19 thoughts on “TBT: The Last King (2003) Episode 3

  1. “She’s called her daughter, Henriette, to her side; Henriette is married to Louis XIV’s younger daughter” ummm…? Didn’t think same sex marriage was a thing back then.

      1. Oh, hell yes! There would probably be fewer stories of “friends” who never got married and lived for decades in the same house together.

  2. I would swear that in those 2 period portraits, Henriette and Nell are wearing the same dress…

  3. There was a rumour for years that Monsieur (as Louis’s brother was referred to) murdered Minette (Henriette), but it’s been denied by some historians. For those who enjoy the printed page for this period, I recommend Old Court Life In France, vols I & II and “The Affair of the Poisons” one by Frances Mossiker (and appallingly expensive) and the one by Anne Somerset (affordable and available)

    1. Personally I’m skeptical that Henrietta was poisoned at all. The official cause of death after an autopsy was gastroenteritis which is perfect possible but her complaints of pain in the side sound like appendicitis.

  4. I have a bit of a thing for Charles II. Sure he was a total man-slut but he seems to have treated the women in his life well, some better than they deserved (looking at you Barbara Villiers!). And he was a loyal, if not faithful husband to Catherine of Braganza. He had to tolerate his other women underfoot but she learned that she could absolutely count on him to be there when she needed him.
    An interesting thing about Charles is he’d take a no. You’d have to put up with mournful puppy dog eyes and you can’t exactly avoid the King at court but he doesn’t seem to have put any pressure on Frances Stuart or to have held it against her when she married somebody else.

    1. Compared to Henry VIII, Charles was a nice, reasonable guy, which seems to have been true, despite his sluttiness. (Mind you, compared to Henry VIII, most kings were pretty nice.) Casting Rufus was a good idea, too–usually is.

    2. Although I’m glad Charles and Catherine got along with each other a year after their marriage, I still can’t over how much Charles was emotionally abusive to Catherine after Catherine threw a public fist upon learning Barbara was his mistress.

      1. Totes agree. Forcing your new wife to accept your publicly acknowledged mistress as a lady-in-waiting – a role where she’d be helping you dress and undress – is scumbag husbanding.

        1. Yes but he made up for it on later occasions, comforting her through her miscarriages, protecting her from anti-Catholics, refusing to divorce her for not giving him an heir.
          It was a rough road but eventually he and Catherine reached a tolerable modus vivendi. Pepys wrote in his diary that the Queen had become a mistress, by which he apparently meant she was getting at least as much of Charles’ attentions as any of his other women. Which was certainly better than being ignored like poor Marie Therese in France.

  5. The hot young thing that Barbara Castlemaine is bonking & giving Charles’ money to is John Churchill, future Duke of Marlborough etc etc. He was an all round sleazeball & kind of a gigolo in his youth.

    1. Barbara’s last child, a daughter also named Barbara, was probably John Churchill’s child but Charles publicly acknowledged her despite private doubts. She was also claimed by Barbara Senior’s husband Roger Palmer, Earl of Castlemaine, who left her his fortune. Possibly both the King and the Earl felt sorry for the child.
      Little Barbara would have an affair and an illegitimate child, taking after Mum, but it didn’t work out for her and she entered a convent of English nuns in France, as a penance, where she did very well becoming prioress.

  6. I’m going to say that the menz’ costumes in this series got the full treatment, and the women’s all look like they were taken out of the Chorus of a big opera. I actually don’t mind this! It was a time before Beau Fucking Brummel broke men’s fashion and this show is all about the power politics between the men, and while that is a fairly typical plot, the way it was handled is more interesting.

  7. Now be fair, Regency modes are very flattering to a manly figure! But Brummel did take all the color out of menswear, poor deprived creatures.

  8. Are there any sources which actually show that Louis XIV loved extensive make-up? I don’t know even one painting which would speek for such a love for those things. In contrary I would suggest that he was very much a men… Is that typical for the British view on France? “L’Allée du Roi” did’nt reflected Louis in such a way.

  9. well, it seems very well done, but it is just confirming for me that this is not an era in which I can find anyone I like or that doesn’t seem to suffer awfully (Henriette seems the most likable but she gets mistreated and possibly poisoned?). Also for me the women’s dog ear hair is a big no. But props to them for portraying it accurately.

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