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Pregnancy of the Duchesse D'Angouleme

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Post  Tiny-Librarian on Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:11 pm

I posted this a few days ago

And it talks about Therese did indeed become pregnant at least once, in her mid 30s, something not a lot of people seem to be aware of. (I hear a lot of people bandying around the fact that her marriage was supposedly never consummated, which plainly isn't true). She sadly lost the child, and though she suspected she was pregnant once again in her 40s (Further blowing the no consummation theory out of the water) nothing came of it.

Elena made a good, and rather sad, point when she talked about it on her blog today. I know the legal definition of a stillbirth differs from place to place, but it's odd that the source refers to it as a miscarriage when it would most likely be considered a stillbirth.

The source said that
the Duc D’Angouleme would be a father in June.

This would mean that, at the time they were discussing the pregnancy, in mid February, Therese would have had to be about five months along already if the birth was expected in June. The child would definitely have been far enough along to be able to tell what it was, and I can only imagine how losing what would have been a much wanted child (I'm sure regardless of gender) would have impacted her and her husband.
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Post  Elena on Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:57 pm

Thank you for your excellent post, Tiny, and for posting it here! What is interesting is that the older books do not mention this at all and some even doubt the marriage was ever consummated. Isn't that bizarre?
http://teaattrianon.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-pregnancy-of-duchesse-dangouleme.html

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Post  Kaitlyn Lauren on Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:11 am

Louis Charles was certainly sexually abused by his captors but I'm not so sure about Marie Therese.

I wouldn't put it past them though! How horrible! I have often wondered what sort of horrors and tortures the women were put through during their imprisonment. I wonder if the guards did indeed make advances on Madame Elisabeth, Marie Therese, or Marie Antoinette. Awful to think about.

There's no documentation except for the rumors that gave rise to the Dark Countess legend. But then again, who knows what could have happened to a lovely young girl, alone with such men?! *shudder*

I hope and pray that such actions did not occur. Losing her family was certainly more than enough pain for a lifetime.
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Post  Tiny-Librarian on Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:44 am

I have NEVER seen any documentation whatsoever that Charles was raped in prison so I wouldn't say it's "Well documented". This is the first I've ever heard of it And to suggest that is what happened to Therese that caused her to be unable to have children of her own without proof, when not one bit of research/literature etc has ever said so and proven it about her either seems a little extreme and ridiculous I'm sorry.
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Post  Kaitlyn Lauren on Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:43 am

I wouldn't put it past the revolutionaries to have done something like this. But there isn't any documentation. And MTC was always so careful not to let them catch her undressed and she stayed up most nights, in a chair, staying on guard.

Certainly whatever happened during her imprisonment was horrible and altered her personality. Not to mention the deaths of her family! If she had been raped that would give the Dark Countess story a little more credibility. However, as many people recognized the princess, I don't believe in any switch.
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Post  Bunnies on Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:58 pm

I'm with Tiny-Librarian on this one...where is this "well-documented" instance of Louis-Charles being raped? It's in Child of Terror, true, but Cadbury's citation is Cronin who was writing in the 1970s so it's not...exactly...close to the source.  I mean, to clarify, I've never studied these events in-depth but...well, Tiny's been doing this for years.  I'd be surprised that she didn't pick anything up. And for something as wild as "they brought in a prostitute infected with syphilis to rape the prince" you're going to have to give me more than one source because that's pretty absurd. Moral hurdles aside, I'm having trouble tracing the logistics of it. Did the Committee of General Security wander the streets accosting prostitutes, "Excuse me, citoyenne? Do you have syphilis? are you quite sure you don’t? this time we actually want someone with syphilis, it’s for an eight-year-old, see, and--"

I'm reminded of the twisted subversion of Charlotte Corday. In order to demonstrate the depravity of Republicans, Monarchists to this day make a great show about the inordinate fascination Jacobins had with Corday's sexuality, describing - in lurid detail - how Corday's corpse endured to invasive virginity tests.

...There is absolutely no contemporary evidence that this happened, ever, period. So now the question is inverted: Why are monarchists so fascinated with Corday's promiscuity or lackthereof? I've heard of false flags but this is ridiculous.

