Author Topic: Mistresses of the French Kings  (Read 89958 times)

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Bob_the_builder

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Re: Mistresses of the French Kings
« Reply #150 on: May 25, 2007, 04:39:26 PM »
lol never heard of her described as lovely ;)

Offline Martyn

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Re: Mistresses of the French Kings
« Reply #151 on: May 26, 2007, 04:26:16 AM »
lol never heard of her described as lovely ;)

I think that it was generally accepted that she was a beautiful woman, perhaps difficult for us to understand from the portraits of the day, with their differing standards of what was considered as beauty.

In terms of character and temperament, taste and intellect, she came but a poor second to her predecessor Madame de Pompadour.
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline Vecchiolarry

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Re: Mistresses of the French Kings
« Reply #152 on: May 26, 2007, 08:42:08 AM »
Hi,

I read in a book,about her and Louis XV and his mistresses, that she was described as "a vulgar beauty"...  The book (don't remember the name or author, sorry!) went on to compare her badly to most ladies of the court.
Apparently, Louis kept her around just for the sex, which he didn't always get before with Madame De Pompadour......

Larry

Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Mistresses of the French Kings
« Reply #153 on: May 27, 2007, 05:45:44 AM »
No, she really was a stunner, and although not an intellectual like her predecessor, had quite reasonable taste I think! It wasn't as if she went round putting in discordant colour schemes all over Versailles! She continued the trend away from the Rococo towards the more simple classical style of what later was to be known as "Louis XVI".

As for sex, Louis XV had plenty of other places he could look for that. I think he really loved her, and that she may have loved him too. I think the fact that the relationship lasted six years speaks for itself.

When Louis XV was first taken ill in 1774, he did not at first think he was dying, but he was advised to send the DuBarry away from court in order to make sure that if the worst came to the worst he could die with a clear conscience. He was crying (in public) when they parted, as he knew that even if he recovered he would never be able to see her again. I find this terribly sad...


Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)

Offline Martyn

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Re: Mistresses of the French Kings
« Reply #154 on: May 30, 2007, 09:11:30 AM »
I think that it is fair to say that Jeanne's beauty was of a different type to that of the Marquise de Pompadour.

It may well be that by this time, the position of 'maitresse-en-titre' simply had to be filled by someone; Jeanne's short-comings were more intellectual and cultural than physical and it is possible that she was easier to manipulate.

Naturally the position of the KIng's mistress afforded opportunities for wealthy and advantageous appointments for those whom she favoured, or those who controlled her.  The previous incumbent had a very sage understanding of this and had played this system to the advantage of her family and protegees.

I'm not sure that sex in itself was the raison d'etre for Mme Du Barry; after all Mme de Pompadour had been instrumental in the founding of the Parc Aux Cerfs, which catered to the sensual needs of Louis Quinze, when her failing health no longer permitted her to deal with them.  I can't recall if he still had recourse to this establishment during Jeanne's tenure as maitresse-en-titre?
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Mistresses of the French Kings
« Reply #155 on: May 30, 2007, 04:05:47 PM »
In fact, he stopped using the house some time after the death of Mme de Pompadour. It's difficult to say when exactly, but it was sold off in 1771. I don't think it was ever the harem of popular imagination, more of a bed and breakfast establishment!
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)

palatine

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Re: Mistresses of the French Kings
« Reply #156 on: May 31, 2007, 06:33:33 AM »
In fact, he stopped using the house some time after the death of Mme de Pompadour. It's difficult to say when exactly, but it was sold off in 1771. I don't think it was ever the harem of popular imagination, more of a bed and breakfast establishment!

In the immortal words of Nancy Mitford, the Parc aux Cerfs was “a modest little private brothel, run on humane and practical lines.”   ;)

Offline bell_the_cat

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Re: Mistresses of the French Kings
« Reply #157 on: May 31, 2007, 03:48:18 PM »
Yes, I love that quote!  ;D ;D
Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. (Mark Twain)

Offline Martyn

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Re: Mistresses of the French Kings
« Reply #158 on: June 01, 2007, 04:34:43 AM »
In fact, he stopped using the house some time after the death of Mme de Pompadour. It's difficult to say when exactly, but it was sold off in 1771. I don't think it was ever the harem of popular imagination, more of a bed and breakfast establishment!

In the immortal words of Nancy Mitford, the Parc aux Cerfs was “a modest little private brothel, run on humane and practical lines.”   ;)

KILLING!  How I love Nancy Mitford.  I wish that I had my copy of her biography of Pompadour to hand - I should have known that she would have a great take on the Parc aux Cerfs.

As I recall, the Parc establishment, a small house within the environs of the town of Versailles, was initiated by Pompadour in order to cater to the King's needs and to relieve her of this burden to a degree, as her physical needs had never been a match for his, even when she was in good health.  It is disputed as to whether Louis actullay visited the house himself, or whether its inmates were brought to the palace when required.........

The brothel removed any chance of a new favourite supplanting her as maitresse-en-titre and ensured that the King's health was not impaired by contact that might endanger him.  I believe that Louise O'Morphy, immortalised by Boucher, was one of the inmates of this establishment and that most of its inhabitants did quite well out of the arrangement, receiving dowries and pensions. For those that gave birth to the King's children, marriages were arranged with members of the King's Household, who would then accept paternity of the child.

