Author Topic: Books on French Royals  (Read 130547 times)

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Offline Marc

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #45 on: September 01, 2006, 10:59:11 AM »
Anyone have her portrait in colour?

Offline Imperial.Opal

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #46 on: November 12, 2006, 01:46:09 AM »
  My local bookseller has told me that Antonia Fraser has written a new book about the women in Louis XIV's life, published this year. has any one read it. ;)
« Last Edit: November 12, 2006, 08:04:48 AM by Prince_Lieven »

Offline Yseult

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #47 on: November 12, 2006, 04:40:05 AM »
The book is Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King, by Antonia Fraser, pubished on october 2006 by Barnes&Noble.

I´m waiting a translation into spanish, because I really enjoy the Antonia Fraser´s bio and Louis XIV was linked to a good number of captivating women...the first of them, Marie Mancini, one of the Mazarinettes, his love of youth. Both Queen Anne of Austria and Cardinal Mazarin, oncle of the beautiful and amusing girl, forced a break up between Louis and Marie. She was strained from the monarch, banished from court to La Rochelle, first, and Brouage, later.

Marie Mancini´s portrait



Later, the king was married for dinastic and political reasons to Maria Teresa of Austria, infanta of Spain, a niece of his own mother. She was a good-hearted and compassionate woman, but also a graceless one, and she found herself always neglected by her husband and suffering a lot since she knew well he was unfaifhful.

Maria Teresa, the Queen. Portrait



He was involved in a serious flirtation with his sister-in-law, the ravissante Henriette-Anne of England, by marriage Duchess of Orleans:

Henriette-Anne, Duchess of Orleans. Portrait



But the dangerous flirtation ended when Louis fell madly in love with the timid virgin Louise Françoise de La Baume Le Blanc, lady-in-wainting of Henriette-Anne. Louise became duchess of La Vallière and Vaujours. Louise was an innocent and religious-minded girl when she was attached to the king, she remained loyal to him during a few years, she borne him five children and, at the end, her deep regrest for being the mistress of a married man concluded when she entered a carmelite convent where she took the vows as Sister Louise of the Misericord.

Louise de la Vallière. Portrait



Before the long-standing relationship with Louise was concluded, Louis took a new mistress for some months: the enchantress Catherine Charlotte de Gramont, princess of Monaco.

Catherine Charlotte de Gramont. Portrait.



Later, he began his relationshio with the magnetic Françoise Athenais de Rochechouart-Montemart, lady-in-waiting of poor queen Maria Teresa. Athenais became Marquise of Montespan. She was suspected to had recourse to black magic, with the purpose of retain the king´s favour, and, later, she was involved in the Affair of the Poissons.

Athenais de Montespan. Portrait



He was unfaifhful to Athenais with the very beautiful but not clever Angelique de Scoraille de Rousille, duchess of Fontanges. There was a lot of gossip when Angelique was dead aged twenty, because people believed she had been poisoned by order of Athenais:

Angelique de Fontanges. Portrait



After Athenais, appeared the puritanical governess of the king´s bastards: Françoise d´Aubigne, Madame Scarron, later Madame de Maintenon. She was not only the mistress of Louis, but very supportive to poor Maria Teresa: the queen openly declared she had never been so well threated before and she died in the arms of Françoise, who became the second morganatical wife of Louis.

Françoise de Maintenon. Portrait



It seems that, lastly, Louis gave his heart to his spirited grand-daughter-in-law, Adelaide of Savoy. Adelaide went to the french court when she was a lively creature aged twelve, and she became the pet of Louis, but, as she grew up, he was probably in love with her. He felt his heart broken into pieces when Adelaide died of measles only a few days after the death of  her husband, the Dauphin.

Adelaide of Savoy, the Dauphine. Portrait



Best regards! ;)

Add: Sorry, I forgot Anne of Rohan-Chabot, a girl who caught the eye of Louis when he was linked to Louise de La Vallière. It seems that Louis had a sexual relationship with her a few years later, when she was princess of Soubisse by marriage and the king had as his mistress Athenais de Montespan. I don´t know if the brief story with Anne was before or after the brief story with ill-fated Angelique de Fontanges ;)

Anne of Rohan-Chabot. Portrait







« Last Edit: November 12, 2006, 08:05:09 AM by Prince_Lieven »

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #48 on: November 12, 2006, 08:05:49 AM »
I just edited the post titles to correct them - it's Antonia not Antonio.  ;)
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #49 on: November 12, 2006, 11:37:17 AM »
Thanks for the wonderful information and beautiful portraits Yseult. You have definately whetted my appetite for this book.
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Offline Yseult

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #50 on: November 12, 2006, 01:55:53 PM »
You´re very kind, Kimberly. I was working from memory and searching for portraits while I was writting the post, so I forget a lot of very interesting stories.

Look at this:

1.-The Mazarinettes:

Louis had a romantical liaison with Marie Mancini, but it was said that he was equally involved with two of her sisters, Olympe and Hortense. In fact, some authors suggested that Olympe was the first who shared the bed with the king. Hortense, by the way, was not only a mistress of Louis, but also a mistress of Charles II of England. Portraits of the three scandalous Mazarinettes:

a) Marie (another portrait).



b) Hortense.



c) Olympe.



Olympe, later countess of Soissons, was involved in the famous Affair of the Poissons, the affair that ruined for ever the reputation of Athenais Madame de Montespan. And she was also grand-mother of the four sisters Mademoiselles de Nesle who where mistress of Louis XV.

2.-La Vallière...¿mother of the man in the iron mask?

