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Author Topic: Franz-Joseph and Sisi  (Read 36119 times)
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CyrilSebastian

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« Reply #165 on: January 01, 2020, 11:53:30 PM »

Basically she was an innocent child who got married off way too early and could not cope. Also her beauty came to a peak a few years into her marriage. It is very sad that she never could fully cope with life and this makes her very fascinating. 

FJ IMO clearly underestimated the role of the Empress and that Sisi wouldn't be able to fulfill them. Just being beautiful wasn't enough.

Also Archduchess Sophie stated quite openly that she had nothing personally against her niece, but simply feared that she wouldn't be able cope with her position. In the end she was right.
     
 
Kristallinchen, You declared a wise observation! If Archduchess Sophie knew and realized that Elisabeth would not be able to cope with the imperial duties as an Empress, then why did not Sophie forbid Francis Joseph from marrying Elisabeth?
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cordtx

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« Reply #166 on: January 02, 2020, 03:01:09 AM »

FJ Basically said her or nobody from what I’ve read and also supposedly some of her hiding as she got older was a little bit bipolar but also due to getting Syphilis  from her husband
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Kristallinchen

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« Reply #167 on: January 02, 2020, 09:22:11 AM »

Basically she was an innocent child who got married off way too early and could not cope. Also her beauty came to a peak a few years into her marriage. It is very sad that she never could fully cope with life and this makes her very fascinating.  

FJ IMO clearly underestimated the role of the Empress and that Sisi wouldn't be able to fulfill them. Just being beautiful wasn't enough.

Also Archduchess Sophie stated quite openly that she had nothing personally against her niece, but simply feared that she wouldn't be able cope with her position. In the end she was right.
   
 
Kristallinchen, You declared a wise observation! If Archduchess Sophie knew and realized that Elisabeth would not be able to cope with the imperial duties as an Empress, then why did not Sophie forbid Francis Joseph from marrying Elisabeth?

She certainly tried to argue with him. But what could she have done? FJ was the Emperor.

His mother couldn't forbid him anything.

No in fact I think, if a person could've and should've stopped this, it was Sisi's mother, Ludovika. Sisi at this time was clearly enjoying the attention, but she herself felt that it probably wasn't the best idea.

Her mother simply told her however - You don't reject an Emperor!

Ludovika's ambitions ensured that basically all her daughters (save for one) ended up in loveless marriages. But she was stuck in one as well, so maybe she felt that they had to endure it too.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 09:37:00 AM by Kristallinchen » Logged
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« Reply #168 on: January 02, 2020, 10:26:50 AM »

Basically she was an innocent child who got married off way too early and could not cope. Also her beauty came to a peak a few years into her marriage. It is very sad that she never could fully cope with life and this makes her very fascinating.  

FJ IMO clearly underestimated the role of the Empress and that Sisi wouldn't be able to fulfill them. Just being beautiful wasn't enough.

Also Archduchess Sophie stated quite openly that she had nothing personally against her niece, but simply feared that she wouldn't be able cope with her position. In the end she was right.
   
 
Kristallinchen, You declared a wise observation! If Archduchess Sophie knew and realized that Elisabeth would not be able to cope with the imperial duties as an Empress, then why did not Sophie forbid Francis Joseph from marrying Elisabeth?

She certainly tried to argue with him. But what could she have done? FJ was the Emperor.

His mother couldn't forbid him anything.

No in fact I think, if a person could've and should've stopped this, it was Sisi's mother, Ludovika. Sisi at this time was clearly enjoying the attention, but she herself felt that it probably wasn't the best idea.

Her mother simply told her however - You don't reject an Emperor!

Ludovika's ambitions ensured that basically all her daughters (save for one) ended up in loveless marriages. But she was stuck in one as well, so maybe she felt that they had to endure it too.

Besides the heart break of loosing her husband too soon, I guess Helene (Nene) has been the lucky one.
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Kristallinchen

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« Reply #169 on: January 02, 2020, 10:47:53 AM »

Basically she was an innocent child who got married off way too early and could not cope. Also her beauty came to a peak a few years into her marriage. It is very sad that she never could fully cope with life and this makes her very fascinating.  

FJ IMO clearly underestimated the role of the Empress and that Sisi wouldn't be able to fulfill them. Just being beautiful wasn't enough.

Also Archduchess Sophie stated quite openly that she had nothing personally against her niece, but simply feared that she wouldn't be able cope with her position. In the end she was right.
   
 
Kristallinchen, You declared a wise observation! If Archduchess Sophie knew and realized that Elisabeth would not be able to cope with the imperial duties as an Empress, then why did not Sophie forbid Francis Joseph from marrying Elisabeth?

She certainly tried to argue with him. But what could she have done? FJ was the Emperor.

His mother couldn't forbid him anything.

No in fact I think, if a person could've and should've stopped this, it was Sisi's mother, Ludovika. Sisi at this time was clearly enjoying the attention, but she herself felt that it probably wasn't the best idea.

Her mother simply told her however - You don't reject an Emperor!