The matter of "there's no evidence but it probably happened" is very puzzling, insofar as the same argument is used to prove the affair between Antoinette and Fersen -- but we have almost unanimously discounted this as sustainable only in the heads of novelists and romantics. Even if there was documentation in Madame Royale's memoirs of rape this wouldn't in itself be ironclad proof of assault. Before you cry foul observe: Elisabeth Le Bas, the wife of Robespierre's friend Le Bas, recorded in her memoirs that Danton tried to grope her breasts and take other liberties with her person [she does not go into further detail]. Danton's apologists have naturally rallied to his defense and took up arms against this defamation of his character; Hilary Mantel even uses it in her novel as a plot-device, having the evil Elisabeth Le Bas try to rape Camille Desmoulins, and cry rape against Danton to encourage the sluggish Robespierre to sign the warrant for their decapitation. It's all very laughable. Such is the affairs of Republican historiography but are the monarchists innocent? Of course not. Republican Perrine Dugué was raped and murdered, her breasts cut off, by (*gasp*) royalist forces because she was suspected (and probably was) giving her Republican brothers the location of the royalist armies. This was asserted at the time by all the villagers, her parents even suspected three royalist soldiers in particular -- were they ever brought to trial? No, of course not: Louis XVIII had them promoted and honored when he became king. It was the Republicans, they said: you contemporary witnesses don't know anything.

So if the presence of testimony apparently isn't proof, how can the absence of testimony be?  

But fine, let's analyze the absence of testimony. There is a giant leap from “she didn’t get pregnant for years” to “she didn’t get pregnant because she had a cervix issue" to "her cervix issue was surely brought on by brutal rape." We don't know she had a cervix issue. We don't know what was in her original manuscript. We don’t know what Louis XVIII wanted her to revise, or what she personally chose to revise. Why jump to rape? Isn’t it possible she had political sentiments that Louis XVIII wanted edited out because they might offend or because they didn’t mesh with his [isn't that funny, how we always dismiss the possibility that a woman could have had opinions relating to things other than her genitalia?] Isn’t it possible he felt her memoirs were too personal as written and needed to be more ‘professional,’ socially speaking? There’s so many other explanations.

Also, this entire matter hits me hard, on a personal level. My aunt had problems carrying pregnancies, with miscarriages and stillbirths. Her problem isn't uncommon. I don't really like there to be a precedent started for, "Oh, you're having trouble having a child? WELL AUNT BECKY I GUESS YOU WERE RAPED AS A TEEN TELL ME ABOUT YOUR RAPE!" On the flipside, I know rape-victims who have managed to get pregnant - including my best friend. The two occurrences aren't necessarily related. We get kind of a rose-colored view these days of pregnancy and childbirth—premature baby? no problem! trouble conceiving? we’ll fix that! breech baby, placenta in an awkward place, water breaks early? we can handle it!—but the truth is it’s still an area with many risks and many losses. There is seriously NO reason to look at someone in the 1790s who had difficulty having children and declare that it proves sexual assault. I wonder: would we wonder the same thing about Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn? Anne Neville? Catherine de Medici?

...And on an even more personal level, this entire thread reads as "ha ha the Republicans were so evil they raped Madame Royale" like her alleged rape is some sort of political point for monarchy. Is the rape and murder of Perrine Dugué a political point of Republicanism, then? Are we going to start drawing a tally of the rapes committed by each side? "Okay, the Republicans did Madame Royale and Princesse de Lamballe, the monarchists did Perrine Dugué and Marie Martin...it's a tie so far. Guys, we're gonna have to peel into the Napoleonic Era to break this --- of course, Madame Royale and Lamballe did have titles, and nobody really cares about peasants so maybe --" Sometimes we don't use the rape as a bad thing - sometimes you can point to it with a nod and a wink as the Just Desserts of the Bad Guys, as Simon Schama does in his treatment of Théroigne de Méricourt. He writes in Citizens that the rape may well have taught her lesson about having radical political views!

Ha ha ha, on behalf of all rape survivors Schama: do us a favor and staple all your fingers together. You sicko.

