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July 25, 2011

Marie Antoinette is all luck at games


The evening the Comte d'Artois and his new wife were married, Louis XV hosted a grand reception for the couple at Versailles.  Besides offering wonderful food, drink and entertainment, several gaming tables were set up.  Marie Antoinette found herself seated to play a game of lansquenet (this was a popular card game- it may sound familiar as it was mentioned in the novel Les Liaisons dangereuses.)

During one round the dauphine, only eighteen years old at the time, won big! She earned more than 1,200 louis.  She was a bit embarrassed at winning so much of her company's money that she spent the rest of the evening trying to gamble it away! With luck on her side that night, she left the table with 700 in remaining winnings.

The next day she was determined to get rid of the money, and with the help of the Comte de Mercy, she sent 50 to each of the parishes at Versailles, and distributed the rest to her servants and the poor. 


3 comments

  1. I suppose the libelles were circulating about this one, no doubt. Let see, the Queen after a night of torrid sex with the newly married Comte d'Artois--her brother-in-law, visits the closed up Parc aux Cerfs and feeds her winnings to the charming deer?

    I can just see the cartoon with the deer(female/deer/hybrids), now.Why not?--She was pictured half-herself/half-ostrich, eating her libelles en livres out of her hand with the Comte d'Artois under her panier...

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  2. She was only a farm er's daughter but she was a dandy lion in the grass! Or so it is said!

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