Author Topic: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina  (Read 136491 times)

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Offline Mari

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2008, 12:32:39 AM »
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Napoleon had installed one of his sisters on the throne of Naples.  Maria Carolina hated Napoleon fanatically for doing this, and for driving her out in the first place.  Her feelings changed after he fell from power.
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Why would Maria Carolina's feelings ever change toward Napoleon?

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2008, 02:53:02 PM »
That is really simple. Maria Carolina was the enemy of Napoleon and friend of the British. However after the Hamiltons left and Nelson died. The new British head was against her and arranged for her to be exiled to Austria. Such a twist of events made Maria Carolina becoming more sympathetic to Naploeon, who also suffered under British hands. Lastly she took an interest in his son the King of Rome, while in Vienna.

Offline britt.25

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2008, 05:49:01 AM »
So she also met him, it's interesting, as they are related through different lines. Little king of Rome was her distant nephew from various sides...
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Offline nom de plume

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2008, 08:12:51 PM »
Maria Carolina’s parents were devoted to each other - in their own fashion.  Thanks to their example as well as her staunch Catholic faith, Maria Carolina believed that marriage was sacred.  Although she loathed Napoleon, she had great respect for him too.  When he fell from power, she pitied him, but not to the extent that she wanted him restored to power.  She was a very smart cookie – she probably recognized that the Emperor, Metternich, etc., were fools to throw away the opportunity to put Napoleon II on the throne of France under the control of a pro-Austrian regency council headed (nominally at least) by Marie Louise.

Maria Carolina believed that it was Marie Louise’s duty to stand by her husband.  She also believed that Marie Louise should do whatever it took to secure a good future for her son.  I don’t know if she knew about Marie Louise’s affair with Neipperg; I think that came out after her death.  She would have been aghast if she’d known that Marie Louise had traded her marriage and her son’s future for a life interest in the teeny tiny duchy of Parma and a one-eyed lover.  It’s a pity that Maria Carolina died when she did – Napoleon II had no greater ally in Vienna.

Hope this helps…
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2010, 06:48:30 PM »
That was the reason why MT said of all her daughters, MC resembled her the most of all. She would have made a splendid Queen Regant.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2010, 08:16:15 PM »
Sorry, I have some reservations about Maria Carolina being a splendid Queen Regnant for several reasons:  1) I've never read that she turned Naples into a kingdom of prosperity and in fact, as CoutessKate said in another thread, supported a regime of corruption and repression; it wasn't even the best governed or 2nd best governed state in Italy at that time (I've read that Tuscany and Parma were); 2) she was quite violent and was responsible for putting to death many people (her son-in-law Orleans said that she was cruel, violent, and her hands were stained with the blood of people); and 3) she seemed to have alienated family members, near relations and all her previous allies; it's impossible that all those people were at fault and she was blameless. So I cannot view her as a good queen regnant.  

MC may have been the daughter most like Maria Theresa but it seems that she also inherited MT's worst faults -- petty, vengeful and unforgiving, full of hate to her enemies, bullying,  and being critical of everything and everyone else, among other things.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 08:36:24 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline HSH The Duchess of Bourbon

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2010, 05:36:56 AM »
sorry people...this is a bit off the point, but i was wondering hw many children she had exactly; some sources say 16-18!? its confusing me  :( ha
also, why did so many die young? and what off? smallpox maybe?
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2010, 07:34:39 AM »
Allan Raymond's site (http://www.btinternet.com/~allan_raymond/Bourbon_Two_Sicilies_Royal_Family.htm) is very comprehensive and suggests there were 17 children.  There may have been a stillbirth - sometimes people count these in, sometimes not, but it may account for the varying numbers.  I believe smallpox may have accounted for some of their deaths, but  it's not always easy to tell - and 18th century physicians were not necessarily very good at distinguishing one cause of death from another (for example, symptoms were often mistaken for the cause, such as the not uncommon "convulsions"). 

Infant mortality in the 18th century varied widely from country to country and from class to class and royal children were not always at less risk than others.  Generally, children in rural areas were more likely to survive compared to children in urban areas who were likely to be at greater risk of contagion from viral and endemic diseases.  Royal children, brought up with many servants and courtiers around, could be seen to a certain extent as 'urban' children (even if they were brought up in a country palace).  While malnutrition would not have been a factor, infections, poor feeding practices, poor hygiene, and even climate, might have all contributed their bit to killing off 10 of the family before their 10th birthday.   

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2010, 11:15:08 PM »
Does anyone know how Queen Maria Carolina fared as a ruler in Naples & Sicily? How did the people take the Austrian influence compared to the Spanish one?  I know the English nobility greatly praised her but they were rather a favored clique in Naples so I'm not very certain of their credibility.  However,  I did read that Goethe praise her....... Did Naples & Sicily prosper with MC at the helm? Was she kind to the people (the commoners, not the courtiers and nobility) I've read one source that stated Tuscany was the best governed state in Italy at that time and next to it was Parma....   
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2010, 01:29:10 PM »
I read that in English books and German translation ones that MC was regarded as a good ruler. They usually divided the times before and after the French Revolution, when MC began to lose it. Yet with Europe in such chaos, it was hard to judge her decisions.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2010, 07:19:53 PM »
Thanks!

Does anyone recall any specific instances/issues that Maria Carolina did in order to be regarded as a good ruler?  I've only read of two so far:  the charity work she did after the great earthquake in 1783 and building a navy for Naples (which was undoubtedly needed)...... anything else? Like what kind of reforms did MC do and how charitable and/or kind was she as a ruler? 
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2010, 08:35:20 PM »
I think the books on Emma Hamilton usually throw sidelights on Maria Carolina, she was as close to anyone can get to the Queen.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2010, 10:53:02 PM »
Thanks! I will try to get ahold of any books on Emma Hamilton. Didn't  Maria Carolina and Emma Hamilton end up sort of estranged later on?  I seem to have read somewhere that Emma asked for (financial) help from MC and MC didn't help her -- most likely because she almost had no money herself...

I'm now re-reading the Queen of Naples and Lord Nelson by Jeaffreson and frankly, I think the author painted Maria Carolina's character/personality very flatteringly!  I'd like to read Harold Acton's books soon, they seem to be most credible source on MC and her husband.
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2010, 04:20:21 PM »
I would referred to Harold Acton's books as very "reliable" on the Queen of Naples.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2010, 08:48:56 PM »
Okay, I have gone through The Queen of Naples and Lord Nelson over the past weekend and  IMHO,  the author was too fawning on Maria Carolina. The author described her as very beautiful (whereas her early portraits do not seem to be very beautiful, pretty enough for those times, yes, but nothing very beautiful ever), said she loved her husband and was respectful of him and was even pleased with his looks - except for the Bourbons nose - among other fawning things. I'm a bit stunned by all that flattery..... I mean, I like Maria Carolina but I'm not one to look over her faults - and there were many - either.

However there were some essentials points that the author seemed to have gotten right: Maria Carolina's intellect was overrated by her admirers, and that while she made many reforms, she had no clue on the reforms that were needed and wanted by her subjects. Hence, Naples was infected by the Jacobins.  Can anyone please add to this?  I'm not very familiar with Naples in the late 1780s and onwards.......   
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