kurfürst und Fürstbischof von Münster. Versuch einer Biographie (etc.), Münster i. W.: Aschendorff, 1925
Max Braubach: Maria Theresias jüngster Sohn Max Franz. Letzter Kurfürst von Köln und Fürstbischof von Münster. Herold, Wien u. a. 1961.
Also there are number of special books on his role in certain political aspects in Münster and Colgne.
   
Title: Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
Post by: CountessKate on June 24, 2019, 07:04:12 AM
I solved a little archduchess portrait problem which has been nagging at me for years, recently - to my own satisfaction, at any rate.

Neumeister auctions has a very grand portrait of Maria Elisabeth by Johann Carl Auerbach for sale, dated 1763, at this link:
https://www.neumeister.com/kunstwerksuche/kunstwerksuche/ergebnis/233-224/Johann%20Karl%20%28Carl%29-Auerbach/
It reminds me very strongly of the portrait of Maria Amalia, stated to be by Johann Carl's father, Johann Gottfried Auerbach, sold by Bonhams in 2009:
https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/16888/lot/57/
Bonhams included a notice stating it could not be Maria Amalia (as Johann Gottfried died in 1753, Maria Amalia would only have been eight), and I concluded it could be Maria Anna, who might just have made the grade at age 15 in 1753, the last point at which  the painter could have created a portrait, and whose facial characteristics seemed somewhat similar.  I had some reservations though as the hair looked a little too high to be much before 1760 (the suggestion that it could have been of one her aunts, the daughters of Joseph I, I dismissed on stylistic and costume grounds).
The Neumeister portrait, however, suggests quite strongly that the Auerbach who painted the Bonhams portrait, was actually Johann Carl, and the date close in time to that of the portrait of Maria Elisabeth, and therefore the subject of the portrait might indeed be Maria Amalia, aged around 17, rather than Maria Anna, aged around 25.  I have to say, though, the face still resembles Maria Anna more to me but confusing painters with similar names rather than the subject of the painting seems more likely.  I suppose the owners of the painting would have known it as "the portrait of Archduchess Maria Amalia by Auerbach", and since the only Auerbach of note was Johann Gottfried, Bonhams made a natural error.  The two paintings look rather nice together as a pair.