Saturday, September 4, 2010

Truth vs, Fiction

Olympe is headed back to Paris again, bringing our story more or less full circle from a year ago, but since that time there have been new characters, some whom have fallen out of sight at present and some of whom have died; but how much of this is fiction and how much of it is real?

In 1780 Louis XVI really did declare an end to torture as a means of extracting information from suspects. That year he would also order wounded enemies to be treated with the same care as his own subjects, free serfs from being tied to the land and unable to leave without the will of their lords, and took an interest in the cleanliness of the prisons in his kingdom.

What about Olympe's invitation to the Chateau Saint-Martin-du-Tertre? It's also known as the Chateau de Franconville, and is a real place. The last of the Marquis' to inhabit it and hold the title of Franconville was, however, not Olympe's friend F-, but Adelaide Genevieve Felicite O, who being a woman could not pass the title on after her death 1824. She did, however have a son named Louis Leon Felicite Brancas (whose first wife died at the guillotine in 1794), and if we stretch the truth a little that son born in 1733 had a son named Louis in 1759 who (had he actually lived past infancy) could conceivably have been the F- of our story.

Lastly, that oboe concerto by Handel? Maybe it was this one composed in 1740, making it forty years out of date at the time of Thierry's supper party; but then that is the point.

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