Ludovika's ambitions ensured that basically all her daughters (save for one) ended up in loveless marriages. But she was stuck in one as well, so maybe she felt that they had to endure it too.

Besides the heart break of loosing her husband too soon, I guess Helene (Nene) has been the lucky one.

 Thumb up

Nene had a very happy marriage and also a very good relationship with her father-in-law.

He knew he could trust her and when Maximilian died it was clear to him that Nene herself should be made the guardian of her children (as opposed to himself or some elderly family men which was normally the case).
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 10:54:32 AM by Kristallinchen » Logged
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« Reply #170 on: January 02, 2020, 05:07:11 PM »

   
 
Kristallinchen, You declared a wise observation! If Archduchess Sophie knew and realized that Elisabeth would not be able to cope with the imperial duties as an Empress, then why did not Sophie forbid Francis Joseph from marrying Elisabeth?
FJ was a grown man and he was the emporer. He let his mother decide a lot, but certainly not as much as she would have wanted.
I am not entirely sure about the "Sisi or no-one" argument - after all I think we "heard"it from each and every prince or princess in the past 100 years since marriages have started to be based on romance rather than business. And I haven't bought any of those oh so romantic exclamations of "love" - they are IMO decorative attacments to the love stories the books and media are trying to sell.
As to Erzherzogin Sophie and her hunch that Sisi would not be suitable as an empress: Not entirely sure if that was based on true history either. Hindsight is a bitch. Sisi was extremely headstrong from childhood on, but she was 16 when the proposal was made and I am convinced that most thought, she was still young enough to grow into her role.
Family life back then was very different: Children did not see their parents that very often and I do wonder how much firsthand knowledge the parents had of their children, they got reports from their gouvernors and teachers (nannies) about their education and deportment, but I think they spent more thought on personality matches when breeding their horses than when securing spouses for their children. When it came to the latter high-profile and money (in earlier times that was land) was important.
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CyrilSebastian

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« Reply #171 on: January 02, 2020, 10:39:10 PM »

In the past how often did Elisabeth visit Aunt Sophie in Vienna? Also, how often did Archduchess Sophie visit Elisabeth's family in Bavaria?
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Miss Marple

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« Reply #172 on: January 02, 2020, 10:53:13 PM »

I think you can't judge with today's view - girls in royal families often had only two options: marry for dynastic reasons or go to a monastry. They were never asked.

Ludovika was unhappily married herself (her husband cheated on her). Her child being the emperess of Austria might have put her back on the map because it increased her importance. She might not even had the feeling it was wrong - the girl was only 16, well taken care of, FJ clearly in love ... she might have had the best intensions.

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« Reply #173 on: January 03, 2020, 09:57:34 AM »

I think you can't judge with today's view - girls in royal families often had only two options: marry for dynastic reasons or go to a monastry. They were never asked.

Ludovika was unhappily married herself (her husband cheated on her). Her child being the emperess of Austria might have put her back on the map because it increased her importance. She might not even had the feeling it was wrong - the girl was only 16, well taken care of, FJ clearly in love ... she might have had the best intensions.



This reminded me of a scene in the first of those sugar coated Sissi movies (with Romy Schneider).

The Bavarian sisters (Ludovika, Sophie, Elisabeth, Amalie) are together in the ball room in Ischl, just after the anouncement that FJ and Elisabeth were engaged. One of them remarks to Ludovika that she is now finally bringing a monarch into the family
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Miss Marple

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« Reply #174 on: January 03, 2020, 11:57:29 AM »

All the other girls got married to some earls or lords or the German equivalent. So it might have also "boosted" the chances for a good match for the other girls of the family - awful thinking, but I think the dynasties back then really thought that way.

I think Sisi herself was very detached from the "real world" - she also was not that close to her family and detached herself the older she got - she did not attend her father's funeral, she backed the families decision to have Sophie admitted to a mental institution after her unhappily married sister wanted a divorce and re-marry a man she loved and I think she stopped talking to Marie at one stage.

I think the movies are completely fabricated - she did not grow up in a happy family (apparently the father had very little time for the children and cheated on his wife) and -despite her husband loved her- she was not able to connect to most of her children. She is a very tragic figure.
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« Reply #175 on: January 03, 2020, 03:18:29 PM »

Yes, the movies were a fantasy. I read somewhere that the relationship between archduchess/aunt Sophie and Sisi was not as bad as depicted. It was a much more complex relationship, and Sophie took over the duties that Sisi neglected. In the movies, she's the antagonist. That's a bit unfair.

Romy Schneider looked beautiful and like Sisi was a bird in a cage but that was about it as far as authenticity was concerned. They're lovely movies once you don't take them seriously.
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Kristallinchen

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« Reply #176 on: January 03, 2020, 10:12:14 PM »

Obviously the Sissi films weren't made for a history lesson, but for people to smile, relax and have fun. Marischka had never any intentions to educate the audience about Elisabeth. I think one of the reasons for the success was exactly this.

