MarieLouise Harcourt
Avatar: MarieLouise Harcourt
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Location: Versailles
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Old class: Roleplay & Communication

By MarieLouise Harcourt, 2013-09-19

I was going through the files on my computer, and I found this back. It is a old class I gave a long time ago, but I figured some might find it useful. So, I share it here!

Most 18th century roleplays are not centered around combat fighting, achieving specific goals or defeating the evil (unless you consider du Barry the evil, of course), but, when you really think of it, it is all about the way we communicate with eachother. Our roleplay is centered around conversation, not only because this is something we chose for the RP, but also because it is very historically accurate. Most events in the 18th century were centered around conversation, as for example dinners or salons. Besides, at Versailles nobles could no longer get things done by arranging an army or figt against other nobles/King, but by conversation and getting in the grace of the King through conversation.

Some of you might feel rather uncomfortable in coversations, and thus end up in being silent or very quiet. This is a pity, as around roleplay is mainly centered around conversations. We will discuss several things in this class concerning to optimize the conversations you have with others, which hopefully will result in you being better capable of having roleplay conversations with others. We will start with some technical things, as how to actually do it.

The basics of conversation.

Alright, so let us look at the very basis of conversation in our RP. It is usually Emotion/expression/sort of communcication followed by a thought or something that is being said. An example smiles. Oh, I just love potatoes. This is of course the very basic way of communicating with eachother, and most certainly the fastest way to have a proper conversation with eachother. The emotion or expression is of course not neccesary, because you can also have a fine conversation without it, but it does add something to what you are saying. We will pay attention to this more later.

For example, /me tries to hold back her tears and speaks. Oh, I just love potatoes, gives another effect than simply Oh, I just love potatoes, without any kind of emotion or expression. In the latter case the person saying it probably really likes potatoes, whereas in the first case the person might be traumatized by potatoes but does not admit it. Deep, erh? Of course, just as with conversations in reality, what matters is not so much what you say, but the way you say it. So, you could say something seductively, or sarcastically etc. This of course gives a twist to what you are saying, on which other characters can respond and interact with your character.

Either way, as stated above, it is not neccesarily needed to make use of such emotions, for a conversation. If you simply say what you want to say, thus in this case Oh, I just love potatoes, that is sufficient for a simple conversation. Do please make use of capitals, grammar, interpunction etc. It simply makes it look much better, and it does not cost that much time. oh i just love potatoes looks less good than Oh, I just love potatoes, whereas the difference in time to type either sentences is almost nothing. If you do not put attention to grammar, capitals, interpunction and such, it will look as if you have not put a lot of time in your post, which will make it look more unattractive for others to respond to. Quality is better than quantity!

Of course you can expand all of this as much as you want: but be sure not to push it. Most 18th century/court roleplays are not paragraph roleplays, and people do expect not having to wait too long for your respond to their question, something they said etc. Try to keep it to 3-4 lines max.

Third person

It is also possible to communicate with someone by speaking of yourself in the third person. An example is: Oh, she says seductively. I really love potatoes., while she winks at the monsieur on her right. Although I do not mind it myself very much, and hardly do it, I did read some people find this way of communicating irritating if it is done a lot. I do think talking in the third person gives you more easy way of being more descriptive in your RP, and I do it a lot myself this way. We in fact do already do most of our roleplay in the third person, without even realizing it. If we say /me smiles, that is in the third person. Because it is Madame du Barry (third person) smiles.

Other ways of communicating: thoughts and movement.

Thoughts at first do not seem too relevant in ways of communicating, as other characters can not respond to your thoughts, as they can not be heard, unless people are mind-readers (in that case: please stop reading my thoughts, yuck!). However, this is not entirely true. By using your thoughts other people will be able to understand your character a lot more, since it will show their true intentions, feelings and what makes them drive.

The same goes with movements, although you can not directly respond to them, it would be a pity to forget them. In reality almost all communication is body language. In SL this is not the case, but it should still not be forgotten. With describing movements, such as nervously ticking your foot up and down, taking the sweat of your forehead, crossing your arms etc., you will be able to communicate with others, while youre not even doing so by having to speak! How easy is that?

Of course movement is not necessarily the only form of body language. You could also for instance describe how you walk into a room, or sit down, or whatever it is that all of you do!

