Immortal Beloved

As I sit in my office listening to Beethoven my mind wanders back to a great mystery of the 19th century. That is who was Beethoven's Immortal Beloved?

...Good morning, on July 7 Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us - I can live only wholly with you or not at all - Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits - Yes, unhappily it must be so - You will be the more contained since you know my fidelity to you. No one else can ever possess my heart - never - never - Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves. And yet my life in V is now a wretched life - Your love makes me at once the happiest and the unhappiest of men - At my age I need a steady, quiet life - can that be so in our connection?...

So reads a letter in the maestros own hand found among his letters after his death in 1827. It is not known if he never sent the letter or if the letter was read and returned.

Several women have been identified as the "Imortal Beloved", they include,
Johanna Reiss, Anna Marie Erdody, Giulietta Guicciardi, and the most likely Antonie Brentano. Interestingly enough Antoinie Brentano is one of the only real candidates who was left out of the 1994 film.

Immortal befuddled
The search goes on for Beethoven's great love
From the 7/24/00 issue of USN&WR


To most Beethoven scholars, the identity of the woman Beethoven loved desperately but could not possess–the woman he called "my angel, my all, my very self" in letters found after his death in 1827–is no mystery of history. She was Antonie Brentano, graceful Viennese wife of a Frankfurt businessman and mother of five. Beethoven met her in Vienna around 1810 and spent considerable time with her.

That has been the consensus since the late 1970s when music historian Maynard Solomon handily eliminated all other possible candidates, including frequently mentioned Josephine of Brunsvick, in his definitive biography, Beethoven. (Beethoven's sister-in law, Johanna, put forth as "Immortal Beloved" in the movie of the same name, was never a serious candidate.) Solomon's widely accepted argument makes it clear that only Brentano could have been in the right place at the right time in 1812.

No notes. Now comes word that the woman who for more than a year derailed Beethoven's composing and sent researchers in search of clues for nearly 150 more years may be a mystery after all. Next month a group of Czech and American music scholars will publish an essay claiming that a woman heretofore unmentioned is the true Beloved.

"This candidate has never before been suggested and is the strongest to date," says William Meredith, head of the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies at San Jose State University in California. Fearful of tipping off other experts, he would say little else about Beethoven's great love other than that she had no children, which is significant because of theories that the composer fathered a son with Brentano, who gave birth less than nine months after the Immortal Beloved letters were written in July 1812. Josephine of Brunsvick also had a daughter several months after the letters were written; Beethoven may have tutored the child at the piano.

It is not clear whether the new revelations will lead to a better understanding of the relationship. There is no proof Beethoven was sexually involved with his Beloved–or anyone else for that matter. Yet she was the object of his deep desire to be married. Without her, Beethoven gave up hope for such a life. When he died of liver failure in 1827, the only trace of the Immortal Beloved was the three-part love letter he left behind, signed "Ever thine, Ever mine, Ever ours."

de Brantigny

Catholic critics ask Pope to lift contraception ban

I think the most distressing thing about this article is that the reporter makes it appear as though the entire Catholic Church, either uses contraceptives and still consider themselves good Catholics or the entire church the Pope wrong. I am also drawn to the conclusion that priests everywhere are just waiting to have what ever order lifted so they can speak their mind. ..."Most Catholics use modern contraceptives, believe it is a moral choice to do so and consider themselves Catholics in good standing, yet the Catholic hierarchy completely denies this reality, forcing the clergy into silence on this and most other issues related to sexuality,..." I do not know what jacobin church this fellow goes to but I have never seen a priest who gets uncomfortable to speak his mind on pro-Life issues.

Reality Check Time Pullella, absolute truth is absolute. A moral decision is a decision from which no evil can be derived. Therefore using contraceptives can not be a moral decision, because it shuts out God from the Sacrament of Marriage. The decision to use contraceptives is not moral, calling it thus is a scandal because it places error in the mind of the faithful and leads them to mortal sin.

Fri Jul 25, 4:15 AM ET
By Philip Pullella
ROME (Reuters) - More than 50 dissident Catholic groups published an unusually frank open letter to Pope Benedict on Friday saying the Church's ban on contraception has been "catastrophic" and urging him to lift it.

