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...
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