Author Topic: Queen Marie Antoinette, Part II  (Read 74286 times)

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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Queen Marie Antoinette, Part II
« Reply #45 on: December 13, 2009, 09:11:19 PM »
Or maybe She could have listened more to Maria Theresa's criticisms like Maria Amalia did when she finally had enough and broke off contact with her Mother because of the criticisms...hmmn! yes I see......  ::) :)

It seems a trifle severe to me  :)  but if as your only primary source your going to use Maria Theresa's letters then lets look at the critical ones to all the Daughters. .... In fact privacy was the thing hardest to get...The French preferred her to be on display even when she Bathed, gave birth and went to the Bathroom. I cannot fault her for wanting some privacy! I don't think many of us could manage that! So if you want to use those adjectives please back it up with a quote or a specific reference :)

I am far from being a fan of Maria Theresa but I will also be the first to admit any good advice she gave her children.  True, she wasn't always fair in her criticisms but not all of them were totally imagined either.

Well, MT also criticized Amalia as capricious and extravagant........ Leopold was even tasked to go to Parma and preach submission and economy to his sister. MT also did not even spare Count Mercy in her complaints about her daughter in Parma.  But I have never read so far that MT made predictions to Amalia about how the people would blame her and she would lose her throne due to her caprices and spending.  Clearly MT saw some factors in France that were not present in the context of Amalia's spending and caprices in Parma. I have already cited Baron Goltz (Prussian Ambassador to France) as my source for MA's laziness and frivolity.  Derek Beales in his book on Joseph II also mentioned MT's criticisms of her children abroad: She blamed Leopold for his coldness and reserve, Ferdinand for not organizing his time better, Amalia for her poor French and haughty airs, and Marie Antoinette for her laziness, frivolity, extravagance, and failure to take every opportunity to conceive an heir.

Spending time alone is fine but excluding the majority of the nobles from invitations to the Petit Trianon (where she preferred to spend more of her time) was very unwise.  Stefan Zweig also wrote about how many nobles were offended at that and how they could only have access to the King and Queen only on Sundays and were given an ungracious reception on such as well.      

« Last Edit: December 13, 2009, 09:23:50 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Queen Marie Antoinette, Part II
« Reply #46 on: December 13, 2009, 10:03:21 PM »
I agree...However at the point Antonia just wanted to go her own way and ignore any advice to pay more attention to the situation. Hense she was responsible to adding to the already bad situation when it was revealed she play little milkmaid in the Hamlet, while poor people died of stravation. I could undersand the common people's anger and dismay at her behavior. Amalia had much more sense in her actions. Her sins of bad French or proud manners paled in comparsion to those MT gave Antonia. It was painful to read that MT said she prayed that she would be dead before seeing her youngest daughter in a degrading situation. Reading that letter, to one with more sense, it should have been a wake up call to change her ways, but it didn't have the effect MT hoped.

Offline Mari

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Re: Queen Marie Antoinette, Part II
« Reply #47 on: December 14, 2009, 09:02:03 AM »
Your answers are interesting.

Hilaire Belloc the Historian states " the imposing posture which the French demand of their symbols had been dropped by the old King; the new one could not restore it. choose at random any man or woman of your acquaintance in history, put them upon the throne after the death of Louis XV., and though the succeeding quarter of a century would have varied somewhat with various individuals in power, the doom of the Monarchy would by none have been averted." notes: p. 57 Marie Antoinette

He attributes this to the Regency, the public theory of floating criticism,the foreign policy,the Seven Years War,the careless lethargy of Louis XV, and then the last Mistress Du Barry who was considered a Prostitute!

I am sure like all Mothers Maria Theresa scolded ,advised and worried about her Children.. However according to Belloc Maria Theresa first sent a series of critical letters to Marie Antoinette over her treatment of Du Barry. The scandal was great enough that the King of France would seek to introduce a low bred Mistress to his new Daughter-in-law that three of the Women of the Court resigned. However MT needed France's support because Russia and Prussia were in the midst of dividing Poland and Vienna needed a French Alliance. So in this instance the letters were a little prejudiced towards Austria's needs.  :)