The letter was published as a paid half-page advertisement in Corriere della Sera, Italy's largest newspaper, on the 40th anniversary of the late Pope Paul VI's controversial encyclical "Humanae Vitae," which enshrined the ban.

While criticism of the Vatican and its views is fairly common in articles and editorials in Italian newspapers, it is unusual for a group to take out paid advertising against the pope, particularly in a large-circulation mainstream newspaper.

The letter, written in Italian, said the Church's anti-contraception policy "has had a catastrophic impact on the poor and powerless around the world, endangering women's lives and leaving millions at risk of HIV."

It also said that 40 years on, the encyclical continued to be "a source of great conflict and division in the Church" and because most Catholics use contraception and feel they are not sinning, the policy has been "an utter failure."

Pope Paul's encyclical, written in 1968, has been defended by his successors John Paul and Benedict.

The Church teaches that nothing should block the possible transmission of life and approves only natural methods of birth control such as the rhythm method, in which a couple abstain from intercourse during a woman's fertile time.

Paul's encyclical, written at the height of the 1960s sexual revolution, is perhaps the most controversial and divisive in modern Church history.

As recently as last May, Benedict defended the encyclical as far-sighted and said it was "all too often misunderstood and misinterpreted."


At the time, Benedict said love between a married couple could not "remain closed to the gift of life."

The letter was signed by groups such as Catholics for Choice, which is U.S. based, We Are Church, which has branches in numerous countries, and New Ways Ministry, which helps minister to gay Catholics.

"We thought the establishment in Rome and the Vatican pay close attention to the Italian media and the letter would be seen by the people to whom we want to deliver this message," Jon O'Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, told Reuters by telephone from Washington.

The Vatican said it would likely issue a statement on the letter later on Friday.

"It is clear to us that the Catholic church cannot move forward until it honestly confronts the paradox of Humanae Vitae," the letter said.

"Most Catholics use modern contraceptives, believe it is a moral choice to do so and consider themselves Catholics in good standing, yet the Catholic hierarchy completely denies this reality, forcing the clergy into silence on this and most other issues related to sexuality," it said.

The letter concluded:

"Pope Benedict, we call on you to use to use this anniversary as an opportunity to start the process of healing by being true to the positive aspects of Catholic teachings on sexuality and lifting the ban on contraception to allow Catholics to plan their families safely and in good conscience."

de Brantigny



Due to the influx of spam received as comments I have added a word verification.

I am sorry to have to do this. I do not mind entrepreneurial efforts but I refuse to allow my blog to be used as an advertising medium.

de Brantigny

Maréchal Pétain

Durendal has posted an article by N.D.C. Wansbutter, Esq. a contributor about the late Maréchal Pétain. Villanized after the inglorious surrender of the France to the Germans in 1940, he was the hero of Verdun in the First World War. It was Pétain who returned the morale of the French Army after the mutinies of 1917 and restored the French esprit de corps.

Today marks 57 years since Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain, Marshal of France, Chef de l'État Français, and Saviour of Verdun died in captivity on the Île d'Yeu. He is a man who's been almost universally villainised as a "traitor" and "collaborator" -- but the more I read about him, the more I'm convinced that these are but convenient labels and the real reason he is condemned is because of his attempts, as Chef de l'État Français to return his homeland to the ideals of a rural, agricultural, traditionalist, Catholic society.

Had he been a secular liberal like his successor, Charles de Gaulle, I'm quite certain that rather being condemned to death for collaboration, the founders of the Fifth French Republic would have merely characterised him as a good man who did what he could in impossible circumstances. For this is exactly what he did: when President Albert Lebrun invited Maréchal Pétain to form a government in June 1940, the Maginot Line had already been outflanked by German armour and the best and most modern French armies lost in the encirclement. The Germans had total air supremacy. Paris had been occupied. Pétain therefore decided to sign an armistice rather than fight a lost cause. It would seem that the great hero of WWII, Churchill, agreed with this assessment since he had already refused air support to France, believing the decisive battle was now to be fought in Britain. Considering the hopelessness of the situation, and the fact that Catholic just war theory does not allow for suicidal waging of a lost war, Maréchal Pétain's actions take on a new light.

