Saturday, July 12, 2014

Ringling and Marie Antoinette

 Come with me beckons the statue at the main entrance to the fabulous Ringling Museum - which we have visited here more than once.

 Peel  me a grape!!!

 Oh I don't know 'bout that...I am feeling empty headed... he said
 How bout we pinky swear?

No, I have a headache!!!
So, as I was saying, have been catching up on reading, something I love but rarely have time or energy to do it seems, both audio and regular old style reading (well, on the ipad rather than paper pages) and I have a few to recommend.   Anywho, I absolutely loved, loved, "Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette"   Written by: Sena Jeter Naslund - available here -
The true story, told as fiction in the first person, feels eerily what it must have felt like being Marie Antoinette and all that she both enjoyed, and endured as her role of Queen of France and wife (if you could call it that) of Louis XVI or the Dauphin....she could have been queen or empress of Austria but in an effort for Austria to create an alliance and (possible ownership) of France, she was offered to the prince, when they were just 15 and 16 years old respectively.
While I was thinking that this portrait was of one of her daughters, it appears that it is of Isabelle de Bourbon, a descendant of Charles I, but I was during the same epoch at least...

now this young fella is an offspring of Marie, Louis, Comte de Provence who would grow up to be Louis XVIII (eighteenth to you)
and then of course, the ever lovely, refined Madame herself....

 and her (somewhat portly) hubbie...and
while reading another great tome, The Stockholm Octavo, I am learning about the very complex language of the fan as used by the ladies in the 18th century and even earlier times.....
Marie's collection of fans as displayed at the Ringling....(as are the other images above)
such fan language could be interpreted as follows:

  • Twirling the fan in the left hand: We are watched.
  • Carrying the fan in the right hand in front of her face: Follow me.
  • Covering the left ear with the open fan: Do not betray our secret.
  • Drawing the fan through the hand: I hate you.
  • Drawing the fan across the cheek: I love you.
  • Touching the tip of the fan with the finger: I wish to speak to you.
  • Letting the fan rest on the right cheek: Yes.
  • Letting the fan rest on the left cheek: No.
  • Opening and shutting the fan: You are cruel.
  • Dropping the fan: We will be friends.
  • Fanning slowly: I am married.
  • Fanning rapidly: I am engaged.
  • Touching the handle of the fan to the lips: Kiss me
don't know about you, but I think that it would a great fashion to bring back...especially in the heat of the sweltering Florida summers.....


Well my dears, that is all I have for you now...but I promise to keep up the posting (as best I can) and try and make your day just a little brighter....

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