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93 notes

Telegraph: ‘Dark Countess’ tomb exhumed to solve 200-year-old mystery

The grave of a “Dark Countess” some believe was the eldest daughter of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI was exhumed on Tuesday in Germany in the hope of resolving the 200-year-old mystery.



Local authorities in Hildburghausen, Thuringia, central Germany agreed to open the tomb to conduct DNA tests on an elusive aristocrat who resided in the town from 1807 until her death in 1837 with a mysterious “count”.

Telegraph: ‘Dark Countess’ tomb exhumed to solve 200-year-old mystery

The grave of a “Dark Countess” some believe was the eldest daughter of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI was exhumed on Tuesday in Germany in the hope of resolving the 200-year-old mystery.

Local authorities in Hildburghausen, Thuringia, central Germany agreed to open the tomb to conduct DNA tests on an elusive aristocrat who resided in the town from 1807 until her death in 1837 with a mysterious “count”.

Filed under history conspiracy theories french history marie therese charlotte marie antoinette

51 notes

ScienceMag.Org:
Bloody Rag May Not Have Touched Louis XVI’s Severed Head

It seemed like the perfect forensic tale. Earlier this year, a geneticist concluded that the remains of a blood-soaked cloth stored for centuries in an 18th century gourd likely belonged to the severed head of the last French king, Louis XVI—a conclusion supported by the fact that the DNA matched that taken from a mummified head belonging to his direct ancestor, King Henry IV. So confident were some people about the findings that a company now offers a blood test for anyone who wants to see if they, too, are descendants of this royal family.
But new research released today calls into question the identities of both the blood and the head, arguing that the DNA in those samples does not match the DNA in living relatives of these kings. The data “make a strong case,” against the previous work, says Cristian Capelli, a geneticist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom who was not involved with the work.

More articles about the questions regarding the earlier findings can be read here and here.

ScienceMag.Org:

Bloody Rag May Not Have Touched Louis XVI’s Severed Head

It seemed like the perfect forensic tale. Earlier this year, a geneticist concluded that the remains of a blood-soaked cloth stored for centuries in an 18th century gourd likely belonged to the severed head of the last French king, Louis XVI—a conclusion supported by the fact that the DNA matched that taken from a mummified head belonging to his direct ancestor, King Henry IV. So confident were some people about the findings that a company now offers a blood test for anyone who wants to see if they, too, are descendants of this royal family.

But new research released today calls into question the identities of both the blood and the head, arguing that the DNA in those samples does not match the DNA in living relatives of these kings. The data “make a strong case,” against the previous work, says Cristian Capelli, a geneticist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom who was not involved with the work.

More articles about the questions regarding the earlier findings can be read here and here.

Filed under louis xvi french history french revolution 18th century history

156 notes

The Maison de la Reine at Marie Antoinette’s hamlet will (finally!) be undergoing much-needed restoration, thanks to the patronage of Dior! The restoration is anticipated to begin in 2014 and will likely last for a period of 18 months. The full details of the restoration—is it interior and exterior? Will they be refurbishing the rooms? Perhaps restoring/rebuilding the original staircases? etc—has not yet been announced. 
More information: http://www.la-croix.com/Culture/Actualite/Le-refuge-champetre-de-Marie-Antoinette-a-Versailles-va-pouvoir-etre-restaure-2013-10-01-1030436image: (C) RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Daniel Arnaudet

The Maison de la Reine at Marie Antoinette’s hamlet will (finally!) be undergoing much-needed restoration, thanks to the patronage of Dior! The restoration is anticipated to begin in 2014 and will likely last for a period of 18 months. The full details of the restoration—is it interior and exterior? Will they be refurbishing the rooms? Perhaps restoring/rebuilding the original staircases? etc—has not yet been announced.