But that's really where this leads us: once we start using rape as political currency, we start quantifying it as a unit of exchange. And that ain't cool.
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Post  Kaitlyn Lauren on Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:07 pm

Great points Bunnies!

People need not jump to wild conclusions to account for censorship of Madame Royale's memoirs or her inability to conceive.

It's important to focus on the facts and not the sensational in all cases. That is scholarship!
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Post  Kaitlyn Lauren on Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:12 pm

As to the extent of the abuse of little Charles who knows? We cannot know for certain what was done to him.

But we do know that it was tragic for such a young child to be separated from him family, literally torn from his mother's arms, and forbidden contact with his older sister.

The French Revolution is very complex and there are varying opinions on both ends. But the humanity in all of us should be appalled at the violence and deaths of so many victims.
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Post  Bunnies on Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:55 pm

No, we don't know for certain: but once you start backpedaling to the point that your only defense is, "Well, it's not impossible!" your point exits from history and enters fiction. It's not impossible that Marie-Antoinette and Polignac were lesbian lovers.  It's not impossible that Hébert was a closet monarchist, including the superfluous charges against Antoinette solely to endear her to posterity.  It's not impossible that Robespierre was working as a Scarlet Pimpernel and whisking aristocrats away when his colleagues weren't looking. All of these are arguments I've seen legitimately argued and defended*. It's true, they're not impossible.

But we have no real reason to believe they're true. Oh, scatterings. We have the pamphlets for Antoinette's lesbianism. We have letters from Hébert's mother, giving him direct orders to find a way to save the queen. And we have  Memoirs written by aristocrats where Robespierre provides them with alibis and rendez-voused with them, smuggled them forged keys, and left them with a, "Don't tell anyone I helped you!" A request apparently discarded when they published their memoirs. I mean, I have to get off of my analytical horse and just giggle like a schoolgirl at these: Particularly the one where the aristocrat didn't know Robespierre was on his side and started to panic when he saw Robespierre and Robespierre was just, "Nah it's cool; the boat comes at six - here's the map, I gotta run, I got Jacobin things to do, Jacobin people to see."Which is patently absurd, truly, and a lesson that memoirs are not our best source...

But...well, Robespierre was confused with younger his brother a lot, so maybe his brother was Pimpernelling? I mean, I've never seen anything to contradict it. And Augustin Robespierre did have a penchant for just wandering into towns, going "yo I'm Robespierre's brother and I think you should open the prisons and let everyone go probably idk are you going to question me I'm Robespierre's lil bro" which got the response of "seems legit" so Pimpernelling's not...entirely...out of character. Dang maybe, there's something to all these ---- no, no, I'm not following this line of thought anymore. It's wildly improbable.

We don't know for sure, but yeah, I need more than a few scattered memoirs to believe that a mismatched Augustin was the inspiration for the Scarlet Pimpernel, and I need more than "I don't know what was going on" for me to immediately jump to the conclusion of rape.
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Post  Tiny-Librarian on Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:09 am

Can I just not so silently applaud bunnies and agree with practically everything she said?

 cheers 
In addition, Therese KNEW there was a very real possibility of her being assaulted. Her Aunt repeatedly told her to never let her jailers catch her in bed or in a state of undress, and to ask for a female companion. It's a HUGE damn leap from knowing it could have happened to saying "WELL IT WAS RAPE".

And honestly, I started this thread to talk about the pregnancy that she did have, not to have it devolve into a discussion about Madame Royale's cervix and her supposedly being raped.
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Post  Kaitlyn Lauren on Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:16 am

^Agreed!!

Anything I suppose IS possible. But the fact remains WE DON'T KNOW and aren't likely to. Most of history is left up to interpretation and speculation really unless we have concrete facts about something.

I think the topic of her pregnancy (and not any "controversies" surrounding it) is very interesting and not stated by many others.

How different things might have been if they baby would have lived Sad

Interesting theories from people on here though and excellent points about crimes being committed on both sides. Yes, there's rarely black and white and "good" and "evil" especially when dealing with historical events. Either side can take things too far.