Once again it can be as descriptive as you want it to be yourself. You could for example do walks inside and sits down graciously, or you could do Louise walks inside with her head proud high in her head, but in her eyes one can see she is very nervous. Some powder falls from her face because of the sweat on her forehead as she sits down as graciously as she can. She looks around to see who are present and appears to be about to cry as soon as she faces the man who broke her heart. The latter of course gives people a lot to RP about. Such a descriptive way makes it of course much easier for people to interact on, make whispers about etc.

Content of the conversation.

What to talk about? I think that most of us would be discussing the latest gossips or some random things, such as for example fashion, the weather etc. What are some of the things you all usually discuss during conversations? Of course there are many more things that can be discussed. In fact you can discuss anything, like potatoes ;) But what is there to be discussed? Of course there have happened many notorious things in the past that could be discussed, or things that are going on at the very moment. Take for instance the Seven Years War, the partition of Poland, the developments in America. This of course also depends on where the court or 18th century RP is set! A few minutes on Wikipedia will give you loads of new topics to discuss with other courtiers. Or you discuss a recent event which was, for whatever reason, quite notorious. It was known that, in France, a minister would be remembered for a much longer period of time for that fabulous party he threw in his apartments, rather than for his successful policies.

But what about our characters personal stories? Dont be afraid to start a conversation about your own character. Especially as a fictional character it could be terribly fun to reveal some more things about your characters true character, or background. As I stated above, please do not be afraid to talk. You are free to make mistakes in the RP, because we learn from them. Believe me, even I made mistakes ;) No, actually I did not, but you get the point pretty much.

I personally think a conversation about anything could be very interesting. Just as I always say with roles it is as boring as you make it yourself. It is you, the roleplayers, who are the ones who can make it all as interesting as possible. Show also interest in others in conversation and pay attention to what others say by for example asking questions. By asking questions you will keep the conversation going. Try not to answer with a simple Yes or No, but tell why you agree or disagree, and ask how others feel about this subject. The task of leading a conversation is mainly the task of the event host, especially by dinners, but we can all help each other to make the RP as fun as possible.

Before we end this class, I would like to remind you all of something that was of great importance in order to make it at Court in the 18th century in the conversation. What I am talking about is a certain flattery and galanterie. Flattery was incredibly often done at the Court of France. But why? This was in order to come into favour of most preferably the King, or other influential courtiers. In the case of our Roleplay, this might lead to a higher place on the Favour chart. A good example of this given in a Louis XIV documentary is for example when Louis XIV asks a nobleman When is your wifes baby due? at which the courtier answers When Your Majesty wishes it! Flattery is not just a rule for men, but for all courtiers.

With all the things I just told you it is important to keep it to what is relevant. Think to yourself: is what I am saying interesting for others and/or will they be able to respond or interact with it? Quality is better than quantity. Better one good post that adds a lot to the RP, than three that have no effect.

Posted in: default | 3 comments

I usually do not post classes anywhere, or distribute the NC with the text, as I believe then attending serves no purpose. Indeed, I would be one of those annoying professors! However, I thought it would be fun, and hopefully inspirational to share. I really don't know it all either though!

When roleplay is not interesting, or even boring, it is easy to blame others! The others are not fun to interact with, the time period is not fun enough, or we dont have anything to do. I dont believe in this. We can make our roleplay as fun as we want to make it ourselves. So .. making RP more interesting and fun. Mmmm, how does one do that? Well, as most of you know, I do have a tendency to scandals.. with murder. However, that should not be the way to go! I had to think about it quite a while myself, because where do you begin? It is rather broad. So I decided to use a rather common approach when trying to explain or research something, namely by looking at the five W's. These are: What, where, why, what, and when. So, these aspects of your character we will now take a look at!

Roleplaying is of course not going to be fun if you can not enjoy your character. But how do you enjoy your character?You enjoy your character by making it as close to a real person as possible. Your character must have some level of depth, it should not be a 'flat character' so to speak.You can begin by working out a biography. When working out a biography, it would be specifically interesting to look at things that happened to your character in the past that have contributed to the shaping of their current personality. For instance, the early loss of a mother, could for example be a reason why your character desperately seeks female attention. Great poverty in the past, resulted in your character having great ambition. Having such details, and making your character slightly more deeper will make it much more interesting. Of course most of us do all have a general outline of our character's life till this day. For instance, with a lot of noble characters, something like.. 1. Born. 2. Went to a convent. 2 Event (marriage, anything) X 3. Went to court. However, like with any real person.. They had things happen to them, and you must try and think of those things. When you are a historical character, this is of course a bit easier, as you do not have to think of it yourself. However, you *do* have to incorporate it in the way you portray your character. You must not just look upon it as merely a fact, something in the past, but as something that still plays a role in the way your character acts.