Thanks to Mark and Nicholas at Durandal, with a tip of the beret.

de Brantigny

A Blog of Note

Metanoia is a new site which I have found. The postings come from a blogger who uses the nom-de-plume of Merciful Juliana. In her introduction of herself she writes...

"I am an Orthodox Christian wife and mother. I love God, my family, my friends, reading, food and pilates. I’m trying to love my enemies too, but so far that’s not working out very well."

Give it time Juliana and see the face of Christ in all even if they hide HIM well.

The blog will be added to my blogs list.

de Brantigny


Serbia issued an ultimatum from Austria-Hungary

94 years ago yesterday Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia demanding Serbia to allow the Austrians to determine who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The demands send by Austria-Hungary were couched in such terms that the Serbians were sure to refuse them. This refusal was used as an excuse by Austria-Hungary for the Austria-Hungarian army to invade Serbia.

The pending invasion of Serbia led the Russians to mobilize thus drawing Germany in to the war on the side of Austria-Hungary. The German mobilization induced France to mobilize in support of the Russians. Germany invaded Belgium on August 1 in response to the French mobilization. As Belgium was invaded Britain mobilized to aid the Belgians to honour their almost hundred year treaty. World War I begins.

This war was to last 4 years, destroy or weaken every monarchy in Europe, and set the stage for the next World War. 94 years on and we still haven't learned much.

Dieu Le Roy!
de Brantigny

The above print shows pointedly how little did any power in Europe know what the war would mean.

Pain de Brioche

Louis la Vache published this article in his recipe blog for those of us who are not able to eat la mode français and are confined to eating "Big Macs".

"S’ils n’ont plus de pain, qu’ils mangent de la brioche."*

The word brioche first appeared in print in 1404. This bread is believed to have sprung from une recette normande traditionnelle. It is argued that brioche is probably of a Roman origin, since a very similar sort of sweet holiday bread is made in Romania ("sărălie"). The method of baking it and tradition of using it during holidays resembles the culture surrounding the brioche so much that it is difficult to doubt same origin of both foods. Brioche is often served as a pastry or as the basis of a dessert, with many local variations in added ingredients, fillings and toppings. It is also used with savory preparations, particularly with foie gras, and is used in some meat dishes.

Perhaps the most popular version is Brioche à tête. Today, we will bake a loaf version, using a slow-rise, cool fermentation method. "Louis" lets the dough ferment in the refrigerator twice overnight before a third rise at room temperature on the third day before baking. You can proof the dough quicker than this, but the long, cool fermentation helps develop the flavor and improves the keeping quality. Without further ado,

À table!

Pain de brioche

Oven 350º F (180º C)


1/2 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cool water
7 grams yeast (1 packet)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
17 ounces unbleached bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
egg wash (optional)


1) In a small saucepan, scald the milk.
2) Add the butter to the milk, stir until the butter melts, then add the sugar.
3) Set aside, allow to cool to under 100º F (38º C)
4) Allowing time for the milk/butter mixture to cool, pour the water into the mixing bowl of your mixer* fitted with the whisk attachment.
5) Add the yeast. Allow the yeast to soften for five minutes.
6) With the mixer on low speed, blend the yeast into the water.
7) Pour the milk/butter mixture into the mixing bowl and blend.
8) Add 1/2 cup of the flour, continue to blend on low speed.
9) Replace the whisk attachment on the mixer with the dough hook.
10) Add another 1/2 cup of the flour.
11) When that addition of flour is absorbed, with the mixer running, sprinkle the salt over the dough, blend well.
12) Continuing to mix at low speed, gradually add the eggs.
13) Gradually add remaining flour, running the mixer until the dough forms a soft, sticky ball.
14) Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl from time to time.
15) When the dough develops a sheen, the gluten is properly developed. At this point, turn the mixer off and remove the dough hook.
16) Resist the temptation to add more flour. This is a soft, sticky dough. The key is to mix long enough for the dough to develop a sheen, indicating proper gluten development.
17) Scrape the bowl. Oil your hands, coat the dough with the oil, shaping the dough into a ball.
18) Cover the bowl well and place in the refrigerator overnight.
19) The next morning, punch the dough down, cover and refrigerate again until the third morning.
20) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, shape it to fit the pan you've selected to bake it in.
21) Oil the pan, place the dough in it, cover and allow to proof until at least doubled. Because the dough has been refrigerated, it will take a long time for it to 'wake up' and proof.
22) Bake at 350º F (180º C) for 30 - 45 minutes, depending on the pan you've selected. Brush with an egg wash the last ten minutes of baking to give the crust a sheen.
23) When golden brown and you get a hollow sound by thumping on the bottom of the pan, remove the pan from the oven, placing it on a cooling rack.
24) Let the bread cool for at least 10 minutes before depanning. Resist the temptation to cut into it right away! Let it cool until the internal temperature falls below 100º F (37º C) before cutting.

