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PARIS — A large fire broke out at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris on Monday evening, causing part of the historic church’s spire to collapse as the blaze spread along its roof.


André Finot, a spokesman for the cathedral, said in a telephone interview that the cause of the fire remained unknown, and there was no immediate indication that anyone had been hurt.


“It’s not about the faith — Notre-Dame is a symbol of France,” said Emmanuel Guary, a 31-year-old actor who was among a huge crowd amassed on the Rue Rivoli, on the Right Bank. Many had tears in their eyes.


To continue reading this, please see The New York Times .


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Fruits of a Decade,


By Duke of Richmond, 2019-03-21

As next month approaches, so do my 10th rezz day approaches. Initially, I didn’t really notice, but now that I have, it has me thinking about the past lives we lived in the historical community, and the future ones we will start.

What a journey it has been, from my initial start of Meloria (now Rocca Sorrentina) and Duche de Coeur to living in the decadence of Versailles, a period of hiatus where we nomadically roamed the grid and historical community to 1920s Berlin and 1920s New York and recently Georgian London. A lot of friends fade into the past, but I had the pleasure of making new acquaintances.
One thing that I’m thinking about, is what the reason I came to the historical words, the reason I stayed in the historical community, and what I look for going forward.

*Plays flute music as he dramatizes the past*

I came to the historical community after meeting an inspirational woman in a different part of the grid. Through the next few years we shared here, I learned to love the historical world, from studying history itself to dressing the part. Dabbled in architecture, and jewels, my experience in the historical community has generally been a positive one. Dancing in decadence at Versailles, to riding around the Duche, living cozily in wonderful homes and palaces. Interestingly, as the decade I spent here progressed, I find myself drifting further from Court Roleplay, and enjoying more and more the styles of a Country home and society. Been thinking of setting up a working estate with those growable fruits and items. Might be fun? Who knows!

Anyhow! After reflecting on my time here, I look forward to a comfortable life (in style ha-ha) maybe a working estate and to continue to enjoy the friends I’ve been honored with. There is much to build and creature and a whole new generation of historical roleplays to get to know. Exciting times ahead!

What’s your story? What brought you all here, and where do you want to go?

Delos Helstein!

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Every Step Taken; Chapter Five


By Duke of Richmond, 2012-12-04

V

It had been a week since Lady Stewart and her father, the Ambassador departed the island. They must be near Versailles now, I thought, hopping that Lady Stewart didnt forget about my letter to give to my half-brother, who would also be there. The day was bright; the sun in all its glory was at full height, bathing the villa and gardens with light. It was a beautiful day, very beautiful indeed, the sea around Rocca Sorrentina was a brilliant blue, the flowers and grass around the island, the trees still at their best despite winter had begun to creep in. I leaned out my windows apartment, taking a deep breath of the fresh breeze, my eyes watching with interest at the activities of the island. At this time, normally a cool breeze blew, but this warm one, was a delight, very welcomed. With the Stewarts gone, I am free to be myself, no one to spy on me at my familys instructions. Open all the windows I commanded to my valet, the main room, the bedroom, we need more air about. I watched as this little framed man went about, working his way around my furniture, pulling curtains aside, letting more light and air flood in.

I was in a good mood, I met with some business ventures in the past weeks, and they offered a possibility, to increase my fortune, or rather to make an Independent fortune of my own, non-associated with my fathers. Sir Roger Samuels, was the mans name, he was a merchant, a very wealth one too. His trades consisted of several routes to India, and to Arabia. This proper man beamed of Britishness, but also the excitement of exploration, and the reaping of wealth available in these foreign lands. His associate, Lord Harvey, had some investments in some port city called Goa, a city originally owned by the Portuguese, before passing into British hands. Lord Harvey and I had met several times in England, I was surprised he was part of a trade, after all, he was a Lord. I do not take part in the actual trading, and that sort my boy said the aged Harvey I simply finance it, in turn it has produced some profit. I was intrigued how does it work, I inquired? Sir Roger laughed, and Lord Harvey chuckled, responding you offer money at a percent, and if the trade works, you get your profit, and if it fails, you loose it. I thought for a few moments, I had toyed with the idea back home, by father snuffed out the idea. He considered it middle class, and would rather depend on our land, and his positions for income. After hours of talking, I met these gentlemen again, and again, over the last two weeks, nearly every three days. Now was the time to act, I had inquired all I could, and now is the chance to take.