More information: http://www.la-croix.com/Culture/Actualite/Le-refuge-champetre-de-Marie-Antoinette-a-Versailles-va-pouvoir-etre-restaure-2013-10-01-1030436

image: (C) RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Daniel Arnaudet

Filed under marie antoinette french history history versailles petit trianon

17 notes

Marie-Thérèse Charlotte on her aunt, Madame Elisabeth, being removed from the Temple

Until May 9th nothing remarkable happened. On that day, just as we were going to bed the bolts were withdrawn and some one knocked at our door. My aunt replied that she would put on her dress; they answered that she must not be so long, and they rapped so hard that we thought the door would burst in. She opened it when she was dressed.
They said to her: “Citoyenne, you will please come down.”
"And my niece?"
"We will attend to her later."
My aunt kissed me and told me to be calm for she would soon return. “No, citoyenne, you will not return,” they said to her; “take your cap and come down.” They loaded her then with insults and coarse speeches; she bore it all with patience, took her cap; kissed me again, and told me to have courage and firmness, to hope always in God, to practise the good principles of religion given me by my parents, and not to fail in the last instructions given to me by my father and by my mother.

Marie-Thérèse Charlotte on her aunt, Madame Elisabeth, being removed from the Temple

Until May 9th nothing remarkable happened. On that day, just as we were going to bed the bolts were withdrawn and some one knocked at our door. My aunt replied that she would put on her dress; they answered that she must not be so long, and they rapped so hard that we thought the door would burst in. She opened it when she was dressed.

They said to her: “Citoyenne, you will please come down.”

"And my niece?"

"We will attend to her later."

My aunt kissed me and told me to be calm for she would soon return. “No, citoyenne, you will not return,” they said to her; “take your cap and come down.” They loaded her then with insults and coarse speeches; she bore it all with patience, took her cap; kissed me again, and told me to have courage and firmness, to hope always in God, to practise the good principles of religion given me by my parents, and not to fail in the last instructions given to me by my father and by my mother.

Filed under history 18th century french history madame elisabeth marie therese charlotte

20 notes

Marie Thérèse Charlotte on the separation of Louis-Charles from his sister, mother and aunt on July 3rd, 1793:

On the 3d of July, they read us a decree of the Convention ordering that my brother be separated from us and lodged in a more secure room in the Tower. Hardly had he heard it when he flung himself into his mother’s arms uttering loud cries, and imploring not to be parted from her. My mother, on her side, was struck down by the cruel order; she would not give up her son, and defended, against the municipals, the bed on which she placed him.They, absolutely determined to have him, threatened to employ violence and to call up the guard. My mother told them they would have to kill her before they could tear her child from her.
An hour passed in resistance on her part, in threats and insults from the municipals, in tears and efforts from all of us. At last they threatened my mother so positively to kill him and us also that she had to yield for love of us. We rose, my aunt and I, for my poor mother no longer had any strength, but after we had dressed him she took him and gave him into the hands of the municipals herself, bathing him with tears and foreboding that she would never see him again. The poor little boy kissed us all very tenderly and went away in tears with the municipals.

image: The Dauphin Taken from His Family

Marie Thérèse Charlotte on the separation of Louis-Charles from his sister, mother and aunt on July 3rd, 1793:

On the 3d of July, they read us a decree of the Convention ordering that my brother be separated from us and lodged in a more secure room in the Tower. Hardly had he heard it when he flung himself into his mother’s arms uttering loud cries, and imploring not to be parted from her. My mother, on her side, was struck down by the cruel order; she would not give up her son, and defended, against the municipals, the bed on which she placed him.They, absolutely determined to have him, threatened to employ violence and to call up the guard. My mother told them they would have to kill her before they could tear her child from her.

An hour passed in resistance on her part, in threats and insults from the municipals, in tears and efforts from all of us. At last they threatened my mother so positively to kill him and us also that she had to yield for love of us. We rose, my aunt and I, for my poor mother no longer had any strength, but after we had dressed him she took him and gave him into the hands of the municipals herself, bathing him with tears and foreboding that she would never see him again. The poor little boy kissed us all very tenderly and went away in tears with the municipals.

image: The Dauphin Taken from His Family

Filed under history marie antoinette 18th century french history marie therese charlotte madame elisabeth louis charles