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17 notes

Destiny having formerly placed me near crowned heads, I now amuse my solitude when in retirement with collecting a variety of facts which may prove interesting to my family when I shall be no more. The idea of collecting all the interesting materials which my memory affords occurred to me from reading the work entitled “Paris, Versailles, and the Provinces in the Eighteenth Century.” That work, composed by a man accustomed to the best society, is full of piquant anecdotes, nearly all of which have been recognised as true by the contemporaries of the author. I have put together all that concerned the domestic life of an unfortunate Princess, whose reputation is not yet cleared of the stains it received from the attacks of calumny, and who justly merited a different lot in life, a different place in the opinion of mankind after her fall.
the memoirs of Madame Campan

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110 notes


I can still see .. .women from the Court astonished by the people who had been admitted near them, adorned and smiling at the change that permitted them to be seated in the presence of the Queen …
Her Majesty wanted two women, the youngest in the group, to give a report … I read, as best I could, two little resumes I had written. The Queen was so good as to come over to me, take me by the hand, encourage me, speak to me about my mother with such praise, about me with such goodness, about my condition (I gave birth the next day) with such interest that it broke my heart.

—Mme de Ménerville, on a meeting of the Maternal Charity that Marie Antoinette hosted in her rooms at the Tuileries Palace.
[translation: Marilyn Yalom, Blood Sisters: the French Revolution in Women’s Memory]

I can still see .. .women from the Court astonished by the people who had been admitted near them, adorned and smiling at the change that permitted them to be seated in the presence of the Queen …

Her Majesty wanted two women, the youngest in the group, to give a report … I read, as best I could, two little resumes I had written. The Queen was so good as to come over to me, take me by the hand, encourage me, speak to me about my mother with such praise, about me with such goodness, about my condition (I gave birth the next day) with such interest that it broke my heart.

—Mme de Ménerville, on a meeting of the Maternal Charity that Marie Antoinette hosted in her rooms at the Tuileries Palace.

[translation: Marilyn Yalom, Blood Sisters: the French Revolution in Women’s Memory]

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21 notes

In a deathly silence, with her own hands she removed her friend’s pale green dress, began to slip a petticoat over Gabrielle’s head, and even tried to pull stockings onto the other woman’s legs. She was the one on her knees now, at Gabrielle’s feet. Her face was firm and resolute. She was driven by a kind of energy and precision born of despair. Gabrielle, all white-faced and unresisting, with the fragile nakedness of a little girl, wept soundlessly.
Farewell, My Queen by Chantal Thomas

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43 notes

I was deeply affected by this loss that reminded me deeply in my heart [of many others]; yet at the same time it made me feel some consolation in that well-founded hope that she has joined everyone I mourn.

—an excerpt from a letter written by Marie Thérèse Charlotte de France, duchesse d’Angoulême, on the death of her aunt, Marie Joséphine de Savoie, who died on November 13th, 1810.

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