It is also important to make sure your character has flaws. However, do be careful with this. As is really the case with flaws, they can really get annoying to others! You need to find a way for you to give your character flaws, and make use of them to make it more interesting for you to roleplay. Therefore, if you for instance choose to make your character, say, slightly aggressive, it would be easy to just to go punch a few people! However, it would for instance be much more interesting to see how your character deals with this aggression, by for example breathing heavier, scratching him- or herself, sitting on his or her hands, just to name a few example! Or perhaps your character is shy! Now in stead of not talking to anyone, you could also show how nervous your character gets from interacting with others. These kind of things would be very interesting to see! If your character is superior to everyone, in every situation, never made a mistake, then that would be no fun at all. Perfection is boring. Now don't push it of course! Don't make your character nothing but one big failure, haha, I am just saying, for your character to be interesting to yourself and to others, you must make him or her imperfect. Such flaws can come from the past, as we have discussed earlier with regards to working out your character.

The thing is to make your character diverse, your character has different sides, your character isn't perfect, it has flaws, it has emotions. Especially with historical characters, but also certainly with fictional characters, it is important not to make a stereotype out of your character. I also think especially when playing a historical character, it would be highly disrespectful to do that, as we are playing dead people after all. Your character is not merely a bitch, your character is not nothing but pureness and innocence. You must aspire your character to be a real person, one with hopes, dreams and fears.

Also be sure to prevent your character from becoming a wall flower to speak. Even if your character is intended to be shy, that does not mean you should not interact with others. Please try to show your shyness through conversation when doing so with others, we will discuss this later.

It is important to take in consideration WHERE your character is! In stead of complaining that it is not interesting or pretty enough, you need to try and use it to your advantage! In many ways, SL gives us a great opportunity, because we get to have a 'setting' for our roleplay, rather than that we only have words. However, it should not stop there. By roleplaying or just writing in general, we can create a whole world that isn't necessarily there.So make sure you make your character part of the environment, otherwise we could just be rolepaying in a wooden box. In your location, there are smells, there is a certain.. feeling to it.Perhaps the room is very dark, or perhaps you sense a lot of tension between other characters in the room. Incorporate these kind of things in your roleplay. Does your character feel comfortable where he or she is? Is it a new location, has he or she been there before? Make sure your character notices these kind of things, the way things look.

If you do not think those things into consideration, we do not need all these enormous sims as a roleplay setting! You might as well roleplay in one big, black box. However, I think a good roleplayer, could still set something amazing down in one big, black box! The idea is you create something that isn't there. Four people having tea in a room is hardly a court, you can say to be a realistic court. You have to use imagination.. You are a painter. Someone already made a little sketch for you with the basics, and now you have to color it in, paint.. smells, people, atmosphere etc.

Moreover, also important with regards to the where, is that often the roleplay is set in a particular context or decor. It could for instance be a space ship, or the court of the Pope. Use this! How would your character respond to these settings? Perhaps your character is afraid to crash on a planet (fo the space ship one then), or that the pope might come through the door any moment. Perhaps the roleplay is set in a very warm climate, does this make your character overheated or happy?

The why is very important, and also the who and where play a big role in this.Why is my character where he his? I think it is important you try and figure this out.In fact, if you do not figure this out.. I really doubt you will really be able to roleplay to your maximum capabilities. Like with characters in movies, plays, books.. They all have a goal, there is something they want to achieve. You must wish the same kind of thing for your own character. This of course also very much depends on the where. But you must think, WHY am I there? And also, as we discussed earlier, WHY am I the way I am? You need to give your character dreams, wishes, and ambitions, just like any other person does. But most importantly, you must argue why your character is where he or she is. Why would your character for instance be in a spaceship? Is it because he wants to meet aliens, because he aspires to become a captain? Just to name a few examples. When historical rp at a court.. Why is your character at court? It could for instance be because you hold a position, for financial reasons, to show your loyalty. Now these might be hard questions to answer, they might even require some research, but it is important to find out why. Moreover, I can not stress enough how important it is for your character to have a goal. If you do not give your character a goal it wishes to achieve, then it will serve no purpose. Your character will stand around, have emotions, have a wonderful biography, but your character is not going anywhere. Is this realistic? Does not every human being aspire to something, have dreams? I think so, it really makes or breaks your roleplay. Except for the really old characters, possibly. When trying to find out your goal, try and see if you can find a goal that would clash with goals of other characters as that would give interesting RP, when we would all have the same interests, care for other things. Who would watch the news if eveyone agreed with one another, and we all lived happily in peace? No one, it would be terribly boring! You need to dare to oppose, to have your character fight fo what he or she wants even if not everyone will ICly support you in that. Or perhaps you can create a dilemma for your own character. It wants this, and it wants that, but can not have both as one thing would go at the expense of the other. For example, having a nice family life, at the expense of a career. When thinking of why your character is where he or she is, or when thinking of what the character's goal is, try to think at least a little out of the box.. I know it is easy to make your character's goal to obtain a career, to get rich or to marry, but this class is about making the roleplay more interesting after all. Think a bit out of the box!

