Sunday, August 25, 2019

Mozart at Schönbrunn

From Royal Central:
Following the success of his first debut in Munich, playing for the musically-gifted Elector Maximilian III Joseph of Bavaria, the six-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart set out for the imperial court of Vienna, arriving on 6 October 1762. He was accompanied by his parents, Leopold Mozart and Maria Anna Mozart, as well as his elder sister, Maria Anna ‘Nannerl’ Mozart. The concert that the young Mozart would give at the imperial summer residence of the Habsburgs, Schönbrunn Palace outside Vienna, meant that one of the palace’s many rooms (today numbering 1,441) could claim a significant place in the history of music. It also was, in a way, symbolic of the long-standing but strained relationship that Mozart would have with the Habsburg Imperial Family, for despite the many occasions his works had connections with important events in the life of the Imperial Family, he never attained the committed patronage he may have hoped for. This, in turn, set him on an arduous path of enquiry, trailing the royal courts of Europe for appointments and finally settling as a freelance composer in Vienna. 
As Leopold Mozart reported to his landlord and friend, Lorenz Hagenauer, in letters clearly intended to be shared with the rest of the Salzburg community back home: “At 11 o’clock that same evening [10 October 1762] I received orders to go to Schönbrunn on the 12th. But the next day I received fresh instructions to go there on the 13th….” A member of the Imperial Family, Archduke Leopold of Tuscany [the future Kaiser Leopold II] was overheard by Leopold Mozart at the opera, saying that there was “a boy in Vienna who plays the keyboard so well…” and Leopold Mozart describes how Archduke Joseph [the future Joseph II] had been told of the concert of the Mozart children gave en route in Linz, who then told his mother, Empress Maria Theresia. The mention of “that same evening” is significant. It means that the summons to court for the Mozart family the same evening that Leopold Mozart overheard the talk about Wolfgang at the opera, shows the fame of the children had already reached the capital before they themselves announced their arrival. 
The room where this legendary concert took place at Schönbrunn Palace, is traditionally thought to have been the so-called ‘Mirrors Room’ or Spiegelsaal. This important performance of the Mozart children, as Salzburg subjects before their Imperial Family, took place the year before what would be the Mozart’s family own musical version of the ‘Grand Tour’ – which itself lasted over three years, from June 1763 until November 1766 – and took the Mozarts to many of the great European cities, including Munich, Mannheim, Cologne, Paris, London and The Hague. The Spiegelssal is on the beletage of the Palace, whose rooms back onto the Great Parterre, between the ‘Balcony Room’ and Maria Theresia’s ‘Chinese Cabinet’, the last room in the East Wing. (Read more.)

It’s Not Paranoia If It’s True

And they shall say to him: What are these wounds in the midst of thy hands? And he shall say: With these I was wounded in the house of them that loved me. Zacharias 13:6
From Rod Dreher at The American Conservative:
Back in the early 2000s, the Legionaries of Christ, a hyper-conservative Catholic religious order, spent a lot of money and effort in an attempt to crush a group of men who accused the order’s founder, Father Marcial Maciel, of having abused them sexually. Like lots of journalists, I was lobbied hard by the Legion to stand by poor, persecuted Father Maciel. It sounded completely crazy that the founder of this super-orthodox Catholic religious order beloved by Pope John Paul II could have done all these horrible things. 
Guess what? It was all true. He even fathered children, and abused them. He was also a drug addict. Benedict XVI forced him out of leadership of the order in 2006. Maciel died in 2008, refusing on his deathbed to make a confession or repent. Read this long, detailed piece by journalist Jason Berry, detailing how the wicked Maciel made his fortune and manipulated people. 
I hardly need to go into detail here about what we discovered over the ensuing years about the networked corruption in the Church. For me, one of the great lessons is that in any institution, corrupt men will take advantage of it, especially if they can work beneath a canopy of presumed innocence. It can happen in a police force. It can happen in the military. This is not just a church thing, not by any means.(Read more.)

From Michael Hichborn at the Lepanto Institute:
Given the recent accusation and the history of scandalous behavior, it should not be shocking to find that Bp. Hubbard helped found, and currently sits as Vice President of the Board of a pro-abortion, pro-homosexual communist front-organization whose affiliates receive funding from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).  In fact, this organization’s ties to the CCHD are so intimate, it immediately calls to question how the CCHD is even allowed to exist. The organization is called Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ), and as can be seen here, Bp. Hubbard was not only a member of the founding board, he is currently its vice president. (Read more.)

The Nun Who Stood Up to Henry VIII

From Nancy Bilyeau at The Medium:
Historical fiction set in the Tudor era, whether it’s a literary novel like Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, or a mystery such as Dissolution by C.J. Sansom, commonly depicts a Catholic kingdom rotted by monastic corruption, a system dying out and pleading for reform.