 On offending the Nobles he mentions that when Leopold came for a visit he was so obese and lacked polish that there was fun made of him and in an effort to put a stop to it Marie Antoinette refused to allow him to call and any further "Princes of the Blood" to meet him. It is at this date that the future  Duc d' Orleans became offended. Part of the Problem between the German Court thinking and the French Belloc states was her German disregard for inherited tradition, to the French these were all important indications of authority but to her were "meaningless extravagances of Parade."               p.123 of Marie Antoinette

 He is not easy on Marie Antoinette; he gives a lot of information on how the Ministers of Finance tried to float loans and how difficult the finances were even though Louis XVI was trying. During all this the financial Minister Turgot actually increased her pin money as it was called without being asked and She was ignorant of financial affairs and took it. Contrary to not interfering with the Cabinet he claims she was trying to without the knowledge necessary and that is why Joseph told her to quit meddling. notes are from count Mercy's correspondence and letters from MT and Marie Antoinette to MT!
my notes have Necker as being recalled by Louis XVI and here is a source  bottom link

 I have not read all Maria Theresa's letters nor Mercy's etc. but I will be looking for those in particular that have formed your views of Marie Antoinette. My views were formed long ago due to the eco-political climate of the French Government of that time. And I have read so much that disproves many of the slanders about her character. I have to agree with Belloc I don't think anything could have saved them unless the escape could have been better organized or if Louis XVI had not stuck his head out of the Carriage.

 Belloc admits Marie Antoinette's love for outings and balls and her gambling when She was young  he states that her debt was way out of proportion in the French eyes as to what actually existed..  he states " that after two years her debt was less than 20,000 her difficulties were never so bad he states that the sale of a farm wouldn't have met them. These are he states roughly from eighteen to twenty and her mother promptly sent Joseph over to report on everything.  Bassette and other forms of gambling had been a part of the Nobility for generations. Even Louis XIV wife had debts at about the same or even higher rate so I don't think that M Antoinette could have set the pace on that. Would it have alienated her even further from the Court if she had not joined in those evenings? It seems to me the only scoldings were coming from the Austrian side who had little tolerance with the Court entertainment of the French! I have run into the Bourgeois family environment of the Vienna Court  description used  several times in Historical documents. I think the family environment and the entertainments of the Children are what Marie Antoinette tried to later recreate as a Woman in her late twenties. 

To comment on one of the remarks no it doesn't sound empathetic "if Marie Antoinette had dealt with the peasants but almost none of the nobility did." Except in charities as I mentioned previously perhaps others on their Estates. It was part of the left over from Louis XIV when he isolated them from Paris to Versailles. She did take a sleigh into Paris by herself, as she did the day She had a list of pensioners to take care of and here is the quote "the sleigh was daringly, impudently alone. There was no guard, no decent covering for Royalty, no dignity of pace or even of ornament, etc. and then the streets were all aghast at such a sight, Sevres and the villages around Versailles had stared bewildered to see a Queen go by in such a fashion; but Paris was too great to be merely bewildered, and Paris grew angry, as might an Individual at a personal insult offered."
p. 130

I do use smileys so you can judge my intent.. now where can I look at the letters from MT to Maria Amalia? I have gone into the French Archives but not the Italian! Are they published by any chance? 

http://www.bookrags.com/biography/jacques-necker/

« Last Edit: December 14, 2009, 09:29:58 AM by Mari »

Offline ivanushka

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Re: Queen Marie Antoinette, Part II
« Reply #48 on: December 14, 2009, 10:59:03 AM »
I think that Louis and Antoinette were burdened by excessive expectancy from the moment they came to power.  Louis XV had been very unpopular in the last decades of his reign and because his successors were known to be kind and compassionate (which they both were) people expected miracles.  Nobody made sufficient allowances for the fact they were both young, inexperienced and facing a mountain of problems that even the greatest minds of the day would have stuggled to solve.

Nancy Mitford also suggested that one of the reasons Antoinette suffered such abuse/slanders was because Louis had no mistress.  Historically the royal mistress had been a hate figure.  All problems could be blamed on her so allowing the French people to carry on loving their King.  As there was no mistress to direct the hate at, it was directed at Antoinette herself.

I do feel sorry for Antoinette.  She didn't always help herself re her partying and favouratism but she was in a rather impossible situation.  Everyone blamed her for not getting pregnant when it wasn't her fault and if she tried to involve herself in goverment she ran the risk of being labelled an Austrian spy.  Though I believe Maria Theresa loved her and wanted the best for her, the letters I've seen are full of constant criticism and don't make enough allowance for youth, homesickness and inexperience.