Now I thought a bit about what.. Because, what.. what? I think it comes down to, what is your character doing, and why? Hence, with regards to the why .. why is your character there, and what are his or her goals? What is your character feeling? Feeling is very important to roleplay. As I have once said in another class, I gave two very simple examples about a banana.
For example, you could say.. /me tries to hold back her tears and speaks. Oh, I just love banana.'
However, you could also say 'Oh, I just love banana,
Obviously there is a big difference between these two, as the latter has no emotion at all, whereas the first one does. Which one would be more interesting for you to respond to? Imagine you are roleplaying with someone, which one would make it easier and more fun for you to converse with them? I think it would be the version where emotion is added, because having emotion in your roleplay simply makes it more interesting. It just gives more space for interaction, how would your character respond? Perhaps your character would try to cheer the other up, perhaps your character dislikes the other and can secretly enjoy it, who knows! In order to know how your character would respond to other's emotions, it is of course important to first really figure out your character, as we have discussed earlier. You really do have to really 'explore' the personality of your character.

Now I am not saying you need to constantly cry, as there are of course a lot of different emotions. Nervosity, happiness, love, jealousy .. just to name a few examples. If you can manage to incorporate such emotions into your roleplay. Just as with conversations in reality, what matters is not so much what you say, but the way you say it. So you could say something seductively, or sarcastically etc. This of course gives a twist to what you are saying, on which other characters can respond and interact with your character. Although don't go overboard with your emotions, that would be annoying. Just like in RL, one does not like to be around someone who is too much of anything. The thing for making interesting RP really is to give each other 'something to work with', if you see what I mean. There needs to be something going on, something you can reply to, something that other characters can have opinions and feelings about.

I would also look at roles. What is my character and how does he or she do that, feel about that? It is like in RL, we all have various roles. One can for example be a mother, a customer, a teacher and a wife, all at the same day, just to name a few examples. I would try and look at, what are the roles my character has to play, and how does he act within these roles so to speak? We carry a mask in RL sometimes according to the role we play, how is this with your character? For example, how is the prince at state occasions, and is he different in private?

And aside from what your character is feeling, there are of course so many other things you character can be doing for it to be interesting. What is your character thinking, for instance? Thoughts at first do not seem too relevant in ways of communicating, as other characters can not respond to your thoughts, as they can not be heard, unless people are mind-readers (don't ever do that in RP, please!). However, this is not entirely true. By using your thoughts other people will be able to understand your character a lot more, since it will show their true intentions, feelings and what makes them drive. Through thoughts people will be able to understand
Furthermore, what is your character doing? How does your character move?The same goes for movements as for thoughts, although you can not directly respond to them, it would be a pity to forget them. In reality almost all communication is body language. In SL this is not the case, but it should still not be forgotten. With describing movements, such as nervously ticking your foot up and down, taking the sweat of your forehead, crossing your arms etc, you will be able to communicate with others, while your not even doing so 'verbally.' Of course movement is not necessarily body language. You could also for instance describe how you walk into a room, or sit down, or whatever it is that all of you do!

And at last, there is when, which mainly applies to historical roleplays I suppose. In historical roleplays, you are given a time, be it medieval, renaissance, 18th century, regency etc. You must wish to use this.You are not a modern someone in a historical time setting, you are someone of the time! Therefore, you must wish to make yourself be part of the historical context.Otherwise it is no fun at all. Sometimes, in historical movies, such as in Coppola's Marie-Antoinette they try look at history from a modern perspective. You however, need to look at it from your character's perspective. You need to try and figure out how someone in that period behaved, what they did and didn't do, what they did for fun, what kind of believes and thoughts they had. Once you know this, you can apply this to your character. Take for example the Renaissance, when there are so many different views on Catholicism and the papacy. Or how about the period of the French Revolution, when society is split up in various groups of people, all with different views on what would be the best way of governing. Being part of a historical RP is so much more than putting on a costume, and then playing around! You must really try and create a new mindset, to look at things from a historical perspective. Without some research, or without attending some classes, this is nearly impossible to achieve. It is really fun to imagine how the character you have created would be in a historical environment.

