Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Real Gabrielle

Gareth Russell sketches the character of Marie-Antoinette's best friend in his own inimitable way, saying:
Within the palace, the reasons for her unpopularity sprang mainly from jealousy. With Gabrielle monopolising Marie-Antoinette's time and affection, no-one else could climb the social ladder and become the Queen's new favourite. Many a failed socialite would utter the cry of the insidious and vile Madame de la Motte, who complained in her memoirs, "To be sure, one could hope for presentation to the Queen only through the Polignac clique, but the Duchess, jealous and fearful of losing the royal favour she monopolised, disdainfully repulsed any outsider who sought so much as a smile or a glance from the Queen... I was outraged by the attitude of this haughty and imperious woman. Well could I remember the Polignacs in Paris when they were impoverished nonentities". Gabrielle therefore became a useful scapegoat for any aristocrat who wanted to say they didn't enjoy the Queen's favour because the Duchess controlled all access to her; not because they themselves were too boring, annoying or unpleasant to actually win Marie-Antoinette's much-coveted friendship. (Read entire post.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


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You are one of the ones I chose (I do not know if that is breaking the rules or not, giving it outside of wordpress, but oh well! ;-)

You can pick the award up at my site, write 7 things about yourself, and pass it on to some other bloggers!

Thanks! :)