Author Topic: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family  (Read 154396 times)

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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #225 on: July 15, 2011, 02:42:53 PM »
Well...At least one of her parents loved her. I guess maybe Maria Amalia was too outspoken for her autocratic mother, who tolerated no opposition in her judgment on them. Marie Antoinette once wrote that she feared her mother as much as she loved her.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #226 on: July 16, 2011, 03:58:02 AM »
Well...At least one of her parents loved her.

Yes, I think that was at least a consolation to her.

I guess maybe Maria Amalia was too outspoken for her autocratic mother, who tolerated no opposition in her judgment on them. Marie Antoinette once wrote that she feared her mother as much as she loved her.

It's unclear to me when Maria Amalia started being outspoken or too headstrong. Surely a little girl who was was seemingly criticised and unloved at such a young age would be afraid of her mother and tried to follow her commands? At least until she was older and could fight her mother over certain things?

Maria Theresa had "irrational" likes and dislikes, and was not above "manufacturing" things in her head to suit her view and satisfy her grudges, etc.  Her idealisation of Franz Stephan after his death, her unshakeable liking of Mimi and the minister Kaunitz (a well-known libertine and follower of Enlightenment, who was also lazy and unreliable in his work, which should have led her to abhor him instead of making concessions and valuing him,  at least she treated him better than some of her own children) are just a few examples of such.....

« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 04:02:19 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #227 on: July 16, 2011, 12:51:44 PM »
The interesting thing is that were there any sibling rivalry with so many brothers and sisters. I think Mimi was quite sharp tongued and not liked by most of her sisters (Amalia may not have been an exception to this). 

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #228 on: July 16, 2011, 01:35:17 PM »
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Well...At least one of her parents loved her.

Yes, I think that was at least a consolation to her.

And yet, it was Maria Theresa, not Franz Stephan, who wrote to Maria Amalia, "You are extraordinarily patient, ready to do a good turn to others, and, when you choose, you can be so absolutely winning that it is difficult to resist you."  Her criticisms of Maria Amalia as a girl were directed to what she perceived as her daughter's laziness - something the energetic empress could not abide.

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It's unclear to me when Maria Amalia started being outspoken or too headstrong. Surely a little girl who was was seemingly criticised and unloved at such a young age would be afraid of her mother and tried to follow her commands? At least until she was older and could fight her mother over certain things?

I am not aware that Maria Amalia was particularly 'outspoken' or 'headstrong' until she reached Parma and started trying out her power on her young husband.  After all, despite her reluctance, she did actually go to Parma and there's no indication she did anything other than plead her case - there's no evidence of tears or scenes or arguments.

The interesting thing is that were there any sibling rivalry with so many brothers and sisters. I think Mimi was quite sharp tongued and not liked by most of her sisters (Amalia may not have been an exception to this). 

Several of Maria Theresa’s children were jealous of Maria Christina’s position of favourite/her tale-bearing propensities.  There is no evidence however that Maria Amalia displayed any such animosities.

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #229 on: July 16, 2011, 02:01:48 PM »
Indeed. It was Maria Carolina who made the scenes, with her crying fits and ill humor that her mother decided to separate her from Maria Antonia.

Offline trentk80

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #230 on: July 16, 2011, 03:01:07 PM »
I am not aware that Maria Amalia was particularly 'outspoken' or 'headstrong' until she reached Parma and started trying out her power on her young husband.

From all I've read, Maria Amalia didn't try out her power on her husband. On the contrary, there's strong evidence that their relationship was good.

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After all, despite her reluctance, she did actually go to Parma and there's no indication she did anything other than plead her case - there's no evidence of tears or scenes or arguments.

Do you mean there's no evidence of tears or scenes or arguments between Maria Amalia and Maria Theresa? If so, I haven't come across it in the sources I've read, but that doesn't mean there weren't.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 03:17:09 PM by trentk80 »
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #231 on: July 17, 2011, 05:37:35 AM »
I am not aware that Maria Amalia was particularly 'outspoken' or 'headstrong' until she reached Parma and started trying out her power on her young husband.

From all I've read, Maria Amalia didn't try out her power on her husband. On the contrary, there's strong evidence that their relationship was good.

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After all, despite her reluctance, she did actually go to Parma and there's no indication she did anything other than plead her case - there's no evidence of tears or scenes or arguments.

Do you mean there's no evidence of tears or scenes or arguments between Maria Amalia and Maria Theresa? If so, I haven't come across it in the sources I've read, but that doesn't mean there weren't.

I would agree that their relationship was good.  All I meant was that there is no evidence that Ferdinand would have dismissed his minister(s) if he hadn't had the full support or indeed, the direction of Maria Amalia; and in terms of what her mother Maria Theresa and Ferdinand's grandfather Louis XV expected and required, she was certainly both 'outspoken' and 'headstrong'.  And I do mean there was no evidence of tears or scenes or arguments between Maria Amalia and Maria Theresa – and I agree there might possibly have been such scenes; but one argument against Maria Amalia arguing her case very forcefully is that Maria Theresa seemed genuinely surprised and shocked at her defiance of Austrian wishes in her conduct in Parma, which suggests she expected Maria Amalia to continue to do what she had been told. 