Of course, this sounds and seems like a lot of work. You have to figure out what your character is like, you need to place your character in a historical setting, you need a goal.. aaagh! But imagine we all did this, imagine what interesting characters we would all have. And if we did, would it not be terribly fun to interact with one another? I would think it would be. Key to a really good and interesting roleplay, is to think of how it would be fun and interesting for others to see you roleplay, to make them want to have interesting interaction with you. And I think that if we all pay attention to this to a certain degree, we would have a very fun roleplay, as we would all really enjoy learning about one another's characters, because they would make really interesting interactions and confrontations.

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Letter of resignation.

By MarieLouise Harcourt, 2013-07-22

Hello everyone,

After a long period of thinking, I have decided to leave the management of Versailles today. My partner Ethelred Brougham will join me in this decision. In a time when I am being called not committed enough to the project of Versailles in SL, I must draw a line. I have always been most devoted to Versailles, even when occasionally assisting my darling partner Ethelred with his own project, the Villa Farnese. Although I do not feel as if I should defend myself, I think I am fair in saying I have always been most committed.. I have always done the event schedule, set up for events, helped you with your roles, managed the gossip group, just to name a few examples. However, when being constantly plotted against, conspired against, insulted, and hated by others, for example because of playing Marie-Antoinette, what am I still doing it for? And especially, if such actions are accepted by certain members of our community through petition, then why do I serve this community, which I hold so close to my heart? Do I wish to be a subject of hatred, and to accept meaningless apologies every few months? Or shall I keep my dignity, and walk away? I choose the latter. Therefore, I feel no longer in a state to further serve the Versailles in SL community, and step down from my position in the management.

It has been fun the long period I have been active as manager, but also stressful, and sometimes has driven me absolutely crazy. Nonetheless, I have put a lot of time, love and patience in this project and gotten a lot of satisfaction back from it. I know I will never be able to entirely to forget Versailles in Second Life, the time I have spent here on the sims, the time I have put into the organization of events, discussing roles, the amazing people I have met here (naturally, most particularly my darling partner, Ethelred Brougham) etc. I have had a pleasure helping you all, have always been more than willing to answer your questions, solve your problems and to make sure everyone was having fun! I can guarantee you I have never wished any of you any harm, my best interests have always been with the Versailles in Second Life project. If I have ever, during my period of management, given you the impression I cherish resentment against you as an individual, then let me reassure you I have no such feelings. I have always come to Second Life not with the intention of being involved in drama, or making enemies. On the contrary, I thought it would be a fun way to meet people from all walks of life, from different countries and from different ages! And I think I succeeded in this, I feel as if my friends list has become full with fun friends! As a manager I had the opportunity to meet and speak with many fun people, often being the first to welcome them into our community! I am sorry there must have been moments where things got heated, but after all, I am only human and my first interests have always been with the project. And let me just assure you one more time, if it up to me we are all friends.

Looking back, we have had some fun times! I had the pleasure of organizing many fun things for you. Take for example the modern rococo event, Marie-Antoinette's toilette, couverts, the themed masquerade balls, the King's birthday, Bastille Day, the Christmas ball, the photography competitions, the Artois wedding, the 18th century quiz, various funerals, weddings and many other fun things. Though, my all time favorite was the Halloween, with the maze, the amazing party and the ghost-bots of Palatine and Pompadour! I had a lot of fun working out some roleplay scenario's for you, some more dramatic than others! Ranging from small court intrigues as affairs, to large murder plots. In my defense, there have actually only been two murders and caused by the same person, but there was a larger storyline behind it that was why it might have appeared these might have been more,! Haha, though I admit I might be slightly homicidal :P I admit, there were large pools of blood for dramatic effect, haha. (and often also rain to add to the atmosphere). There's been so much gossip and scandal I can only remember a small part of it!

I still feel setting up 'Les Nouvelles de la Cour' was one of the best ideas I ever had, even though it unfortunately rained a bit less gossip the past period. Furthermore, I set up and executed the concept of the event schedule, which realized that we have an event every day in the week, which are organized by our own, amazing role-players. Before that, we never had so many fun things to go to! I can tell you, despite the occasional stress sometimes, it has always been great fun, and I enjoyed working with all of you on these things. Since it is not just me as an individual who made this fun, it is the fact we all did it together.

