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Researching the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
  Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada


Extracts of Matters of Historical Interest from "The Huissier, News For and About the Fortress of Louisbourg Heritage Presentation Staff" By The Fortress of Louisbourg Heritage Presentation Staff


(August 4, 2003)

There have been some inquiries as to the Queen of France during the period that we represent. In response, our newly arrived staff historian - Ann Marie Lane Jonah - has kindly offered the following:


By Ann Marie Lane Jonah

Good queens do not attract much historical attention, and this was the fate of the wife of Louis XV, Marie Leszczynska of Poland. For Marie, her obscurity began before her marriage. Her father was a king without a kingdom after 1709, when he lost the support of the Swedish military and was driven out of Poland.

Louis XV had been betrothed to the Infanta of Spain, still truly an infant, but the palace was concerned that frail Louis might not live until the Infanta was old enough to have an heir. So she was sent back to Spain, and in 1725, 16 year-old Louis was married to the 23 year-old princess from Poland. The stateless princess was also a good prospect as her family could not interfere in court affairs as the Spanish royal family had.

Marie was a pious young woman and shy Louis was a good husband for the first years of their marriage. Between 1727 and 1737 she gave birth to nine children. As Louis matured, his tastes and interests moved away from those of his quiet wife. In time his relationship with Marie declined and he began to take mistresses at the age of 25. Eventually he limited his contact with her to daily courtesy visits to her apartments.. Marie Leszczynska lived in the palace, but led a separate existence from her husband and the French court until her death in 1768.

Louis XV's queen was overshadowed in her lifetime, and in the history books, by his most famous mistress...