The day was bright still, barely half past two when I found myself sitting in the tavern. A little rustic, but still handsome structure, remnants of some ancient building I suspect. There was company all around; wine was flowing, voices rising. In a quiet corner, I hid myself, content to simple light wine. The gentlemen appear, Lord Harvey and Sir Roger, with them a page with some inkwells and documents. Some passed, explaining, reading, I scanned documents after documents to be sure I am not about to take part into some trap. All was well, and I finished reading, my investment would be in a trading company associated with the British East India Company. I signed my name at the bottom of the contract, carefully writing, Richard James Callaghan, Baron Rushcliffe.

Another drink followed and some idle friendly conversation with the men, before the decided they needed to meet with some Italians and Moor merchants. I never realized the island was at such a crossroad. Its port offered safety from pirated who attached the main routes, ships passed from the Italian mainland, from France, from Spain, Arabia and all. Occasionally a British would pass through, on its way to the east. The island was a hidden port in my perspective, active but quiet, the ideal place to meet and do business with out the eyes of higher courts, and kings to looking down to claim in. I looked as the men parted, my curiosity of the island grew, I didnt actually spend much time outside the Villa since my arrival, indeed, I only stayed in the villa until this point. So far, I enjoyed the small pageantry associated with villa life, meals with the governor; I mixing with intellectuals like the professor, and a few nobles who either lived or vacationed on the island. Last night itself was a wonderful ball. It was provincial, but more entertaining than any court ball I have been too. I spent all my time on my feet, in company of various ladies of beauty and taste, dancing away to the musicians, followed by gambling and dining. Friends were reunited, and it was a joy to see some pleasant faces, such as the Dowager Contessa di Rezzonic, and la Contessa di Loredan. It was too my surprise that I ran into my beloved Contessa Foscari. I tried to always be at her side, but Signore Gandt blocked my ways. I watched in envy that they danced, they whispered, and my infatuation with the lady lessoned.I suppose I was just a person of the past, our time together was a liaison and nothing more. Little by little, my enjoyment faded, Signore Gandt won again and again at the gamessurely he was cheating. The scoundrel won four times in a rowa luck even a god anointed king wouldnt have. I suspect he is indeed a cheater, but I must watch more to find out more.who was he anyways, he seems to always be around, but again I ask myself who is that fellow?. At the end of the night the Contessa and I took a walk around the garden. Stopping by the obelisk that decorates the landscape, we discussed what is the nature of our meeting.. and I was right to thinkit was a liaison.. enjoyable, but over. It did surprise me, though, one thing in particular, the Contessa never received my letters.. none of themhow interesting.

I wandered through the town, thinking about the Contessa. Her image faded in my head, but I still wondered why she didnt receive my letters, that was strange. I walked through streets, down paths, and around corners. The warm colors of the buildings, frescos around, antique stones here and there; the town was a fairytale. I was turning the corner when I bumped right into someone, dropping my documents, and what appears to be the persons sketchpad. I swooped down instantly, apologizing to the fellow Im sorry sir, pardon. I was not paying attention. A soft, melodic responded Im no sir, but you are pardoned. I realized as I rose, items in hand, the figure was in a dress, and as I stood up tall, I was struck. Before me was a beautiful woman, with a caramelized complexion, eyes the color of honey, and hair as dark as night. I stood there, gawking in what would be a most ungentleman like expression, the woman before me was a goddess, a Nefertiti. She could not be older than 19, nor younger than 15. Her rich dark hair, framed face, draping loose over her shoulders, a few strands blowing in the breeze. Her eyes were large, and warm, brighter than any jewels. She extended her hand, a confused look on her face, speaking with an English accent, an English mixed with some other accent Sir, my drawing pad, if you may. I quickly, straightened up, handing her the items, unable to form my words properly er pad, yes here, draw it is. Her ruby lips curved into a smile, and she walked on. I turned to see her walk, but she turned the corner and was gone.

