Author Topic: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina  (Read 191805 times)

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Eric_Lowe

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #120 on: September 12, 2010, 01:40:57 PM »
Yes that is another fluff bio on MC. I think there is one by Mrs. Beane that is better.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #121 on: September 13, 2010, 08:25:11 AM »
I don't know, I find the one by Mrs Bearne exaggerated and fawning at times. It seems that she was the author of some romantic tittle tattle biographies and certainly no famed historian as one author claimed. Her work dpes not seem a very rigorous read. I wonder if anyone has read the biographies by Helfert (in German) and by Johnston (in French)?  They seem to be the most promising work on Maria Carolina so far.....
« Last Edit: September 13, 2010, 08:27:44 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #122 on: March 06, 2011, 11:43:36 PM »
Going back to Maria Carolina, has anyone else read that she was not only an advocate of Free Masonry but was an Illuminati member as well? I though the Illuminati only admitted men (at least in her time)?  It was also said that some of Maria Carolina's brothers and sisters were free masons (let's see....Joseph, Leopold (?), Maximilian, Maria Anna (?) and Maria Christina (?); there seems to be no evidence that Maria Antoinette ever dabbled into it nor Maria Amalia, who didn't have any intellectual interests, same with Maria Elisabeth).    

Also, anyone can corroborate the statement that unlike Marie Antoinette, who strived to gain the love of the common people (at least at first? this claim is not very convincing for me either), MC despised them?
« Last Edit: March 06, 2011, 11:47:39 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #123 on: March 09, 2011, 04:31:06 AM »
Quote
Also, anyone can corroborate the statement that unlike Marie Antoinette, who strived to gain the love of the common people (at least at first? this claim is not very convincing for me either), MC despised them?

I can't say I've read anything about Maria Carolina 'gaining the love of the common people' but to me this sounds the sort of commonplace stuff any decent eighteenth century supporter of monarchy would say about a royal woman, and despising the common people would be the standard criticism of their oponents.  Maria Carolina was routinely subjected to comparisons with her folksy, peasant-loving husband Ferdinand in which she was represented as the arrogant foreigner who despised the common people, but Ferdinand's pleasure in sleeping with peasant women and enjoying unsophisticated peasant pastimes did not prevent him from repressing them politically just as much as his wife and any other ruler of the time.  No doubt both Maria Carolina and Marie Antoinette would have said that they wished to gain the love of the common people and do right by them - it was an obligatory part of their upbringing as proper princesses.  However, Maria Carolina saw no reason to enjoy peasant pastimes in the way her husband did, nor did she have a Petit Trianon - she probably thought giving them good government was the best way to promote their happiness. 

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #124 on: March 10, 2011, 09:50:14 PM »
Thank you, CountessKate, what you wrote makes food for thought.

Indeed, there seems to be nothing I have read so far - except when Maria Carolina solicited funds herself after a huge earthquake - seems to point that she actively tried to gain the love of the common people. In this, she was same as Marie Antoinette, who ignored the common sentiment of the masses for years (which is why the aboev statement also seems exaggerated to me). I think perhaps MC was also like her brother Joseph II, who though his reforms and decisions would be appreciated by the people. It would not be very surprising, it seems that MC also "copied" her two older brothers in government.
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #125 on: March 12, 2011, 02:10:34 AM »
Actually, I'm having a hard time thinking about any royal person of the time who 'actively tried to gain the love of the common people'.  Just exactly what was that supposed to mean?  Works of charity were considered proper for royal women and the poor were then supposed to reciprocate with gratitude, and Maria Carolina certainly did not neglect that role as prinzheinelgirl has shown, although her political efforts overshadowed any such efforts (as indeed did Marie Antoinette).  But acts which might make the common people love them were not in themselves deemed appropriate by the family - Maria Carolina's sister Maria Amalia was not at all considered to be behaving properly by being friendly with her guards, although she was popular in Parma because of it.  The 'love of the people' seemed more to be a product of a common perception of a Queen or Princess as an iconic figure of general beauty, graciousness, virtue, fertility, charity and non-participation in politics, and the many individuals such as Maria Carolina who did not live up to this idealised image were condemned for it. 

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #126 on: March 15, 2011, 12:36:18 AM »
Well, Catherine the Great said in her own words, that she actively endeavoured "to please the nation"; I think that  qualifies as actively trying to gain the love of the common people, wouldn't it?  I haven't read yet much on said topic on Maria Carolina, hence I was a bit surprised to read a statement that she despised the common people.  Not being that active in said respect doesn't necessarily mean she despised them, does it?

