Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => French Royals => Topic started by: seriya on December 13, 2005, 11:46:32 AM

Title: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: seriya on December 13, 2005, 11:46:32 AM
..
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: crazy_wing on December 17, 2005, 03:26:11 AM
Marie, Countess Walewska is said to be the only woman who actually loved Napoleon.  Napoleon met her in Warsaw 1807 and was enchanted by her.  She was married by then but slept with Napoleon anyways because the Poles felt that could save their country.  Later, Marie did fall in love with him and had a son with him called Alexandre who would later become a diplomat in the 2nd Empire.  He was very smart but not a very fun person.  

Marie was the only women who remained loyal to Napoleon after he lost his throne.  She even visited him when he was in Elba and volunteered to stay with him.  He refused because at that time, he was still hoping he could bring Marie Louise to Elba.  Marie was greatly hurt and returned to Paris.  She remarried in 1816 to a distant cousin, Count Philippe Antoine d'Ornano and died in labor in 1817.  Napoleon was not very happy when she remarried and believed she betrayed him.  
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: ilyala on December 17, 2005, 04:34:20 AM
wasn't he a fun person? you can't be with me but you can't be with anyone else either :P

are there any living descendants of alexander walewski?
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: crazy_wing on December 18, 2005, 06:40:13 AM
I read that he lacked any kind of humor.  

He married three times and had 7 children (not sure if all had grown up).
 
1. Catharine Caroline Montagu
  Louise Marie Colonna-Walewska
  George Eduard Auguste Colonna-Walewski

2. Maria Anna di Ricci
   Isabelle Colonna-Walewski
   Charles Walewski
   Elise Colonna-Walewski
   Eugenie Colonna-Walewski

3. Rachel Felix
   Alexandre Antoine Colonna-Walewski
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: seriya on December 18, 2005, 12:18:35 PM
Maria Anna di Ricci(wife of Alexander Walewski)  was a mistress of Napoleon III.
Maybe...1858~1861
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: ilyala on December 18, 2005, 04:04:43 PM
i'm suddenly very interested in alexander walewski. did he prove any simmilarities to his father? did he want to? i only know he was france's minister of foreign affairs...?
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: seriya on December 18, 2005, 11:59:40 PM
Quote
i'm suddenly very interested in alexander walewski. did he prove any simmilarities to his father? did he want to? i only know he was france's minister of foreign affairs...?


I read this book, 'Eugenie the emress and her empire'

'....The Comtesse's vain, venal husband was Napoleon I's son by his Polish mistress, and he looked a bit like his father, which was where the resemblance ended.
A former ambassador to London-Queen Victoria could not stand him-he had recently appointed foreign secretary, although Napoleon III did not think too highly of his abilities.....'

Here a Photo. Alexander Walewski and his wife Maria Anna(Napoleon III's mistress)

(http://photo.blueweb.co.kr/photo/data/seriya/seriya0/photo/051008015758381.jpg)
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: crazy_wing on December 19, 2005, 12:10:36 AM
He knew about his real paternity and I believe he was proud of his father's greatness.  He too was a very capable government official as well.  
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: ilyala on December 19, 2005, 06:08:12 AM
maybe he wasn't a great military commander, but i believe he proved himself quite capable in foreign affairs
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: palatine on December 20, 2005, 09:51:19 AM
The great love of Napoleon’s life was Josephine.  Unfortunately, Josephine was unfaithful to him.  Letters from his family detailing Josephine’s infidelities and the massive debts she had racked up in his absence arrived while he was on his Egyptian campaign.  In a spirit of revenge, Napoleon took his first mistress, Pauline Foures, a young Frenchwoman who had followed her soldier husband into Egypt.  Their affair was very open; Pauline was nicknamed “Napoleon's Cleopatra” by the troops.

Once Napoleon returned to Paris, he told Josephine that he was going to divorce her.  In floods of tears, she begged his forgiveness.  He still loved his wife, despite her extravagance and infidelities.  He reconciled with Josephine, who never dared cheat on him again.  Unfortunately, he cheated on her with the actress Mademoiselle Georges and others, to Josephine’s dismay.  His mistresses meant nothing to him, as he once explained: "power is my mistress".

Napoleon believed that it was his fault that he and Josephine never had children, a belief that was fostered by Josephine and by his siblings, who hoped that he would adopt one of their children as his heir.  When one of his mistresses, Eleonore Denuelle, became pregnant, his sister Caroline convinced him that her own husband was the father of the baby.  It was not until Marie Walewska became pregnant that Napoleon realized he could father a child.  