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #232 on: July 17, 2011, 05:54:48 AM »
And yet, it was Maria Theresa, not Franz Stephan, who wrote to Maria Amalia, "You are extraordinarily patient, ready to do a good turn to others, and, when you choose, you can be so absolutely winning that it is difficult to resist you."  Her criticisms of Maria Amalia as a girl were directed to what she perceived as her daughter's laziness - something the energetic empress could not abide.

Do you remember when this particular paragraph was written, CountessKate? Was it part of Maria Theresa's farewell letter to Maria Amalia on the latter's departure for Parma?

I agree that Maria Amalia could be very winning when she wanted to be and ready to a good turn turn to others.

Was her "laziness" related to her refusal to study and being a "sleepyhead"? Those two are the only ones I can think of..... She thought herself as clever enough, books didn't interest her - what she loved were the outdoors and animals. So maybe that's why MT thought her "lazy"...?  She seemed talented enough in singing and painting/drawing, particularly in the first one.

Several of Maria Theresa’s children were jealous of Maria Christina’s position of favourite/her tale-bearing propensities.  There is no evidence however that Maria Amalia displayed any such animosities.

Whatever her feelings were for Maria Christina, she apparently didn't bear her sister any grudges for being their mother's favourite and being allowed a love match. That was clear from the warm reception she gave Mimi in Parma. After the visit, she and her family even traveled to Mantua to say (another) goodbye to Mimi and Albert, who were on the last leg of their sojourn in Italy.  What she wrote (to a friend) was that Mimi didn't love her, but that was all. It was most likely true (I don't see any reason why she would lie about it) -- she didn't feel this particular sister loved her. But she was still friendly and warm to Mimi nevertheless, so that speaks a lot of her character.  

« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 06:11:53 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #233 on: July 17, 2011, 06:23:23 AM »
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Do you remember when this particular paragraph was written, CountessKate? Was it part of Maria Theresa's farewell letter to Maria Amalia on the latter's departure for Parma?

It was quoted in Mary Maxwell Moffat's 'Maria Theresa' and no date was given, but from the context it seem unlikely it was in the farewell letter - just one of general admonishment.  No examples were given of what Maria Theresa thought her laziness consisted of, but presumably it was some form of hostility towards reading or the sort of rote-learning rather too prevalent in eighteenth century education.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #234 on: July 17, 2011, 07:52:43 AM »
It was quoted in Mary Maxwell Moffat's 'Maria Theresa' and no date was given, but from the context it seem unlikely it was in the farewell letter - just one of general admonishment.  No examples were given of what Maria Theresa thought her laziness consisted of, but presumably it was some form of hostility towards reading or the sort of rote-learning rather too prevalent in eighteenth century education.

Many thanks!

I also think that Maria Theresa's criticisms of her daughter indeed had to do with her studies.. right: either reading or rote learning and her poor French. She wasn't naturally inclined to it (studies) and a harsh tutor (dismissed later on) did not help. It probably "sored" her in some way towards education. Maria Theresa couldn't have criticised Maria Amalia much on either her looks, good behaviour, or lack of talent in the arts, for Maria Amalia had all those...  laziness -- related to her studies-- must be it.

Also, has anyone read on MT thinking her daughter was conceited?
« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 08:03:21 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline trentk80

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #235 on: July 17, 2011, 01:35:17 PM »
I would agree that their relationship was good.  All I meant was that there is no evidence that Ferdinand would have dismissed his minister(s) if he hadn't had the full support or indeed, the direction of Maria Amalia;

Ferdinand had Maria Amalia's full support in dismissing Du Tillot, but what's the evidence that he did it under her direction?
« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 02:03:48 PM by trentk80 »
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #236 on: July 17, 2011, 01:47:08 PM »
Talking about Laziness, I don't think Maria Amalia was any lazier than her sister Marie Antoinette or maybe even Maria Carolina...

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #237 on: July 18, 2011, 09:32:36 AM »
Well, from what I understand, Maria Amalia was "selectively lazy"...those she didn't have much interest in, she didn't make much effort on, those she liked paid much attention and devoted a lot of time to. I guess Maria Theresa wasn't so wrong in this matter.   Although it seems to me that MT was surprised at her daughter being so "energetic" once in Parma, but unfortunately not in the things she approved of!
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #238 on: July 18, 2011, 09:40:31 AM »
Indeed. But it is strange that for one thing MT preaches her daughters to be submissive to their husbands, but she also expect s them to influence the husbands for the benefit of Austria. So it is quite hard to do, but I think with the exception of Maria Josefa or Maria Johanna, most of her daughters were actually quite bossy (like MT).

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #239 on: July 18, 2011, 05:59:42 PM »
I think what Maria Theresa expected her daughters was to influence their husbands but not so blatantly, behind the scenes so to speak.  Hence, her anger over their behaviour once in their new homes.  Lessons in "gentle manipulation" would've been more useful rather than her severe and critical letters....

I don't expect a 12-year old or a 16- year girl to have the same "personality" as grown up women; surely, they must change so it's difficult for me to state that Maria Johanna and Maria Josepha were not as "bossy" as their other sisters.  Everyone also reacts differently to certain conditions.  However, Maria Carolina showed such tendencies early on and seemed to grow worse as she aged...
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 06:02:41 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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