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Author Topic: Franz-Joseph and Sisi  (Read 43609 times)
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Paulina

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« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2019, 06:23:38 AM »

I’m reading up on Sisi now. Massive eating disorders and what seems to be anorexia and buliema. Very sad story. Super interesting though.
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« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2019, 10:07:35 AM »

Can you imagine what would've happened to Sisi's face if there were plastic surgery, botox, fillers etc. available in her time? Better not to think.
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« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2019, 10:39:10 AM »

Her death mask shows a still-beautiful woman imo, but maybe it was smoothed down. Her face looks severe - her eating disorders must have taken their toll.

She's an interesting woman with her inner contradictions. She had an ambivalent relationship with everything and everybody except for her youngest daughter whom she really loved. She was ambivalent about her own beauty - she used it to manipulate the Emperor and the court, she saw it as yoke, she wanted to preserve it and destroyed it with her methods.

She was ambivalent about her position - in her heart, she was a republican, as her Heine-style poetry shows, but she never reached out to her similarly-progressive son (who felt lost and lonely all his life) and never tried to influence her husband to introduce some reforms (which might have helped the Empire stay afloat). Her only political interest was her romantic preference for Hungary - which caused much trouble with other minorities in this multi-ethnic empire.

She was ambivalent about her husband, too, and was glad when he started his relationship with Katharina Schratt.

Empress Frederick, no beauty herself but as happy to see beauty as her mother, found her enchanting.

There is something very sad about her and with all the kitsch in these movies, Romy Schneider caught that very well. Beautiful and radiant on the outside, sombre and out of place when you really look at her. Romy Schneider really lifted these movies from the Heimatfilm genre and gave Sisi real depth.

I never heard anywhere that she was called Lisi and I don't believe it. Everybody knew her as Sisi, and her sister was called Nene (from Helene). There were many Elisabeth in her family and they all had nicknames. Her aunt, queen of Prussia and Sisi's godmother, was called Elise by everybody. So many people wrote her  name, and they all wrote their S like their L? Hard to believe. Many people in the 19th century wrote Kurrent handwriting where these two letters don't resemble. (I see Brigitte Hamann, quite the authority, agrees with me ;-) ) Sisi herself, as far as I can see on the Internet, used both scripts.

I see her as interesting personality but whenever I read about her, she irritates me because she's self-centered. She never makes any effort on behalf of her family except for Marie-Valerie, and her country or husband. She could have done so much. 

It's probably unfair to compare her to Empress Frederickk who was so active on behalf of her country, women's rights, education, health care, democratisation, fight against anti-Semitism... people are different, and the Habsburg court was even more ossified than the Prussian/German court.

But isn't it strange that Sisi is revered today because of her beauty and tragic life and death, while poor Vicky is nearly forgotten...?

I wonder what would have happened if Franz Joseph had married Nene as planned :-) What a silly game, historical "what if", but great fun nevertheless.



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« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2019, 10:40:41 AM »

When I was a child my interest in royals grew because of the movies of Sisi. I absolutely loved the dresses and later I became interested in the real Sisi. I've read some books about her and also one about Charlotte. I've read that her diet was really strict. That she drunk the juice that came of the meat, instead of eating the meat. Her exercise routine was extreme. She took her ladies-in-waiting on daily walking tours for hours and hours and hours. Some of her ladies-in-waitings couldn't handle that so I think she had one or two just for walking with her. She couldn't care if it was hot or raining. And she loved horseback riding. In Hofburg palace ( were she hardly lived because she hated it there) you can see the gymnastic equipment placed there for her. The people that worked at the palace didn't know how to react when they saw their empress hanging upside down. The reason that many of her jewels are gone is that she gave a lot of them away after Rudolf died in 1889. From that moment she wore only black clothes and jewels with black stones. She also was so obsessed about looks that she had books with pictures of the most beautiful women from her time, from actresses to other royals like Empress Eugenie of France.
I've read too that there was some confusion about the nickname 'Sisi'. Presumably she would not have been called 'Sisi' but 'Lisi'. People mistook the 'L' for an 'S' in her handwriting and that's how 'Sisi' was born.

