Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Madame Royale in Old Age



In 1851, the year she died, the Duchesse d'Angoulême was visited at her villa in Frohsdorf, Austria by the Comte de Falloux. The Comte described the aged daughter of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette as follows:
Madame la Dauphine was, if I may express it, pathos in person. Sadness was imprinted on her features and revealed in her attitude; but, in the same degree, there shone about her an unalterable resignation, an unalterable gentleness. Even when the tones of her voice were brusque, which often happened, the kindness of her intention remained transparent. She liked to pass in review the Frenchmen she had known; she kept herself closely informed about their family events; she remembered the slightest details with rare fidelity: 'How Madame loves France!' I said to her one day. 'That is not surprising,' she replied. 'I take it from my parents.' At Frohsdorf she was seated nearly the whole day in the embrasure of a certain window. She had chosen this window because of its outlook on copses which reminded her a little of the garden of the Tuileries; and if a visitor wished to be agreeable to her, he remarked upon the resemblance.
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7 comments:

Ms. Lucy said...

I just can't wait to receive this book. It's countdown time;-)

elena maria vidal said...

Thanks, Lucy, I can't wait to hear what you think.

lara77 said...

What an incredible life Her Royal Highness had led! Madame knew the heights of happiness to the deepest depths of sadness. I thought of her losing her parents so horribly; the deaths of her two brothers and little Sophie Helene. She even saw her beloved aunt taken to the guillotine. What faith she must have had in God to keep herself so grounded in this life. I cannot imagine the joy when she finally was reunited with her beloved parents and family.

Amy @ Passages to the Past said...

The artist captured her underlying sadness very well.

elena maria vidal said...

Lara, that is a very accurate summary of the whole thing.

Yes, Amy, her sadness is evident.

Matterhorn said...

I was excited to start "Madame Royale" but then I had to put it aside for a while...it was a bit too much for me coming right after "Trianon." It is all so heart-rending. But I'm looking forward to learning more about her!

elena maria vidal said...

Matterhorn, many of my readers tell me that they have not been able to dive into Madame Royale right after Trianon because they are so overwhelmed by the tragedy. You'll be able to get back into it eventually.