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The Royal Dildo

Marie Antoinette was the subject of countless cruel, and sometimes pornographic, pamphlets throughout her reign. Pornography in eighteenth century France took the form of crude caricatures, colorful cartoons, and even sophisticated etchings and engravings. Pornographic songs, plays and news-like stories were also popular. Marie Antoinette was a favorite target of seditions libelers because, to them she represented an extravagant lifestyle, everything they hoped to attain but knew they would not. To some pamphleteers, Marie Antoinette was the symbol, the very cause, of all that was wrong with their economy, society and government. Pamphlets were used to accuse Marie Antoinette of all manners of debauchery, including adultery, lesbianism, and incest.


Attacks against Her Family

The Royal Dildo and The Royal Orgy were two pamphlets that circulated during Antoinette's lifetime. In one pamphlet, Louis XVI is accused of homosexuality and Marie Antoinette is accused of perverted and profuse masturbation. In another pamphlet, Antoinette is accused of holding orgies and fornicating with her brother-in-law, Comte d'Artois. A third pornographic pamphlet, (image at left) depicts Marie Antoinette leading Lafayette, the great French general and politician, as he rides a giant penis. Although this image implies that the queen and the general were intimate, that was not so. Lafayette attempted to be a moderate - positioning himself between the royals and the revolutionaries. This won him few friends. He was made the head of the National Guard in 1789 but eventually had to flee France. Before departing, Marie Antoinette is believed to have said, "I can see that Monsieur de Lafayette wishes to save us, but who will save us from Monsieur de Lafayette?" Clearly, there was no love lost (and nothing illicit) between Marie Antoinette and Lafayette. (For more information about pornography published during Marie Antoinette's lifetime, read The Wicked Queen by Chantal Thomas or Marie Antoinette: Writings on the Body of a Queen by Professor Dena Goodman)


The Root of All Evil


Marie Antoinette as a Harpie
The scurrilous pamphleteers accused Marie Antoinette of adultery, lesbianism, pedophile, and treason. In one pamphlet they even accused her of being the cause of all evil within French society. They called her the root of all evil. In a contemporary pamphlet entitled Vie de Marie-Antoinete d'Autriche, it is written: "Since the Revolution, the monarchist club, whose body and soul is Antoinette, have been continually at it; all its members have drawn from the vagina of the Austrian Woman…That infectious cavern is the receptacle of all vices, where each comes and takes his required dose."

Lesbianism

Pamphleteer's spent a lot of time writing about Marie Antoinette's alleged lesbian encounters. They justified their accusations by attributing them to her heritage. At that time, it was widely believed that lesbianism was a German vice. Since Marie Antoinette was of German decent, they suggested she was a lesbian.) Some of the pamphlets are meant to be playful, even if they seem wicked and cruel today. Other pamphlets, however, were cruel. The List of All the People with Whom the Queen Has Had Depraved Relations was published in 1792 and was a powerful tool in the hands of the revolutionaries. Lists such as these were ridiculously long and false. Some of the names on the list were Marie Antoinette's closest, most loyal friends. Indeed, the pamphleteers extrapolated perverted things from the queen's many close relationships with females. Marie Antoinette was an extremely generously friend, rewarding her closet companions with lucrative positions at court and costly gifts. This only caused resentment and jealousy. The most wealthy and wicked of the jealous eagerly financed the publication of still more pamphlets.


Dildos
Marie Antoinette was accused of habitually using dildos to pleasure herself and her companions. In the Vie de Marie-Antoinete d'Autriche, it is written, "Even during her final imprisonment, she offered her guards the flowing shocking exhibition: With her right hand, the princess de Lamballe foraged her bush, which was often dripping with sweet juices. With her left hand, she masterfully and rhythmically slapped one of the royal buttocks…They saw princess de Lamballe pull a kind of dildo out of her pocket, which she then applied to that spot we take our joy in. It was attached with a wide ribbon, which fitted over her hips most gracefully…"At the time Vie de Marie-Antoinete d'Autriche was written, Marie Antoinette was a prisoner of the revolution. She was not permitted visitors. She spent much of her time in seclusion. Princess Lamballe, a delicated and abnormally sensitive woman, had returned from safety abroad to stand by her friend. The Princess was imprisoned, though not with Marie Antoinette. An angry mob would later drag the Princess Lamballe from her cell where they would rape her, beat her to death, and then cut her genitalia from her body, quarter her and post her limbs on stakes. They even stuck her head on a pike and carried it to Marie Antoinette's prison, hoisting it high in the air so she might see it from her cell window. Despite the innocence of the relationship between the Princess and the Queen, the mob believed the wicked lies written by the pamphleteers. And those heartless pamphleteers continued to produce libelous pieces about the Princess Lamballe even after her murder.

The Seeds of Hatred
Pornography was a sharp tool in eighteenth century France. When wielded properly, it could be used to cut down larger than life figures, even kings and queens. Pornography was used against Marie Antoinette before the Revolution to lower public opinion of her and to blame her for the country's ails. It was a way to take the heat off of the more culpable individuals. Once the Revolution was underway, pornography against the queen was churned out in staggering amounts. It was used then to further smear her reputation, to maintain the low public sentiment about her, and to assure harsh punishment. 