There is also a theory that Mme Du Barry also started out as an inmate of the little house, before asuming her powerful position of maitresse-en-titre........
« Last Edit: June 01, 2007, 04:36:17 AM by Martyn »
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Mistresses of the French Kings
« Reply #159 on: June 01, 2007, 04:41:45 AM »
A charming, ideed civilised arrangement to be sure.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline Martyn

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Re: Mistresses of the French Kings
« Reply #160 on: June 01, 2007, 07:28:49 AM »
A charming, ideed civilised arrangement to be sure.

In that artificial world where everything was arranged for the monarch's pleasure, I am sure that everyone considered it to be so.....

However I do recollect that there were also tales at the time that virgins were imported specifically for Louis's delectation (and more importantly they were disease-free) and these rumours did wonders for his popularity iin the real world (NOT!)......... ;)
'For a galant spirit there can never be defeat'....Wallis Windsor

'The important things is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.'......QV

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Mistresses of the French Kings
« Reply #161 on: June 01, 2007, 07:35:03 AM »
I think that may be the key word, Martyn- "disease-free".  But, in the end, didn't the old lout die os smallpox, very unpretty.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline Mari

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Re: Mistresses of the French Kings
« Reply #162 on: June 04, 2007, 06:48:58 AM »
A contemporary description "She is a person nineteen years old, tall, well-made and of distingusihed appearance with a very pretty face. No doubt he intends to dispose of her (brocanter) advantageously. when he begins to weary of a woman, he invariably has recourse to this expendient. But at the same time, it must be admitted that he is a connoisseur, and that his merchandise is very salable."
Manuel's La Policie Devoilee, p. 231 describing the Marquise du Barry and as she was then Mademoiselle Veauvarnier

Also Pidansat spoke of her as " a kind hearted woman (um bonne femme). No one unless he had personal motives for enmity to the favorite could fail to like her...She had the virtue rare, especially among her own sex of never speaking ill on anyone and never permitting herself complaints and reproaches against those who envied her and those who had not only published abroad the not too creditable stories of her life, but had embroidered them with infamities and enormities."

Interesting Personality I haven't found the part about her intellect but apparently she had no interest in Politics! ::)

 

Offline Mari

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Re: Mistresses of the French Kings
« Reply #163 on: September 06, 2007, 03:27:04 AM »
Agnes Sorel surnamed Dame de beauté,  is also one of mine. Many Mistresses throughout History have been rumored to have been poisoned but when removing her burial site they decided to run tests on her and She had died of  Mercury Poisoning. It was pretty much taken for granted that Charles VI was determined to marry her. When they ran the tests on her they did it from one or more blonde hairs. Often in her paintings She looks like she has red in her hair but apparently she was blonde. She was so beautiful that She was used as the Model for the Virgin and Child surrounded by Angels by Jean Fouquet. I found this:

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Agnès gave birth to three daughters: Marie de Valois and Charlotte and Jeanne de France. While pregnant with their fourth child, she joined Charles on the campaign of 1450 in Jumièges, wanting to be with him as moral support. There, she suddenly became ill and died on February 9 at the age of 28. While the cause of death was originally thought to be dysentery, scientists have now concluded that Agnès died from being poisoned by mercury, making it likely that she was a victim of murder, with suspects being unknown.
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Offline Mari

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Re: Mistresses of the French Kings
« Reply #164 on: September 08, 2007, 05:46:16 AM »
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Beauty was only one of Madame de Montespan's charms; she was a cultivated and amusing talker who won the admiration of such figures as Saint-Simon and Mme de Sévigné. She was also a profound believer in witchcraft. Nicholas de La Reynie, Paris's first Lieutenant General of Police and the chief judge of the court before which the famous poisoning cases were brought, places her first visits to Catherine Monvoisin ("La Voisin") in 1665. She was alleged to have received from the sorceress love powders concocted of abominable ingredients for Louis XIV, and in 1666 the "black mass" was said by the priest Etienne Guibourg over her with the usual horrible ceremonial. In 1667 she gained her objective, becoming Louis XIV's mistress in July.
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Meanwhile suspicion was thrown on Mme de Montespan's connection with La Voisin and her crew by the frequent mention of the name of her maid, Mlle Desoeillets, in the evidence brought before the Chambre Ardente. From the end of 1680 onwards Louvois, Colbert and Mme de Maintenon all helped to hush up the affair and to prevent further scandal about the mother of the king's legitimatized children. Louis XIV continued to spend some time daily in her apartments, and apparently her brilliance and charm in conversation mitigated to some extent her position of discarded mistress. In 1691 she retired to the Convent of St Joseph with a pension of half a million francs. Her father was governor of Paris, her brother, the duc de Vivonne, a marshal of France, and one of her sisters, Gabrielle, whose vows were but four years old, became abbess of the wealthy community of Fontevrault.
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Does anyone know how deep Witchcraft ran in the nobility during this period of French History?

       
« Last Edit: September 08, 2007, 05:56:22 AM by Mari »