Certainly Sisi's marriage helped bring up good candidates for her sisters too. This was totally normal at the time. And as Ludovika had always felt left out for not marrying a monarch too, it was only logical for her that at least her daughters should marry up (obviously she had married down). And no I don't blame Ludovika cor this, after all, it where different times. However she could've been more sensible in her choices. After all the marriage of the Emperor was not only a personal matter of love, he mainly needed a companion to rule the country and support. Sisi was just not suited for this.

The relationship between Sophie and Sisi indeed wasn't this bad at the beginning. Sisi indeed tried to fit in, but felt that it was never enough. I think a good example of the difference of the two women is how they handled tragedies.

I don't want to compare, but let's see:

Sisi lost one child (Sophie) as a toddler in Hungary. Later on Rudolf committed suicide. It was certainly a huge tragedy for her, but her MIL had in this terms far more to endure.

Sophie had at least two or three miscarriages in the first five years of her marriage. One daughter died in childhood. Another son (Ludwig Viktor) apart from being totally strange, didn't seem healthy either. Her favorite son, Maximilian, was shot in Mexico.

And while Sisi summoned up in her grieve every time, Sophie had the will and power to move on. Which was probably why they didn't get along. Sophie was living her life for the dynasty, for the son and the country. Sisi was enjoying herself (although she died try at the beginning.)

With her siblings as already stated Sisi quarreled with Marie...the reason I believe was Bay Middleton, Sisi's English riding teacher. Marie felt she was too close to him. Appearantly Sisi didn't like to hear this.

Marie Louise Larisch was at first her darling niece and later on the object of her hatred. Though of course Sisi wouldn't admit to herself that Rudolf certainly hadn't committed suicide, because ML had introduced him to Mary Vetsera (btw he had had an affair with her mother, Helene, too), but because she had neglected him all those years.

Her favourite daughter, Marie Valerie, felt crushed by the love of her mother. Sisi loved everything Hungarian, MV hated everything Hungarian. When alone with her father she begged him to be allowed to speak German with him.

And no I don't think that Sisi was a bad person. She just was very controversial and too self centered to notice anything going on around her. I think it was Elisabeth of Romania, whom Sisi kind of admired for her poems, who stated about her: She doesn't know any grey. Everything is either black and white for her (not her exact words, but with this meaning).

 
« Last Edit: January 03, 2020, 10:30:33 PM by Kristallinchen » Logged
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« Reply #177 on: January 04, 2020, 05:30:11 PM »

I think the Austrian tourism has to thank Romy Schneider and Ernst Marischka for the enormous love and interest for Sisi or really rather Sissi.
The real empress was a very difficult woman to love and to be around. I think she was possibly bi-polar.
All those extreme likes and dislikes and just as Kristallinchen said: no greys in between.
Her body issues were extreme: she was possibly the first "recorded" bulemia-sufferer. Just as patients with eating disorders, for her to retain the power over what would go into her body was paramount. She starved herself almost to death, exercised during a time, when hardly any other woman would do that. Used artificial sweetners, bathed twice daily and swam in the pond whenever the weather was above 15degrees (or so the biographers say..)
Her appearance and her looks were a legend, that she found herself trapped in. Her beauty was so famous, that likely she found herself lacking. There are endless rumours about her teeth and her skin, and one wonders if those were malicious rumours or the truth. (for every report citing a person who expressed her surprise about Elisabeth' bad, even rotting teeth, there is another one saying she found those rumours to be quite untrue…) However it is fact that she suffered from extreme eating disorders and those can definitely cause tooth decay (from excessive vomitting and lack of Nutrition) and skin problems, eczema and early aging. Plus it is a fact that she had TB, and medical procedures back then could be rather ...detrimental…

As to Ludovica and her match-making: I think we have to cut her some slack:
Women back in those days had two important duties: Marry well and have healthy children.
Mothers would start very early with net-working: you needed to secure good connections to influencial and affluent relatives and friends, in order to make good matches for your children.
Mind you this was a time in which romance was part of fiction and not of real life. And few people expected to find the romantic kind of love we think is so essential for a marriage when they wed.
Of all the great romances in royal history, Sisi and FJ did not have one and the other great one that comes to mind Victoria and Albert, well she was given the names of three candidates and had to chose one on the base of knowing almost nothing of the person. It played out well for her, but that was certainly a 50/50 Chance.
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« Reply #178 on: January 04, 2020, 07:07:58 PM »

Based on stories about  Ludwig  and his brother Otto I wonder if the Wittelsbachs (in particular the mainline) were prone to mental illnesses as bipolar, depression and so on.
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Kristallinchen

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« Reply #179 on: January 04, 2020, 07:50:38 PM »

Based on stories about  Ludwig  and his brother Otto I wonder if the Wittelsbachs (in particular the mainline) were prone to mental illnesses as bipolar, depression and so on.

Ludwig and Otto were special cases. The Wittelsbachs had no more or less crazies than other inbred dynasties over the cause of the centuries.

Of course it could very well be that their family illness was depression.
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