He still resisted divorcing Josephine, and planned to make the eldest son of her daughter Hortense and his brother Louis his heir, but the child died.  Hortense, a chip off the old block, was unfaithful to Louis within a few years of their arranged marriage.  Napoleon probably had serious doubts that her other children were fathered by Louis, including the future Napoleon III.  Napoleon decided that he needed a child of his own, and reluctantly divorced Josephine.

He married the Archduchess Marie Louise, a great-niece of Marie-Antoinette.  Their marriage was a happy one so long as he was in power, though Marie Louise was not the social success that Josephine had been, due to her shyness and haughtiness.  Their son was born the year after they were married.  Napoleon secretly arranged for Josephine to meet the child.  

After Napoleon was defeated, Marie Louise returned to her father, taking their son with her.  Marie Louise took up with Adam von Neipperg, whom she later married, moving to Parma and abandoning her son by Napoleon.  Marie Louise’s desertion and subsequent infidelity hurt Napoleon, but what devastated him was the treatment meted out to his son, and his separation from him.  

Josephine died of pneumonia during Napoleon’s first exile; when he learned of her death he shut himself away for days and refused to see anyone.  During his hundred day return to France, he paid a visit to their country estate, Malmaison, and spent hours alone in the room where she died.  No other woman came close to replacing the hold she’d kept on his heart.  Years later, as Napoleon lay dying, he was semi-conscious, and seemed to believe that he was giving commands to his army.  His last words were, “and at the head of the army, Josephine….”  He never stopped loving her.  

I don’t think Napoleon should be written off as just a good general.  He overhauled the French legal system, creating a standardized code of laws that applied to everyone equally, the Code Napoleon.  He made certain that promotion in the army and in the civil service was based on ability, not the possession of a noble title.  Napoleon encouraged the founding of the Bank of France, improved roads, and built schools and museums.  His wars were certainly ruinous for France in the long term, but he did not leave the country in the bankrupt state that the Bourbons did, choosing to consolidate the country’s debt and balance the budget instead.  Although he took mistresses, he was by no means as promiscuous as some of the Bourbon rulers of old.  His infidelities were private affairs; he did not flaunt his mistresses or give them any political power.

The official website for Malmaison, the museum dedicated to Napoleon and Josephine:

http://www.chateau-malmaison.fr/
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: Lisa on December 29, 2005, 04:17:22 AM
Mademoiselle George, actress at the Comédie Française:
née Marguerite-Joseph Weimer (1787-1867)
(http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/1995/mllegeorges4xw.gif)
French bio: http://www.napoleon.org/fr/salle_lecture/articles/files/napoleontheatre_hicksfevrier2003.asp
http://www.theatre-odeon.fr/public/document/biograph/george.htm

By COURTOT: (http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/8106/courtotmademoisellegeorges32fl.th.jpg) (http://img384.imageshack.us/my.php?image=courtotmademoisellegeorges32fl.jpg)

by GERARD: (http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/9109/gerardmademoisellegeorges22oc.th.jpg) (http://img384.imageshack.us/my.php?image=gerardmademoisellegeorges22oc.jpg)

(http://img384.imageshack.us/img384/9430/s0000100rd.th.jpg) (http://img384.imageshack.us/my.php?image=s0000100rd.jpg)
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: Lisa on December 29, 2005, 04:33:05 AM
GRASSINI, Giuseppina, (1773-1850), Opera singer:

French bio: http://www.napoleon.org/fr/salle_lecture/biographies/files/grassini.asp

by Elisabeth VIGEE-LEBRUN:
1804:(http://img362.imageshack.us/img362/2189/1804grassini4ry.th.jpg) (http://img362.imageshack.us/my.php?image=1804grassini4ry.jpg)
1805:(http://img362.imageshack.us/img362/1365/1805giusepp4wz.th.jpg) (http://img362.imageshack.us/my.php?image=1805giusepp4wz.jpg)   (http://img362.imageshack.us/img362/8823/1805grassini31ef.th.jpg) (http://img362.imageshack.us/my.php?image=1805grassini31ef.jpg)
1805-07: (http://img362.imageshack.us/img362/7154/180507grassini9tp.th.jpg) (http://img362.imageshack.us/my.php?image=180507grassini9tp.jpg)
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: Lisa on December 29, 2005, 04:36:36 AM
Pauline Fourès, 1778-1869
http://www.napoleon-series.org/research/biographies/c_foures.html

