Author Topic: Books on French Royals  (Read 136457 times)

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Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #75 on: March 28, 2008, 09:03:12 AM »
I just finished Nagel's Marie-Therese: Child of the Terror and liked it, although I did think that the author was defeated by a subject with such a private nature. There was just not enough information to glean an understanding of the marriage with the Duc d'Angouleme worked, although she was excellent when it came to explaining why Marie-Therese married her cousin.

Anyone else read it?

Simon
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Offline Mari

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #76 on: March 29, 2008, 03:45:33 AM »
No, but I will put it on my list.....does it cover any of the "Memoirs on the Captivity  in the Temple by the Duchess of  Angoul√™me ?"  :)

Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #77 on: March 29, 2008, 04:17:32 PM »
It doesn't quote much from it, but it does give an interesting history of the text, and I think the strongest part of the bio is the section (large) that deals with Marie-Therese's actual captivity.

I wish someone would tackle a biography of Madame Elisabeth.

Simon
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Offline imperial angel

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #78 on: April 09, 2008, 11:07:56 AM »
I am reading this, it might take awhile, but I will let everyone know what I think. The earlier part of the book is interesting, but lots of stuff I already know, I don't know much about Marie- Therese's later life, so I hope to learn something. She was an enigmatic woman, certainly nothing like her glamorous and memorable mother, in later life anyway. Perhaps the French Revolution contributed to her later nature though, I am not yet far enough into the book to tell, and based on everything else I have read ( book after book on Marie Antoinette) find it hard to say.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2008, 11:10:18 AM by imperial angel »

Offline LillyO

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #79 on: April 20, 2008, 06:14:30 PM »
Hi, I'm new here-

I just finished this book. I was disappointed as I found several inaccuracies in the book. Some of her information just seemed too unbelievable and her sources did not adequately explain to me where she came up with her ideas. I found some truth weaved in with some untruth. I am glad that this is not my first reading of this subject because if it had been, I would have been somewhat misled.

This would probably be somewhat more informative:
"The Ruin of a Princess" as told by the Duchesse d'Angouleme, Madame Elizabeth (sister of King Louis XVI), and Clery (the King's Valet de Chambre)
Translated by Katherine Prescott Wormeley (1912) New York, Lamb Publishing Co.

Thank You

Offline ivanushka

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #80 on: April 21, 2008, 01:00:55 PM »
Is this book in French or is it in English?  It sounds interesting and I'd like to give it a try.

I've always felt great sympathy for Marie Therese.  It must have been a horrific experience, being in prison for years while watching your father, then your mother and then your aunt being taken away, tried and guillotined, constantly waiting for the same to happen to you while knowing that your little brother was being ill treated and not being able to do anything about it.  From the little I've read about her she appears to have inherited much of her mother's strength of character which probably helped her to survive that terrible time. 

Offline LillyO

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #81 on: April 21, 2008, 03:23:27 PM »
The writings were originally done in French - this book is translated to English. It might not be as easy as going to the store to get this book, I got mine from e-bay.
It is a copy from 1912. The horrors this poor child was forced to witness and suffer through is almost too much to bear. She was not quite eleven years old when the Royal family was forced from Versailles to Paris. Thus, a six year nightmare was to ensue. Cannot imagine what this would do to a young woman's psyche.

One thing that this book (Nagel's)  did touch on is the rumors of Marie Terese being raped by her jailers in the Temple prison. This is a subject that little to nothing is said about in almost everything I have read. Madame Elizabeth told Marie Terese (when they were separated) to ask for a woman to placed with her.  (This was denied her.) She also told Marie Terese to be sure to never let her captors find her in bed or undressed.  Marie Terese herself wrote about how they would come into her room whenever they pleased, day or night. She also says they were sometimes drunk. As far as the subject of rape concerning these women, Marie Terese, Madame Elizabeth and Marie Antoinette -does it not seem more than likely that all three of them were probably raped?  They were made to suffer so terribly by such cruel, cruel men whose aim seemed to be to constantly humiliate them. The Princess Lamballe was supposedly gang raped by thugs! before they murdered her.  It seems to me that in view of all the sexual nonsense about them that was being circulated by those terrible gossip rags of the day - rape surely must have occured. What better way for those men to humiliate those poor women.  It is not surprising that this subject is not mentioned very often - who of those men would admit it? If anyone knows of any information regarding this subject, please pass it along - I know that it is very unsettling, BUT, I like to know the whole truth.