Interesting

And it seems we became interested in Sisi the same way.  Grin
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« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2019, 11:07:15 AM »

Her death mask shows a still-beautiful woman imo, but maybe it was smoothed down. Her face looks severe - her eating disorders must have taken their toll.

She's an interesting woman with her inner contradictions. She had an ambivalent relationship with everything and everybody except for her youngest daughter whom she really loved. She was ambivalent about her own beauty - she used it to manipulate the Emperor and the court, she saw it as yoke, she wanted to preserve it and destroyed it with her methods.

She was ambivalent about her position - in her heart, she was a republican, as her Heine-style poetry shows, but she never reached out to her similarly-progressive son (who felt lost and lonely all his life) and never tried to influence her husband to introduce some reforms (which might have helped the Empire stay afloat). Her only political interest was her romantic preference for Hungary - which caused much trouble with other minorities in this multi-ethnic empire.

She was ambivalent about her husband, too, and was glad when he started his relationship with Katharina Schratt.

Empress Frederick, no beauty herself but as happy to see beauty as her mother, found her enchanting.

There is something very sad about her and with all the kitsch in these movies, Romy Schneider caught that very well. Beautiful and radiant on the outside, sombre and out of place when you really look at her. Romy Schneider really lifted these movies from the Heimatfilm genre and gave Sisi real depth.

I never heard anywhere that she was called Lisi and I don't believe it. Everybody knew her as Sisi, and her sister was called Nene (from Helene). There were many Elisabeth in her family and they all had nicknames. Her aunt, queen of Prussia and Sisi's godmother, was called Elise by everybody. So many people wrote her  name, and they all wrote their S like their L? Hard to believe. Many people in the 19th century wrote Kurrent handwriting where these two letters don't resemble. (I see Brigitte Hamann, quite the authority, agrees with me ;-) ) Sisi herself, as far as I can see on the Internet, used both scripts.

I see her as interesting personality but whenever I read about her, she irritates me because she's self-centered. She never makes any effort on behalf of her family except for Marie-Valerie, and her country or husband. She could have done so much. 

It's probably unfair to compare her to Empress Frederickk who was so active on behalf of her country, women's rights, education, health care, democratisation, fight against anti-Semitism... people are different, and the Habsburg court was even more ossified than the Prussian/German court.

But isn't it strange that Sisi is revered today because of her beauty and tragic life and death, while poor Vicky is nearly forgotten...?

I wonder what would have happened if Franz Joseph had married Nene as planned :-) What a silly game, historical "what if", but great fun nevertheless.





I heard that in a way she sacrificed her own eldest surviving daughter Gisela for her Bavarian family.

Apparently Sisi younger brother  Duke Maximilian Emanuel in Bavaria intended to marry Princess Amalie of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. But another Bavarian prince had interest in this princess, Prince Leopold of Bavaria (son of Prince Regent Luitpold of Bavaria and Auguste Ferdinande of Austria). The latter would be considered a better catch/party for Amelie. And in some stories it was said Amalia was intended to marry Leopold since childhood.

Sisi therefore arranged an encounter of Leopold and Gisela at Gödöllő Palace and Leopold knew he could not refuse her offer. According to a letter to his mother written in 1872, Emperor Franz Josef wanted the match between his daughter and the Wittelsbach prince, as there were so few Catholic princes available at that time. It seems he felt he had to secure the only viable candidate to whom he could give Gisela (whom he called "our darling girl" during the wedding rites) with confidence. Leopold received the immense dowry of a half a million guilders and soon overcame his former infatuation with  Amalie. Also for Leopold the temptation to become the Emperor's son-in-law was too strong to resist.