(http://img362.imageshack.us/img362/2250/foures9pr.jpg)
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: Lisa on December 29, 2005, 04:58:41 AM
Maria Waleswka (1789 in Poland, 1817 in Paris)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie,_Countess_Walewski
http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Marie,-Countess-Walewski
(http://img392.imageshack.us/img392/2474/countesswalewska0fv.th.jpg) (http://img392.imageshack.us/my.php?image=countesswalewska0fv.jpg)   (http://img355.imageshack.us/img355/7487/mariawalewska6qy.th.jpg) (http://img355.imageshack.us/my.php?image=mariawalewska6qy.jpg)  (http://img385.imageshack.us/img385/8016/mariawalewska8sa.th.jpg) (http://img385.imageshack.us/my.php?image=mariawalewska8sa.jpg)


Their son Alexandre: http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Alexandre-Joseph-Colonna,-Count-Walewski

by Ivan MAKAROV: (http://img385.imageshack.us/img385/5766/ivanmacaroff3wm.jpg) (http://img385.imageshack.us/img385/3618/walewski18gc.jpg)
                         (http://img385.imageshack.us/img385/9146/alexandrewalewski8af.th.jpg) (http://img385.imageshack.us/my.php?image=alexandrewalewski8af.jpg)

Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: britt.25 on March 23, 2007, 05:49:00 AM
Napoleon was a great military commander...and a dreadful pig as a human being from what we know...He was far out-shone by the women in his life....only to die from arsenic poisoning by his entourage...if we are to belief some Swedish dentists............

The poisoning theory is/was already discussed quite detailled on the thread on Napoleon himself, and indeed it is highly unlikely after the recent examinations. It´s true that Ben Weider has written a book, where he explains the theory that Napoleon might have died of arsenic poisoing by enemies, but even at the beginning- years ago- there were doubts about that story. Whatever one might think it is not proved that Napoleon died of any arsenic  poisoning. Especially recent examinations rather show the contrary, Napoleon had problems with his stomache over many years- because of the well known Helicobacter (there are many people even today having it), and he developed an ulcer, which itself became cancer in the end (please do look to the Napoleon thread for further details!)
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: britt.25 on March 23, 2007, 06:11:07 AM
I read that he lacked any kind of humor.  

He married three times and had 7 children (not sure if all had grown up).
  
1. Catharine Caroline Montagu
   Louise Marie Colonna-Walewska
   George Eduard Auguste Colonna-Walewski

2. Maria Anna di Ricci
    Isabelle Colonna-Walewski
    Charles Walewski
    Elise Colonna-Walewski
    Eugenie Colonna-Walewski

3. Rachel Felix
    Alexandre Antoine Colonna-Walewski


Alexander Walewski was not married to the famous jewish actress Rachel Felix, she was only his mistress (she had many famous lovers and had one other boy by another man, but was never married). They had a son together, Alexandre (1844-1898). When Rachel died quite early, Alexandre adopted this son and threated him like a legitime one.
Concerning the other children: They did not all survive, three of them died quite early. From the first marriage there seem to be no descendants from the children (they might have died in a very young age), from the second marriage there are only todays descendants from the daughters (female lines). The todays "Walewskis" (also the current count Walewski) and his close relatives are all  descendants from Alexandre, who was the result from the liaison of count Alexander with actress Rachel.
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: britt.25 on March 23, 2007, 06:30:18 AM
He knew about his real paternity and I believe he was proud of his father's greatness.  He too was a very capable government official as well.  

Actually Walewski was in military things not at all talented like his famous father. This is not the only example in history, where sons a famous person or a "genius" are not like that. He was very similar to Napoleon in his looks and his stature (even when he was taller, I think), and his voice was very similar to that of Napoleon as well. There is one interesting story about Walewski and his voice: Once he was giving a speech for a deceased person during the time of the Empire of Napoleon III. and during the mourning guests there was also a very old general (or anybody like that) of Napoleon I. and when Walewski began to speak he burst out into tears. When his neighbour, who saw him cry asked: "Oh, I did not know that the deceased was such a close person to you!" And the old man (who had once fought in battles for Napoleon) replied: " No, I didn´t know the deceased that close...but I would never have thought to hear the voice of the emperor once again!"  I think this story says enough about the similary, it´s really fascinating. But indeed, from the character and from the talents he was not so close to Napoleon. It´s also important to say that Alexander Walewski never said or mentioned in publicity that he was the emperor´s son. The is again one interesting story, which I have read in a french newspaper: When he (count Walewski) was among guests in the Second Empire, there was a woman telling him: "Oh, how similar are you to your famous father!" And Walewski responded:
"Oh, I did not know, that you know the count Walewski that good!" (He meant his mother´s husband!) I have read he did not tell it, to save the fame of his mother. It´s quite strange. Maybe he was proud of his natural father in his mind, for himself, but he never said anything in publicity, contrary: he denied his real roots.
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: britt.25 on March 23, 2007, 06:41:04 AM
wasn't he a fun person? you can't be with me but you can't be with anyone else either :P

are there any living descendants of alexander walewski?