Offline ivanushka

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #82 on: April 21, 2008, 04:36:46 PM »
Firstly, thanks for the info on the book.  I will certainly try e-bay.

Secondly, welcome to the forum!

Thirdly, I had no idea of the rumours that Marie Therese had been raped.  What an appalling thought.  The only thing that makes me think that she wasn't is that even though France had become a republic, she was still of royal blood and the guards would have grown up being taught to venerate the Crown.  Even though much of the respect would have gone with the revolution, there would still have been some sort of mystique attached to royalty which may have protected Marie Therese (and her mother and aunt).  I hope so as the alternative really is too distressing to think about.

In the little I've read about Marie Therese as a grown woman, the writers have suggested that the suffering she endured during those six years had a permanent effect on her character, turning her into the rather remote and severe woman I understand she became.

Offline LillyO

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #83 on: April 21, 2008, 07:40:51 PM »
And Thank you for the welcome! E-bay has been a good source for me to find some good books and the prices are usually great - go for the used books that are in good condition. I have not had a bad experience yet. Also try online book reading too - You might even find this translation of The Ruin of a Princess online.

I wish that I could have faith in human beings that this (rape) could not have possibly happened, but I do not. The brutality displayed in ordinary circumstances toward ordinary people was so vicious that I have to wonder about how carried away things got towards the hated targets  - the Royal family - and all they stood for. The revolutionaries desecrated the Royal tombs at St. Denis. I read that anyone who was halfway decently dressed was chased in the street by mobs and beaten to death. I also read that women and young girls were quite often raped before they were execututed. (?) .  But like I said before, these references are few and sporatic.  I read another account of the King's execution where it was said that after Louis' head was cut off, one of the gaurds on the scaffold picked his head up, showed it to the crowd, then proceded to do the most lewd and disgusting gestures with the head. I can only imagine what they were talking about. I am always shocked at the barbarity humans dispaled toward each other.

Also, just an observation- I was in Paris 6 months ago and went looking in the Place de la Concorde for something marking this as the place where the gulliotine was set up -
or something to commemorate the deaths of the King and Queen - it was odd that there was nothing. I wonder why?
 

Offline ashdean

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #84 on: April 22, 2008, 02:17:13 AM »
The writings were originally done in French - this book is translated to English. It might not be as easy as going to the store to get this book, I got mine from e-bay.
It is a copy from 1912. The horrors this poor child was forced to witness and suffer through is almost too much to bear. She was not quite eleven years old when the Royal family was forced from Versailles to Paris. Thus, a six year nightmare was to ensue. Cannot imagine what this would do to a young woman's psyche.

One thing that this book (Nagel's)  did touch on is the rumors of Marie Terese being raped by her jailers in the Temple prison. This is a subject that little to nothing is said about in almost everything I have read. Madame Elizabeth told Marie Terese (when they were separated) to ask for a woman to placed with her.  (This was denied her.) She also told Marie Terese to be sure to never let her captors find her in bed or undressed.  Marie Terese herself wrote about how they would come into her room whenever they pleased, day or night. She also says they were sometimes drunk. As far as the subject of rape concerning these women, Marie Terese, Madame Elizabeth and Marie Antoinette -does it not seem more than likely that all three of them were probably raped?  They were made to suffer so terribly by such cruel, cruel men whose aim seemed to be to constantly humiliate them. The Princess Lamballe was supposedly gang raped by thugs! before they murdered her.  It seems to me that in view of all the sexual nonsense about them that was being circulated by those terrible gossip rags of the day - rape surely must have occured. What better way for those men to humiliate those poor women.  It is not surprising that this subject is not mentioned very often - who of those men would admit it? If anyone knows of any information regarding this subject, please pass it along - I know that it is very unsettling, BUT, I like to know the whole truth.
Personally I do not think there was any rape.The powers that be who spared her life...knew better than allow this prize hostage to be harmed in anyway... her captors might have got away with lewd gestures but they were no doubt under very strict instructions that she was not to be physically harmed....IF she had been raped her cousin the Emperor would have not wanted her to marry his brother and her uncle LouisXVIII would have  sent her off to some convent..perhaps the one in Prague where surplus Hapsburg Princesses  ended up....