* Assumes a Kitchen Aid mixer

Thanks Louis! I tip my beret in your general direction...

de Brantigny

NOTE: Roughly, "If they have no prad let them eat cake..."
La Reine Martyr, Marie-Antoinette never uttered those words...

Sheep May Safely Graze

J.S. Bach. Played on original period instruments.

de Brantigny

More on the Romanovs

J.K. Baltzersen has posted another short article o the Romanovs. If you have not done so, visit his site and play the films he has collected this last week. A remarkable tragidy of the 20th century...

Russians Get New, Fond Glimpse of the Last Czar

Published: July 20, 2008

MOSCOW — The black-and-white photographs are ordinary enough: Czar Nicholas II, his wife and their five children relax in the countryside. His wife, Alexandra, mingles with patients in a hospital. Their son, Crown Prince Aleksei, poses in a traditional Russian sailor suit.

Sergei Kivrin for The New York Times
An exhibition in Moscow is displaying archival material on Czar Nicholas and his family.

Natalia Kolesnikova/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
A Russian Orthodox believer held an icon of the czar’s family at a meeting on Thursday for the 90th anniversary of their executions.

But to many of the Russians who visited the new “Crown of the Czar” exhibition in Moscow last week, these pictures of the royal family were breathtaking. Older people who grew up versed in the canon of Marx and Lenin seemed particularly grateful to see documents and other items that had been locked away in archives for so many decades.

de Brantigny


Minnesota professor repeats threat of Eucharistic desecration

Ok, I did not publish an article on this last week, because I found it so unbelievable that I just couldn't bring myself to place it in may blog. The Catholic Bulletin has the following article...

Morris, MN, Jul 16, 2008 / 03:58 am (CNA).- University of Minnesota at Morris biology professor P.Z. Myers has repeated his threat to desecrate the Eucharist, saying “I have to do something. I’m not going to just let this disappear.”

Speaking in an interview with the Minnesota Independent, Myers characterized the Eucharist as a “cracker.” He said that the vitriolic responses he received from self-described Catholics had strengthened his resolve.

“I have to do something,” he said in the interview. “I'm not going to just let this disappear. It's just so darned weird that they're demanding that I offer this respect to a symbol that means nothing to me. Something will be done. It won't be gross. It won't be totally tasteless, but yeah, I'll do something that shows this cracker has no power. This cracker is nothing.”

According to Myers, a minority of the threats even directed anti-Jewish remarks at him. Myers was in fact raised Lutheran.

When the Minnesota Independent asked Myers how his proposed action differed from U.S. military personnel’s reported abuse of the Koran, Myers responded:

“There's a subtle difference there -- maybe an important difference. I don't favor the idea of going to somebody's home or to something they own and possess and consider very important, like a graveyard -- going to a grave and desecrating that. That's something completely different. Because what you're doing is doing harm to something unique and something that is rightfully part of somebody else -- it's somebody else's ownership. The cracker is completely different. This is something that's freely handed out.”

Myers claimed the furor generated by his threat was a result of the weakening state of religion. “This is them lashing out. It's a disparate ploy to be relevant and to be important again... They're looking for somebody to take their ire out on.”

Last week Myers had threatened to desecrate the Eucharist in response to a Florida incident in which a student senator allegedly held a consecrated Host hostage.