So on 20 April 1873 at the age of 16, Gisela married the then 27 year old Leopold
(Gisela b. 12 July 1856 - d. 27 July 1932; Leopold b. 9 February 1846 - d. 28 September 1930)

And indeed on 20 September 1875 at the age of 26 Amalie married the then 25 year old Maximilian Emanuel and they had to all accounts a happy marriage Wink Unfortunately they both died within 20 years of marriage, at ages almost the half of the age of Gisela and Leopold when they died.
(Amelie b. 23 October 1848 - d. 6 May 1894;  Maximilian Emanuel b. 7 December 1849 - d. 12 June 1893)
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CyrilSebastian

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« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2019, 10:01:41 PM »

Archduke Francis Joseph first met his cousin Elisabeth of Bavaria in Innsbruck when he was ten years old. Francis Joseph's mother was Princess Sophie of Bavaria. Sophie's sister was Princess Ludovika of Bavaria. Ludovika's daughter was Elisabeth. Thus Francis Joseph and Elisabeth were first cousins.   
 
I like Elisabeth's Imperial wedding.   
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IErjmH0h4A
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« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2019, 10:41:25 PM »

I’m reading up on Sisi now. Massive eating disorders and what seems to be anorexia and buliema. Very sad story. Super interesting though.

Sounds like she was very, very mentally ill.  How sad.
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« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2019, 06:53:46 PM »

And she was killed by an anarchist whose target had been someone else -- she just happened to be a public figure  in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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Carreen

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« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2019, 07:20:17 PM »

I went to school with one of her descendants - I knew she was from an aristocratic family but only as adult, I became curious and googled her ;-) It turns out she is a descendant of Marie Valerie, Sisi's youngest and favourite daughter, through the distaff line. I'm glad I didn't know that as a child because she was so unspectacular and, while really nice and kind, not a trace of Sisi's beauty came down the generations... at least not in that line. ;-)
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karma chamelion

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« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2019, 09:20:36 PM »

I went to school with one of her descendants - I knew she was from an aristocratic family but only as adult, I became curious and googled her ;-) It turns out she is a descendant of Marie Valerie, Sisi's youngest and favourite daughter, through the distaff line. I'm glad I didn't know that as a child because she was so unspectacular and, while really nice and kind, not a trace of Sisi's beauty came down the generations... at least not in that line. ;-)

How interesting Carreen! Star I don't think any of her children or grandchildren looked like her, the Habsburg genes were too strong in them.

Sisi was a very selfish and self absorbed person with that Wittlesbach instability that plagued Ludwig II of Bavaria and many others. But, we have to remember she didn't have an easy married life either, suffering from real prosecution from her controlling MIL. It's said that after her husband gave her a disease that her peregrinations to Madeira and later Corfu began. She probably felt unwanted at court where AD Sophie was in control of everything including raising the oldest children, so she saw no reason to stay. Very tragic lady.
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« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2019, 09:44:50 PM »

What disease did he give her?
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karma chamelion

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« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2019, 10:04:47 PM »

What disease did he give her?

An STD, I think it was gonorrhea. Rudolf gave one to Stephanie as well, that's why they couldn't have any more children after Elisabeth Marie. Or so the stories go...
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CyrilSebastian

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« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2019, 10:50:01 PM »

When Empress Elisabeth gave birth to a girl in March 1855, her daughter was named Sophie by Archduchess Sophie for Archduchess Sophie. Do you not think that Archduchess Sophie should have let Francis Joseph and Elisabeth pick out the names for their first daughter?
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« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2019, 10:51:41 PM »

Or maybe syphilis. That would explain the mental issues too
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karma chamelion

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« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2019, 11:03:10 PM »

Or maybe syphilis. That would explain the mental issues too

That's the one. It would explain why she refused to be photographed later in life. I can imagine the consequences of such a disease on such a vain woman would have been unbearable.

CyrilSebastian, AD Sophie was a mentally unstable control freak who wore the pants in the family. It was her idea to have her even more unstable husband renounce the thrown in favor of their son Franz Joseph. She was the power behind the throne during his minority and refused to let that control go. A sixteen-year-old from the provinces didn't stand a chance against her, plus Sisi's own mother was Sophie's sister and she supported her sister's restrictions on her daughter. They were all inbred Hapsburgs when it comes down to it, with all the issues that brings with it.
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