I think there is more to Maria Amalia showing her love for the common people than being very much friendly with the guards. I'll reply on her own thread on this.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 12:45:52 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #127 on: March 15, 2011, 04:17:39 AM »
Well, Catherine the Great said in her own words, that she actively endeavoured "to please the nation"; I think that  qualifies as actively trying to gain the love of the common people, wouldn't it?

Not necessarily. Many at the time saw the nobility (in Catherine's case including the intellectuals) as the representatives of the nation and contended themselves with pleasing this upper crust.

Offline CountessKate

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #128 on: March 15, 2011, 05:05:06 AM »
Well, Catherine the Great said in her own words, that she actively endeavoured "to please the nation"; I think that  qualifies as actively trying to gain the love of the common people, wouldn't it?

Not necessarily. Many at the time saw the nobility (in Catherine's case including the intellectuals) as the representatives of the nation and contended themselves with pleasing this upper crust.

I think what I was trying to say was that the eighteenth century perception of how to 'gain the love of the common people' was vastly different from how we would perceive such actions today, and as Fyodor Petrovich suggests, was usually seen achieved through the means of strong, benevolent government, appropriate private charity, and consultation with the upper classes.  It would not necessarily translate as a desire to seek the views of the common people, and indeed I've always felt that Ferdinand has unfairly gained some sort of reputation for doing just that, when in fact the only available evidence suggests that although he enjoyed the company and pastimes of common people, he was not especially interested in promoting their interests and his politics with or without his first wife were as repressive as any conservative government would have wished. 

I don’t know where the quote originates from, and perhaps that’s the problem for me – so much of the discussion depends on context.  Was it a contemporary writer or historian, what did they base their remarks on, was there likely to be any bias towards Maria Carolina?  She has had a bad press from Italian historians and a good one from British historians – both schools with agendas to pursue.  So I tend to be skeptical about such statements unless I have an idea of where the writer is coming from. 

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #129 on: March 21, 2011, 02:26:08 AM »
I think what I was trying to say was that the eighteenth century perception of how to 'gain the love of the common people' was vastly different from how we would perceive such actions today, and as Fyodor Petrovich suggests, was usually seen achieved through the means of strong, benevolent government, appropriate private charity, and consultation with the upper classes.  It would not necessarily translate as a desire to seek the views of the common people, and indeed I've always felt that Ferdinand has unfairly gained some sort of reputation for doing just that, when in fact the only available evidence suggests that although he enjoyed the company and pastimes of common people, he was not especially interested in promoting their interests and his politics with or without his first wife were as repressive as any conservative government would have wished.  

I don’t know where the quote originates from, and perhaps that’s the problem for me – so much of the discussion depends on context.  Was it a contemporary writer or historian, what did they base their remarks on, was there likely to be any bias towards Maria Carolina?  She has had a bad press from Italian historians and a good one from British historians – both schools with agendas to pursue.  So I tend to be skeptical about such statements unless I have an idea of where the writer is coming from.  

It was from an Italian source.   :)

I also agree that while Ferdinand enjoyed great popularity with the common people by mixing with them, he didn't also do much to promote their interests. Yes, he "enjoyed" them but also very much in the context of his "amusements".
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #130 on: March 21, 2011, 03:24:43 AM »
Here is something on Ferdinand and his second (morganatic) wife, Lucia:

Ferdinand loved his second wife very much. He wrote her tender letters, which began with "To my dear and good Lucia" and signed off his letters with "Your affectionate companion who loves you dearly".  Not only was he tender in his letters but also they were also full of gratitude. Perhaps because she made his last years sweet and cheerful, especially after a lifetime spent at the side of the "unbearable" and "intriguing" Maria Carolina, who was nicknamed by the people as the "Austrian Erinyes".  In fact, Ferdinand considered his affair with Lucia as a "miracle".

In addition, Ferdinand (whom MC described as not one to give presents and indeed she never got a even a garden from him, which she greatly desired) was very generous to his 2nd wife and her children (from her first marriage): countless ducats, fabulous jewels (diamonds and parures), a palace and a country villa (complete with a zoo), among others.   

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Offline CountessKate

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #131 on: March 21, 2011, 11:29:34 AM »
Here is something on Ferdinand and his second (morganatic) wife, Lucia:

Ferdinand loved his second wife very much. He wrote her tender letters, which began with "To my dear and good Lucia" and signed off his letters with "Your affectionate companion who loves you dearly".  Not only was he tender in his letters but also they were also full of gratitude. Perhaps because she made his last years sweet and cheerful, especially after a lifetime spent at the side of the "unbearable" and "intriguing" Maria Carolina, who was nicknamed by the people as the "Austrian Erinyes".  In fact, Ferdinand considered his affair with Lucia as a "miracle".

