Wednesday, November 7, 2012

She came by it naturally.

One of Marie Antoinette's older sisters painted this cozy, bourgeois Christmas morning scene.  The future Queen of France is depicted holding up her new doll.  This looks almost Pride and Prejudice-ish and certainly her childhood was usually more splendid and formal, but still it was a far cry from that of her husband-to-be.  She must've suffered some serious culture shock when she moved in with those dysfunctional Bourbons.  It's no wonder that she loved the Trianon and Le Hameau.

The relationship between Marie Antoinette and her mother, Empress Maria Theresa, is well-worth exploring and some day I'll write more about it.  This excerpt, from a letter Marie Antoinette wrote her mother on September 19, 1780, touches on her life at the Trianon:  "Madame, my very dear mother....  I have settled in Trianon for eight or ten days so I can take walks in the morning;  this is essential for my health and was not possible at Versailles.  Trianon is only ten minutes away in a carriage, and one can easily walk there.  The King seems to like it a great deal;  he comes here for supper every day and visits me in the morning just like in my Versailles apartment.  I chose this moment for my stay here because it is the month when the King hunts almost every day and needs me the least.  My health and that of my daughter are very good.  As for a pregnancy, I dare not talk about it, although the way we live gives me every hope...."  I know it's partly the language of the time, but I feel a twinge of pity every time I read her closing words to her imposing mother, always something along the lines of "May I kiss my mother very lovingly?" or "I kiss you with all my heart." or "I am always all yours."  Sweet girl.

1 comment:

Micah said...

Very sweet!

You're a really good writer.

Love and miss you tons.