Scandals, Desacralization, and Long Term Problems for the French Monarchy in the Enlightenment Or, the long-term dissolution of the practical application of absolute rule
Things to Cover •Desacralization of the monarchy •Scandals involving the monarchy •Long term economic challenges to the French State
Desacralization •Strong sense: –The process of the French monarchy losing its image of divine right amongst the people •Weak/moderate sense: –The French people lose respect for the particular officeholders in the monarchy –Their religious status never taken too seriously be those people who frown upon them; those who really believed them appointed by God, will continue to do so, through thick and thin
General Vehicles of Desacralization •Libelles •Anecdote Books •Public Sphere gossip
A libelle by Charles de Morande •“the public is warned that an epidemic disease is raging among the girls of the Opera, that is has begun to reach the ladies of the court, and that it has even been communicated to their lackeys. This disease elongates the face, destroys the complexion, reduces the weight, and causes horrible ravages where it becomes situated. There are ladies without teeth, others without eyebrows, and some completely paralyzed.”
Lindsay Lohan will continue to rehab in Cali! Malibooyaaaaaah! Earlier, we reported Linds was leaving her current program at Cliffside Malibu for a new facility –the Seafield Center in Westhampton Beach, NY. After apparently considering the proposition, the prosecutor and judge in her case would not allow another move!
Louis XV (1710-1764)’s Love Life•Engaged, 1721-1725: Maria Anna Victoria of Spain •Married, 1725-1768: Marie Lesczyznska of Poland •Mme Pompadour, 1721-1764 –Chief Mistress until 1750 •Mme du Barry, 1743-1793 –Followed Pompadour as chief mistress
Pompadour and Barry •Their lives became subjects of gossip and court intrigue •Whole genres of texts were devoted to their supposed love lives •For example: –Lettres de Madame, la Marquise du Pompadour(London: 1772) –Anecdotes sur Madame, la comptesse du Barry(1781): at least 1,500 copies circulated in France•After Louis XV’s death, the new queen, Marie Antoinette, exiled Barry to a convent outside of Paris
Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI•Her: 1755-1793 –Reputation for spending money –Reputation for sleeping around with everyone but the King –Thought she wielded too much court influence •Him: 1754-1793 –Believed to be impotent –Unaware of the Queen’s appetites–Uninterested in the proper functioning of the state
Marie Antoinette, 1778, aka Madame du défecit
Hameau de la reine / Queen’s Village, 1782-83 Pétit Trianon Park, Versailles.