Author Topic: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen  (Read 55732 times)

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Offline elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2006, 04:31:45 PM »
About the myth of Louis' "impotence:" there is no proof whatsoever that he ever had that problem. Louis and Antoinette, married at ages 15 and 14, took awhile to consummate their marriage. This was not uncommon - Mme de Lamballe's huband died when she was 17 and their marriage had never been consummated, so she claimed. It had become fashionable for some couples to wait until they got to know each other better. Yes, I know the families were having fits over it, but Louis had a mind of his own.

Bernard Fay, Louis' biographer, quotes the Spanish Ambassador, who paid spies to check the sheets of the young couple, claiming that there was evidence of sexual activity early on in the marriage, but Marie-Antoinette may have had a physical problem that hindered the full consummation of the union. The "little operation" she mentioned to her mother in a letter, may have meant procedures other than the circumcision allegedly performed on Louis.

Vincent Cronin, in "Louis and Antoinette," says that during the time that Louis had the alleged operation to get rid of the phimosis (circumcision), he went horseback riding everyday, which would have been physically impossible. Also, Louis' medical records (every prince received a thorough medical examination when they left the nursery) make no mention of a phimosis. Louis may not have had any physical problem at all.

Marie-Antoinette's brother Joseph made his incognito visit in 1777 to see why they had not produced an heir, and he wrote a graphic letter to Leopold which Vincent Cronin thinks was to have a laugh at Louis' expense, blaming all the problems on him. (After all, who had ever heard ofa Habsburg with infertility problems?) The main problem with Louis and Antoinette, is that he went to bed early and she stayed up late. Once they got their schedules coordinated, they conceived.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by elena_maria_vidal »

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2006, 04:33:45 PM »
Thanks, Elena_Maria, that's all news to me, about Antoinette being the one with the problem. Odd that such things are so often blamed on the woman when it is in fact the man who has the problem, whereas in this case it was vice versa!
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Offline elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2006, 04:59:13 PM »
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Thanks, Elena_Maria, that's all news to me, about Antoinette being the one with the problem. Odd that such things are so often blamed on the woman when it is in fact the man who has the problem, whereas in this case it was vice versa!


And as I always say, whatever their early problems were, they overcame them, consummated their union and had four children, not to mention the miscarriages.

Offline ilyala

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2006, 04:48:18 AM »
about antoinette not leaving: i don't think leaving with fersen and then having a discreet affair was much of an option. i don't know whether they were lovers or not... but had she left with him she would have been anything but discreet. and that wasn't like a royal, especially a habsburg. i'm sure maria tereza educated her well enough for her not to leave like that with anyone. as for not leaving her children when her husband died - i think that's a natural mother's instinct and while one can criticize marie antoinette in some aspects she certainly loved her children a lot.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by ilyala »
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Offline elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2006, 09:06:52 AM »
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...there they are (in my translation, not very good)


(13. February 1792, from Axel Fersenīs diary)

"I went to queen. Along the usually route. I was afraid of National Guard. Her apartment was beatiful. I donīt see the king. I stayed there."


This is the passage which Stanley Loomis and Vincent Cronin both think may refer to a one night stand between the Queen and Count Fersen, the one and only time they consummated their love, in the view of those authors. However, they both agree that the passage containing"I stayed there" or "Reste- la" was scribbled out by the censor, "reste-la" being Axel's usual phrase denoting he had slept with a woman. So no one is certain what the phrase was, since it was scribbled out (unless recent technology has revealed it).

Other professional historians like Nesta Webster, several decades ago, and more recently Simon Schama, disagree that Antoinette had a rendez-vous with a lover. The queen was essentially under house arrest at the Tuileries, with servants who were spies, especially after the abortive escape attempt the previous June. The guards came into her room every two hours to make certain she had not tried to escape again. It was almost impossible for her to have intimacy with her husband, much less with a lover.

In those last months at the Tuileries, when the Royal Family had little doubt that their lives were in danger, Antoinette became closer than ever to her devout sister-in-law, Madame Elisabeth, who spent hours writing long spiritual letters about death and judgment to her Irish confessor Abbe Edgeworth. The atmosphere at the palace, as I said on another thread, was more like the catacombs than Les Liaisons Dangereuse, with the queen, Mme Elisabeth and Mme de Lamballe scheming how to sneak non-juring priests into the Tuileries so they could go to confession and receive communion in preparation for their sudden demise.

Offline Eddie_uk

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2006, 11:23:48 AM »
Thank you for the information Elena! Very interesting. Mme Elisabeth and the Princess de Lamballe were very loyal friends and I think Marie Antoinette was lucky on that front.

It is my personal opinion that Marie Antoinette didn't have an affair with Fersen I think she was just very good friends with him. Maybe it's just me but she appears to of been able to inspire deep loyalty in a lot of her friends.

I think on the whole her marriage to Louis was pretty good. He seemed a nice man and i think she devastated when he was executed. Maybe she also saw it as once step closer to doom? :-/

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2006, 11:40:16 AM »
I know that Louis XVI. knew about Marie-Antoinetteīs affair. Really, when in may 1785 Fersen came to Paris, he (Axel) heard a gossips that he is a real father of prince Louis, later Louis XVII.

Offline Sissi

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2006, 01:07:45 PM »
Regarding Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI intimate life, I have read recently that in fact Louis XVI had no problem, it was Marie Antoinette who was rather indiferent and was not very much interested in having intimacy, she was frigid.... at least thatīs what i have read.

  As a matter of fact she didnīt want to have too many childrens, during her fourth pregnancy the doctors did not know how to tell her about it since she was annoyed just by the thought of it.

