Philobiblon: A coup attempt, and a great scandal

Monday, April 17, 2006

A coup attempt, and a great scandal

My 19th-century retroblogger, Frances Williams Wynn, is today writing on one of the great 19th-century European scandals, that of Caroline Ferdinande Louise, duchesse de Berry.
From Wikipedia:

She was the daughter of Francis I of the Two Sicilies and married Charles Ferdinand, duc de Berry in 1816, thus becoming duchess of Berry. She became an important figure during the Restoration after the assassination of her husband in 1820. Her son, Henri V, was named the "miracle child" because he was born after his father's death and continued the Bourbon line.
She unsuccessfully attempted to restore the Bourbon dynasty in the reign of Louis Philippe (1798-1890), known as the July Monarchy. Her failed rebellion in the Vendee in 1832 was followed by her arrest and imprisonment in November 1832. She was released in June 1833 only after giving birth to a child and revealing her secret marriage to an Italian prince.

Dumas wrote up her story at the time, and Baroness Orczy wrote a biography in 1935, but there doesn't seem to have been much done on her since. (Unless anyone can tell me of other material?)

The Deutz mentioned is the man who betrayed her to the French authorities. Miss Williams Wynn thinks he was the baby's father, but that doesn't seem to be the view of the modern sources.


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