Monday, February 8, 2010

Blues and Whites

Melanie has some posts about two ladies who reigned at the French court, one preceding Marie-Antoinette and the other following her. I speak of Madame de Pompadour and Empress Josephine, both of whom are documented as spending much more freely than Marie-Antoinette ever dreamed of. Indeed, the Queen was stingy by comparison. The pictures collected by Melanie are quite remarkable. While Madame Pompadour favored blues and greens, Josephine was famous for her love of white. Both had exquisite taste and great charm, qualities which they shared with Marie-Antoinette.



Julygirl said...

Certain personalities in history get targeted for behaviors that are overlooked in others. Of course we know that their enemies started the whole process which continues to this day. Marie Antoinette, (Czarina)Alexandria, being the most notable. I could mention some current political figures who are reviled far beyond what is reality and the good they do is overlooked.

tubbs said...

I have read that Josephine was so charming, even the Bourbon princes paid court to her on their return to Paris.

As I understand it, the Bourbon kings were the ones who formally institutionalized adultery with their "mistress in title" shinannigans. Ahh, the good old days!...(or were they?.. Nowadays you just jettison the Old Lady, but you can get stuck with huge settlement and alimony dues. And then there's your new trophy wife with her pre-nup agreed spending allowance.

My favorite royal ho of all history has got to be that one and only "darling strumpet of the crowd", NELL GWYNN. Now there was a gal without pretense, or avarice, or meanness.

Maybe we should go back to the old formally-declared mistress set-up. All these pathetic old plutocrats strutting (or should we say 'hobbling') around with their new trophy-bride tarts. Is formalized adultery any worse than sham matrimony?

elena maria vidal said...

I don't think either system is good, especially not for families or children.

Josephine was pretty much respected by everyone, except perhaps by the Bonapartes. She made quite an impression on Tsar Alexander, whom she was trying to charm so that he would arrange for her to join Napoleon in exile. Unfortunately, she became ill and died.

Julygirl said...

Tubbs, for those guys who want more than one woman rather than adultery go with instutionalized Harems, and I do not mean polygamy as practiced by the Latter Day Saints, but just harems with kept woman. However, they all has complications of some sort.

Gillian Bagwell said...


Happy to see the recent comment about Nell Gwynn – always glad to know of other fans! My novel about Nell, The Darling Strumpet, will be published in January by Berkley Publishing Group. I’ve also got another book coming out soon after that – The Royal Miracle recounts the real life adventure of Jane Lane, who helped Charles II escape after the Battle of Worcester in 1651. If you’re interested have a look at the blogs I’ve kept of my research adventures, and

Gillian Bagwell