But I agree with Tiny and Bunnies that we cannot jump to any conclusions and say with any certainly one way or another!
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Post  Bunnies on Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:42 am

Thanks, Tiny! Everything I know relating to Madame Royale and her family comes from you, so give yourself a round of applause too!  cheers 

Interesting theories from people on here though and excellent points about crimes being committed on both sides. Yes, there's rarely black and white and "good" and "evil" especially when dealing with historical events. Either side can take things too far.
If you can maintain that mindset, you could be a better historian than most.  Very Happy 
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Post  Kaitlyn Lauren on Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:47 am

Thank you! Very Happy

I have my biases I suppose like anyone else but I try to keep an open mind and look at things subjectively based on facts and hard, actual evidence.

Of course, sometimes it's difficult to tell what constitutes as actual evidence, taking into account who has provided it. People then had their own biases as well so we must consider the source and how reliable it is.

But mainly, we must go by what we know. History becomes messy when we attempt to search for the unknowns or come up with explainations that cannot be found.
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Post  Kaitlyn Lauren on Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:23 am

I think your book sounds interesting and you're entitled to your own view of what happened. It's just that, for me, I like to rely on actual facts and certainties.
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Post  Bunnies on Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:37 pm

Sorry, Tiny: I'm hijacking the thread again.

I've been thinking, and there are even more possibilities besides rape. Maybe Madame Royale was gay. This would discourage consummation of the marriage. Maybe her husband was gay. Maybe her husband had potency problems. Maybe she did have a cervix issue, but you yourself have expressed some surprise that a rape could be so rough to cause it; maybe it was caused by a horsekick to the groin. Maybe, maybe, maybe: these are outside the realm of history and are nestled in the domain of fiction.

But now I tiptoe into touchy territory. This forum is ripe with the reiterated lamentation of Antoinette's assaulted reputation. How could people lie about her? How could people argue this, there's no evidence to back it up?

How can you make these complaints and then pivot and do the same thing?
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Post  Bunnies on Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:20 pm

Diane Marie Taylor wrote: Once I am out for publication, I'd be happy to disclose my sources.  [HINT: I brought up rape because she was raped.  No, I don't expect anyone to take that seriously without full disclosure of my sources, so that's why I pointed out that there are hints at rape based on what is already known in historical writings.]   I'm also working with two co-authors at this time, and possibly picking up a 3rd co-author -- so my progress is not going as quickly as I would like, but it will be ready when it is ready.    I'm hoping to be done writing by the end of this year.  

Okay, here's the thing.

History is not a work of fiction waiting to slam the bookshelves. There's no such thing as "spoilers" even if your book hasn't yet been published. It's one thing to be paranoid about sharing conclusions before they're in print - but you've already shared your conclusion. And from there, it reads shady not to submit your sources for scrutiny. To be blunt, so far your views appear to be effectively based on  “political group x is evil and I wouldn’t put anything past them, so even if I have zero evidence, I’m going to assume they were all rapists”? What are we, channeling the spirit of Hebert? Ask him if he's a monarchist for me; Norman Hampson wants to know.

Combining that with the sterling argument that “it was called the Reign of Terror for a reason” [the reason being they picked the name themselves?] and the usual unexamined affirmations about what we “know” about “mob” psychology [That psychology is also a soft science so Dr. A is going tell us something very different about "mobs" then Dr. B? That it's all academic anyway, since raping a teenage girl in a prison cell would not be an instance of "mob" psychology?]

Well, the argument, as it stands, is easy to poke holes in.

I am gathering from this blogging site that historians are not about to change their rigid view.  I was under the impression that people with this similar interest would gather to exchange ideas, learn from one another, and share it with the public.  While I get that historians are very well-versed on what other people have said, that leaves very little room to learn something new.

I hardly see how you can snipe at others for having a rigid view when two posts ago you were declaring yourself the "second most stubborn person on the planet." What, did I make first place? Although even here, there's a difference between "I've been studying this subject for years, have an opinion, and am unlikely to change my mind sans further evidence" and "I have an opinion and will search for arguments to support it." The former is the unavoidable bias. The latter is something else.