In my years of research into the Dissolution of the Monasteries while writing my trilogy of novels, I came to different conclusions. Yes, there were cases of fraud, such as a phial said to contain Christ’s blood kept at an abbey in Gloucestershire. But overall, I discovered a rich, vibrant world of people deeply committed to a spiritual life, some of whom wanted to withdraw from society to devote themselves to prayer and study. I focused on the nunneries, since I’d decided on a protagonist who was a Dominican novice.

Approximately 1,800 nuns existed at the time of the destruction of the priories, out of 9,300 monastics total. We know of the fates of a handful of women, those considered of enough interest for the ambassadors or politicians to write about. The sisters left behind a few letters and wills, that’s it. The priories themselves are rubble or, at most, fragmented walls and spires of ghostly beauty. “In lone magnificence, a ruin stands,” sighs the poem by George Keate, “The Ruins of Netley Abbey.” (Read more.)

Saturday, August 24, 2019

The Downton Abbey Movie is Coming Soon!

Kate Phillips (left) who plays Princess Mary, Simon Jones, who plays King George V and Geraldine James, who plays Queen Mary
Harewood House
From The Daily Mail:
Princess Mary will be a character in the new Downton Abbey movie that will make a star of her home Harewood House. The princess, daughter of George V and Queen Mary, will be played by Kate Phillips in the feature-length adaptation written by the TV show's creator Julian Fellowes. Phillips, who starred in War and Peace, The Crown and as Jane Seymour in Wolf Hall, will play Princess Mary as she moves to the West Yorkshire mansion to marry the 6th Earl and be visited by her parents for a lavish ball. Curators hope the new movie will bring on a 'Downton effect,' The Telegraph reported, which should bring many thousands to Harewood House. The news comes as Princess Mary's personal archive was revealed for the first time, including correspondence, diaries, clothing and personal effects, all handed to the National Trust. (Read more.)

Lessons from Lady Mary Crawley. From Verily:
In the second-to-last episode of the series (spoilers ahead!), Lady Mary and Thomas Barrow have a heart-to-heart after his suicide attempt. “I’ve done and said things—I don’t know why—I can’t stop myself,” says Barrow. “Now I’m paying the price.” Mary says, “Strange. I could say the same.” Mary has just ruined Edith’s engagement to Bertie Pelham and has faced the comeuppance of her brother-in-law Tom Branson’s completely justified rage: “You can’t stop ruining things. For Edith, for yourself—you’d pull in the sky if you could! Anything to make you feel less frightened and alone. . . . You’re a coward, Mary. Like all bullies, you’re a coward.”
It’s no wonder that Mary feels the same way Barrow does. Like him, she struggles to overcome her own fears and selfishness that tend to flare up into cruelty toward others. Her visit to Barrow when he is recovering from his attempted suicide is the beginning of Mary’s renewed effort to be a good person, and eventually, she will arrange to bring Edith and Bertie back together. It’s not easy for Mary to be kind—her vindictive and spiteful tendencies tend to win out. But I love that the series does portray her making these good choices, reminding us that no matter how unkind we’ve been or how much we’ve affected someone else’s life for the worse, there’s always time to turn around. (Read more.) 

From The Tatler:
The Savile Club in Mayfair, pictured above, was used as the fictional Lotus Club, which the Crawleys frequently visit. In opposition to the traditional Victorian clublands and their stuffy rules, a group of like-minded young spirits created the private Savile Members Club in 1868. Originally called ‘The New Club’ it changed its name to ‘The Savile Club’ after relocating from Trafalgar Square to Mayfair. The club has been at the same spot since the 1920s and is still going strong today with its Louis XVI rococo ballroom and imperial staircase. (Read more.)

Leftist Supremacy

From PJ Media:
In an America as mixed as we are, the idea that white supremacists are the only ones who will do well is scary to most people. Beyond that, it is the most antithetical thing to American beliefs you can imagine. The nation that banned nobility of birth, and which fought a war to free slaves would never codify a regime where your genetics at birth determines what kind of happiness you can even think of pursuing. In America, equality under the law has always been the goal, even when honored in the breach. 
Fortunately, we don't have any need to worry about real white supremacy. Just like you don't have to worry that Santa Claus is watching you, or has put a spy bug in your bedroom. This is the problem the left has. And their response to it is to launch a brainwashing/gaslighting campaign to find white supremacy where there is none. 
Also, unfortunately, as with all these things the left engages in, it causes more harm than... well, than even I can imagine, and I write some pretty dystopian stuff. So, just like their attempt to define "patriarchy" has led them to make it impossible for business women to have closed-door meetings with male bosses or mentors, their definition of white supremacy is making it impossible for any minorities or, for that matter, under-privileged white people to improve themselves or create a better future for their descendants. For instance, according to the New York Post, this is what passes for fighting white supremacy in NYC schools: Richard Carranza held ‘white-supremacy culture’ training for school admins. (Read more.)

