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marcialou
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Act III

Are we ready to start Act III yet? I'm leaving for 2 weeks vacation tomorrow so I am throwing out some things for discussion. I'll have my laptop with me so I will pop in now and then.

Sex: Condition of the too tight foreskin; possible corrective surgery; visit from brother Joseph; consumation at last. Could Louis and MA possibly be as ignorant as Joseph seems to think?

Joseph's warning of the revolution to come. He seems to imply that it would be MA's fault. Is that fair?

Return of Count Axel von Fersen: Is this love?

Several references to Rousseau. How is the Enlightenment expressed at Versailles?

Elisabeth Vigee LeBrun: a truly free woman. Does MA envy her? (This may not be fully revealed until Act IV.)

Marcia
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Fozzie
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Re: Act III



marcialou wrote:
Are we ready to start Act III yet?



I just finished Act III. I will respond to some of these thoughts in the next few days.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Fozzie
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Re: Act III-Count

[ Edited ]

marcialou wrote:
Return of Count Axel von Fersen: Is this love?




I looked up some information in Wikipedia on the Count. I read that he was believed to be a lover of MA, but that more recent scholarship doesn't think that to be true. I am looking forward to see how Sena treats this relationship in the novel.

Message Edited by Fozzie on 08-20-2007 09:00 AM
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Fozzie
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Re: Act III - Joseph's Opinion



marcialou wrote:
Joseph's warning of the revolution to come. He seems to imply that it would be MA's fault. Is that fair?



I believe the passage you are referring to is on page 264.

I took the phrase "it will be of your own making" to refer to MA, her husband, the court, their advisors, etc., not just MA.

I do think Joseph is trying to help MA by leaving this message with her, hoping that something can be changed before it is to late.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Fozzie
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Re: Act III - Sex



marcialou wrote:
Sex: Condition of the too tight foreskin; possible corrective surgery; visit from brother Joseph; consummation at last. Could Louis and MA possibly be as ignorant as Joseph seems to think?





As you can probably guess by now, I looked up the condition of a too tight foreskin. I did find some information on a treatment, so I guess it does exist. From what I gather, the corrective surgery is circumcision. I could really use some help with this because I am just not clear on it, but that is fine because I don't think I need to be completely clear for an understanding of Louis' actions (or lack thereof).

I do think MA and Louis could easily be as ignorant as Joseph thinks. They were married so young! He was very shy. It took a long time for them to know and trust each other. I find that completely believable. Now, how did Joseph know so much about their relationship? Maybe just brotherly and manly instinct.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Fozzie
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Re: Act III - Enlightenment & Painter



marcialou wrote:
Several references to Rousseau. How is the Enlightenment expressed at Versailles?

Elisabeth Vigee LeBrun: a truly free woman. Does MA envy her? (This may not be fully revealed until Act IV.)

Marcia



I am not familiar with Rousseau and Enlightenment and I want to read more before I comment on the painter.

Jump in and give your thoughts everyone!
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
jd
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jd
Posts: 326
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Act III - Sex

Phimosis - the medical term for too tight foreskin has several causes and more than one correction. Circumcision is one 'cure.' I can imagine a shy louis having difficulty talking to any one about this, but then I think about all the people who shared his morning toilet and wonder why help did not arrive sooner - jd
jd
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jd
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Re: Act III - Sex

I think Joseph knew so much because MA's mamma told him. Having an heir was so important. -jd
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Fozzie
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Re: Act III - Sex



jd wrote:
I think Joseph knew so much because MA's mamma told him. Having an heir was so important. -jd



Now why didn't I think of that? Of course that makes sense --- he was sent as an emissary of sorts. Thanks.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Author
SenaJeterNaslund
Posts: 67
Registered: ‎08-01-2007
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Re: Act III-Count

Laura, one of the things that makes scholars unsure was the kind of language they used in the 18th century; they could speak of great intimacy without implying a sexual relationship, just a heartfelt kinship. Also Fersen's diary was censored by relatives so some passages that might help us know more are simply gone from the record he left.
I see him as acting rather like Antoinette's knight in shining armor--a kind of throw-back to the day's of chivalry. He saw her as very special for her personal qualities but also because she was the queen, his lady, up on a pedestal.




Fozzie wrote:

marcialou wrote:
Return of Count Axel von Fersen: Is this love?




I looked up some information in Wikipedia on the Count. I read that he was believed to be a lover of MA, but that more recent scholarship doesn't think that to be true. I am looking forward to see how Sena treats this relationship in the novel.

Message Edited by Fozzie on 08-20-2007 09:00 AM


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SenaJeterNaslund
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Registered: ‎08-01-2007
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Re: Act III - Joseph's Opinion

This is an English translation of an actual historical letter. I think Joseph loved his sister and was trying to help her, but still this strikes my ear as rather mean. Of course it could not be entirely of her own making; there were certainly many factors involved in the revolution.
By the way, the letter to his brother is also authentic about the king's behavior in the marriage bed. While he was polite and respectful to Louis XVI in person, he apparently did not always say just what he thought. In that warning letter to his sister, I think he lets his actual thoughts come to the surface, and he is frustrated and angry that the royalty seem to him blind about the danger they are in.




Fozzie wrote:


marcialou wrote:
Joseph's warning of the revolution to come. He seems to imply that it would be MA's fault. Is that fair?



I believe the passage you are referring to is on page 264.

I took the phrase "it will be of your own making" to refer to MA, her husband, the court, their advisors, etc., not just MA.

I do think Joseph is trying to help MA by leaving this message with her, hoping that something can be changed before it is to late.


Author
SenaJeterNaslund
Posts: 67
Registered: ‎08-01-2007
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Re: Act III - Enlightenment & Painter

I'm very fond of the character Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun, the portrait painter. She and Antoinette were the same age, and they were good friends. I don't think Antoinette envied her. Elisabeth was not entirely free; when she was unmarried her stepfather got all her earnings from her paintings; when she was married her husband got it all. She loved to paint and so she did it with true artistic devotion, but she herslf did not profit from it till she left France.
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