Who was this beauty with such exotic looks?

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Every Step Taken; Chapter Four


By Duke of Richmond, 2012-11-20

IV

My brothers note still lingered in my mind how dare he is all I could think. I paced the room, my eyes focused on the flickering flames of the fire. Lady Stewart was behind me, in a rare moment of being selfless, she continued, trying to pacify me. She reminded me, that despite he was accepted by society, my brother was not accepted by court. The now proclaimed legitimate son of an Earl and actressthats what he isand will remain. I paced around her room, the lady was seated gracefully on the couch, she looked at me, not words were spoken, but her eyes said it all he could never become heir.

She continued, in a words that amazed me you never do act like the heir though I looked over; eyes narrowed again how do you mean? I question. Youve been on the island so far, three months? Have you visited the court of Naples? Have you made arrangements to meet your fathers business partners? Have you collected anything to take home? I lowered my eyes, falling into a chair, followed by a deep sigh I suppose I ought to more. She responded in her typical ways ought to do more is an understatement. Need I remind you, you are the heir of the Earls of Rushcliffe. I responded stupidly to her, I know that. To that, she simply said act like it. In that moment, I realized she, and others were right. Here, at a moment of questioning, I was letting my temper get the better of me, I sat, nay; I slouched in a chair, hardly dressed as a gentleman. I looked nothing more than a bloke off the street. In contrast, Lady Stewart was elegantly seated, back straightened, head held up high, accessories and dressed, ready to receive kings.

It was then I decided, I must become what was intended, and act the way I should. I leaned up, and fixed my posture, and looked over, very well, I shall. She seemed pleased about it, and went off in her normal blabber, finery and dresses for Versailles. I interrupted her in the middle with the simple words I will not attend court. I could have sworn her jaw would fall off. But why?? An Invitation too Versailles?? At the Hand of a Duchess, are you stupid? No I responded, confidently Im intelligent, and know my boundaries. I have no place there, shall I be scorned by the French? Will I waste a fortune on outfits I shall hardly wear again? I got up from the chair, and walked over to the window, gazing out across the Villas lawn. The Obelisk looked like a giant sundial, telling the time with its shadow. But its VersaillesI cut her off its the court of the French, and I belong to the court of the English. I will not talk more about it. With a rustling of silks, I could hear that she got up, taking steps towards me what about the duchess?I quietly remarked Im not as interested as she may be. I turned to face her, her face in awe. I smiled at her and said As Heir, I need to see to my fathers business and bit her good day, closing the door to her apartments as I left. It was time I got to know my fathers associates.

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Every Step Taken; Chapter Three


By Duke of Richmond, 2012-09-25

III

The morning was a dull one, but that would soon change. The stormy weather of the days previous had begun to pass. As time rolled on, the morning cleared, the clouds thinned, and natural light slowly lit the room. I sat up in bed, reading the letters that came the days before. The first was from my brother, the second was from a friend.