Offline Mari

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #85 on: April 22, 2008, 04:04:03 AM »
Thank you so much for mentioning the Book "The Ruin of A Princess." I found it on line and it is really good. I still have half of it left to go but it is very telling. I doubt though if it is going to discuss rape ...I have heard that about the Princess Lamballe but that was after She had been condemned to death and is under the thread by her name. I think the Poster mentioned reading it in the Archives in Paris.







http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/wormeley/princess/princess.html#1

Offline LillyO

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #86 on: April 22, 2008, 02:28:04 PM »
The Ruin of a Princess does not mention anything about rape, but Nagel's book does - Nagel also talks about the rape of the Princess Lamballe. Only because I have seen mention of this in different books and articles do I think that it is a real possibility that these women were abused.  Also because of all the sexual slander against Marie Antoinette in the pamphlets that were circulated everywhere.  And mostly just because the nature of men tells me that it is more likely than not.  Much as we hate to admit it in the light of day, women are brutalized in the commission of war and fighting all the time , it is ugly, but true.  The Royal family were not prized prisoners and were constantly threatened. Harm was the ultimate goal, resulting in murder for everyone except Marie Terese. I think that this (subject of rape) is something that they would want hushed up, just exactly the way the treatment of little Louis was hushed up. The jailers at the Temple prison knew exactly what happened to this child, because they caused it to happen to him. Yet there were only unsubstantiated rumors about his real fate - when the jailers knew for sure he was dead - due to what they had done to him. I think that they were too ashamed to admit to the treatment they had administered to him.  What people will do together as a group is a lot of time not at all what they would engage in solo.  This is the concept of "mob mentality" - And mob mentality was rampant!  Anyone who gets a chance should read "The Lost King of France" by Deborah Cadbury. It gives an excellent account of the poor little boy King who was also murdered. Can you imagine being involved in treating a little boy this way?  When the people responsible were alone and realized just what they had been involved in, I wonder how they dealt with thenselves?  A little boy, born in March of 1785 - he was less than 5 years old when forced to Paris by a mob of hateful bloodthirsty people. Look at any 5 year old boy of today or any other time - can you imagine such a thing?  I am French, and I love France, but this whole episode is a horrible stain upon France.

Offline ivanushka

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #87 on: April 22, 2008, 05:09:34 PM »
You're absolutely right about poor Louis XVII.  His fate was the most appalling one suffered by any royal I've ever read about.  I seem to remember reading that at one point during his captivity he was kept in a room with no light for six months with no human contact except for when someone pushed food through to him via a small door/grate.  The only royal whose existence was even worse I think was Ivan VI of Russia who, having been deposed as a toddler, grew up in solitary confinement before being murdered at the age of 23.


Offline Mari

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #88 on: April 23, 2008, 04:20:18 AM »
l
Quote
so, just an observation- I was in Paris 6 months ago and went looking in the Place de la Concorde for something marking this as the place where the gulliotine was set up -or something to commemorate the deaths of the King and Queen - it was odd that there was nothing. I wonder why?
Quote


I would also like to see something there to commemorate the deaths! They died under horrible circumstances and very bravely too....Marie Antoinette was known for her grace and even in death She gracefully ascended the steps to her death. And then of course the way they treated the corpses was barbaric.
I think her head was thrown between her legs.  But for some reason until I read the book you recommended I had not thought about the bodies being stripped of their very clothes. That the clothes belonged to the State. Naturally I have read every Memoir I could get my hands on...by the way I had a Scholar recommend to me the book "Blood Sisters" which I am also reading. You have read the Memoirs of Madame Campan have you not and Madame de  Tourzel?
And if anyone finds this new book to have any new information I would be interested to hear it. 

Offline LillyO

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Re: Books on French Royals
« Reply #89 on: April 23, 2008, 03:06:03 PM »
Please tell me about the "Blood Sisters" book.  Who is it about?  Who wrote it?  I am always interested in new sources of information!

Just want to say that this is great to be able to learn from you all - Thanks!