Author Topic: King Louis XIV  (Read 67796 times)

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Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: King Louis XIV
« Reply #45 on: November 06, 2005, 02:51:26 AM »
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Ah, well, if Napoloeon sat on it, that makes it the most important WC in the world!!! ; - )


When I visited the Grand Trianon, I was told that the apartments were restored by Napoleon III for the visit of Queen Victoria. I think the WC must date from this time. I'm pretty certain they did not have such things in the 18th century.
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)

Offline James_Davidov

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Re: King Louis XIV
« Reply #46 on: November 18, 2005, 06:48:30 PM »

This legend has always intrigued me; and I was surprised after I searched the site not to find anything on it….

For those of you who don’t know this story, pull of a chair, it’s just as worthy a mystery as any of the Tsar’s.

In 1698 a mysterious man was imprisoned in the Bastille. Almost no one seemed to know who he was, although residents of the French prison were usually important people who had fallen out of favor with King Louis XIV. This man had been a captive of the government since at least 1687, and for all that time his face had been hidden by a mask.
The masked man died in 1703, but rumors about his strange existence continued to circulate. In 1711 the king's sister-in-law, the Princess Palatine, mentioned the story in a letter to her aunt. The prisoner was treated very well, she said, but two musketeers stood by him at all times, ready to kill him if he removed his mask. He ate in the mask, slept in the mask, and eventually died in the mask. Even at the royal court his identity remained a mystery.
The philosopher and writer Voltaire was confined to the Bastille in 1717. He spent almost a year there, and later told a friend that he had spoken to people who had served the Man in the Iron Mask. In his book The Age of Louis XIV, published in 1751, Voltaire said that the prisoner was forced to wear an iron mask as early as 1661, when he was held captive on the island of Sainte-Marguerite. The prisoner was young (in 1661), tall and very handsome. He dressed in the finest lace and linen, and enjoyed playing the guitar.
In his later writings Voltaire dropped broad hints about the prisoner's possible identity. According to Voltaire, the man was about 60 when he died, and bore a striking resemblance to someone very famous. Of course, the most famous face in France at that time belonged to King Louis XIV, who was also in his 60s. Another writer, Joseph de Lagrange-Chancel, lived at Versailles during Louis XIV's reign and was imprisoned on Sainte-Marguerite in the 1720s. He asserted that Benigne d'Auvergne de Saint-Mars, the governor of Sainte-Marguerite, treated the masked man deferentially and called him "my prince."
In 1768 a descendant of Saint-Mars wrote that the prisoner was called "Tower" by his captors. He didn't have to wear the mask all the time, only in public, and the guards sometimes saw him without it. When prison officials were in Tower's presence they politely removed their hats and remained standing until the prisoner gave them permission to sit.
Stories about the masked prisoner are often conflicting. Some writers state that he wore a mask of black velvet, not iron. Etienne Du Junca, who was second in command of the Bastille, never saw the prisoner without his black velvet mask. Du Junca wrote in his journal that the prisoner was buried under the name M. de Marchiel. A later writer located a death certificate giving the prisoner's name as Marchioly and his age as approximately 45.
In 1789 journalist Frederic-Melchior Grimm claimed that a royal valet had revealed to him that Louis XIV had an identical twin. The twins' father, Louis XIII, feared the brothers would grow up to fight over the throne, so he sent the second-born baby away to be raised in secret. The boy was taken into a nobleman's household and treated with great respect, but he was never told who he really was. As a young man he saw a portrait of his brother and guessed the truth. He was immediately arrested, and spent the rest of his life as the Man in the Iron Mask.
Many people believed this (probably fictional) account, which was elaborated and embroidered by other writers as the years passed. It has been said that when the Bastille was stormed by a revolutionary mob, the prince's skeleton was discovered, still wearing its iron mask, but there is no record that this actually happened. Napoleon supposedly believed that he was descended from the unfortunate prince, who, according to legend, had married the daughter of the governor of Sainte-Marguerite.

James
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Offline James_Davidov

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Re: King Louis XIV
« Reply #47 on: November 18, 2005, 11:33:10 PM »
By the way...that was from RoyatlyNU

http://www.royalty.nu/legends/IronMask.html

James
You are a member of the British royal family. We are never tired, and we all love hospitals.
Queen Mary

Offline ilyala

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Re: King Louis XIV
« Reply #48 on: November 19, 2005, 01:15:52 AM »
well i think that he didn't wear that mask for nothing. either he had a face that was really really ugly for some reason or his face was evidence of something (ie a striking resemblance to someone...)
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ilya


Offline elena_maria_vidal

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Re: King Louis XIV
« Reply #49 on: November 19, 2005, 09:39:22 AM »
Very interesting, James. Thank you. I have never heard the mystery told so clearly before!