Before I could even open the letters, Lady Stewart mad a dramatic entrance into my room. With the sun light beaming through the window, casting a bright glow about the room, She bursts through the door, waving a letter in her hand, wildly exclaiming Get up, are you up? Look what I have!!! Rubbing my eyes, I replied coldly Its barely seven, what on earth are you doing up and fully dressed.How many blood times do I she cut me off, and began quiet, I have news she said, raising her hand dramatically Ive been invited to Versailles! It seems Im well missed and they are dying for my company I looked over and sarcastically exclaimed so you got dressed and will wait for the King to come and escort you himself to Court, in a golden carriage driven by swans? Its amazing to see how many expressions can flicker through a persons face in a moments time. She went from annoyed, to disgust to smirk, and waved it off to ignore the comment. She flounced herself around my room, settling into my chair at the desk, her pale green gown draping over the edges. I took a moment to study her, her hair perfectly curled, down to her collarbone, her gown, was fine silk, with lace trims, and she wore a small emerald necklace. Going to meet someone important? I asked. She turned to me, her bright eyes looking into mine Oh no! But I need to plan what to take, what gowns I must order, We must outshine the French you know, show them that the English are more fashionable and practical and whips out a little box, which she opens and exposes a small pouf. I arched an eyebrow, and got up out of the chair I was sitting in, and moved about the room, my dressing gown flowing behind me. I opened the letter from my friend and began to read:

My dear friend, you have been missed since your departure from Paris, I have decided to leave my seclusion of my country estate, as the king demands, and return to court. You know how the king likes his nobles to be at court.but among the other grandees, gossip, and scandal, I find myself alone. To pass the time, I will be engaging in more social gatherings, nothing too fancy, just dinners and salons, for my friends. My friends and I miss your company, and are interested in learning more about your court and its democratic waysalso if you can, allow me to borrow some of those books you secured. I have tried, but every time I get close to obtaining one, the government either finds it before I do, or takes it from the sellers hand. Its sad when books are not allowed to be read. I welcome and will put up lodging for you, Im aware the King is opening negotiations with Britain, and the Ambassador and his daughter will be present in future seasons. Be Well.

Duchesse de Montausier

I folded my letter and looked to Lady Stewart, who was lost in planning her wardrobe. I turned to look out the window; the sun was touching the lawn, the flowers alive, the sea calm and blue. I mutters I dont think I will be answering the Duchesses Call. Although I did not see, I can feel Lady Stewarts gaze on me, her comment as expected why not!, Its the Court of France, you know how rare that is?? To be invited? I cooly responded I havent the clothing for court, the learning of the etiquette, its a hassle. Before she could say more I remarked I will get dressed then, and head to town, you should go and turned to enter my room. All I could hear was rustle of silks, and the closing of my outer door.

I got dressed quickly, stuffing the envelope from my brother into my coat and headed to town. It was barely eight; the town was still in a stupor from the night before. I enjoyed this quiet setting, freely roaming from the port to the caf. I settled into a chair, overlooking the sea and ordered a coffee. I pulled out my brothers letter and began to read. It was short, crude and disgusting.

Richard,

I have been talking to father lately, and we think its best, that you return to Britain. Your place belongs with us, with the family, and you should follow my steps, and learn to maintain our home and estates. You lack experience in the matters of home, in politics, and have no idea about finances. I think its best that you are referred to as Lord Rushcliffe, because you dont act, or seemed interested in being the heir to Father. I think you should explain to father than, you want to be free of the burden trusted on you, and you should be free, to do as you like.