Mari, I've read about the visit of her brother that you mention.  I actually thought it was Maximillian rather than Leopold but certainly he made a bad impression.  He was fat, gauche and tactless and the courtiers at Versailles apparently dubbed him "The Auchfool"!

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Queen Marie Antoinette, Part II
« Reply #49 on: December 14, 2009, 06:26:31 PM »
I think that Louis and Antoinette were burdened by excessive expectancy from the moment they came to power.  Louis XV had been very unpopular in the last decades of his reign and because his successors were known to be kind and compassionate (which they both were) people expected miracles.  Nobody made sufficient allowances for the fact they were both young, inexperienced and facing a mountain of problems that even the greatest minds of the day would have stuggled to solve.

Nancy Mitford also suggested that one of the reasons Antoinette suffered such abuse/slanders was because Louis had no mistress.  Historically the royal mistress had been a hate figure.  All problems could be blamed on her so allowing the French people to carry on loving their King.  As there was no mistress to direct the hate at, it was directed at Antoinette herself.

I do feel sorry for Antoinette.  She didn't always help herself re her partying and favouratism but she was in a rather impossible situation.  Everyone blamed her for not getting pregnant when it wasn't her fault and if she tried to involve herself in goverment she ran the risk of being labelled an Austrian spy.  Though I believe Maria Theresa loved her and wanted the best for her, the letters I've seen are full of constant criticism and don't make enough allowance for youth, homesickness and inexperience.

I also believe that there was quite an excessive expectancy at how Louis XVI and MA can usher in a new era through their reign from the people. I also believe they had the best intentions; we see that sweet letter from MA to Maria Theresa about how she and the king were touched at the people's affection for them, therefore they must work harder than ever for their people's happiness.  Sadly, whether due to inexperience, lack of foresight, being taken advantage of by unscrupulous people, the inherited problems from Louis XV's reign, inept ministers, the 'isolation' of Versailles from the rest of France, court factions, etc. (or a combination of it all), we see Count Mercy writing to Vienna in 1787: "When waste and unthrift deplete the royal treasury, there arises a cry of despair and terror. Thereupon the finance minister has recourse to disastrous measures..... However, in the last analysis, it is certain that the present government is worse than that of the late King in respect to disorderliness and extortion.  Such a condition of affairs cannot possibly continue much longer without a catastrophe resulting."
« Last Edit: December 14, 2009, 06:35:01 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Queen Marie Antoinette, Part II
« Reply #50 on: December 14, 2009, 06:52:27 PM »
I am sure like all Mothers Maria Theresa scolded ,advised and worried about her Children.. However according to Belloc Maria Theresa first sent a series of critical letters to Marie Antoinette over her treatment of Du Barry. The scandal was great enough that the King of France would seek to introduce a low bred Mistress to his new Daughter-in-law that three of the Women of the Court resigned. However MT needed France's support because Russia and Prussia were in the midst of dividing Poland and Vienna needed a French Alliance. So in this instance the letters were a little prejudiced towards Austria's needs.  :)

Belloc admits Marie Antoinette's love for outings and balls and her gambling when She was young  he states that her debt was way out of proportion in the French eyes as to what actually existed..  he states " that after two years her debt was less than 20,000 her difficulties were never so bad he states that the sale of a farm wouldn't have met them. These are he states roughly from eighteen to twenty and her mother promptly sent Joseph over to report on everything.  Bassette and other forms of gambling had been a part of the Nobility for generations. Even Louis XIV wife had debts at about the same or even higher rate so I don't think that M Antoinette could have set the pace on that. Would it have alienated her even further from the Court if she had not joined in those evenings? It seems to me the only scoldings were coming from the Austrian side who had little tolerance with the Court entertainment of the French! I have run into the Bourgeois family environment of the Vienna Court  description used  several times in Historical documents. I think the family environment and the entertainments of the Children are what Marie Antoinette tried to later recreate as a Woman in her late twenties.  

I do use smileys so you can judge my intent.. now where can I look at the letters from MT to Maria Amalia? I have gone into the French Archives but not the Italian! Are they published by any chance?  