Many, many, many, all from the line of Rachel´s son by Alexandre, Alexandre (1844-1898). I have just been in contact with Nathalie one of them, but unfortunately she´s not very involved in napoleonic activities. Her father was the official count Walewski (very much involved in Napoleonic organizations and occasations) until 2003, but suddenly died then with only 68 years of age. His name was count Florian W.. Now Florians brother Alexandre is the current count Walewski (official title), the uncle of Nathalie. I am already trying to make a contact, because of my interested in his activities.   
I have pictures and articles on current relatives, if anyone is interested, no problem.
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: britt.25 on March 23, 2007, 06:55:35 AM
Point de Vue 1969:

(Only small and bad quality...sorry...)

1) line of Alexandre and Rachel

(http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g81/7f3/S0418.jpg)

2) more current descendants of that time

(http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g81/7f3/S0419.jpg)

- sorry if from the time a bit off-topic-


 


other pictures in the thread of the "Bonaparte news"
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: britt.25 on April 06, 2007, 06:57:55 AM
Three Walewski grandchildren of emperor Napoleon I.


(http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g81/7f3/S0424.jpg)

I guess they are: Charles, Isabelle, Elise (children of Alexandre and Anna Maria Ricci)


Source: Poirson, Philippe, Walewski- fils de Napoléon, Balzac, 1943.
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: Suzanne on April 11, 2007, 12:15:26 AM
I recommend Christopher Hibbert's work, "Napoleon: His Wives and Women" for more information on all these ladies
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: britt.25 on April 11, 2007, 01:49:50 AM
Thanks for naming that book. Unfortunately I haven´t read it. As there are many women connected with Napoleon, how many are in that book? Maybe only the most important. Is there also something about the mother of count León?
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: Kaiserin Sissi on September 12, 2007, 12:37:27 PM
I like to know who are exactly all the mistresses of Napoléon 1er ( I just Know Maria Walewska) and Napléon III ( I know Comtesse de Castiglione). Can you help me ?
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: Yseult on September 12, 2007, 04:51:13 PM
Of course ;)

Napoleon I:

*Marguerite Pauline Bellisle Foures.
*Louise Catherine Eléonore Denuelle de la Plaigne, mother of his illegitimate son Leon.

Napoleon III:

*Eléonore Vergeot, mother of his illegitimate sons Eugène-Alexandre, count of Orx, and Louis-Ernest, count of Labenne.
*Harriet Howard, countess of Beauregard, mother of his illegitimate son Martin Harriet Bonaparte, count of Béchevet.
*Valentine Haussmann, mother of his illegitimate son Jules Hadot.


Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: Kaiserin Sissi on September 13, 2007, 06:45:14 AM
Thank you Yseult.  :)
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: pouvoir aux canard on September 13, 2007, 12:58:36 PM
Dear Kaiserin Sissi,

I think Mrs Yseult is kidding with you !

The sexuallife of our napoleonic rulers was rather more active...

between so many mistresses of the two men we can find :

                            for Napoleon 1
 
                                          Marguerite-Joseph Weimer, known as  Mademoiselle George (1787-1867) , a very good actress of french theatre - she became his mistress when she was sixteen.

                                          Giuseppina Grassini (1773-1850), an italian opera singer (very brave)

                                          Elisabeth Le Michaud d'Arçon    (1874 -?) a lady-in -waiting of Josephine

                                          Caroline Chevalier de Lavit (1780-1850) , a very talented soprano singer, married to Branchu, a dancer.

                                          and so on and so on ... and during the exile at St Helène  Albine de Montholon. probabely the last one...


                         for Napoleon 3:
                                           so many girls in Italy, Swizerland, England... Eleonore Vergeot was the daughter of his gaoler (at Le fort de Ham) and you can immagine when he was not jailed... Anyway we can certainly write the name of Louise de Mercy-Argenteau, his mistress at the begenning of his life as a ruler (1848-1853).

I am not a specialist of the mistresses of the Bonaparte, anyway,  if you are interested I can tell you something about Mlle Georges, G. Grassini and C. Branchu. About E. Le Michaud d'Arçon, there is a recent book in french. (a sad story). My english is very bad, so I need time to write a text...