Aftermath
Very little has been written about the emotional toll the pornographic pamphlets took on the queen or on her surviving child, Madame Royal. Fortunately, Marie Antoinette, who was a sensitive person herself, did not live long enough to read all of the horrible things written about her. Though, she was forced to suffer countless indignities. During her trial, a particularly wretched pamphlet accused her of having sexual relations with her son. Once can only imagine the pain that must have shot through her heart upon hearing such an accusation. With as much dignity as anyone could have mustered, Marie Antoinette answered, "If I have not answered, it was because Nature refused to answer such a charge against a mother." She then turned to the assembled crowd and said, "I appeal to all of the mothers in this room."

Unfortunately, the mothers in the assemblage were unmoved. Marie Antoinette was sent to the guillotine on 16 October 1793. The blood was still fresh on the sawdust beneath the scaffold when a new round of pornographic pamphlets hit the streets of Paris.

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19 comments:

  1. Wow...those pamphleteer had such impressive and perverse imagination, I cannot imagine having to deal with such horrible gossip...

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  2. wow, that is intense. That is horrible that she had to endure such things, and that it continued even after she was dead. Hopefully she has peace now.
    -------------------
    Polite Society, my online 1700s novel-- http://societybook.wordpress.com

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  3. That's really sick. I know similar things were spread about in regards to Anne Boleyn and Alexandra Feodorovna. I'm sure a lot of people believed it; as people today often believe similar stories.

    It's interesting they also tried to spread rumors about Louis; usually sexual stories like this focus on the women. The men in their lives are either not involved or somehow bewitched by them.

    I really like this blog and thank you for posting so many interesting things about an interesting woman.

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  4. interesting but where did you get this information from? like for the quotes where did you get them and the rest of the information. There is no links to show examples of these pamphlets

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  5. Thank you for all of your comments. I appreciate hearing from my readers.

    To Anonymous: Thank you for your question. I wanted to write you back personally but you did not leave your name or email address.

    I can tell you I purchased an old postcard of that image from one of the stalls on the Seine. This was many years ago. There was nothing written or printed on the back of the postcard. When I did research on the image, I was told by a curator at Versailles that it was housed at the Bibliothèque nationale de France
    http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b22001458.r=carrosse.langEN

    Here are two places I found online that reference the image:
    http://www.libidomag.com/nakedbrunch/archive/europorn04.html

    http://www.current.org/fcc/fcc0618indecency.shtml

    Finally, I believe Chantal Thomas has the image in her book The Wicked Queen: The Origins of the Myth of Marie Antoinette
    http://www.amazon.ca/Wicked-Queen-Origins-Myth-Marie-Antoinette/dp/094229940X

    Hope that helps some!

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  6. Apparently the mothers were moved - unfortunately it was the hand-picked judges who weren't. Some of these foul pamphlets can be laid directly at the feet of the hideous Philippe -"Egalite" and the printers at the Palais Royale.

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    1. Hideous indeed! He's a villain in one of my novels for that reason!

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  7. My 5th great Uncle, Captain Samuel Clough tried to save her from execution. Upon his return to Wiscasset, Maine he named his daughter Sarah Marie Antoinette. Since that time every other female in my family has been an Antoinette. I am the last of his legacy. Thought your blog was super interesting. Thank you. Sincerely Antoinette Mathieu Obuchowski

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    Replies
    1. What a fascinating family history! I love that her name has continued to be used in your family for generations.

      Thank you for visiting my blog.

      I'm on Twitter too and post regular tidbits!!
      @18thCFrance

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  8. Hello from the Philippines! I just finished watching a documentary about Marie Antoinette's life (but I knew about her way back), so I googled and found your blog. Her life reminds me a bit of Anne Boleyn, only a bit, and it makes me sad that these women had to die because of unfounded accusations.

    Followed you on Twitter @dafnyduck! Keep posting!

    xx Daphne of http://daphnebenosa.com

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  9. My, she was one heck of a playgirl!

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    1. Don't take it seriously, it was all rumors, that spread like cancer. I wish some people would fully read something and take time to comprehend it before that post comments, I hope you were being sarcastic which in this case would be in bad taste.

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  10. Count Axel von Fersen from Sweden may have sired at least some of her four children. Others were also rumored to have been their fathers. It is reported that the king was advised by his physician "to wiggle some" when he was intimate with the queen--this after there hadn't been any signs of her pregnancy after a decade! Note how young the king and queen were at their execution.

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  11. You have an immense knowledge of Marie Antoinette and the time period in France when she lived. I was wondering if you could possibly help me by looking at a few photos.

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  12. Wow! I cannot believe it! a Archduchess? Dauphine? A queen can be a terrible whore in her reign. Well, I never expect that a royal woman of France will be accused of such things. where this queen Comprar Dildos during time.

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