George

My face turned a shade of red, a shade I rarely ever display. In a moment of furry, I ripped the letter into pieces and along with the cup of coffee, flung it out of the open window, hearing the cup shattering on the rocks outside. Who did he think he was? He was no one, exactly, NO ONE!, I screeched, furiously. A crowd had gathered outside, at the sounds, but I whisked passed them, heading to the one person who would understand this, Lady Stewart. I headed straight to her rooms, and pushed my way through the doors, she was sitting on a gilded couch of silver damask, looking up at me, completely startled. Richard, are you ok? she said cautiously. No, Hes pissing me off I said. Who? she saidand I paused, finally saying George. I explained the contents of the letter to her, and she remained motionless, for a moment before finally speaking He wasnt to seize your title, Baron Rushcliffeunder the pretense hes home, hes the elder, and he should be the heir. I nodded, falling into one of the armchairs What if he succeeds? No sooner had the comments left my lips when she responded Oh dont be so stupid, he cant take your title, even your father is not that stupid. I looked at her, lowering my eyes to the floor Hes crafty, he could get it, he is the elder, whose been proclaimed legitimate, and accepted in recent years by most of society. She put her hand over mind, and tried to be soothing, though it had an awkward effect. Lady Steward never really knew what to do in these situations, but she tried. His mother was an actress, and he was born when your father was a bachelorthe hes accepted by many, but has yet to be presented to the King and Queen of England, so hes not welcomed at Court. She was right, his birth and upbringing was scandalous, and illegitimate. Father didnt accept him as a son, until he was 10, two years after his mother had died, and two years after living with us as my fathers god son.Still it bothered me, and I sunk my face into my hands, muttering Im going to stay a while longer in Meloria.

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Every Step Taken; Chapter Two


By Duke of Richmond, 2012-09-09

II

The music filled my ears, my mind raced with memories, my heart with feelings. When my mind is tense, I often play the flute; the music always lifted and brought eased to me, as it did when I was youngerbut tonight was different. The sky around the island drifted from its pleasant warmth and light, to a cold masscloaking the island ina lifeless darkness. I tried to bring comfort to the evening, a fire crackled behind me, music to uplift my spirit, but it was to no effect. Memories replayed, running across my mind, haunting me.

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It was not long before the fire burned out, leaving small flames and a haunting glow about my apartment. My music itself, took a sadder tonea reflection of my sadden heart. As I gazed out the window into an endless sea, I could see nothing but her face. Her brilliant smile was etched into my mind each time lightning struckthe dark clouds assembling reminded me of her dark hair. The sea itself was transformed, glittering but dark, with splits of light of a moon hidden behind clouds, the sea reminded me of her eyes.

I closed my eyes, to drown in the melancholic music, but I saw her dance. Dressed in a sumptuous red gown, she danced as if her feet never touched the ground, floating about, as a graceful as a swan. She turned, and swayed to the music, her gown flowing as she twirled, her jewels glittered, but not more than her beauty. She took my hand, the candles burned lowmany guests had retired from the party but she was still full of life, and so we danced as the lights burned outeach step closer than the one before. I could hear her laughter, and recall my hand on her waist. It was not long before our lips met, not to be parted for some time, emotions rushing out, passion building. Little did I know this was to be the last.

Lightning flashed, exposing the tear that escaped from my eyes. I continued to play, the storm brewed outside just as terrible as the one in my mind. I remembered how she pulled away from the kiss, looking up at me with sad eyes. She spoke I must leave . I grabbed her arm, frustrated as I tried to explain Elena, dont go, you dont have too She replied sweetly I must, its getting late . We both knew it was not about the evening, it was about her departure the next day, and my own as well.

Lightning flashed again; bringing me back to my apartmentI placed my flute back into its caseand fell into the armchair. I closed my eyes and whispered to myself why did you go? Why am I so haunted by her?

I hid my face in my palms, how I wish to forget that moment in Venicethat night. She glided down the stairs, her gown flowing behind her. As she made her exist, I watched from the balcony, seeing her head into a gondola, the rising suns light causing shadows from the towering buildings, hiding her from me. Her fan you, she turned back to glance at me, her eyes barely visible above the fan. Was it love? Was it Passion? I dont know, I questioned myself over and over again, but now I wouldnt see her again. That day, I left her Villa for Meloria, as she made her way to handle family businessnot hearing a word from her since my departureperhaps it was lust of the moment that lead her to kiss mebut why did she not respond to my letters?