I am more of a detective than a reporter. Sometimes you have to go beyond historical writing to get the answers which you seek.  We are more intelligent about our passions when we learn to ask the right questions, not by having all the answers.
 Having said that, this is where Elena really stands out.  In my opinion she is a walking library of information about the French Revolution, particularly the Bourbons.  You can also feel her love of teaching, and wanting to educate as many people as possible.  Instead of writing biographies, she is writing fictional novels -- because she thinks that people are more likely to pick up a novel than a biography, and it's a perfect example of thinking outside the box.  It was a brilliant move, because there are more people out there like me than like yourselves -- and I find her books very easy to read.  She uses her talent to engage an audience, rather than exclude it.  I'm not saying everyone should write a fictional novel, I am saying that if you are in a position where you possess a lot of knowledge, it is your responsibility to engage people in your passion as much as possible -- whatever method that may be.  

Okay, so I'm puzzled. So you're saying that a novel is a better learning device than a work of nonfiction because a novel "looks beyond" historical evidence. So you're simultaneously telling me that you have mysterious sources that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Madame Royale was raped but also that you have to "go beyond" historical writing to find answers. Because you're a detective, not a reporter -- and I'm a reporter, apparently, and so is Tiny-Librarian, and so is every other historian ever. But to quote Vivelareine, Anna Gibson, History is detective work. And if a detective walks into a crime-scene with the unshakable theory that Ted Thompson is guilty, and proceeds to allow this belief to lead him to misinterpret, skewer, or even invent evidence...well, Mr. Thompson is getting a mistrial, because a huge part of detective work is using evidence that is actually there and making sound interpretations not making interpretations and finding evidence to support it.

So yeah, call me stubborn, but if someone says they "can't" reveal their sources, I'm not inclined to believe them. Why would I ever? Because no, I can't imagine what sources you could possibly have that "prove" Madame Royale was raped. And yeah, I'm a liitttllleee skeeved that you're so cavalier and determined regarding the subject of sexual assault. You mentioned making history accessible - how is the topic of rape accessible? The majority of your readers will be women, some statistics show that 1/4 of women have been raped --- why would anyone ever want to read a book effectively dissecting the triggering conditions of the worst experience of their life? Oh, it'll have political pull, a voyeuristic shock value, but I'd still debate that's "accessible."

This is not about how I'm refusing to “learn something new,” it’s about taking the study of history seriously. I love learning new things. I didn't join a Marie-Antoinette forum for the sake of reinforcing my republican perspective, if you get me. But if it has been reinforced, it would largely be because whenever I request that people support their assertions, I'm met with "it's well-documented" and "I can't tell you because of reasons."

Which is a surprise to me, because I always...well, I always thought that counterrevolutionary ideology could withstand scrutiny, and that this is one of the reasons it has persisted for so many years.

A source, a source, the First French Republic for a source!
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Post  Bunnies on Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:47 pm

Diane Marie Taylor wrote:I am speechless, I have never had my words so badly twisted and doused with assumptions before.  I am here to learn and discuss, encourage others, have an open mind, and be positive.  After all, there are many intelligent minds on this blogging site -- with this much diversity, we could all really learn from one another.  I am simply not going to reply to assassination of anyone's character -- whether it is my own, my co-authors', Cadbury's, Nagel's, or anyone else's.  

Well, how was I incorrect then? What'd I say that was so wild? Did I misunderstand? I misread things sometimes.

How did I assassinate your character? For that matter, what about Cadbury and Nagel? Except insofar as they don't seem to be too discerning with their sources. But libel's only a crime if it's untrue. I mean, to clarify, they might be great people. They might be pillars of their community. Nagel might volunteer at an old folk's home, Cadbury might donate her spare time to caring for stray kittens. I'm sure they like kids and pet bunnies. I'm sure they're good conversationalists and can be the life of the party.

That doesn't make them good historians, however. Or actually -- maybe they are great historians, but their book got shredded in the publishing process. I don't know. But I do know that the question of "hey, what's the source for this?" shouldn't be met with shock and terror. It should be met with a source. And even then, the source might just get disregarded. Sometimes it should be disregarded. Look, just because the Spanish ambassador sends off a dispatch that the Commune hired a prostitute to infect Louis Charles doesn't mean that the rumor's credible. You gotta be more than just contemporary - Fersen was writing erroneous rumors he heard about Antoinette's execution; are we gonna use Fersen as a primary source of what happened on 16 October?