Very interesting. It's always good reading various sources to understand these people and their situations better.  Thank you!  :)

Like I said earlier, I do not find Maria Theresa's criticisms or letters always fair and indeed, her urgings to Marie Antoinette regarding the Du Barry was mainly because she didn't want to get on the bad side of France regarding Poland's partition (Poland was France's ally). I suspect that was one of the reasons MT stopped communication with Amalia in Parma as well -  to appease Louis XV -- perhaps in addition to being extremely annoyed about her daughter's insolence, of course.  

Well, MT and Franz Stephan's children enjoyed some amount of private life in Vienna. It is indeed interesting that MA - and Amalia as well - insisted on having a private life in their adopted countries.

I believe it was not only the Austrian court who disapproved of MA's entertainments. Antonia Fraser in her book on MA states that the French (or at least the satirists) thought MA wasn't serious enough  (and MA in turn thought the satirists shouldn't be taken seriously).  Count Mercy (although it can be argued that he was Austrian) reported to Vienna as early as 1775 that when MA joined the court at a horseracing event, the French could only see a Queen who was  interested in her entertainments.  She wasn't greeted with applause at all, only with silence and displeasure.  The fact that MA wasn't cheered at all strongly indicates that the public disapproved of a Queen who (at least in their view) lacked seriousness.

On Necker, I understand sources may vary but I found this much earlier..... MA summoned Necker into her private room and devoted all her powers into appeasing him.  Afterwards, she wrote Count Mercy: "I tremble at the thought that Necker's recall has been my work. It seems to be my fate to bring misfortune, and if some devilish machination should make him fail like his predecessors, or if he should do anything to impair the King's authority, I shall be hated even more than I am hated now."

No, I don't think there is a book that compiles MT's letters to Amalia (and vice versa), unlike with MA. But I'm sure they can be found in the Habsburg archives and perhaps with the (present day) Bourbon-Parma family? The letters (or excerpts thereof ) I have read so far are far and few. I must admit MT's letters to Count Mercy - which also mentioned Amalia in Parma quite often--were helpful in this case.

This is the only excerpt I have found on MT's prescribed rules/criticisms for her daughter (when Count Rosenberg was sent to Parma in 1772):  There is only one sovereign and that is the Infante, and Madame Infanta is only the spouse of the sovereign.  When you left for Parma, I always knew you were the wife of the sovereign, and therefore the second person; but most unfortunately I saw that the Infante was never treated as a sovereign, and after less than month, he became first after the Infanta.  

Mari, I am glad you are NOT annoyed.  :)
« Last Edit: December 14, 2009, 07:20:03 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline Yelena Aleksandrovna

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Re: Queen Marie Antoinette, Part II
« Reply #51 on: March 31, 2010, 12:39:51 PM »
I hope that the next pics aren't repeated, several were already deleted or couldn't see them, so here are they anyways
Marie Antoniette and children at Tulleries

The wedding of Marie Antoniette and Louis XVI

Offline Tybalt

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Re: Queen Marie Antoinette, Part II
« Reply #53 on: April 25, 2010, 03:46:26 PM »
By Jean-Étienne Liotard


Offline Yelena Aleksandrovna

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Re: Queen Marie Antoinette, Part II
« Reply #54 on: April 26, 2010, 11:14:20 AM »
It's very beautiful... is it on a museum?

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Re: Queen Marie Antoinette, Part II
« Reply #55 on: April 26, 2010, 12:44:38 PM »
Not in a museum but it was in an art auction.

Offline Yelena Aleksandrovna

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Re: Queen Marie Antoinette, Part II
« Reply #56 on: May 31, 2010, 02:58:22 PM »
Going to be excecuted

Offline Yelena Aleksandrovna

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Re: Queen Marie Antoinette, Part II
« Reply #57 on: June 10, 2010, 03:26:23 PM »
Marie Antoinette

Offline Yelena Aleksandrovna

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Re: Queen Marie Antoinette, Part II
« Reply #58 on: June 15, 2010, 02:14:43 PM »
Her son taken away from her

The queen


Offline Yelena Aleksandrovna

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Re: Queen Marie Antoinette, Part II
« Reply #59 on: June 15, 2010, 02:15:42 PM »
She with the king and other people

Her dress