I remain anyway your (and to Mrs Yseult) humble servant
Mr Canard

                                           
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: pouvoir aux canard on September 13, 2007, 01:32:19 PM
I can also write few things about
 
Marie-Clotilde-Elisabeth Louise de Riquet, comtesse de Mercy-Argenteau,  née Princesse de Caraman-Chimay,

 if you like it.

Mr Canard
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: Princess Susan on September 13, 2007, 05:51:27 PM
Napoleon I. had son (Alexandre) also with Marie Walewska.
I wonder why she died so soon, in 1817 aged 31 even before Napoleon, who was much older.
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: pouvoir aux canard on September 13, 2007, 07:07:43 PM



Dear Princess Susan,

Maria Walewska was the one Kaiserin Sissi knew... (very first post in this thread)

Maria Walewska (1786 - 1817), née  Maria Łączyńska, was married with comte Athenasius Walewski (quite 40 years older). Count Walewski died 1814  (?) and in September of 1816 MWa married a second cousin of Napoleon I, Count Philippe Antoine d’Ornano. She died in labor, in 1817 giving birth to a living son, Roland d’Ornano.

Other mistresses of Napoléon 1 : Thérèse-Etienne Bourgoin (a dancer) and Catherine Joséphine Duchesnois, actress (in competition on the stage with... Mlle Georges !)

Other mistress of Napoléon 3 : Maria Anna Ricci, italian nobildonna ... later married with ... Alexandre Colonna Walewski (son of M.Wa. and Napoléon 1 !)

My dear princesses, let
Mr Canard kiss devotely your hands ! :-*
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: pouvoir aux canard on September 17, 2007, 11:30:19 AM
I am going far from home for 10 days.... I do remember the texts about some mistresses. I will post end of September

Your devoted

Mr Canard

Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: britt.25 on September 18, 2007, 11:50:29 AM
Of course ;)

Napoleon I:

*Marguerite Pauline Bellisle Foures.
*Louise Catherine Eléonore Denuelle de la Plaigne, mother of his illegitimate son Leon.

Napoleon III:

*Eléonore Vergeot, mother of his illegitimate sons Eugène-Alexandre, count of Orx, and Louis-Ernest, count of Labenne.
*Harriet Howard, countess of Beauregard, mother of his illegitimate son Martin Harriet Bonaparte, count of Béchevet.
*Valentine Haussmann, mother of his illegitimate son Jules Hadot.





I was not here for some days....and now see what an interesting topic.... ;D

BUT:

Martin Harriet, son of Mrs Howard, was definitely NOT the son of Napoleon III. !!!!  I read a biography on Mrs Howard, who was very devoted to Louis Napoleon and had a very deep relationship to his illegitimate children Comte d' Labenne and comte d'Orx and cared for them until she was taken aways brutally from them after a time, when the relationship brought to many problems, but it was a common rumour at that time (also copied by different historical writers- one copied it from the other) that Martin was Napoleon's son, in fact he was an illegitimate son of Mrs Howard from another man, who she knew many years before she met Napoleon III the first time. Because of the "scandal" with that illeg. son she made papers for Martin to change his identity for her little brother, which was not true (illegitimate children always a bad thing at that time) . Later when she took care of the children of Napoleon III by Eleonore Vergeot, she often went for a walk with all three children, her illegitimate son Martin from her early relationship to a man, whose name I've forgotten now (would have to look it up) and the two children of Napoleon III. The gossip created a nice phantasy tale: All children were from Mrs Howard and Napoleon III. But that was a common gossip at that time, not more.... There was nothing true about it, the truth was: Mrs Howard had Martin from another man, and Napoleon III had two children from Eleonore!:) It's true that Martin was given the title of a count of Bechevet, but his surname cannot have been Bonaparte.

And what about Valentine Haussmann???? I have never heard about that! Where does this come from? Did Napoleon III really have e third illeg. son???
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: britt.25 on September 18, 2007, 11:59:33 AM



Dear Princess Susan,

Maria Walewska was the one Kaiserin Sissi knew... (very first post in this thread)

Maria Walewska (1786 - 1817), née  Maria Łączyńska, was married with comte Athenasius Walewski (quite 40 years older). Count Walewski died 1814  (?) and in September of 1816 MWa married a second cousin of Napoleon I, Count Philippe Antoine d’Ornano. She died in labor, in 1817 giving birth to a living son, Roland d’Ornano.

Other mistresses of Napoléon 1 : Thérèse-Etienne Bourgoin (a dancer) and Catherine Joséphine Duchesnois, actress (in competition on the stage with... Mlle Georges !)

Other mistress of Napoléon 3 : Maria Anna Ricci, italian nobildonna ... later married with ... Alexandre Colonna Walewski (son of M.Wa. and Napoléon 1 !)

