Author Topic: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina  (Read 175568 times)

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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 #210 on: August 11, 2011, 09:30:56 AM »
I would quote the book I read when I can find it. Most likely an English book. As I said MT was concerned about her daughters "ruling" her husbands directly, she found no problems of them ruling "indirectly" behind the scenes. This is the hypocritical part of MT I do not like, she wanted her daughters to rule, but not openly. The proof is that she constantly spoke to Marie Antoinette about being a good wife and submitting to her husband...etc. But she also insist that she remember she is Austrian and must work for Austrian interests. Had Marie Antoinette followed that instruction, she would have been miserable as she cannot be either French or Austrian and could not pleased either. Maria Carolina was very faithful to the Austrian interest her mother drilled into her and cared less for the people she reigned over. So in a sense she did deserve to retire back in Austria where her heart always was.   

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #211 on: August 12, 2011, 03:11:58 AM »
I would quote the book I read when I can find it. Most likely an English book. As I said MT was concerned about her daughters "ruling" her husbands directly, she found no problems of them ruling "indirectly" behind the scenes. This is the hypocritical part of MT I do not like, she wanted her daughters to rule, but not openly. The proof is that she constantly spoke to Marie Antoinette about being a good wife and submitting to her husband...etc. But she also insist that she remember she is Austrian and must work for Austrian interests. Had Marie Antoinette followed that instruction, she would have been miserable as she cannot be either French or Austrian and could not pleased either. Maria Carolina was very faithful to the Austrian interest her mother drilled into her and cared less for the people she reigned over. So in a sense she did deserve to retire back in Austria where her heart always was.  

Thanks. I'd appreciate the exact source and quote about it. Many English authors tend to exaggerate Maria Carolina's traits and gloss over her faults/mistakes but  I'd like to reserve assessment until I have read the quotation and the context by the author.

I think that was one of the problem with Maria Carolina, all she seemingly thought about were herself (i.e. wanting to cling to power and her need for vengeance) and seemingly did not bother much to identify with her adoptive land and people and try to understand what was truly needed in her husband's kingdom.    
« Last Edit: August 12, 2011, 03:30:46 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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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 #212 on: August 14, 2011, 11:50:58 AM »
I completely agree with you on that. MC was guilty of not even trying to identify herself with the people. Marie Antoinette had good intentions, but too lazy & dumb to reach out to the public. Only Maria Amalia appear to realize the importance of this, yet she was also exiled like MC...

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #213 on: August 14, 2011, 05:52:35 PM »
I completely agree with you on that. MC was guilty of not even trying to identify herself with the people. Marie Antoinette had good intentions, but too lazy & dumb to reach out to the public. Only Maria Amalia appear to realize the importance of this, yet she was also exiled like MC...

I seldom read anything - not much of it, even at  Acton's book - that Maria Carolina was truly concerned with the Neapolitans or Sicilians. Acton wrote about the king and queen's good reforms for the last 30 years (I guess he counted a few years during Ferdinand of Naples' minority) but failed to elaborate on such reforms, save for the colony that was made into a silk production center (sorry I forgot the name). The navy was mentioned but I very much agree with the critique elsewhere that while a navy was essential, it was far too grand and costly for Naples.    