Offline veu

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Re: King Louis XIV
« Reply #50 on: November 19, 2005, 12:11:37 PM »
We think that this story is true!

Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: King Louis XIV
« Reply #51 on: November 19, 2005, 01:20:02 PM »
We don't! :D
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)

Offline elena_maria_vidal

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Re: King Louis XIV
« Reply #52 on: November 19, 2005, 04:06:48 PM »
 Oh, I think it is true, which does not make it less of a mystery.  ;)

Offline Kimberly

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Re: King Louis XIV
« Reply #53 on: November 19, 2005, 04:56:48 PM »
Hello, who is "we" :)
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Offline James_Davidov

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Re: King Louis XIV
« Reply #54 on: November 19, 2005, 06:24:40 PM »

The jury for we(me)...is still out....He must have been someone important, interesting and potentially damaging to someone....

any suggestions?

James
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Offline etonexile

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Re: King Louis XIV
« Reply #55 on: November 19, 2005, 06:34:30 PM »
Pretty unlikely...he would have choked on his own hair and beard in a locked mask...think about it.... ::)

Offline James_Davidov

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Re: King Louis XIV
« Reply #56 on: November 19, 2005, 07:16:47 PM »

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Pretty unlikely...he would have choked on his own hair and beard in a locked mask...think about it....


Which supports the theory that guards were stationed by him at all times, ready to kill him if he removed it...

that along with the prision officers calling him 'Prince'..would hint to him being someone VERY powerful..


James
You are a member of the British royal family. We are never tired, and we all love hospitals.
Queen Mary

Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: King Louis XIV
« Reply #57 on: November 21, 2005, 12:23:16 AM »
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Which supports the theory that guards were stationed by him at all times, ready to kill him if he removed it...

that along with the prision officers calling him 'Prince'..would hint to him being someone VERY powerful..


James


Or it supports the theory that this is a made-up story!

There is also the amusing anecdote about the Comte de Provence (later Louis XVIII), on meeting his niece Madame Royale for the first time after her release from the Temple. Instead of saying how awful it must have been, the first thing he wanted to know was whether her father had told her the identity of the Man in the Iron Mask!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by bell_the_cat »
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)

Offline elena_maria_vidal

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Re: King Louis XIV
« Reply #58 on: November 21, 2005, 09:57:14 PM »
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Or it supports the theory that this is a made-up story!

There is also the amusing anecdote about the Comte de Provence (later Louis XVIII), on meeting his niece Madame Royale for the first time after her release from the Temple. Instead of saying how awful it must have been, the first thing he wanted to know was whether her father had told her the identity of the Man in the Iron Mask!


I had forgotten that story. Typical....

Offline stacey

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Re: King Louis XIV
« Reply #59 on: November 29, 2005, 09:38:32 AM »
From what I've read about this fascinating mystery, apparently there WAS a very mysterious prisoner, so I don't think it's fiction. At the same time, there certainly has been a lot of wild speculation about the identity of the prisoner, a lot of it VERY unlikely to say the least!! Still, he must have been someone easily recognizable--why else go to such lengths to hide his face?! And the striking deference shown to him was unusual, to say the least! Which does seem to suggest he was a "person of importance".  I've also heard (don't know if it's truth or rumor) that at one point the prisoner wrote a note and threw it from his prison window. Allegedly a man passing by found it and went to the prison warden (or at least one of the guards--I think it was the warden tho') ANYHOW--the warden looked at the note carefully and then asked the man who found it, "Did you read this?" The man answered, with apparent honesty, "No, I cannot read or write." To which the warden replied, "That is your good fortune!"--presumably meaning that had he been able to read whatever the mystery prisoner wrote, his own fate would have been a very sad one!! BTW--I think it HIGHLY unlikely that the poor prisoner was forced to wear a mask of iron--ugh!! Much more likely to have been of velvet or satin or something like that, and easily removed for shaving, etc. This is a very intriguing mystery--and I do love a good historical mystery!! ;D
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