Author Topic: Emperor Joseph II, his private life and wives  (Read 50888 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 478
    • View Profile
Re: Emperor Joseph II, his private life and wives
« Reply #60 on: June 03, 2010, 08:41:44 PM »
IF they will write a book on Lousie-Elisabeth from the proceedings of the symposium. But most likely it'll be in Italian, just like the book on Ferdinand.
kindness is the magic elixir of love

Offline Carolath Habsburg

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4806
  • As seen on TUMBLR!
    • View Profile
    • Victorian & edwardian roleplay in spanish!
Re: Emperor Joseph II, his private life and wives
« Reply #61 on: September 21, 2010, 01:56:12 PM »
A portrait of Isabella



 

Courtesy of Grand Duchess Ally

"...Пусть он землю бережет родную, А любовь Катюша сбережет....". Grand Duchess Ekaterina Fyodorovna to Grand Duke Georgiy Alexandrovich. 1914

Join the cause "We want an Ignore button

Eric_Lowe

  • Guest
Re: Emperor Joseph II, his private life and wives
« Reply #62 on: September 27, 2010, 11:04:46 AM »
Isabella did give advice to her husband & Mimi on how to deal with the Empress and she in turn appreciated her attempt. Yes only family scribbles.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 478
    • View Profile
Re: Emperor Joseph II, his private life and wives
« Reply #63 on: September 28, 2010, 08:42:25 AM »
Isabella did give advice to her husband & Mimi on how to deal with the Empress and she in turn appreciated her attempt. Yes only family scribbles.

Her advice was quite manipulative and it enabled the favourite Mimi achieve an even greater ascendancy over Maria Theresa more than ever.... I guess it wasn't that appreciated by the others (of course, they might not have known such advice).  
« Last Edit: September 28, 2010, 08:45:08 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
kindness is the magic elixir of love

Eric_Lowe

  • Guest
Re: Emperor Joseph II, his private life and wives
« Reply #64 on: September 28, 2010, 01:09:59 PM »
To be fair, I think Isabella also gave Josef II such advice, but he apparently did not take it.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 478
    • View Profile
Re: Emperor Joseph II, his private life and wives
« Reply #65 on: September 29, 2010, 09:22:43 AM »
Do you remember any specific advice to Joseph, Eric? I enjoyed reading Isabella's advice to Mimi on Maria Theresa and Franz Stephan. I think it was so insightful and brilliant....

Well, Joseph was called by MT as the "family cross";  he wanted to do everything opposite from his mother's views. I'm not the least surprised.
kindness is the magic elixir of love

Eric_Lowe

  • Guest
Re: Emperor Joseph II, his private life and wives
« Reply #66 on: September 29, 2010, 10:37:22 AM »
I don't think Isabella would have kept her advice to her in-laws from her husband. Since they met often I don't think she even wrote it down but told her husband. The relationship with Mimi was much more complex and secretive. After Isabella 's death Josef II told his father-in-law he lost his angel. One could see how she tried to comfort her difficult husband and I think the only one who got through to him.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 478
    • View Profile
Re: Emperor Joseph II, his private life and wives
« Reply #67 on: October 04, 2010, 09:13:35 AM »
I'm not sure how close Isabella and Joseph were. It seems that he saw her ideally/romanticised her hence his comment about how great his loss was.  Of course, it was a comment anyone would've expected because Joseph loved her and she was indeed exceptional in a number of ways.  But I'm not sure that he never got to know her deeply.  She was behaved properly towards him but according to what I have read so far, there was some sort of barrier between them.  
« Last Edit: October 04, 2010, 09:18:52 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
kindness is the magic elixir of love

Eric_Lowe

  • Guest
Re: Emperor Joseph II, his private life and wives
« Reply #68 on: October 04, 2010, 01:12:14 PM »
I don't think she reveal everything to him (like the close friendship with Mimi), but it is very hard to speculate over closed doors. I don't think she need to hide her advice and observations on Maria Theresa & her in-laws with her husband, especially if it was for the benefit of mother & son getting closer. Maria Theresa personally was greatly sadden by Isabella's death, but that did not deter her from pressing on the duty of having an heir to Josef, who will have to marry.

