Author Topic: Henrietta Maria, Queen of the Cavaliers  (Read 40424 times)

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Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Henrietta Maria, Queen of the Cavaliers
« Reply #105 on: September 24, 2006, 03:40:20 PM »
Although I like some of her books, Antonia Fraser has been quite wrong at times.  I've noticed she tends to jump to conclusions- like in her bio of Mary Queen of Scots.  She claims Mary's marriage to Darnley was a love match, although there's plenty of evidence (presented in John Guy's biography) that it was a strictly political decision; also she portrays Bothwell as Mr. Evil, although apparently Mary might have had great sex with him- that she perhaps liked to be "dominated." And then there's her biography of "Marie Antoinette," where she argues, with no evidence whatsoever, that Antoinette and Fersen probably used condoms in their extra-marital hanky-panky... Therefore, I would take Ms. Fraser's descriptions of Henrietta as a "monkey" with a grain of salt. 

I have also found some of Fraser's works to be, shall we say, problematic.  However, her opinion about Henrietta’s looks was just that – her opinion.  Neither you nor anyone else is required to agree with her.  After all, if everyone agreed about everything all of the time, that would get really boring.   ;)

I referred to Henrietta by the French phrase belle laide because I think that difficult to translate French phrase sums up her appeal.  It's used to describe a woman who possesses great charm, charisma, vitality, something, in short, that fascinates contemporaries and transcends the fact that she's no great beauty.  In my opinion, Henrietta possessed that je ne sais quoi quality in spades, as did the Empress Josephine and Wallis, Duchess of Windsor. 


Good assessment palatine - Anne Boleyn seems to have been in that mould too.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."

bell_the_cat

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Re: Henrietta Maria, Queen of the Cavaliers
« Reply #106 on: September 24, 2006, 03:48:36 PM »
I think her heart was in the right place.

in France! (sorry, couldn't resist)  ;D

umigon

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Re: Henrietta Maria, Queen of the Cavaliers
« Reply #107 on: September 26, 2006, 01:37:51 AM »
I really think Henrietta would have made a much better queen in a Catholic country than in England... I don't think she ever got to fully understand England's idiosyncrasy and its complex religious and political situation. However, in her way, she was loyal to her husband and, in a certain way, to his country but she could never forget that she had been born French. But then, she was her mother's daughter... Of Marie's daughters, only Isabel would have been a perfect political advisor to her husband, if only Philip IV would have let her intervene...

Offline trentk80

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Re: Henrietta Maria, Queen of the Cavaliers
« Reply #108 on: October 12, 2006, 11:30:10 AM »
Here's part of a letter from Henrietta Maria to her husband Charles I:

My dear heart,

   I had sent off a person to come to you, but the wind has not permitted. I am in extreme anxiety, hearing no tidings from you, and those from London are not advantageous to you. Perhaps by this they think to frighten me into an accommodation; but they are deceived. I never in my life did anything from fear, and I hope I shall not begin by the loss of a crown; as to you, you know well that there have been persons who have said that you were of that temper; if that be true, I have never recognised it in you, but I still hope, even if it has been true, that you will shew the contrary, and that no fear will make you submit to your own ruin and that of your posterity... Considering the style of this letter, if I knew any Latin, I ought to finish with a word of it; but as I do not, I will finish with a French one, which may be translated into all sorts of languages, that I am yours after death, if it be possible.
Ladran los perros a la Luna, y ella con majestuoso desprecio prosigue el curso de su viaje.

umigon

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Re: Henrietta Maria, Queen of the Cavaliers
« Reply #109 on: October 12, 2006, 12:13:00 PM »
It reveals love and self-confidence on Henrietta Maria's part. She was over-confident in her abilities, I guess ;) It also shows that she had lots of influence in Charles. It's certainly not the letter of the docile and obedient wife that was expected in those times!

bell_the_cat

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Re: Henrietta Maria, Queen of the Cavaliers
« Reply #110 on: October 14, 2006, 06:35:34 AM »
One thing that has always intrigued me is her relationship with her mother, Marie de Medicis.

I get the idea she had a very sheltered childhood. On the other hand it was a time of great upheaval within the family and the kingdom. One might get the idea she would be only too glad to leave France and her dysfunctional family behind, and yet she never lost the feeling that she was French (which was a great disadvantage to her and her husband). Paradoxical...

Anyone know anything about Henrietta Maria's early years?

Yseult

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Re: Henrietta Maria, Queen of the Cavaliers
« Reply #111 on: October 14, 2006, 12:16:26 PM »
Well, I can´t asure it, but I suppose that Marie was too bussy to play a role in the upbringing of Henrietta Marie. If I´m not wrong, Henrietta was born in november 1609. At this time, her mother was occupied in her struggle with Henry´s mistress, Catherine Henriette de Balzac d´Entrangues. The king could have banished his proud mistress to end the scenes that amused the court, when Marie feuded with Catherine Henriette in a shocking language, but he didn´t so. And Marie was always between quarrels and intrigues to show her maternal tenderness to Henriette, her youngest daughter.

Remember that Henry was killed when Henrietta was just six moonth aged. Marie had her chance to banish Catherine Henriette, and to assume the power as queen regent. But this means that the queen was always surrounded by her favourites, Concino Concini and his wife Leonore Galigai, the couple who really ruled over the french kingdom until...¿1616? Henriette was a child of three years when her mother passed through her two years of imprisonment "in windelnerss", to use her words. Marie was relegated by her son Louis and Richelieu, after the fall from grace of Concini and Leonora, the first killed, the second burned at the stake.


umigon

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Re: Henrietta Maria, Queen of the Cavaliers
« Reply #112 on: October 14, 2006, 01:16:06 PM »


Marie was never a warm-hearted mother. To none of her children. It's true that she was proud of Elisabeth and that she would be proud in time of Christine, too, but she never really showed much affection for them (that doesn't mean that she didn't love them, in her own and peculiar way...). She thought Louis was stupid and she only really made some public signs of affection to her youngest children: Gaston and Henrietta Maria. Scepticals say that this was due that Gaston was interesting for her in a political way and that she was attached to Henrietta because she was the youngest and Marie, as a good selfish woman, was afraid of being estranged from all her children. Don't know what to think, though---

bell_the_cat

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Re: Henrietta Maria, Queen of the Cavaliers
« Reply #113 on: October 15, 2006, 03:40:40 AM »
Thanks, Yseult and Umigon - it definitely is an interesting subject!

Did Henrietta stay with her mother after the fall of Concini? Surely Gaston (the heir) would not have been allowed to stay with his mother, so I guess Henrietta wouldn't have either. She would have been about six or seven. Maybe this was why she didn't feel too bad about leaving her own children later on.....

Of all the siblings Henrietta seems to have kept in touch with her mother - Marie made a rather embarrassing and controversial visit to London in the 1630s, when she was absolutely "persona non grata" in France.

Offline Prince_Lieven

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Re: Henrietta Maria, Queen of the Cavaliers
« Reply #114 on: October 15, 2006, 07:03:14 AM »
I'd imagine that Charles wasn't very happy about his mother-in-law's visit - she cost him vast amounts of money, and was highly unpopular.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"
-Sherlock Holmes

"Men forget, but never forgive; women forgive, but never forget."