Thursday, March 29, 2007

Marie Antoinette

I've been learning lots about this historical figure lately, first when I read "Abundance by Sara Jeter Naslund (author of Ahab's Wife). Marie Antoinette is of course famous for being the frivilous queen who spent France right into poverty and then said of the starving masses, "Let them eat cake," But it's rather fascinating to learn more about the infamous queen - like how she was sent from Vienna in her mid-teens to be married off to Louis XVI. They were married but funnily enough did not consummate their marriage for seven years - much to the chagrin of the King of France, her mother Maria Theresa and pretty much all of France and Vienna. History speculates that the problem may have been a combination of physical - Louis suffering from a condition that made erections painful, which he eventually had corrected, and/or that Marie Antoinette had a "narrow" passage, making intercourse difficult. Then of course there is further speculation that neither of them knew what they hell they were doing, and got going once the Emperor of Austria (Marie's brother Joseph) talked to them both and pointed them in the right direction.

Either way, fascinating stuff, which made me interested in seeing the movie starring Kirsten Dunst, which I watched last night. The movie is not the most amazing piece of cinema you'll ever see, but it does a good job of capturing Marie Antoinette for what she probably was - a young teenage girl saddled with a huge responsibility at a young age, but also offered the whole world on a keychain. Maybe she should have known better, but she's not the first person in the world to accept endless prosperity without question.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home