How to Ruin a Queen: Marie Antoinette and the Diamond Necklace Affair

By Jonathan Beckman

In 1785, a sensational trial all started in Paris that might divide the rustic and captivate Europe. a number one Catholic cardinal and scion of 1 of the main exclusive households in France stood accused of forging the queen’s signature to acquire the most costly piece of jewellery in Europe: a 2,800-carat diamond necklace. the place have been the diamonds? used to be the cardinal blameless? was once, for that subject, the queen? The revelations from the trial may bedevil the French monarchy because the nation descended right into a bloody revolution.

In How to spoil a Queen, award-winning writer Jonathan Beckman tells of political machinations and large extravagance; of kidnappings, felony breaks, and assassination makes an attempt; of hapless French police in hide, reams of lesbian pornography, and a duel fought with poisoned pigs. it's a detective tale, a court drama, a tragicomic farce, and a research of credulity and self-deception within the Age of Enlightenment.

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It's been prompt that Louis suffered from phimosis, which might have made his erections painful, even though he used to be tested on a number of events by means of medical professionals who came across not anything to inhibit them, and there's no facts that he ever went less than the knife. Marie Antoinette’s brother, the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, left an outline of the king’s curious sexual procedure: ‘he has robust, completely passable erections; he introduces the member, remains there with no relocating for approximately mins, withdraws with out ejaculating yet nonetheless erect, and bids goodnight’.

It really is tough to inform how heavily the contributors handled the resultant seance, considering that their bills are built-in inside of accusations and counter-accusations over culpability for the necklace’s disappearance. however it is probably going that Cagliostro used to be extra critical and Jeanne much less sceptical than they might later declare. Rohan taken care of the lawsuits with the maximum solemnity. Foretelling the longer term required a virginal baby, the more youthful the higher (blue eyes and beneficial big name indicators more advantageous the results). happily, Jeanne’s niece, Marie de l. a. journey, were residing with the los angeles Mottes considering the fact that November (though Cagliostro used to be greatly surprised while awarded with a fifteen-year-old, instead of the five-year-olds he usually labored with – young ones are less biddable, and there’s a superb opportunity they’re much less virginal than they admit).

On three November, he wrote a proper letter to the Boehmers telling them the necklace have been received fraudulently and the case used to be being handled via criminal channels – not anything they didn't recognize already. The implication was once transparent: if you'd like your funds, you'll have to petition the parlement. The problems dealing with Rohan’s criminal staff have been daunting to the purpose of hopelessness. even though public sympathy leant in the direction of the cardinal, the total impact of the king and queen used to be being exerted opposed to him (the sympathies that actually mattered belonged to fifty or so judges who have been as vulnerable as an individual to royal attention).

292. 194   ‘of now not recognising the queen’: op. cit. , p. 290. 194   ‘reality effect’: see ‘The truth influence’ within the Rustle of Language by way of Roland Barthes, pp. 141–8. 195   ‘was very dirty’: ‘Interrogation with Jeanne de los angeles Motte’, Campardon, p. 288. 195   ‘I’m very sorry’ . . . ‘such affairs’: op. cit. , p. 296. 195   ‘You are being’ . . . ‘could move awry’: op. cit. , p. 301. 195   ‘I am an previous man’: op. cit. , p. 321. 196   ‘utterly awesome man’: op. cit. , p. 313. 196   ‘a assembly with the queen’: op. cit. , p. 280. 196   ‘Marie Antoinette de France’: op.

225   ‘upon my sympathy’: BHVP MS691/225. 226   His abdominal cramps . . . eye leaked pus: Georgel, vol. 2, p. 195. 226   ‘which I reason them’: BN JdF 2088/84. 226   ‘to their [Villette and Jeanne’s] lot’: BHVP MS691/228. 226   ‘to face Titon’: BHVP MS691/232. 226   ‘always unhappy? ’: BHVP MS691/231. 226   ‘of the queen? ’: BHVP MS691/230. 226   drown herself: Mémoires secrets and techniques, 30 April 1786. 226   ‘her lovely neck’: Correspondance Secrète, eight may perhaps 1786. 226   On 22 could: the account of the listening to attracts totally on the Compte Rendu, p.

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