The criticisms I have made against Cadbury and Nagel are common among the profession. And so far, the only objection you've made to these criticisms is that you think they're mean. I happen to think that making [apparently unsubstantiated] assertions against the dead who can no longer to defend themselves is also mean.

But yes, go on and discuss the pregnancy, by all means.
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Post  Tiny-Librarian on Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:30 am

I hardly think Bunnies is insulting anyone's character.

Right in the forum rules Elena wrote:

Please be prepared to back up any news or historical assertions with a reference, either the title of a book, the name of an author, or an internet link to a reliable source.

A rather radical accusation has been made in regards to Madame Royale's hypothetical rape, and yet you an provide no concrete source beyond assurances that you just have one you can't reveal. Asking you to prove it to us isn't being rude or slanderous, it's going with the rules.

(And if I had a dollar for every time I've seen a historian's writing criticized I could quit waitressing for a living and move to a Chateau of my own!)
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Post  Sophie on Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:40 pm

Kaitlyn Lauren wrote:The substitution theory has now been proven false. The Dark Countess is NOT Marie-Therese as Tiny posted elsewhere.

Yes, but you know how people are. If they want to believe in an exchanged princess, it won't disturb them that this specific woman wasn't Madame Royale. They'll find other solutions elsewhere, and as I said, there are different versions of the substitution theory itself. The whole Ernestine legend can be seen as a separate narrative from the Dark Countess legend, as it was known before that the both are different people. Anyway, I didn't say I believe in any of these theories, I just referred to people who do and probably overlooked the DNA news Smile
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Post  Kaitlyn Lauren on Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:59 pm

Yes that is true. People might still argue that Ernestine was fathered by Louis but I refuse to believe that. It wasn't an open secret among people then. I dont even know where this legend comes from separate from the substitution theory. But there was definitely no switch.
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Post  Elena on Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:04 pm

What a remarkable thread! I love you Thank you all for offering your insights and research. cheers sunny We have some first rate scholars here. I am honored for you all to be on this forum. Diane honey, your experiences belong in a class by themselves and I am going to move your posts to a new topic called "Unexplained Phenomena." queen Your insights are fascinating but we have to keep them apart from the information people have gleaned from plain old ordinary research. study

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Post  Diane Marie Taylor on Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:14 am

Thank you, Elena -- and you are right! Very Happy I am so glad there are people like yourselves that have the drive and ability to do what you do. Without you, I wouldn't have nearly the amount of information that I have when it came time to do some research. Lord knows I cannot do, nor will ever be able to do what you do. I cannot argue that you are all talented at what you do, but no one here knows everything about what he or she is trying to research. I don't doubt for a moment the accuracy of widely reported events that occurred during the French Revolution, but please understand that when comments are made about things that not very many people know about, especially things that are personal to me -- expect a comment from me. Although I have tremendous respect for careful research, using assumptions to play "connect the dots" about things that are not understood are not scholarly and should be omitted. For example, I am really tired of hearing that Antoine was "probably impotent," or a "homosexual." Neither of those are true, and I think I am more qualified on the subject than anyone.

I love the idea of a section on "unexplained phenomena." I'm definitely your woman for that! I'll try to keep an idea on that thread and I'll gladly talk to anyone that has an interest in it. I'm learning more and more every day myself. Or you can just find me on Facebook. I'm at https://www.facebook.com/DianeTaylor257.
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Post  Elena on Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:36 am

Thanks, Diane, for your understanding. Smile I really prefer that people do not discuss "past-life" experiences on this forum at all. This is a forum for people to share their historical research and even if someone is convinced that they are right because of some preternatural experience it must be backed up by a book or an article. I am reconsidering having a place for unexplained phenomena since I really do not want to open up this forum to what most of the forum members would consider occult. I am asking that reincarnation and information gleaned through any means other than ordinary research please not be discussed here at all.

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