 

Offline elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2006, 01:24:06 PM »
Quote
Thank you for the information Elena! Very interesting. Mme Elisabeth and the Princess de Lamballe were very loyal friends and I think Marie Antoinette was lucky on that front.

It is my personal opinion that Marie Antoinette didn't have an affair with Fersen I think she was just very good friends with him. Maybe it's just me but she appears to of been able to inspire deep loyalty in a lot of her friends.

I think on the whole her marriage to Louis was pretty good. He seemed a nice man and i think she devastated when he was executed. Maybe she also saw it as once step closer to doom? :-/



I agree with you completely on all points, Eddie. She was devastated when Louis died and dropped weight because she lost her appetite. (She may also have had cancer as someone pointed out on another thread.)

Offline elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #39 on: January 16, 2006, 01:26:55 PM »
Quote
Regarding Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI intimate life, I have read recently that in fact Louis XVI had no problem, it was Marie Antoinette who was rather indiferent and was not very much interested in having intimacy, she was frigid.... at least thatīs what i have read.

   As a matter of fact she didnīt want to have too many childrens, during her fourth pregnancy the doctors did not know how to tell her about it since she was annoyed just by the thought of it.

  


I don't think she was frigid. In her very blunt letters to her mother, Antoinette told the Empress when she first began to experience pleasure during intercourse with her husband; it was considered a sign of possible conception.

Offline elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2006, 01:28:57 PM »
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I know that Louis XVI. knew about Marie-Antoinetteīs affair. Really, when in may 1785 Fersen came to Paris, he (Axel) heard a gossips that he is a real father of prince Louis, later Louis XVII.

Sorry to disagree, Marie-Liesl. Louis was a very devout Catholic and moral man and would have never allowed his wife (whom he adored) to have an open arrangement with another man. And I do not think that Axel was little Charles' father.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by elena_maria_vidal »

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #41 on: January 16, 2006, 02:55:15 PM »
Oh, I means Louis XVI. noted that his wife like Axel, but not as a lover in physically meaning, but he noted that later, (I think) when they was inprisonment. And I know that prince Louisī real father is Louis XVI.
Do you know that Axel want to marry Germaine Necker (daughter von finance minister Jacques Necker), later baroness of Stael-Holstein? But he wasnīt angry when she married baron Magnus von Stael-Holstein... because he really loved Marie-Antoinette...

Offline elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #42 on: January 16, 2006, 03:48:09 PM »
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Oh, I means Louis XVI. noted that his wife like Axel, but not as a lover in physically meaning, but he noted that later, (I think) when they was inprisonment. And I know that prince Louisī real father is Louis XVI.
Do you know that Axel want to marry Germaine Necker (daughter von finance minister Jacques Necker), later baroness of Stael-Holstein? But he wasnīt angry when she married baron Magnus von Stael-Holstein... because he really loved Marie-Antoinette...


Yes, I knew from reading about Mme. de Stael that there was talk of getting her married to Axel. I personally think Axel was too politically conservative for her and she would have driven him crazy.

As for Louis "knowing" about Marie-Antoinette loving Fersen, I don't know, because I am not convinced how much she loved Axel, if at all in a romantic way. He was probably aware that Axel loved the queen, especially after Axel sent her all those kid gloves soaked in attar of roses. And then there was that dog she gave the Swedish name, Oscar, I think? (I'll have to check on that.)

Louis was probably so used to men being in love with his wife that Axel's infatuation was just one more and it did not seem to bother him over much, because he (Louis) knew her so well.  He and Axel were friends and he had enough confidence in his wife's affection and dedication not to be jealous. Most of the best anecdotes of Louis and Antoinette are her attempts to get his attention away from his work and on to herself, like the time she made pellets out of bread and threw them across the table at him (at a state dinner.) Another time she dressed like a nun and visited him in his office. He did not recognize her for several minutes and saw her trembling (with supressed laughter) and thought the "good sister" had taken ill. She often played tricks on Louis and it kept their relationship very lively.

Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2006, 07:32:01 AM »
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Louis was probably so used to men being in love with his wife that Axel's infatuation was just one more and it did not seem to bother him over much, because he (Louis) knew her so well.  He and Axel were friends and he had enough confidence in his wife's affection and dedication not to be jealous. Most of the best anecdotes of Louis and Antoinette are her attempts to get his attention away from his work and on to herself, like the time she made pellets out of bread and threw them across the table at him (at a state dinner.) Another time she dressed like a nun and visited him in his office. He did not recognize her for several minutes and saw her trembling (with supressed laughter) and thought the "good sister" had taken ill. She often played tricks on Louis and it kept their relationship very lively.


That's a very funny story, I mean about the nun! I wonder if features in the new film (probably not). MA definitely had a sense of humour, which is why I like her.

I wanted to ask about Axel's politics (to change the subject from sex!).

I assume he was very conservative in outlook. Did he influence Marie Antoinette at all (or vice versa). To what extent was Marie Antoinette herself influential in politics - did she really "take over" in 1790-1791? I read a letter of Mme Elisabeth where she writes that the Queen was not calling the shots, but she may have been "economical with the truth" for whatever reason, or maybe she didn't know.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »
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Offline Sissi

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Re: Marie Antoinette and Axel Fersen
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2006, 08:08:42 AM »
Wow! The nun story is a great one, which I did not know!
 Thanks!

 I beleive that Marie Antoinette was in love with Fersen, but I am not too sure how far it went. i do not think there was a physical relation between them when the royal  couple was still at Versailles, However it could have happen while in the Tuilleries, Rester la! means stay there but not sleep there!!! There is a diference in French between rester la et coucher la!!!