Thursday, April 5, 2018

Lily of France

From the British Museum:
Portrait of Madame Royale, daughter of Louis XVI and Duchess of Angoulême, in bust, head turned to the left, wearing a white veil embellished with lilies, a fleur-de-lys earring and an pink Empire dress with belt bearing a medallion of Louis XVI. 1816

The colors of the Duchesse d'Angoulême after her marriage were green and gold for the House of Artois, since her husband was the son of the Comte d'Artois. The Princess was dedicated the Christian education of girls, which had suffered under the Revolution. Via the Antiquariaat Forum in The Netherlands:
Very rare first and only edition of a compendious educational work intended for girls, dedicated (in the newly restored Bourbon monarchy) to Marie Thérèse de France (1778-1851), Duchesse d'Angoulême and daughter of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette, the only heir directly descended from Louis XVI to survive the Revolution. The dedication itself appears in volume 1 (1817), but is noted on all three title-pages (so also 1816). The present copy is in a beautiful armorial morocco binding clearly intended as a dedication copy for Marie Thérèse, with her arms on both boards of each volume. She had married her first cousin Louis Antoine d'Artois (1775-1844), Duc d'Angoulême in 1799 (he was to be King of France for 20 minutes in 1830 when his father and he abdicated, then pretender to the throne, calling himself Louis XIX). She was nearly forty and childless when the book appeared, soon after the 1814/15 restoration of the Bourbon monarchy with her uncle as King Louis XVIII. Rather than impale the husband's and father's arms as the English did, French ladies displayed them side by side: courtoisie.

The book contains lessons in all subjects girls of good family should be taught. The first volume covers French grammar and syntax, with separate courses for younger and older girls, followed by a basic course in rhetoric. The second volume covers arithmetic and geography in single, extensive courses. The third and last volume covers history and mythology, again with separate courses for the younger and older girls, both presented like a catechism. with questions and answers for the children to learn by heart. (Read more.)


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