My dear princesses, let
Mr Canard kiss devotely your hands ! :-*


...Yes, but the son of Maria Walewska and Philippe Antoine d'Ornano was called Rodolphe d 'Ornano.
The descendants still live today, and one famous person from this line was Michel d'Ornano with political function.  Hubert, his brother is famous for the creation Sisley.
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: Mari on October 01, 2007, 02:33:18 AM
Quote
pouvoir aux canard
Insert Quote
 I do remember the texts about some mistresses. I will post end of September

Yes, when you get a chance I also would be very interested!
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: pouvoir aux canard on October 02, 2007, 10:34:04 AM
Here I am...

We can also add, for Napoléon 3 :

                      for a (short) while Elisabeth Félix, a very talented actress surnamed RACHEL

                      and mainly Julie Leboeuf  (aka Marguerite Bellanger ) from humble origin but she had a great importance for Napoléon 3.


So I will ( slowly, as I have a huge work to do ) say something about

- for N3 : Rachel, Marguerite Bellanger and Louise de Mercy-Argenteau (the other ones are well known also for people speaking anglo-american)       
- and for N1 : Mademoiselle Georges, Caroline Branchu, Giuseppina Grassini and Elisabeth Le Michaud d'Arçon. 

Please, consider I am NOT fluent in english (and writing is worse than speaking!!) so for me it is a difficult duty, but I do it with pleasure for the forum. Thanks.

your most devoted

Monsieur Canard

   
                                       



Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: pouvoir aux canard on October 02, 2007, 12:00:39 PM
The actress Rachel (21 February 1821 – 3 January 1858) had a soul of exceptional quality !

She hated gossip and we have many witnesses of the fact that – although she lived in a cruel ambient - she forbad any criticism of her colleagues in her own circle and house. Born by chance in Mumpf (Aargau canton) in Switzerland, she was from Jewish family from the Alsace region (a land that France and Germany often contest  during their History). Her father was a poor peddler, her mother sang in the streets…  and the girl often earned money, when a child, singing also in the streets  (also later on in Paris…) After her birth, went 3 sisters and a brother.

The family came to Paris at the beginning of the ’30 and, after a difficult period ,  Rachel began to study song, dramatic art and elocution. Admitted in the prestigious school of the french Conservatory of Dramatic Art (her private teacher, an old actor, helped her) she quickly became the best pupil of the staff; after few exhibitions in private theaters (here she was given her stage name Rachel) she entered the Comédie Française in 1838, in a classic tragedy (Horace of  Pierre Corneille). At this time she was the mistress of Louis Véron, a wealthy french manufacturer. He tried to make of Rachel simply a courtisane but she refused and never abandoned her work on the theatre.

She began to provide to the all family, giving lessons to her sisters (the 3 entered later the Comédie Française) and making a tour manager of her brother Raphael.

Touring in England (1846) she met Louis- Napoléon  and had an affair with him. She is also said to have had a short affair with Prince Napoléon (Napoléon Joseph Charles Paul Bonaparte). The character Vashti in Charlotte Brontë's novel Villette was based on Rachel, whom Brontë had seen performing in London.

But the most important affairs of her life were with
-the french poet Alfred de Musset (he called her “enfant sublime” (sublime child)  and so many people after him
-and the son of Napoléon 1er , Alexandre Walewsky (she had a son with him in 1844). 

Anyway, fro 1837 to 1855 she played theatre in Paris, France and in the world. her clear diction, rhythmic speech, and economy of gesture contrasted with the exaggerated style of the time. She had a hudge success everywhere.  To be noted during 1854: touring in Warsaw, Saint Petersburg and Moscow (January-April) and 1855: touring from september to december in the United States.

But she was dramatically  ill of tuberculosis at this time and, retired near Nice in France (trying to heal) she died on  January 1858 and was buried in Paris (Père-Lachaise cemetery, Jewish quarter). 40 000 persons accompanied her to her grave and 4 french writers and poets sustained the coffin.
Here is an english text refering to Alfred de Musset  and Rachel.

http://www.female-ancestors.com/daughters/felix.htm

and now some pictures :
first, 2 pictures of Rachel on the stage:

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6f/Rachel-F%C3%A9lix.jpg)

(http://www.photo.rmn.fr/LowRes2/TR1/4HAD3S/01-023475.jpg)
the last one from a great artist, Achille Deveria (1800-1857)

Then a sculpture of Jean Auguste Barre (now in the Louvre) :

(http://mistral.culture.fr/Wave/image/joconde/0030/m503706_93de5170_p.jpg)

finally some drawings and paintings of her in the classic stage costume of Phedra :

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/72/Rachel_Felix.jpg)

(http://judaisme.sdv.fr/perso/rachel/pict/rachel5.jpg)



On this last painting of the painter Faustin Besson (1821-1882) she is painted with all her colleagues of the National French Theatre (LA COMéDIE FRANçAISE) (the painting is still in this theater)  but Rachel with her red coat is clearly dominating the group and at the center OF THE ATTENTION:

(http://www.photo.rmn.fr/LowRes2/TR1/I5NWFJ/04-508116.jpg)

The next mistress of N3 had a rather longer affair with him...
so, to be continued  ........./............






Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: britt.25 on October 02, 2007, 04:07:41 PM
Hello,

Thank you very much for the infos and pictures of Rachel Felix, I always found this woman very interesting, not only because of her affairs to three Bonaparte cousins. It was very informative to read all those infos, but it would also be interesting for me to know, if there might be any good literature on that lady (biography?), if possible translated in English or German, as I am not able to speak french (understand some words because I learn other rom. languages, but this is not enough for reading a book) But reading a detailled book on her whole life would be more than a pleasure to me. Any idea? Msr. Canard, maybe?

It's interesting to see that only because of the son of Rachel Felix the line of Walewski survived: All of the todays Walewski family members descend from Alexandre, the son of Rachel and Count Walewski.  I've read that Count Walewski- who didn't like to tell openly that he was Napoleon's son even if it as of common knowledge- adopted this son by Rachel after her early death, and raised him with his family.
I aleady knew some of the pics of Rachel, but where did you get those, where she's on stage and that where she wears a red dress and is surrounded by other women?? Never seen!!

I once had a contact with a distant relative of Rachel and he sent me a huge family tree of Rachel's family, which was fascinating. I even contacted the Walewskis, but they do not have much time to answer long questions...common problem among such families.. a pity!
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: britt.25 on October 02, 2007, 04:33:33 PM
I have now taken a closer look and found the pictures on the wonderful page "reunion des musees nationaux"....there are also rare Disderi pics from two of Rachels sisters..., and I found this photograhy, too. Beautiful, I never found any photo of her until now, only paitings, so I think it could be interesting:


(http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g81/7f3/02-013679.jpg)

I find, her son has more her slim figure instead of the stature of C. A. Walewski. I'll post a picture, if anyone is interested.
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: Mari on October 03, 2007, 12:19:09 AM
This is wonderful! I have not read much about this Mistress or the others that are less known.

Quote
pouvoir aux canard  The next mistress of N3 had a rather longer affair with him...
so, to be continued  ........./............




Yes, Britt 25 please post the Son's picture! Thank you!
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: pouvoir aux canard on October 03, 2007, 09:32:03 AM
Dear Britt, you are brilliant...

About the question of a litterature on Rachel in English or in German, I am not sure to be able to help you. The libraries of Mr Canard are only French, Italian and Spanish. For other documentation, your favorite duck has also to explore the web. Did you got the text about Musset and Rachel ? He seemed to me a fairly good one and gives an idea of the quality of the girl.

Anyway, as I am rather tired this autumn and yesterday I forgot a file with two or three informations and pictures I prepared, but now here they are: 
first a portraict of A. Walewsky, an attractive young man:

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4e/AlexandreWalewski.jpg)

and a better view of the splendid sculpture of Rachel in the Musée du Louvre :


(http://www.insecula.com/Photos/00/00/03/52/ME0000035287_3.JPG)


Then the fact that Rachel had a second son, from Arthur Bertrand, (himself a son of a napoleonic général Bertrand): the boy was named Gabriel-Victor Félix, born  26 -1-1848 and became a brilliant marine officer . The sisters and the brother of Rachel clearly "adopted" him. Arthur Bertrand seemed to have been rather childish and the liaison, for Rachel, a difficult one...



Now the 4 talended sisters. They were called Sarah, Dinah, Lia et Rebecca and had all a theatre career. (The career od Dinah, I guess, was interrupted by illness afterwhat she returned to theatre in good health)
 

         Sarah was purhaps the closest to Rachel : for a while (1853) she joined Comédie Française. Here a painting of Rachel commissioned in 1859 by her sister Sarah Félix to the painter Jean-Léon Géròme. Now the painting  belongs to Comédie Française. Mainly her carreer was in private theatres and tournées.

(http://www.daheshmuseum.org/collection/gr/gerome_b.jpg)


Lia was very very talented:

(http://www.photo.rmn.fr/LowRes2/TR1/0J2TE/97-011976.jpg)


here is Lia again by Disderi with a young girl (Rebecca ?)