Gabriel Antonio

  • Guest
Re: Emperor Joseph II, his private life and wives
« Reply #69 on: September 28, 2013, 09:42:04 PM »
Can someone share information on Joseph II's life and decline in health in 1788 and 1789. Did he get sick while with the Austrian armies fighting the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans? What did he die of? Also, I read the great Austrian diplomat Kaunitz refused to even be in the same room with Joseph during these last 2 years of Joseph's life for fear of catching something. (I know Kaunitz had phobias- but he lived a very long life for the 18th century.)
Also, Joseph was very fond of his nephew Franz's first wife. Apparently she was like a beloved daughter to him who he never had after the deaths of his own children years before and her death crushed him just 2 days before his own death; the final awful bitter blow with family happiness at the very very end.
And what was this strange refusal of Franz's father Leopold to come to Vienna to see his brother when Joseph knew his end was near. And Joseph must have also been very worried about his sister Marie Antoinette.
And, as many of the earlier posts on this topic are about his 2 wives and his sad lives with them- losing his children, and then his sister is caught up in the French Revolution and his niece's death-how very ironic that Joseph saw the premiere of Mozart's Opera Cosi Fan Tutti  (roughly-All Women are like That) just one month before he died. Poor Joseph and the tragic women in his life could not have had lives more different than those of the characters in this opera...........in every possible manner.

Offline CountessKate

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1085
    • View Profile
Re: Emperor Joseph II, his private life and wives
« Reply #70 on: October 07, 2013, 10:44:30 AM »
Can someone share information on Joseph II's life and decline in health in 1788 and 1789. Did he get sick while with the Austrian armies fighting the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans? What did he die of? Also, I read the great Austrian diplomat Kaunitz refused to even be in the same room with Joseph during these last 2 years of Joseph's life for fear of catching something. (I know Kaunitz had phobias- but he lived a very long life for the 18th century.)
Also, Joseph was very fond of his nephew Franz's first wife. Apparently she was like a beloved daughter to him who he never had after the deaths of his own children years before and her death crushed him just 2 days before his own death; the final awful bitter blow with family happiness at the very very end.
And what was this strange refusal of Franz's father Leopold to come to Vienna to see his brother when Joseph knew his end was near. And Joseph must have also been very worried about his sister Marie Antoinette.
And, as many of the earlier posts on this topic are about his 2 wives and his sad lives with them- losing his children, and then his sister is caught up in the French Revolution and his niece's death-how very ironic that Joseph saw the premiere of Mozart's Opera Cosi Fan Tutti  (roughly-All Women are like That) just one month before he died. Poor Joseph and the tragic women in his life could not have had lives more different than those of the characters in this opera...........in every possible manner.

Derek Beales' biography of Joseph II (vol. II. Against the World, Cambridge University Press, 2009) deals with most of these points:

1. "...it seems certain that what killed him was tuberculosis, probably contracted during the campaign of 1788." (p. 587).
2. Joseph himself in his final years "tried desperately to conduct business with his secretaries in the Hofburg, seeing virtually no one else."  Beales writes that in 1789, Kaunitz and Joseph "had not met for many months ("two years" according to Joseph)" (p. 627).  It would therefore appear that it was Joseph rather than Kaunitz who withdrew from contact and had exaggerated the length of time since the men had met.  In any case, Joseph conducted much of his business by letter, and Kaunitz was aflicted with deafness and general infirmity and therefore did the same.
3. Beales mentions briefly that "Francis's wife....had a happier relationship with the emperor than almost any other relative" (p. 633), though he gives no further details.
4. Leopold was reluctant to go to Vienna because he severely disapproved of Joseph's policies at the time and was indeed actually working with his sovereign siblings Marie Christine and Ferdinand covertly to put policies in place which would mitigate or counteract those of the Emperor which they saw as being disruptive to the Empire, and he did not want to be put in a position of being obliged to work under the Emperor's direction or with his secretaries.  However, he did not refuse to go to the Emperor, but delays caused by completing Tuscan business and illness on his own part (and possibly some heel-dragging), delayed his departure and he did not arrive until 3 weeks after Joseph's death.  He may not have realised how close to death the Emperor actually was.  (pp. 632-633).
5. Joseph did not appear to be worried at Marie Antoinette's situation which at the time of his death, would probably not have seemed that desperate.  It was rather the revolution of the Belgian provinces, and ferment in Hungary, which absorbed his anxieties during his last days (p. 639).
6. "It is almost certain that, because of his illness, he never heard [Cossi fan tutte]." (p. 630).