Louise de La Vallière was, as I said, a virgin aged seventeen when she caught the eye of the king. She was poor but well born, modest and deeply religious. She held out against Louis´s sexual demands long enough to persuade herself that sleeping with the monarch was a holy duty. When her star declined, after a long-standing relationship, including the birth of several children, she joined a convent...and published a religious tract. An inusual mistress ;)

One of her children was Louis,the comte of Vermandois, granted with the precious tittle of Admiral of France when he was only two years old. It seems well documented that Vermandois died when he was aged sixteen: he was at this time on a military campaign, he suffered smallpox and he was dead. Howewer, in the 18th century some believed that Vermandois had been spireted away from the battle field to prison for the crime of stricking Louis´s legitimate son. So, there are people who supported the idea of Vermandois being the man in the iron mask.

More portraits of Louise de La Vallière:





3.-Athenais

She had been named "The Sun King´s shadow queen" and also "the mistress of the devil". Unhappy in her marriage to a gamester nobleman, she was a tempestuous woman who used her beauty and wit to gain the king´s heart. She quickly became notorious for the her wondreous taste for fashion, the brilliance of her fêtes and the extravange of her gambling. But she also commisioned castles from the most noteworthy architects, she inspired plays wrotten by Molière or Racine and she patronized musicians as Lully.

At the end, after twelve years, the king began to lose interest in Athenais. She had gain weight and she bore him with her explosive fits. Added to this, a bizarre witch hunt which uncovered conspiracy in the highest echelons of nobility caused the downfall of Athenais. It is said that the concubine Athenais often used the ancient sorcery of mixing her menstrual blood with the food the king ate, to retain his love and passion, and that she celebrated black messes where she was not only the altar, but babies were sacrificed by decapiting them and later burning to mix their ashes with the elements. Louis quickly sent Athenais off to a convent, where she spent twenty seven years. She always was very frightened of loneliness, silence, the sleep of the others and darkness (in fact, every night she slept with several dozen candles lit all night long...).

a) Different portraits of Athenais:







Best regards, Kimberly!
« Last Edit: November 12, 2006, 02:18:31 PM by Yseult »

Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #51 on: November 20, 2006, 03:54:36 PM »
I've been reading Colin Jones account of eighteenth century France, "The Great Nation", which covers the reign of Louis XV in some depth - it's very entertainingly written too! There seems to be a very good (scholarly) biography in French:

"Louis XV" by Michel Antoine (Paris 1989)
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #52 on: November 20, 2006, 07:30:35 PM »
You can find some good information about Louis XV in the Memoirs of Madame de Hausset, who was one of Madame de Pompadour's servants.  As I recall, Hausset more or less eavesdropped on Pompadour and Louis (at Pompadour's request) and took notes. 

Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #53 on: November 23, 2006, 04:32:05 PM »
Thanks for that, Palatine!

I think one of the reasons that Louis XV has so few biographers is his own elusive personality. I think he kept even those closest to him guessing!
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)

Offline Suzanne

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #54 on: February 01, 2007, 06:38:04 PM »
I just wanted to recommend this beautifully written work by Sena Jete Naslund, the critically acclaimed author of Ahab's wife. The novel is a fictional autobiography of MA told from her departure from Austria to her execution. The book is extremely well researched and provides convincing, three dimensional portraits of the Queen and the members of her circle. Much of the book centres around her correspondence with her mother Maria Theresa. The novel touches on numerous historical themes including the nature of queenship, the desacralization of the French monarchy, court life at Versailles and the Diamond Necklace Scandal. Very much recommended.

Offline Elizaveta

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #55 on: February 24, 2007, 08:06:16 PM »
I've read this book, and I also highly recommend this book. It's written beautifully, in a quite poetic language and full of original phrases. While I was reading this book, I found myself seeing the world through Marie Antoinette's eyes; I was so engrossed in this book that I literally forgot my own existence. Though this book is a historical fiction, it includes many historical facts and I find it to be in an unique genre, far from being a historical fiction story but not even close to an autobiographical book. After reading this book, I appreciated Marie Antoinette better, and I felt I understood her agony better.

The story began with Marie Antoinette's journey from Austria to France as a bride and ended with her cruel execution. Many historical figures from Marie Antoinette's time, Princesse de Lambelle, Duchesse de Polignac, Count Axel von Fersen, and the entire French Royal Family, are in the book. It also includes many of Marie Antoinette's recorded sayings.
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Offline Robby

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #56 on: March 15, 2007, 06:16:00 PM »
I'm interested, I really want to read this book, it sounds interesting. Marie Antoinette is one of my favorite royals. Thanks for the tip and information!
“Courage! I have shown it for years; think you I shall lose it at the moment when my sufferings are to end?” Marie Antoinette

Offline Teddy

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #57 on: April 22, 2007, 03:17:47 PM »
Hello members,

Who can tell me what kind of book, "Isabelle, Comtesse De Paris - L'album De Ma Vie", by Cyrille Boulay is?
A coffee table?

Gr. Teddy

Offline Eurohistory

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #58 on: April 28, 2007, 07:36:58 AM »
It is a lovely coffee table style book. The late Countess of Paris, who I last visited two months before her death, sent me a copy, dedicated and signed, in the mail...which greatly surprised me...she was fantastic, intriguing and an excellent conversationalist.

I will never forget her first words to me every time I visited: "Now Arturo, I will have a whisky on the rocks, what are you serving yorself!" – and with that I had my royal command to go and get her a libation!

I am still to publish her last interview with me in the ERHJ...maybe at some point this year.  Her funeral, to which I flew from San Francisco, was amazing as there were more than 150 royals attending.

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Offline edtash

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #59 on: April 28, 2007, 11:10:44 AM »
Mr Beeche was able to find me a copy of htis excellent book. I had to wait some time since the book is out of print, but he was successful in locating a copy in excellent condition and priced at an amount that did not completly break the bank. Highly recommended book as the photos are excellent and the late Countess did an amazing job.

Eddie Tash