About Her: Princesse de Lamballe | Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: About Her: Princesse de Lamballe

October 15, 2010

About Her: Princesse de Lamballe

"Mme. de Lamballe was extremely pretty, and though her figure was devoid of elegance, and she had hideous hands, which, by their size, contrasted strangely with the delicacy of her features, she was charming without regular beauty; her temper was gentle, obliging, equable and cheerful but she was absolutely devoid of wit; her vivacity, sprightliness, and childlike air very agreeably concealed her want of brains; she had never had an opinion of her own, but in conversation she always adopted the views of the person who was supposed to be the cleverest."
Mme de Genlis


  1. Her description reminds me a little bit of Harriet Smith, from Emma and also of one of my friends.

  2. @Miss Honnete funny you say so! The description is also very similar to that of Miss Blanche Ingram from Jane Eyre!

  3. @Miss Honnete LOL @ second part of your comment

  4. Lamballe seems to be described as being much more innocent and good natured than Blance Ingram though. I felt like Blance was a haughty and extremely fake character.

  5. I must admit I cannot like women who echo the opinion of others. As for her large hands, Vivien Leigh was known to have large hands for her delicate beauty. Instead of hiding them, she learned to use them theatrically.

  6. Princesse de Lamballe: she actually was an extremely brave, loyal, and kind-hearted lady. She returned to Paris to be with Marie Antoinette during the revolution (knowing full well that death was a definite possibility, she wrote her will shortly beforehand) and died for her loyalty (ostensibly in the most brutal, horrific way). Prior to her death, she was very active in charity. In fact, Marie Antoinette's husband encouraged his wife to spend more time with Polignac, because to him, Lamballe seemed too socially liberal.

  7. To me this description seems wrong,envious and poisonous.

    Yes, Louise was beautiful. And she was also one of the most painted and drawn people at the time. On none of the pictures does her hands seem anything but delicate and in proportion. And if she was not elsgant and graceful, why so many paintings of her?

    As for her intelligence, she was one of the very champions of philosophical and enlightenment ideas at the time, up to such an extent that she was initiated into irregular Freemasonry, and held the title of Grand Mistress (equivalent to Grand Master).

    The last picture of her drawn only hours before she was tortured and killed, shows that she was still very beautiful.




  8. Unlike Mme.Polignac, Mme de Lamballe did not hesitate to leave the safety of England to be with her friend, the Queen during the early and chaotic days of the Revolution, and paid for her fidelity with her life. Marie Antoinette herself reflected on the difference between her two friend. "La bonne Lamballe, qui n'attendait que le danger pour montrer ce qu'elle vaut"