Gabriel Antonio

  • Guest
Re: Emperor Joseph II, his private life and wives
« Reply #71 on: October 10, 2013, 09:53:03 PM »
Thank you, Countess Kate, for all your informative details. I did not know about this recent biography of Joseph II and I will definitely read it.

Gabriel Antonio

  • Guest
Re: Emperor Joseph II, his private life and wives
« Reply #72 on: October 12, 2013, 07:34:36 PM »
While I do not remember all specific authors, page numbers and resources as I have read many over the years,
1. I never knew in specifics what killed Joseph. I knew it had something to do with the Turkish conflict.
2. I did not know Kaunitz was deaf by this point. Being in his late 70's in 1788 to 1790 this makes sense. In all of my reading of the reversal of alliances in Europe after 1748 forward through the reigns of Joseph and Leopold, there have been numerous references to Kaunitz and his phobias.
3. Joseph was truly horrified to learn, on his deathbed, his beloved daughter in law died in childbirth. He knew she had given birth and had wanted details. I believe when he found out he said something to the effect of "throw her on top of me."
4. It is good to learn several of the possible reasons why Leopold may have been delayed in coming to Vienna. However, I recall reading Joseph very much wanted Leopold there and was practically begging him to come. My final conclusion is, not discounting the reasons I have learned by what you have shared, Leopold must have, in the end, decided he was simply going to wait until Joseph had died. I had not known Marie Christine and Ferdinand were already working with Leopold to make changes to Joseph's reforms. I do not know enough about Ferdinand's character, but I do believe this, especially when it comes to Marie Christine. (I have not seen any quotes from the letters or correspondences between the 3 of them during the months before Joseph's death.) Besides, Joseph rescinded many of his reforms himself only a short time before he died. I had thought his decision to do this was the apparent unrest of his subjects in his lands and the fact they could not understand what he was trying to do for them.  I hope for his sake he did not know what his 3 siblings were doing. Joseph may have been trying to bring his family together before he died, and look at what these 3 were doing! Here is a quote from Marcia Davenport's biography on Mozart (dedicated to her friend Arturo Toscanini) when Joseph died. " Joseph's successor was his brother, Leopold II, a stupid, narrow weakling, who neither knew or cared anything about music. As might be expected of such a small man, his one idea was to assert his new authority in any way that disrupt the routine of his older and greater brother." (Page 336) I do not think Davenport was referring only to music. It is this author's opinion.
5. I believe Joseph, although very preoccupied about problems such as what was happening in Belgium and Hungary, must have been concerned about Marie Antoinette. No, the situation was not yet what it became by 1791 when the remaining royal family tried to flee, (a terrible disaster) but it was already very serious. Considering the facts Louis XVI's two brothers and their families had already left (fled) France and Marie Antoinette and her family has been forced from Versailles to Paris in Oct. 1789, making them virtual prisoners in the capital, and emigrees were already starting to arrive in Austria, how could he not.
6. When I first read about Cosi fan tutte it was in Alfred Einstein's "Mozart, His Character, His Work. " In program notes of various productions and several Mozart biographies it states the opera was produced for the court of Emperor Joseph II. Einstein states Joseph himself ordered the production of this new opera from Mozart and da Ponte in the fall of 1789. I believe Joseph saw the opera. Einstein makes it clear Joseph ordered Cosi due to his love of the Marriage of Figaro. I am not saying Beales is not a fine biographer who has not done his research. However, he is stating his opinion that due to his failing health, Joseph did not see (could not have seen) Cosi in January 1790. And, I disagree with his statement. I believe Joseph would have made every effort to see it, and that he did attend either the premiere on January 26, 1790 or a performance shortly afterwards. Also, I never would have written what I did about the irony of Joseph seeing Cosi in my original post if numerous sources I have read over the years had ever stated anything to indicate he had not seen the opera. I welcome being presented with different viewpoints citing "new" resources but this time, as several friends have pointed out to me, it may have been done to possibly try to diminish what I could possibly know and/or what I was trying to share with readers in my previous post.

 

Gabriel Antonio

  • Guest
Re: Emperor Joseph II, his private life and wives
« Reply #73 on: October 12, 2013, 07:38:42 PM »
3. CORRECTION- niece in law. She was like a daughter in law to Joseph.