Author Topic: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family  (Read 108862 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Marc

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4516
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« on: October 25, 2005, 06:15:46 PM »

Offline Marc

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4516
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2005, 06:16:22 PM »

Offline crotalo

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 182
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2005, 05:05:46 AM »
Napoleon was the same devil for the habsburg sisters.
She and Caroline hated him  particularly. So he.
He wanted to chass bourbons from Italy. Although she was foolish, she fighted bravely against these pretensions. But History winned. His husband,opposed to deliver the duchy, was, it seems, poisonned with a chocolate. She did all she could to preserve the duchy, bt finally ran to Viena, where she died much later. there she had a mini-court, and continued to be capricious and haughty. She was loved in Parma by people, for she was eccentric, but good hearted, courageous.

Offline Eric_Lowe

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 17166
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2005, 10:25:12 AM »
Another thing about Maria Amalia. According to her family, she lost her once celebrated good looks early. Archduchess Maria Chrstina wrote to her mother after her staying with her sister Maria Amalia in 1775.

"No trace of the glamour, the beauty remained. Her beautiful figure was changed, her dress and carriage changed even more. She is less gay, less discriminating. Her eldest daughter is the most beautiful child one can imagine, but she has a trace of melancholy so that one can only observe with pity."

Offline Marc

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4516
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2005, 03:49:08 PM »

Offline Josť

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 657
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2007, 10:59:37 AM »
Palazzo Colorno, on the outskirts of Parma.
It was supposed to be the parmesan Versailles

http://www.parmaitaly.com/Colorno-pr.html

Duke Carlos Hugo youngest daughter was titled Marchioness of Colorno.

Offline ivanushka

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 141
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2007, 11:45:10 AM »
I should probably be starting a separate forum with this question (if one doesn't already exist) but do people know much about the character of Amalia's husband, Ferdinand.  I've read somewhere that he had mental problems and didn't discover any details.  Was he physically attractive?  Did he have mistresses?  Any information greatly received.

Offline Princess Susan

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 395
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2007, 04:08:24 PM »
I should probably be starting a separate forum with this question (if one doesn't already exist) but do people know much about the character of Amalia's husband, Ferdinand.  I've read somewhere that he had mental problems and didn't discover any details.  Was he physically attractive?  Did he have mistresses?  Any information greatly received.

If you want, you can check on this link wheather was Ferdinand attractive or not: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Ferdinando_de_Parma.jpg
I don't think so, but I mean, that basically is qite dificult to recognize good or bad look on paintings from 18. century.
I don't know about him a lot. He married Maria Amalia on 19 July 1769 when he was 18 and she 23, so Ferdinand was 5 years younger then his wife.

Offline trentk80

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 254
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2007, 01:19:50 PM »
Ferdinand maintained an affectionate correspondence with his grandfather, Louis XV of France, who always tried to give him good advice. However, the French king didn't seem to like his grandson's wife, Maria Amalia.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2007, 01:23:33 PM by trentk80 »
Ladran los perros a la Luna, y ella con majestuoso desprecio prosigue el curso de su viaje.

Offline ivanushka

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 141
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2007, 01:25:55 PM »
Which is ironic when you think that his grandson, Louis XVI, married Amalia's sister!!!

According to Nancy Mitford's biography of Madame de Pompadour, Ferdinand's mother (and her twin sister who never married) were Louis XV's favourite children and he was very close to both of them - hence his attachment to Ferdinand. 

It's a shame there isn't a good biography of Amalia.  She seems to have been an interesting character and to have had an interesting life.  The same goes for another of her sisters, Caroline of Naples.  I guess that as far as historians are concerned, the lives of each were totally eclipsed by that of Marie Antoinette.


Offline CountessKate

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1103
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2007, 10:42:28 AM »
Quote
I guess that as far as historians are concerned, the lives of each were totally eclipsed by that of Marie Antoinette.

Very true, in fact Mrs Bearne, who wrote a book in about 1907 about Maria Carolina, called it "A sister of Marie Antoinette", no doubt as she thought no one would otherwise know who she meant.

I feel sorry for Maria Amalia also.  She made a mess of things in Parma, but it must have been awfully galling to see her sister Maria Christina married to an obscure prince of her choice, her sisters Maria Carolina and Maria Antoinette married to great princes (even if rather unsatisfactory young men), while she was forbidden to marry the obscure prince ofher  choice and had to marry an unsatisfactory young man who wasn't even a monarch, or with prospects of becoming one.  Most of Maria Christina's brothers and sisters were jealous of her - Maria Theresa made no secret of her favoritism and it must have been really annoying for the others who were told very firmly that they must do their duty and buckle under. 

Offline ivanushka

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 141
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2007, 10:08:54 AM »
I guess that was the problem for pricesses from the major powers such as Austria or France; if you didn't marry into an equally "A list" power then inevitably your new home was going to feel like a comedown.  Only a few years before Amalia's marriage, Princess Augusta of Great Britain (sister of George III) married the Duke of Brunswick Wolfenbuttel, and though initially she was thrilled to be marrying a war hero apparently she was horrified when she finally reached her new home and discovered that compared to London (and possibly even Parma) it was nothing but a dreary backwater.

The Pama government and court must have been furious at Amalia for critisicising her new home and it can't have helped her to make many friends there!

Offline CountessKate

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1103
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2007, 07:20:01 AM »
Quote
The Pama government and court must have been furious at Amalia for critisicising her new home and it can't have helped her to make many friends there!