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Every Step Taken; Chapter One


By Duke of Richmond, 2012-09-05

Every Step Taken

I

The day was long, until the sun finally begun to set. I gazed lazily out the window, studying the monuments that decorated the gardens outside the window. The giant obelisk, a marvel from the ancient world, stood, not only as a testimony to the greatness of the Ancient Egyptians, a trophy in the gardens of the ageless Villa, but also served as giant sundial, letting all who viewed it, know the hour of day. As I pushed open the window, a gush of cool sea breeze swept into the warm apartment, cooling the room and bringing in comfort. Leaning down with my chin in my palm, I rested my elbows on the window frame, and watched as fishermen reeled in their catch, children head indoors, and inviting beauties take to the streets. For a moment I was lost in his admiration for the island, until I was disturbed by a knocking.

As I turned to look at the door, I seem to miss the chance to say come in, because she popped her head in. Whats so interesting in that corner? she said in her sweet, but mocking voice. Hello Lady Stewart, I said, gazing at her. Truth be told, I was annoyed, at her lack of decency, barging into my private quarters. But I weakly replied Observing life outside these walls, one of these days, you might frighten me unexpectedly, and Ill fall out the window. Her sapphire eyes, shimmered as she looked at me, gliding across the room as if she was walking on air. Standing face to face with me she replied I shall go where I please! and turned to settle into my favorite chair at my desk. I sighed, how right she was. As the daughter of the Ambassador, Lady Stewart, has privileges, equal to that of a princess. Would you stop calling me Lady Stewart? You dont need to be so formal Richard Did I forget to mention she had a commanding nature of a Princess too? I dont know why I even acknowledge you..all you ever do is mock, or comment on me I said.

Her witty self, always ready with a response Because you adore me, lets be honest. I do admit, perhaps because of my nature as man; always grant any wish of a beauty. Lady StewartI mean Henrietta...was extremely beautiful. Refined like ladies of her class, but often a step higher than them, her eyes shone brightly in a room, with porcelain skin, and strawberry lips. She had a beautiful figure, no man can resist, and a flirtatious nature, I would have been in love with instantly, had we not grown up like best friends.

Henrietta, how many times do I have to say, knock and wait to be admitted, its not proper She cut me off proper? I should apologize if I happen to walk in and your half way in one of the prossies? Or perhaps I shouldnt enter when youre losing your inheritance bit by bit to those strange chums you call friends. I blushed furiously, attempting to rebuild any form of self-respect you shouldnt talk to so frankly. Who cares? I speak the truth! she commanded, I do you a favor to make sure some woman didnt run off with your money, or some roguish men havent tied you up, You should be thankful to have a friend who cares!, not to mention you parents asked me to keep you in line, so all in all, you owe me. I rolled my eyes, as I turned, throwing myself into the couch what do you want Henrietta?

Your Mother wrote to meyou know to see if youre alive or if you ran off to god knows she said. I let out a long sigh, and closed my eyes. I started to count in my head, 5, 4, 3 counting down the seconds till Henrietta went off in a lecture...2, 1...I paused, waiting. Youre, youre mothers favorite, and she has done everything for you, you cant even.there it was, the lecture impossible to avoidyou cant even write to her to tell her your fine, the poor woman is worrying about her son...And on she goes, enough, wasnt church bad enough? Are you practicing or preaching to be a nun? I mocked. Her expression changed, and I could see I hit the right point, she was silent arent you cheeky she said. I laughed and got up to sit at the desk. Im going to write to her now I said, shoving her from my seat. I expect for it to be done, by tomorrow, Im sending out letters back home. I simply nodded. As I got down to scrawl lazily on the parchment, Henrietta went about fixing something in my apartment, and by the grace of good, settled quietly into a book. I began to write:

Beloved Mother,

Please don't be too cross at my delay. I had promised to write when I first arrived, (and of course when I left the Venetian Country Side), but time went by before the blink of an eye. I apologize for the delay, my trip from the Venetian countryside was quick, less than a week, and I arrived safely to Meloria. The Contessa di Foscari was extremely kind, in letting me stay at her Villa, so much so, I was sad to leave the comfort of her home. Delicious meals, beautiful countryside, fresh air, as well as the company of the lady of the house, it was wonderful. However, she was going to head to Venice, she had to give her father the Conte, a message, so I agreed to not extend my stay, and I continued my tour of these ancient lands by heading south. I cant express the charm of this island in one letter, but I will remark, its beautiful, warm, and welcoming. I was invited to stay in the Villa of the Prince of Meloria. You might remember him, I studied with his sons back in London, and they were the two tanned Italians who spent the summer with us a few years ago. I promise Im well, and Im eating. I have found some art on my travels here, I shall sent home for father, I hope he appreciates it. Ill write soon, Im still getting settled in.

Love, Richard

Oh, and Please stop using Lady Stewart as a spy on me, god forbid if I should ever do the same to her.

I finished the letter, and sealed it, handing it to Henrietta. She took it, and stuffed it into her robe, inquiring to what I would do now. I looked outside, the sun, although setting, was still partly out. I decided I would go for a walk. Grabbing my black coat, I headed out, to enjoy the evening air.

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Louis XVI - A Mature Stud ?!


By Duke of Richmond, 2012-02-07

While we have a common view of the man namedLouis Auguste de Bourbon, Dauphin (in 1773 Versailles RP) and king historically by 1774, at one point or another, we found his man...nay a boy, we found him a boy. A boy who liked to play with locks, and eat all his time, shy and a push over, who would take him seriously..did the court? HisSubjects? His Wife?

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The Author of the Blog, Tea at the Trianon , posted anarticleseveral years ago, questioning if our currently view, which hasuniversallyaccepted, is true.

A King Maligned

Fron Tea at the Trainon

Some biographers, in seeking to change public opinion about Marie-Antoinette, attempt to redeem her at the expense of her husband, King Louis XVI. Louis-Auguste is portrayed as a repressed, impotent, dull-witted, indifferent husband, who drove his wife to gambling , dancing and spending exorbitant amounts of money as an outlet for her thwarted impulses. Stefan Zweig, a disciple of Sigmund Freud, was one of the first to impart to the public the image of the sexually frustrated teenage princess, which successiv e authors continue to promote to this day.

The drawback of the Freudian theory is that it does not explain why others at the French court, who were enjoying unmitigated pleasures of the flesh, were spending much more money than eighteen year old Marie-Antoinette. In vindicating Marie-Antoinette, still falsely perceived as the queen who took lovers and who danced while the people starved, it is necessary to gain a true perspective of her spouse, beyond the archetype of the fat, indolent husband, spoiling a wife he could not satisfy. One must look behind the myths, deliberately propagated and perpetuated in order to sell boo ks and movies about alleged extramarital love affairs, as well as to justify the excesses of the French Revolution. The reality about this tragic royal couple may not be as sensational as some biographies tell it, but it is as exciting, heart-rending and beautiful as any make-believe romance.

Louis XVI is systematically shown as being ugly, obese, smelly, and stupid. By contemporary standards, however, he was considered handsome, with his aquiline nose, deep set blue-grey eyes, and full sensual mouth. As a youth he was tall and thin, the tallest man at Court, and enjoyed intense physical exercise, such as hunting and hammering at his forge (he was a locksmith by hobby.) His physical strength was legendary; he could lift a shovel to shoulder height with a young boy standing on the end of it. Possessing the hardy Bourbon appetite, he developed a paunch as he approached his thirties. He was awkward and shy in his manner although not without dignity in his bearing. The efforts of his detractors to make him unattractive and therefore unlovable serves the purpose of giving his wife an "excuse" for chronic infidelity, another highly-popularized myth. Continue reading here...

Read the Rest of the Article on the main page, from Tea at the Trainon , don't forget to leave your comments and views here!!

Best Regards,

Delos.

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