“Can anyone out there score me some consecrated communion wafers?” Myers wrote on July 8 on his blog Pharyngula. “…if any of you would be willing to do what it takes to get me some, or even one, and mail it to me, I’ll show you sacrilege, gladly, and with much fanfare. I won’t be tempted to hold it hostage… but will instead treat it with profound disrespect and heinous cracker abuse, all photographed and presented here on the web.”

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, in a Tuesday statement criticized Myers for showing deference to Islam but not Catholicism in Myers’ Minnesota Independent interview.

Donohue cited Myers’ 2006 remarks on a Danish controversy surrounding derogatory depictions of Mohammed, in which he said the cartoons “lack artistic or social or even comedic merit, and are presented as an insult to inflame a poor minority.”

Donohue continued: “He even went so far as to say that Muslims ‘have cause to be furious.’ (His italic.) Worthy of burning down churches, pledging to behead Christians and shooting a nun in the back…”

“We hope Myers does the right thing and just moves on without further disgracing himself and his university,” Donohue stated. “The letter I received from University of Minnesota President Robert H. Bruininks makes it clear that school officials want nothing to do with his hate-filled remarks. It would also be nice if Myers’ fans would cease and desist with their hate-filled screeds.”

In a Friday Catholic League statement Donohue said that Myers’ remarks and the reactions of Myers’ supporters has prompted Thomas E. Foley, a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, to voice concern for Catholics who are attending the September convention.

“Accordingly, Foley has asked the top GOP brass to provide additional security while in the Twin Cities so that Catholics can worship without fear of violence,” Donohue said.

The Florida incident which provoked Myers’ desecration threat happened in June when Webster Cook, a student senator at the University of Central Florida, reportedly received a consecrated Host at a campus Mass and took it back to his seat to show his curious friend. When confronted by a Catholic leader who reputedly tried to retrieve the Host, Cook left the church and stored the Sacrament in a plastic bag. He returned the Host on Sunday July 6 and apologized, but said he was motivated by his opposition to the Catholic campus group’s use of student funds.

Catholic students in an official complaint charged Cook with disruptive conduct, while Cook responded with an official complaint concerning alleged physical force.

According to wftv.com, Cook is now pressing charges against the University of Central Florida Catholic Campus Ministries for hazing, alleging the Catholic group violated an anti-hazing rule against the forced consumption of food. The rule is normally applied to fraternity initiations.

Cook has also charged the Catholic group of violating the school’s underage alcohol policy by serving communion wine to underage students.

Anthony Furbush, an officer in the university’s Student Government Association (SGA), has filed an affidavit of impeachment against Cook, alleging that he violated SGA ethics when he announced that he was an SGA official during the Mass. He claimed this status as a reason he did not have to leave the Mass when asked. If impeached, Cook would be stripped of his SGA position

Sacred heart of Jesus have mercy on us.
de Brantigny
Anyone who has watched "The Mission" with Robert de Niro, Jeremy Irons, and Liam Neeson, may have been puzzed not so much by what was said, but what was left unsaid in the film. In the second half of the 18th century something was very wrong in the world. The revolutionary fervor was starting to take off and, as an object of the perceived evil was the Jesuit order. The Jesuits were seen as being too "secular". Yesterday marked the 235 year of the Suppression...Joseph Fromm at "Good Jesuit, Bad Jesuit", has a short article to commemerate this tragic event, which still to this day resounds.

It Has Been 235 Years Since The Jesuit Suppression

On July 21 in 1773, Pope Clement XIV issued the brief, Dominus ac redemptor noster, officially dissolving the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). The politically based suppression left conspicuous gaps in Roman Catholic education and foreign missions.

Link (here)

de Brantigny

The Jesuits are still being persecuted. Here is a site of, I can describe them as, anti-Everybody'(?), who believe the planet is run by the Jesuits!

This is real scary...This site belives the Jesuits are responsible for the September 11th attacks. They can be seen here

Don't try to convince them with the facts, their mind is made up.

Annunciation of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Parish

Again, I am adding a site to my list. Today it is from Annunciation of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Parish in Homer Glen, Illinois. They produce a pod cast and radio program, a list of their programs is here... Right about here I have to add that this Church is in union with the Pope and all of the Roman Catholic Church. Let us breath with two lungs.

Here excerpt from their site:

...What is a Byzantine Catholic?