(http://www.photo.rmn.fr/LowRes2/TR1/9JPD/99-015961.jpg)


and with Dinah:

(http://www.photo.rmn.fr/LowRes2/TR1/7GO5/99-015959.jpg)


Dinah  joined for a long time the Comédie Française : 1862-1882


(http://www.photo.rmn.fr/LowRes2/TR1/8VWB/99-015960.jpg)


Rebecca , from 1845 to 1854 also performed in the Comédie Française


and again their brother Raphael was an actor and joined Comédie Française from 1846  to 1851, but mainly he seems to have helped Rachel and his sisters for contracts with theatres and organisation of tournées.

(http://judaisme.sdv.fr/perso/rachel/musee/raphael.jpg)

Next post (next Sunday) : MARGUERITE BELLANGER and NAPOLéON 3

your devoted

Mr Canard

Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: britt.25 on October 03, 2007, 09:43:05 AM
Thanks for all the overwhelming infos and pictures of Rachel and her family! It would be great to find any biography on the whole family! Not any idea? I also understand Italian and Portughese, but no french :'(

If anyone is interested in the family tree, I can send it, but it's a powerpoint program and was sent to me by a person, who is distantly related to her.

I'll send the picture of Alexander Walewski (jr) as well, but at the moment my PC is broken and my little notebook, which I'm damned to use,  has no connection to the scanner ::)

Thanks, Msr. Canard---I'm looking forward to your next chapter ;)
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: Mari on October 03, 2007, 11:08:46 PM
Quote
Next post (next Sunday) : MARGUERITE BELLANGER and NAPOLéON 3



I also await your next posting! ;)
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: britt.25 on October 04, 2007, 03:02:02 AM
Alexander Walewski (jr) (1844-1898), son of Rachel and Alexander Walewski (sr)

Recognized by his father in 1844 and adopted in 1860.


(http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g81/7f3/File0005-1.jpg)


Source: Point de Vue from the sixties, portrait of the Walewski family.
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: pouvoir aux canard on October 04, 2007, 03:57:52 AM
brava Britt!
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: britt.25 on October 04, 2007, 06:06:10 AM
It's not so clear that scan, because I copied the page with all the Walewskis members to cut out only Alexandre and then scanned the single pic again= bad quality.
There's another pic of him in the net with more beard (this is better with less beard, I think ::)), but the other is too small, too....
Do you know other pics of him?
I had searched over years for that until I found the article. The PDV's from the 60ies are gorgeous sometimes.
Is there any picture of Rachels other son...? And any bio on the whole family?

Thank you for looking.
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: britt.25 on October 04, 2007, 06:08:17 AM
BW: I'm wondering that Walewski was so sure that it was his son and already recognized him shortly after his birth...I have heard that Rachel had sooo many other affairs...who knows??? ;D
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: britt.25 on February 13, 2008, 05:13:42 AM
I posted this picture also in the thread on Napoleon III., but it fits also here.

This is Eleonore Vergeot, mistress of NIII, who gave him two sons, comte d'Orx and Comte de Labenne:

(http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g81/7f3/File0066.jpg)

source: "Napoleon's children" by Susan Normington.

I found one more picture of her, on a site of a castle, where she had been, but the picture is too small. I wrote to the website and I'll see, if one can get it in a bigger version.
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: Mari on February 13, 2008, 05:48:44 AM
She had the large eyes of the Romantic Period. I wonder what sort of personality? Anyway I look forward to the other picture if you can get it larger.
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: britt.25 on February 13, 2008, 06:10:39 AM
I doubt, if the website will answer me, until now, nothing, but I will be patient. The other portrait is this, but it surely exists bigger.
So I'm waiting :)

little version (I think, this is a wonderful picture, when bigger!):


(http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g81/7f3/vergeot.jpg)

Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: britt.25 on February 13, 2008, 12:34:03 PM
I got an answer this evening and I was told that there is a book on Eleonore Vergeot by Robert Lamouche with title "Eleonore Vergeot- Pour d'amour d'un Prince", published in 2005. I would like to order it, but there is the lack of the language. I won't understand it, I have to confess, but there seem to be much pictures, and maybe also some more of Eleonore.
I'll see, maybe also any other person is interested in the book. Unfortuntely there does not seem to be any English translation as the editor is a regional one.
Title: Re: Impérial Mistresses
Post by: iroot on May 21, 2009, 02:42:08 AM
Could someone tell me something about Napoleon's love affairs during Russian invasion. I heard he met some women there. Do you know something more about it? Thanks a lot ;-)