In addition, Ferdinand (whom MC described as not one to give presents and indeed she never got a even a garden from him, which she greatly desired) was very generous to his 2nd wife and her children (from her first marriage): countless ducats, fabulous jewels (diamonds and parures), a palace and a country villa (complete with a zoo), among others.   


Hopefully by then he had recovered from the venereal disease with which he had infected his first wife, and was less prone to marital rape, or if not, the money, jewels and property were some compensation to Lucia.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #132 on: March 21, 2011, 10:35:58 PM »
Hopefully by then he had recovered from the venereal disease with which he had infected his first wife, and was less prone to marital rape, or if not, the money, jewels and property were some compensation to Lucia.

I have no doubt that (marital rape) was NOT a thing to do to one's wife, no matter how unpleasant she was (which Maria Carolina could be).  I'm wondering if it some kind of "vengeance" on Ferdinand's part?  The quotes about MC being "unbearable" and "intriguing" were not mine, but from the source I read.  :)  In contrast to said allegations,  Lucia was said to have behaved with "infinite tact" in her dealings with everyone, whether with Ferdinand or the rest of the royal family, ministers, or the general public.  

Well, Lucia was from rich family. After her older brother died, she was the sole heiress of her father. Perhaps even richer than MC, for except her dowry and jewels from Austria, MC was not entitled to any of the family wealth. She didn't seem to have received anything substantial from either Franz Stephan or Maria Theresia, except some of her mother's personal effects. I have no idea how much her allowance was as queen.  Or if she indeed was as thrifty as she claimed to be, for I have also read that she also (very much) patronised Madame Bertin and Monsieur Leonard (both very expensive and extravagant),  her sister Marie Antoinette's  dressmaker and hairdresser, respectively.  
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 10:49:53 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Paul

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #133 on: March 22, 2011, 04:10:52 AM »
Perhaps his second marriage was happier because a Royal Marriage united two crowns, while a morganatic marriage united two human beings?

Here is something on Ferdinand and his second (morganatic) wife, Lucia:

Ferdinand loved his second wife very much. He wrote her tender letters, which began with "To my dear and good Lucia" and signed off his letters with "Your affectionate companion who loves you dearly".  Not only was he tender in his letters but also they were also full of gratitude. Perhaps because she made his last years sweet and cheerful, especially after a lifetime spent at the side of the "unbearable" and "intriguing" Maria Carolina, who was nicknamed by the people as the "Austrian Erinyes".  In fact, Ferdinand considered his affair with Lucia as a "miracle".

In addition, Ferdinand (whom MC described as not one to give presents and indeed she never got a even a garden from him, which she greatly desired) was very generous to his 2nd wife and her children (from her first marriage): countless ducats, fabulous jewels (diamonds and parures), a palace and a country villa (complete with a zoo), among others.


Offline CountessKate

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Re: King Ferdinando I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina
« Reply #134 on: March 22, 2011, 05:05:11 AM »
Perhaps his second marriage was happier because a Royal Marriage united two crowns, while a morganatic marriage united two human beings?

Here is something on Ferdinand and his second (morganatic) wife, Lucia:

Ferdinand loved his second wife very much. He wrote her tender letters, which began with "To my dear and good Lucia" and signed off his letters with "Your affectionate companion who loves you dearly".  Not only was he tender in his letters but also they were also full of gratitude. Perhaps because she made his last years sweet and cheerful, especially after a lifetime spent at the side of the "unbearable" and "intriguing" Maria Carolina, who was nicknamed by the people as the "Austrian Erinyes".  In fact, Ferdinand considered his affair with Lucia as a "miracle".

In addition, Ferdinand (whom MC described as not one to give presents and indeed she never got a even a garden from him, which she greatly desired) was very generous to his 2nd wife and her children (from her first marriage): countless ducats, fabulous jewels (diamonds and parures), a palace and a country villa (complete with a zoo), among others.


I am somewhat skeptical of the implication that the couple was drawn together by pure romance.  While Lucia does seem to be a nice woman, and not especially avaricious, and uninterested in politics so Ferdinand was able to hand the government over to the direction of the Austrians, I can’t see what the attraction of an elderly man with disgusting personal habits would be had he not been the King.  I’ve always thought the same about Catherine Dolgorukaya – would she have been attracted to a middle-aged Mr Alexander Romanov?