A big question is, what was the Parma government and court?  Parma was an independent principality with an absolute ruler.  The 'government' was Ferdinand, the purpose of his court was to provide a setting for him, and if he chose to follow his wife's direction completely, there was nothing Austria, France, Spain or Parma could do about it, at least in theory.  The attraction of a court is to enable noble families to gain access to the ruler, which translated into money, power and priviledge.  By displacing the powerful minister, Du Tillot, and replacing him with her own nominee, de Llano, Maria Amalia signalled to the courtiers that she was effectively the source of all this.  Her popularity with the court would depend on how effectively she dispensed this - was she better at providing for the courtiers than Ferdinand's advisors, did she offer more to more of them?  Moaning about Parma would be irritating, but not necessarily the major factor in how Maria Amalia was regarded by the court.

The foreign powers were furious, because again, working through Ferdinand they were all getting a piece of the government of Parma.  Spain was the patron of the duchy since Ferdinand's right to rulership derived from his grandmother, Elisabeth Farnese.  So they expected Ferdinand to toe their line.  France had supported the establishment of Ferdinand's parents as rulers of Parma as part of the Bourbon family compact and naturally expected Ferdinand to toe France's line.  And Austria expected some of the action by marrying Maria Amalia to Ferdinand, but wanted her to rule in the traditional way, by influencing Ferdinand to do what Maria Theresa wanted, not by Maria Amalia telling Ferdinand to do what she wanted.  Maria Amalia moaning about Parma was just the icing on a very nasty cake for the foreign powers in all this.

Where Maria Amalia's opinions about Parma would really impact would be on the ordinary people - the middle and lower classes who had no part in government and who had suddenly a loud-mouthed foreigner calling all the shots and whingeing about it at the same time!

Offline ivanushka

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 141
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2007, 11:16:05 AM »
[

A big question is, what was the Parma government and court?  Parma was an independent principality with an absolute ruler.  The 'government' was Ferdinand, the purpose of his court was to provide a setting for him, and if he chose to follow his wife's direction completely, there was nothing Austria, France, Spain or Parma could do about it, at least in theory.  The attraction of a court is to enable noble families to gain access to the ruler, which translated into money, power and priviledge.  By displacing the powerful minister, Du Tillot, and replacing him with her own nominee, de Llano, Maria Amalia signalled to the courtiers that she was effectively the source of all this.  Her popularity with the court would depend on how effectively she dispensed this - was she better at providing for the courtiers than Ferdinand's advisors, did she offer more to more of them?  Moaning about Parma would be irritating, but not necessarily the major factor in how Maria Amalia was regarded by the court.

The foreign powers were furious, because again, working through Ferdinand they were all getting a piece of the government of Parma.  Spain was the patron of the duchy since Ferdinand's right to rulership derived from his grandmother, Elisabeth Farnese.  So they expected Ferdinand to toe their line.  France had supported the establishment of Ferdinand's parents as rulers of Parma as part of the Bourbon family compact and naturally expected Ferdinand to toe France's line.  And Austria expected some of the action by marrying Maria Amalia to Ferdinand, but wanted her to rule in the traditional way, by influencing Ferdinand to do what Maria Theresa wanted, not by Maria Amalia telling Ferdinand to do what she wanted.  Maria Amalia moaning about Parma was just the icing on a very nasty cake for the foreign powers in all this.

Where Maria Amalia's opinions about Parma would really impact would be on the ordinary people - the middle and lower classes who had no part in government and who had suddenly a loud-mouthed foreigner calling all the shots and whingeing about it at the same time!

Thanks for such an interesting response.

One question I have is why would France, Spain and Austria be so keen to control events in Parma, bearing in mind that it was a fairly small, landlocked duchy with a population of only around 300,000-400,000 (and therefore a tiny army if any army at all).  Was its geographic position seen as potentially useful, did it have great reserves of wealth, or was it just a case of "you can never have too many allies"?


Offline CountessKate

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1103
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2007, 12:52:51 PM »
Until industrial strength became the criterion for economic success, which was just starting to happen in the 18th century, Italy was extremely wealthy due to its leadership in trade and commerce.  From Renaissance times it was a target for stronger nations such as France and Spain to try for a little empire-building, largely because of it's fragmented states which were not always strong enough to deflect national armies, but at any rate were usually good for a bit of 'smash-and-grab' forays.  By the 18th century, the major nations took the more civilised route of marrying heiresses, and extending influence rather than sending the army in, but Italy was still potentially very lucrative.  We tend to think of Italy in terms of a less industrialised nation compared to those of northern Europe, but it wasn't necessarily considered so at this period.  Austria until Maria Theresa's time had been extending its empire into Bohemia and Hungary and was concerned to ensure the Turks did not encroach, but were now starting to look southward - and they were closer than France and Spain.  Parma certainly didn't offer military advantages in itself, as you say Ivanushka, but it certainly wasn't poor in 18th century terms, even if it wasn't as rich as some of the Italian states.  And once established as a sort of patron state, a stronger nation would be in a really good position to do a bit of territorial aquisition elsewhere in Italy, using Parma as a base, if the opportunity was there.  So it was well worth the while of France, Spain and Austria to jostle each other a little, in a very civilised way, to keep Ferdinand under their thumb - though in the end, none of them managed it, at least not through Maria Amalia.