As for Maria Carolina & Marie Antoinette, they were far too self-absorbed (in their "dramas") to "absorb" the undercurrents that surrounded their people. Maria Amalia was rather good at that, although I'd be the first to say that she had her many, many "dramas" as well. It does show though that she had the capacity to go beyond herself and her dramas, unlike her two sisters.  With Marie Antoinette, it seemed to be self validation though her (physical) vanity while MC opted for a self validation by mental/power vanity. Well, Maria Amalia did go into exile but she wasn't exiled by the people, she decided on it herself - knowing what was to come from the French (Parma was to be absorbed by France because of the Treaty of Aranjuez and with the French announcing that they didn't recognise her regency). A very big difference with MC (exiled by her husband at the 'order' of a certain British official, and she was deeply unpopular with all classes by then).   France only announced that Parma was part of its empire after Maria Amalia left, not as soon as Ferdinand died. Which tells us something about how Ferdinand and Amalia were regarded by their people.....  
« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 05:58:41 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #214 on: August 14, 2011, 10:35:45 PM »
I have just finished chapters 8-16 of Acton's book. IMHO, Maria Carolina, despite her paranoia, comes off better in the late 1780s/early 1790s since she wasn't nagging Ferdinand so much.  Although I find it sad that having married for many years to Ferdinand and bearing him numerous children, she still had to feign interest on his pleasure of the outdoors in order to get him to sign the documents that she wanted. That means her credit with him was never firmly established if she still had to resort to tactics after all their years together. I loved reading excerpts of her letters (when she wasn't being so critical, that is). Although I get the feeling that sometimes, she was still overdramatising things.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 10:42:39 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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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 #215 on: August 15, 2011, 08:18:23 AM »
Yes. I think after I read the Acton book, I found out that MC did have a hard life dealing with her husband. Yet it was also her personality that contributed to her drama, so she of course was partically to blame for that. Yes, her letters that were quoted in the Acton book made her appear more sympathetic.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #216 on: August 18, 2011, 09:57:50 AM »
Yes. I think after I read the Acton book, I found out that MC did have a hard life dealing with her husband. Yet it was also her personality that contributed to her drama, so she of course was partically to blame for that. Yes, her letters that were quoted in the Acton book made her appear more sympathetic.

I (generally) agree although I'm a bit suspicious of her letters as she was prone to drama and exaggeration...
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 10:07:44 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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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 #217 on: August 18, 2011, 11:07:37 AM »
Well...She was a drama queen.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #218 on: August 18, 2011, 10:56:49 PM »
Well...She was a drama queen.

That is why I can identify with Ferdinand of Naples not learning to love his wife and wanting to be away from her (hunting, fishing & womanising) at daytime, although I believe he could have treated her better (especially in the end).    
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 10:59:17 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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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 #219 on: August 19, 2011, 08:59:46 AM »
But it also be that had he really loved her (instead of just desiring her physically), he might be ale to ease some of her inner frustration. I think Ferdinand of Parma did a better job of "caring" about Amalia, while still maintaining his independence. A little kindness goes a long way for a girl/woman who just left home and felt lonely & hostile in a foreign country.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #220 on: August 19, 2011, 09:59:36 AM »
But it also be that had he really loved her (instead of just desiring her physically), he might be ale to ease some of her inner frustration.... A little kindness goes a long way for a girl/woman who just left home and felt lonely & hostile in a foreign country.

That's true. Although I must say, Maria Carolina choosing to deceive her husband by pretending to "love" him was not a good decision. Ferdinand seems smarter than she thought him to be, and he seemingly saw through it after the early months. He seemingly never trusted her fully. 
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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 #221 on: August 19, 2011, 11:07:12 AM »
In the Acton book, he seems to be happy to leave the ruling to her, while enjoying the physical relationship (their many children seems to testify to that).

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #222 on: August 19, 2011, 05:05:33 PM »
Enjoying a physical relationship is not the same as having trust or genuine affection. That is why MC never seemed to have credit with her husband. After many years, she still resorted to pretense of being interested in his outdoor pursuits to get him to sign the documents she wanted. That, or resorting to her dramas.
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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 #223 on: August 19, 2011, 05:22:07 PM »
Agreed ! Although it does takes two to tangle. Ferdinand was no saint either.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #224 on: August 20, 2011, 01:16:17 AM »
Ferdinand had disgusting habits and was very ugly as well. It's also easy to see why Maria Carolina couldn't love him (not that it was a requirement).  Although one good thing about it was that she was prepared for the worst when she arrived in Naples; yet she admitted he was better than described.  

I think it's important for couples to have intimacy as wel.  That is why I never believed those assertations that  Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI "loved" each other. Or should I say Louis XVI loved MA?  MA declared after having Sophie-Beatrix that she didn't want any more children. That is tantamount to  putting a stop to their intimacy. And Louis XVI was seemingly fine with it. Maria Carolina and Ferdinand did have many, many children yet it didn't seem to cement their relationship or result to affection for each other.

 I think 18th century expectations ut the burden more on women rather than men to bear with whatever shortcomings there are in a royal marriage.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2011, 01:26:28 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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