The Left Wing-Islamist Alliance

From The Clarion Project:
Why are some of the most famous names in the Left wing in America today aligning themselves with Islamists, the Muslim religious Right? Islamists believe in things no sane Left winger would ever endorse: strict gender roles, the authority of scripture over human reason and law, and a rigid hierarchy based on religious faith and practice. 
The Left wing is largely atheist and opposes any sort of governmental role for clerics.  Yet Left wing socialists like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez routinely rub shoulders with Islamist apologist Linda Sarsour. In the United Kingdom, Left wing Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn described the Islamist terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah as his “friends.” 
What is going on? 
This phenomenon has been variously dubbed the “Red/Green Alliance” or “Islamo-Leftism” by French Right-wing politician Marine Le Pen. First, it seems to be a simple case of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” The joint enemy they share is the American and European Right, which traditionally believes in a robust foreign policy to counter national security threats, a strong sense of patriotism and national identity, and a commitment to free enterprise and low taxes. 
Both the Left wing and Islamists share an antipathy to foreign intervention in the Middle East on the grounds that it is extremely expensive, of dubious national security advantage and has myriad associated human rights concerns. They also share objections to domestic attempts at confronting extremism, since those policies entrench the power of the state and give national security Right-wingers a legitimate issue to present to the public as a threat to help them get elected. But there the similarities end. While the Left wants to see capitalism replaced with a different economic system, Islamists want to see it replaced with a religious theocracy. (Read more.)

How the Philippines Saved 1,200 Jews During the Holocaust

From CNN:
This little known chapter of history about Jewish refugees in the Philippines has inspired two documentaries and talk of a possible movie. 
"We know about stories like Anne Frank, 'Schindler's List' -- the things that grab popular imagination," said Michelle Ephraim, whose father, Frank Ephraim escaped to the Philippines after Kristallnacht in 1938. "Once you bring an Asia element, it becomes so complicated, interesting and surprising." 
About 40 of the Philippines refugees are alive today, according to documentary filmmakers. They were children when they arrived in the Philippines over 70 years ago. "That was like a rebirth," said Noel Izon, the filmmaker of the documentary, "An Open Door: Jewish Rescue in the Philippines," in which he interviewed several Jewish refugees. "They went from certain death to this life." (Read more.)

Friday, August 23, 2019

Louis XVI and Tuberculosis

Louis-Auguste, Duc de Berry, the future Louis XVI, was born on August 23, 1754. August 25, the feast of St. Louis of France, was his name-day, and kept with special festivity after he became king in 1774. A few years ago on Catherine Delors' blog many interesting points were brought up in the comment box about the childhood traumas of Louis-Auguste and how those later affected his reactions to the events of the Revolution.

Louis contracted tuberculosis when he was six by being made to sit at the bedside of his dying older brother, the Duc de Bourgogne. It was a traumatic experience in many ways for a small boy, especially since he himself became quite ill. Louis-Auguste was generally regarded as unhealthy and not likely to live to adulthood. Several members of the French royal family, including Louis' parents and brother, had already died of consumption. Louis managed to survive with the proper care. Nevertheless, tuberculosis is a disease which can remain inactive for many years but can later recur. It can have many side effects, including depression.

Provence and Berry
The tuberculosis would come back to haunt him, infecting his baby daughter Sophie and his oldest son. I think seeing Louis-Joseph die just as he had watched his older brother die long ago revived a lot of the childhood trauma. Death from tuberculosis is not pretty to watch. I am of the opinion that since the death of his oldest son, which coincided with the beginning of the Revolution in 1789, Louis XVI was suffering from clinical depression. In the past, he had acted with much more energy and decision. This is one of the reasons Marie-Antoinette had to become more involved in the political arena during the Revolution.

I think Louis struggled with "melancholy" at various times throughout his life, perhaps due to the childhood infection with tuberculosis. Louis was a man accustomed to strenuous exercise, especially hunting and riding, not to mention his labors as a locksmith. It is my belief that he needed the fresh air and the exertion for both his mental and physical health. With the regimen of exercise and his strictly adhered to routine he was able to keep melancholy from overwhelming him. He was deprived of much of his riding after October 1789 and it had a devastating effect upon his health and state of mind. Losing two of his children, his authority, his home, seeing his people and family suffer, and being deprived of the exercise and fresh air vital to his health, left him in a very bad condition.

If we consider the courage with which Louis XVI faced the worst moments of crisis, including his death, then he is to be admired, especially in the light of everything else. The Queen is to be admired as well, for she could have slipped out of the country with her surviving children and left Louis to his doom (there were many plans for her escape) but she refused to budge from Louis' side. She would not leave him to face the disasters alone.

Happy Birthday to Louis XVI!