Good Question! In fact, this is a question that Pope John Paul It said the whole Catholic Church ought to be asking at this time in history. In the Pope's Letter, "Orientale Lumen" (Light of the East,") he instructs Catholics to learn that there is more than one expression of the Catholic Faith. In fact, there are about 21 different expressions of the Catholic Faith. Most of these expressions are referred to as the Eastern Rites, or more accurately 'particular' Eastern Catholic Churches. The Byzantine Catholic Church is just one of these Eastern Catholic Churches.

The Eastern Catholic Churches came about as the Catholic Faith spread to the various cultures of the world. Those cultures in the Middle East, the Far East and Eastern and Central Europe developed their own particular eastern style of worship and spirituality.

During the 4th century A.D., the city of Byzantium was renamed "Constantinople' by the Roman Emperor Constantine. Constantinople is known today as the city of Istanbul in the nation of Turkey. When Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and declared Christianity to be the legal state religion Christianity in this region began to develop its own particular style and spirit. Beginning in the 9th century AD, Byzantine missionaries brought their particular style of spirituality and worship to the Slavic lands of central arid Eastern Europe.

Une Foi, un Dieu, un Roi.
de Brantigny


Let The Dead bury the Dead...

Mark Amesse has some insights about the American Paleoconservative movement...


I have written it before, and if you keep reading Durendal you will probably see me write it again, that Christendom will never be served by the American Paleoconservative movement. A few months ago we were given yet another reminder of why Catholics should shun this Old Whiggery for what it is — pining for the early days of the American Revolution. I am refering to the piece written by Dr. Paul Gottfried entitled A Paleo Epitaph, the thesis of which was the demise of the American paleoconservative movement as a result of certain failures and undesirable elements— such as the Catholic Faith. Gottfried writes,

..."The unending tirade against Protestants that some Catholic paleos now engage in is both silly and counterproductive. We are living in a predominantly Protestant country whose institutions (before they became corrupted) were tied to a recognizably Calvinist society. (For the record, Calvinists held a majority among Southerners and Yankees alike...)" more...

Thanks and a tip of the beret to Mark. Mark's somewhat infrequent postings are due to the amount of thought with which he makes his points, and the excellent research he does. I have never received a posting from him, either by blog or by email in which he is remiss in adding all of his references.

de Brantigny

Jacques Cathelineau

Verite pour Vendee marked July 14 not as the Fête de la Fédération de 1790 but as the anniversary of the death of Jacques Cathelineau. An earlier blog of mine concerning Jacques Cathelineau may be found here...

Truth for the Vendee.

de Brantigny

A Romanov Site

I found this site on the web. The owner Laura Mabee graciously allowed me to link to it. The site is Frozen Tears, and it my be found here...

de Brantigny

The eating habit of Marie-Antoinette

That I should redirect to this post should be some indication of the high regard that I place the author. History is not just made up of great battles and statesmen. It is made up of the everyday lives of people. When one can read or touch some item or feel a closeness (good or bad) to those that lived before us is the beginning of understanding the past. Catherine Delores has just such and article today, it may be found here. You will see that even then there was such a thing as culture shock. Visitors to Europe today can be seen in places like McDonald's, there is a Pizza Hut in Bahrain, and a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Okinawa. In Marie-Antoinette's Paris there were no Mac D's, or Pizza huts...

Marie Antoinette's unsung legacy to French food: the croissant.

If you watched Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, you know that the late Queen liked to be surrounded by pyramids of gorgeous pastries and followed a macaroon-and-champagne diet. Or did she?

Well, according to contemporary accounts, not at all. The etiquette required the King and Queen to take some of their meals in public, in front of the courtiers and visitors. Anyone decently dressed was admitted in Versailles, and many came to the Palace to watch the royal couple eat.

...Before work today I watched on scene from the film Marie-Antoinette. The scene was where the new Duc d'Angoulême is born and Marie_Antoinette is seen purging her despair with the ladies of the court eating and buying clothes. Truly this is an additional martyrdom for the Queen. No woman could eat so much candy and pastry and remain thing as she looks in her portraits.

Thanks Catherine and a tip of the beret.

de Brantigny