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How Historically Accurate is season 1 of Versailles?

486 bytes added, 08:01, 16 December 2016
Main Characters
<u>Louis XIV</u>
Louis is depicted as have a strong desire to centralized the state, which is true from known historical records. He was famously quoted as saying "I am the state," which he did in fact say and was one of his well known declarations. The Sun King was what he was called throughout Europe and Louis did emphasize his symbol of the sun as a way of showing his power. While, on the one hand, he considered himself to be a devote Catholic, he was also known for his numerous affairs. Louis voracious sexual appetite is a well known historical fact. However, one of his main lovers in the series is shown to be Henrietta of England. While it is likely they were close, there is no proof they were ever intimate, as he may have respected his brother by not sleeping with Henrietta, despite the fact his brother was gay. At the very least, she was not likely to be his main lover. In fact, Madame de Montespan, who is depicted in the series as a smart and cunning character, did become Louis ' main mistress and he even fathered seven children with her. In France, it was typical for a king to have an official mistress, where this position even offered some official power, which was a role that de Montespan seems to have hadfor much of Louis' early reign.<ref>For a detailed history of Louis XIV, see: Levi, Anthony. 2004. <i>Louis XIV.</i> 1st Carroll & Graf ed. New York: Carroll & Graf.</ref>
<u>Maria Theresa of Spain</u>
Maria was Louis' first wife, who was the daughter of the king of Spain and was a marriage made married to Louis as part of a treaty with Spain to create peace between France and Spain. She is generally known to have been virtuous. However, one major possible scandal may have concerned her. In the series and in the first episode, she is shown giving birth to a dark colored baby. This may, in fact, have happened, although the reasons for this are not agreed upon. There may have been a baby born to Maria who was of mixed race; however, this may have been due to oxygen deprivation, causing the skin color. Another rumor, however, suggested that the queen had an affair with her black jester (Nabo) and this baby was the result of that affair. Years later, a black nun, whose parents were unknown, was rumored to be the child that Maria gave birth to. In effect, there were rumors about the events depicted in the series, but the circumstances are not clear and the French court was often full of often false rumors.<ref>For more on Maria Theresa of Spain, see: Forester, C.S. 2007. <i>Louis Xiv: King of France and Navarre</i>. Kessinger Publishing, LLC, pg. 211</ref>
<u>Philippe I, Duke of Orléans</u>
Philippe, Louis' brother, is shown as being close but also competitive with his brother, where their rivalry often boils over in Philippe's defiance of the king. Philippe is shown as gay and this is a well known fact. Despite being married to Henrietta, Philippe had a lover named Chevalier de Lorraine, a French noble, who was a historical figure. In one episode, Philippe dresses in woman's clothing, which was known to have occurred, as since his childhood his mother was known to have dressed him as a girl. Philippe's prowess on the battlefield, despite what people thought of his sexulity, did earn him respect by many soldiers.<ref>For more on Philippe's character and personality, see: Barker, Nancy Nichols. 1998. <i>Brother to the Sun King--Philippe, Duke of Orléans.</i> Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, pg. 315.</ref>
<u>Henrietta of England</u>
While Louis' affairs with Henrietta are in dispute, she was known to have largely tolerated is shown as tolerating her husband's homosexual relationship with the Chevalier. Henrietta's relationship with her husband was , more likely , awkward, even by the French court's standards. She may have had an affair with one of her husband's lovers, Guiche, although Henrietta and Philippe did manage to have several children, but the paternity of the children was rumored to be from othersgiven Philippe's known homosexuality. In the series, Henrietta and Philippe are depicted as a couple in name only. Historically, the Chevalier did join PhillippePhilippe's household, where she did have to compete with her husband's lover for attention in the royal household despite her statusas a royal figure. Nevertheless, she proved to be instrumental to the French crown when she helped secure the Treaty of Dover between England and France, where Henrietta, the sister of the English king, having played an important role in negotiations in the treatythat allowed the English to ally themselves with the French. The portrayal in the series is largely accurate, as it credits her with the success of the treaty.<ref>For more on Henrietta, see: Lehman, H. Eugene. 2011. <i>Lives of England’s Reigning and Consort Queens: England’s History through the Eyes of Its Queens.</i> Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, pg. 452.</ref>
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