How the myths still exist.

I came across this article as I was doing some research on why the liberals glory in being called the left and the conservatives the right. It is part of a site which concerns Victor Hugo.

...This portrait of Marie Antoinette is one of many painted by Marie Vigee-Lebrun. This painting was probably completed in the early 1780s. Marie is more accessible in this portrait than she ever was as a queen. She gazes directly at the viewer, and holds in her hand a document of some sort. She looks industrious in this picture, which is unusual because she had a reputation of being a frivolous and idle woman. She was nicknamed Madame Deficit by the people of France because of her love of extravagance. Soon after her marriage to Louis she became the leader of fashion in France, and her taste added to France's already burdened treasury. After she had children, Marie-Antoinette turned to meddling in affairs of state. She persecuted her enemies successfully, and it appeared that she had her husband completely henpecked. She never made a secret of her preference for her country of birth (Austria), and so she was resented by the French people. They often blamed her for Louis's blunders...

This is a part of an article on "Les Miserables" and just in this short piece we are presented with a less than favorable look at the Queen Martyre. "She looks industrious" and why not, she was, never one to be lazy and indolent she worked hard and was full of zeal in her charity and kindness to the poor. While some complained about her "extravagance" she was inclined to wear plain clothes more fitting to propriety than to showiness. For a Queen who was accused of this extravagance one is hard pressed to find many jewels in paintings to support that claim. In doing so she was again insulted by those who remarked that she was posing in her chemise. She was first a loving mother of children. Her home a Petite Trianon (once the home of Louis XV mistress) became her refuge. She had a model farming which she oversaw and took interest in the minutest detail, in the hope that the system worked out there would benefit France. She was a Baptised Catholic and in a time where reverence and fear of God was mocked at she herself was mocked. She never lost her faith. Of course the public never saw her in these family moments. Her detractors, many of whom were relations by marriage wrote scandalous libelles seeking power or from jealousy. Marie-Antoinette and Louis sold their own silverware to help with the finances already overburdened by helping the American defeat England in that revolution. The view of her is slanted because unlike a certain Diana, whose marriage to Charles was reviewed and previewed in the media was and remains the darling of a leftest press. Diana could do no wrong even when on TV she announced to the public that she had an affair (incidentally by British law this is treason). But I digress.

"Marie is more accessible in this portrait than she ever was as a queen." And the point is? Queens during that period in history did not go about the town partying and conversing with the local butcher a shopping bag in hand. It was and is beneath the dignity of a crowned head. In a slightly later time the eldest daughter of Marie-Antoinette would council a relative about how she acted in public speaking to shopkeepers as if she was one of them. No French Queen had ever done this before, yet Marie-Antoinette is castigated for it. And which mother who having lost two children to disease wants to be overcrowded by throngs of onlookers in her grief and solitude?

"After she had children, Marie-Antoinette turned to meddling in affairs of state..."
Only by telling her Husband the King it was not a good thing to help the Americans in their rebellion because nothing good could come of it. In this she was correct, for this selfsame nation which begged for help in the war against the British turned their back on those whose fortunes they had so abused and thrown into trouble. Marie-Antoinette told the King she was fearful of the French revolutionaries and what that aide might do to the nation.

One cannot be too surprised by this view, after all it is what has been propagated for 200 years. A nation such as the US who has taught children that because taxation with out representation was the cause of the American Revolution will not pause to believe anything produced in a one sided fiction of the "poor masses" clamoring for their "rights". They will not bother to think about the cost to France during the Terror, the religion of the faithful, the wars it fostered, the revolutions it spawned, the destruction of the family. Al these modern ills can be directly attributed to the revloution.

Grand Dieu Sauve le Roi.

de Brantigny


elena maria vidal said...

Thanks for taking on each of those falsehoods. The fact that the article referred to her as "Marie" rather than as "Marie-Antoinette" or "Antoinette," as she was called at home, shows that they do not know what they are talking about.

de Brantigny said...

I feel it is a college or high school project. Over the last few research trips I have found worse things being said about Marie-Antoinette by modern writers. Countering such detraction is the reason for being of my blog.