The effect of me resigning from my position as manager of Versailles in Second Life is that I shall no longer represent Versailles in Second Life as a manager, and cannot help you any further with questions regarding the roleplay, events, applications, the management, or anything else related to Versailles in Second Life if I as an individual am not directly involved. Of course, I am always more than willing to chat with you, about whatever! I am of course always willing to share some of the knowledge I have gained over the past years with you, and feel free to come to me if you think I might be able to help you out with something. Even though I am no longer a manager, I will still be here for you! I think it is important that roleplayers share the knowledge they have gained with one another.

I thank everyone for the great times, the support and all the opportunities I have had being a manager at Versailles in SL. I have always considered it a special privilege to have spent a large portion of my second life in the service of our community and in fulfilling the tasks that came with that responsibility.

Friendly greetings,
MarieLouise Harcourt & Ethelred Brougham

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The Life of Jeanne-Christine de Honfleur

By MarieLouise Harcourt, 2013-04-27


Jeanne-Christine was born as the illegitimate daughter of the Abbe Terray and a peasant woman living in the south of France. Unfortunately, like many impoverished women did in these times due to the high poverty, Jeanne-Christine was sent to Paris as a baby *with the hope* that someone would be able to take care of her. Due to expensive wars (such as the Seven Year's war) and bad harvests, many women were not able to take care of their babies. Taken into one of the many hospices in Paris, a few nuns took her under their care. This was really not so uncommon, as by 1772 it was noted that 10,634 children had to be lodged, nourished and educated there by the nuns in Paris. Jeanne-Christine had a fairly happy youth, although she always had the feeling as if she did not really belong. In fact, she felt as if she deserved something more, as if she had a bigger destiny in life. Something the nuns in Paris could not offer her. In order to survive, one would need money and status. In a desperateattempt to escape her faith and the strict nuns, Jeanne-Christine knocked on the Honfleur residence in Paris at age 6, where they took her in as a part of their family.

Soon Jeanne-Christine got a job at Versailles as a maid, where she felt bitter about the class system and the manner by which she was treated. It was also at Versailles where she was reunited with her biological father, the Abbe Terray, who believed himself to a have a good ally in this ambitious bastard. Jeanne-Christine would look with sadness as the noble women would walk by in their gorgeous gowns, while she was rubbing the floor clean merely because of the circumstances in which she was born. Angry with how she was treated by nobles, and particularly by Madame Adelaide, she wanted revenge. She wanted to scare one of the horses of Madame Adelaide, but it unfortunately turned out that the carriage which she believed to be Madame Adelaide's turned out to be Madame Victoire's. As the carriage crashed against the castle walls while a ball was going on nearby, Jeanne-Christine could not help but watch as blood dripped out of the carriage. For the first time in her life, Jeanne-Christine realized she couldhave a power over those whom often regarded her as irrelevant and inferior.


Despite of what happened, life went on as normal. Aside from the confrontations with the Abbe de Luynes now and then, everything was going well for her. Many women of her age would have been happy with the circumstances in which she lived. Jeanne received financial support from the Abbe Terray and her family. Nonetheless, a woman such as Jeanne-Christine wanted more in life. She wanted not only materialistic things, but she secretly also craved love. She sought male attention, but she had never been a very lovable woman. It was that controlling, self-dependent, narcissistic part of her personality that never let her be able to love, nor to be loved. So aside from the occasional meaningless intimacy, Jeanne never experienced true love until she thought she had found love with the Prince d'Angoumois, with whom she also shared the bed. However, his family, Saint-Cyr, had other plans for him, namely to marry him of to a member of the house of Gramont, the Mlle de Bidache.

Jeanne-Christine helped the Mademoiselle de Bidache get ready for her big wedding day. She helped her get into her wedding dress, styled her hair and applied her rouge. But then, as she looked upon the painting of the Prince dAngoumois, she felt wronged. Had he and Jeanne not spent the night together, had he not told her he loved her? Why is it, that purely because of the family name she carried, she could not marry him herself? Was she, an intelligent and beautiful woman, destined to be an maid forever, while this girl was to be a princesse? In a moment of bitterness and panic, Jeanne-Christine got a knife out of the pocket out of her dress, and coldly stabbed the Mademoiselle de Bidache. Before she realized it the entire room was covered in blood, and she ironically wrote love on the painting of the prince with blood. Jeanne-Christine ran to the chapel and shouted something horrible had happened, but none of them could have known that the maid ringing the alarm bell was the one who committed thehorrible crime.


