Mothers Know Best | Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: Mothers Know Best

July 30, 2008

Mothers Know Best



The similarities between Lady Spencer and Maria Theresa have sometimes been brought up between Heather and I. They were mothers who knew best, knew what was best for their daughters, and in particular knew how their daughters should behave.

 But daughters are notorious for behaving badly- unless you are the daughter of the marquis du Châtel. Anyway! This series will take a look at some letters from mom to daughter.



From Lady Spencer you will find words on Georgiana's Guide but here we will focus on Maria Theresa. You can just imagine how the girls must have felt deep inside everytime they read certain words from their mom. The difficulty of knowing both what you should be and what you could be. Le sigh!


I am going to start with a little info on Maria Theresa knowing what was best from day one. Marie was born on November 2, 1755 (born Maria Antonia) however days before she was born Maria Theresa began inquiries for an appropriate wet nurse. Her requirements were for a lady who came from a respectable family and had sound morals. They had to have both standards and good character.

The lucky lady chosen was Maria Constanza who was married to the Councillor to the Magistrature of Vienna. Her son, three months older than Marie, shared her nursery and the two grew up together.

He, Joseph Weber, left an account of Maria Theresa playing with the two toddlers in the nursery showering both with kisses as they sat on her knees. Maria Theresa took incredible pride in her family and there is no doubt that she, a woman of influence and experience, knew what was best for her youngest daughter Marie Antoinette.
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