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Antoinette of Bourbon. Duchess of Guise

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Post  Susan Abernethy on Sat May 18, 2013 12:38 am

Antoinette of Bourbon was the formidable matriarch of the Guise family in sixteenth century France. She had many children who were instrumental in international politics as well as in religious life including her daughter Mary of Guise, Queen of Scotland. Her grand-daughter was Mary Queen of Scots.

Click on the link below to read about Antoinette:

http://thefreelancehistorywriter.com/2013/05/17/antoinette-of-bourbon-duchess-of-guise/

Antoinette of Bourbon. Duchess of Guise Antoinette_de_bourbon_limousin
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Post  Bunnies on Sat May 18, 2013 2:54 pm

Ah, I love how you do such research on these lesser-known women.

Perhaps I'm just moody, but I think it is interesting to note that she was just as apathetic towards Mary, Queen of Scots' plight as any of her male contemporaries. Stories such as Mary's (or Joan of Arc's, or Marie-Antoinette's, or Anne Boleyn's --- take your pick) are often held up by historian-feminists as demonstrations of the depravity of a patriarchy. Certainly, I wouldn't argue that the men of the times in question were egalitarians, but it seems that upon reaching power women are just as cool as their male counterparts.

I suppose these feminists would say that these ruthless women were just adapting to the patriarchy, and while I don't mean to absolutely dismiss their argument - particularly since I don't think there is one here who can defend it - I think depravity might be more of the inheritance of power in general. That is, whether there is a matriarchy, patriarchy, monarchy, or a republic, the top dogs are going to be chillingly ruthless - or else they will no longer be top dog.
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Post  Susan Abernethy on Sat May 18, 2013 5:57 pm

Dear Bunnies:

Thank you for your kind comments.

Just wanted to say I agree with you on the topic of power, whether is matriarchy or patriarchy or anything else. It is always intriguing to me to read and research the machinations and manipulations that go on in trying to keep that power. That's what makes history so interesting!

In reading about Antoinette, I found she exercised her power with ease. No one tried to stop her. In fact her husband seems to have left her to her own devices and may have actually admired her talents. It certainly seems to have paid off for him. There was a sweet anecdote in my reading that came from one of her letters to Mary of Guise where she mentions Claude and Mary's son Francis were playing together and were great friends. I found that sweet. Reminded me of my own grandfather!

Thanks for reading and I will take a look at your piece on Robespierre.

Kind regards,

Susan
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Post  Bunnies on Sat May 18, 2013 6:34 pm

That does sound like a sweet anecdote. Power-plays aside, I rather like the anecdotes that humanize these long-dead figures. They were more than just political maneuvers and voiceboxes for an epoch, they were people.

Which is a good segue for me to tell you how much I look forward to your commentary on my Martyr/Monster Man piece on Robespierre. Laughing Oh, I am a very excited person indeed!

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Post  Susan Abernethy on Sat May 18, 2013 6:59 pm

It's always good to be excited Bunnies! Laughing
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