Except for the Abbe de Luynes, nothing seemed to get in her way. Angry with him for once publicly humiliating her at audiences with the Dauphine and at a salon of Madame du Barry, she was desperate to take revenge. It seems that Jeanne-Christine could finally take her revenge on the Abbe de Luynes at the Nations Ball Masquerade. Dressed as a noblewoman hidden behind a mask, she seduced the Abbe de Luynes and made love to him. Although one might not necessarily see that as a revenge, the fact that he gave in to his weakness for earthly desires and exposed himself to her gave Jeanne her feeling of power and control back. A feeling she would so desperately seek. But that was not her only form of revenge that night. Not only did she seduce the Abbe de Luynes, she also attempted to poison the Duchesse de Bourbon of whom she greatly disliked. It was in these days that the Duchesse de Bourbon was said to be intimate with some Italian lady, and Jeanne-Christine wished to punish her and the other nobles for their corrupt lifestyle.


Jeanne-Christine got everything she wanted. She had the nobility scared of her, she had enough wealth through her family and father, but she still had the desire to get more out of life. Her father, who was part of the corrupt government of France, wished to overthrow Madame du Barry with one of his own many bastard daughters. But in order to do so, she had to be a noble first and be presented to the court. In order to do this, the Comte dArtois was the perfect tool, as he, despite being married, would not disappoint a woman throwing herself at him. He and Jeanne-Christine had spent a few nights together, with the ultimate goal of her carrying his baby. When she was finally pregnant, she blackmailed him to use his influence in order to obtain her a husband--who turned out to be the unfortunate Marquis de Saint-Ceneri. The bundled influence of the Abbe Terray, Comte d'Artois and a dowry of 400,000 sous persuaded the Marquis into a marriage with this woman.


The only step left was her presentation at court. On April 26, 1774, she was to be formally presented to the court, but in the middle of her presentation, she was arrested for the crimes she had committed. Taken away and imprisoned, Jeanne-Christine had lost all control and power she worked so hard to obtain. But, knowing that she is a woman who does not let much stand in her way...what will the the future bring for this character? What do you think, knowing from the historic events that occur in the future?

Jeanne-Christine is not just a villain, and she is not a monster. She is not a bitch. Well, the latter is up for discussion I suppose. In many ways, Jeanne-Christine resembles how many people in the 18th century must have felt. Her ambitions and dreams were often blocked by her origins, but also by her sex. In these times women holding on to any sort of power were often feared and subjected to hatred. Think of the unpopular female regents such as Anne of Austria and Catherine de' Medici, or the war causedby a female ascending the imperial throne of the Holy Roman Empire. I have always wanted Jeanne-Christine not to come across as some murdering idiot, but as an ambitious young woman who, by no means, let anyone, her origins or her sex get in the way of achieving her dreams.

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Page 128.. Madame du Barry's memoirs..

By MarieLouise Harcourt, 2013-04-05
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Court etiquette, why was it so important?

By MarieLouise Harcourt, 2010-10-03

Court etiquette, why was it so important?

Everyone who is just a little bit interested in court life of the ancient rgime knows how strict the etiquette was and that the courtiers followed in our eyes strange ceremonies like for example the leve and coucher. In this blog I will explain you why the court etiquette was considered so extremely important.

A perfect example of the court etiquette and ceremony is the leve (the ceremony of the rising of the king). Everything in this ceremony is extremely precisely organized. It was obviously needed the king would get dressed but it also had a social function. The king would use private moments like getting dressed to create differences between ranks, give favors and to show his displeasure. This gave the etiquette a very symbolic function as well.

The king Louis XIV had most certainly not ''invented'' the whole etiquette himself. But he did use the etiquette for his authority. The king wouldn't only follow the official ranking system but also made use of small occasions to decide the status of a courtier. By doing so, he uses the concurrence between courtiers for favors and privileges for his own authoirty.

During the reign of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette the courtiers followed the same etiquette as during the reign of Louis XIV but everyone from all ranks disliked the etiquette. However, giving up the etiquette was no option. Because that would mean giving up all the privileges and losing power opportunities for everyone.

