All posts tagged: Portugal

Royal inter-marriage proposals

Last week I promised you all the gossip on Mariana Victoria and her engagement. In 1721 Mariana Victoria was bethrothed, at age 3, to her first cousin, Louis XV of France. Louis, like most 11 year old boys, was not interested in toddlers, and avoided his fiancee as much as possible. As Louis got older and got interested in girls, things got worse.  I can’t imagine what  could be creepier as a 15 year old trying to flirt with the ladies of the court than having your 7 year old future-wife hanging about the place. The situation was resolved in 1725 when Louis had a health scare and the powers-that-be in France, desperate to avoid him dying without a heir, shipped Mariana back to Spain and married the 15 year old Louis off to the princess most likely to have kids right away, and  least likely to really anger and insult the Spanish: the 21 year old Maria Leszczyńska. He was momentarily enchanted with his older bride, before becoming enchanted with a dozen other women, including …

Keeping it in the family

I’ve blogged about the royal family of Portugal before, and while researching that post, I came across one of the common problems with European nobility.  The thing is, there just weren’t enough of them on speaking terms in each generation, so the ones that were on speaking terms tended to marry each other, leading to a lot of inbreeding. So back to the Portugese royal family.  Joseph I of Portugal (6 June 1714 – 24 February 1777) had four daughters, two of whom, Maria I of Portugal (December 17, 1734 – March 20, 1816) and Benedita, Princess of Brazil(25 July 1746 – 18 August 1829), married. Maria, then Crown Princess, married her uncle, Pedro III of Portugal (5 July 1717 – 25 May 1786) on 1760, when she was 25 and he was 43. Nice. It gets worse though. Seventeen years later, Maria’s youngest sister Benedita, then thirty,  married her fifteen year old cousin, who was also her nephew, as he was the child of Maria and Pedro. Eeeg. Sadly, but mercifully, and certainly not surprisingly, Benedita …

Earthquake fashions of the 18th century

Responding to Emily’s suggestion, today’s post is about Earthquake fashion.  Like everything else, fashion and textiles are affected by natural disasters.   Trade routes are interrupted, industries are destroyed, or moved.  Fashions change and developed in response to earthquakes. This post is also meant to celebrate the resilience and  fortitude of countless unnamed people across the centuries who have picked up, sought to “bury the dead and heal the living”, and rebuilt their lives and their cities, through an exploration of how the things closest to them, their clothes and textiles, changed in response to the changes in their life. For an interesting look at earthquake fashion let’s look at the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake.  In terms of human life, this was the most devastating earthquake ever recorded, and it probably had the most profound effect on society.  The massive chaos of the earthquake, and the resulting tsunami and fires, sparked the transition from the baroque to the rococo styles in Spain and Portugal, and prompted the philosophical writings that led to the Enlightenment.  Hundreds of …