Even the smallest change in the position of people in the etiquette would be a change of the entire social ranks in the court society. Because of this everyone was extremely sensitive about changing the etiquette. You would think its strange that people would be so sensitive about it especially when you realize that at the end of the 18th century a lot of people disliked the etiquette and followed it with distaste. However, when the queen Marie Antoinette wanted to change the etiquette a little bit it was the high nobility that complained. For example, when a duchesse had the privilege to sit around the queen it would be annoying if someone of lower rank could do so as well.

There also is another reason why the court etiquette never stopped. This is because there always was concurrence between courtiers about power, status and prestige opportunities. Because of this courtiers would actually make each other following the etiquette. The lower ranked courtiers gave pressure on the high ranked ones and the high ranked courtiers on the lower ranked ones, this stabilized the system and mechanism of the etiquette and so the etiquette would be followed till the revolution.

Btw: I would like some comments with perhaps positive or negative feedback on my blogs.

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Residence of courtiers in the Ancien RĂ©gime.

By MarieLouise Harcourt, 2010-09-24

Residence of courtiers in the Ancien Rgime.

Typical for courtiers of the Ancien Rgime is that they at least the important ones had a apartment at Versailles (the house of the king) and a home, in most cases the Htel. The name of the home depends on your status. For example, the bourgeoisie lived in Mansions, nobility in Htels and princes and the king in a palais. Sometimes, the residence of a high clergy would be called a palais as well.

Besides that they would also have Chateaus, but we wont pay attention to that in this blog. Courtiers would have one of more estates which were their biggest part of the income.


The porche would give access to visitors and carriages. In the hotel itself you would find:

Salons: In the middle would be one big salon which would take 2 floors high.

On one side of the big salon you would find the rooms of the appartement de societe which gave access to a antichambre, garderobe, sale de compagnie, dining room and so on. The appartement de socit would mostly be for close friends. They, mostly the wife, would go here to accompany friends in a relaxed way, so without the strict court-etiquette.

On the other side of the big salon you would find the appartement de parade, with parade-cabinets, parade-bedrooms and so on. The appartement de parade would be mostly for official occasions, like important people visiting their house or when people are congratulating the wife after she gave birth.

- Appartments priv: One would be on the left side and the other one on the right side of the big courtyard. They would be almost similar. Next to their bedroom would be a cabinet, antichambre and garderobe.

- Basse-Cour: The basse-cour was a small courtyard with around it buildings where the domestiques could do their work. Examples of those buildings/rooms are:



Laboratoire doffice (they would make ice there)

Garde-Manger (cold kitchen)

Office pare (where they would lock up the silverware)


The courtiers would have a lot of staff, in French called domestiques, in and around their htel. A few examples of the domestiques you would find in a htel:

Maitres dhtel: The maitres dhtel had the job to be in charge of the finances and supervise all the other domestiques.

Maitre dhtel: Supervises the domestiques and reports for example when dinner is starting.

Officier doffice: Was in charge of the people who were setting the table and the silverware (which was in the office pare).

These are just a few examples of staff you would find in a hotel. You would obviously also find maids, stable men, a cook (chef de cuisine) and so o
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Dear diary (3)

By MarieLouise Harcourt, 2010-08-07

Dear diary,

Today is a day I will reveal you a secret. Well, its not realy a secret because everyone is supposed to know. So, its a.. ehh.. public secret! Yes, public secret! That sounds good, doesnt it?

Well, like I mentioned before the dauphin and dauphine are having some problems in the bedroom. And with problems I mean the only thing they do is sleeping. Now, the doctor Lasonne came to talk with the dauphin and he gave him some advice. And apparently it was some good advice because Marie Antoinette told me that something has happened! She already told the king who kissed her and called her his daughter and obviously also her mother the empress.

Today I told my two cousins, the comtesse de Provence and de Artois, at the dejeuner because Marie Antoinette wants me to spread the secret. Now, obviously, there is no way that they wont tell it to anyone else and so will soon the entire palace know. Perfect, isnt it?

My two cousins who dont seem to like my friend reacted both different. My cousin the comtesse de Provence became all red in her face! She was like a tomato with a wig! It was hilarious, though, I did feel sorry for her. My other cousin seemed to be in some kind of way happy for the couple because she wants a heir. Well, at least thats what she is telling me.

At the dejeuner happened something else besides the gossiping. The weather became terrible at a certain moment. And with terrible I mean HORRIBLE! I was so scared I suddenly fainted. However, there was enough chocolate to calm down again!

Au revoir my diary,

See you tomorrow!

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