Part 5.2 is the second of four parts of Chapter 5.
A Childhood at Versailles consists of the first 5 chapters of the memoirs of Mme de Boigne (1781-1866), née Adèle d’Osmond, who was a French salon hostess and writer. She was born in the Château de Versailles and lived at the court of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette until her family fled to England during the Revolution. Later in her long life, she married a rich soldier of fortune 30 years her senior, hosted a brilliant salon in Paris, and became an intimate of the last French queen, Marie-Amélie, consort of King Louis Philippe (r. 1830-1848). Childless herself, Mme de Boigne addressed her memoirs to her grandnephew. The memoirs were not published until 1907, under the title Récits d’une tante, or An Aunt’s Tales. They’ve never been published in English, as far as I know, so I’ve decided to translate the first 5 chapters, the ones that take place mainly at Versailles, and post them here on this blog for interested readers to enjoy for free.
The chapters are quite lengthy, so I’ve broken each one into several parts. In Part 5.2, the author tells of the Court of Naples, where they stayed for the better part of a year after leaving Rome. The Queen of Naples was Marie Antoinette’s sister, Maria Carolina…
A Childhood at Versailles, Chapter 5, Part 2 (5.2)
We stayed for ten months in Naples. My mother was very well received and much spoiled by the Queen,25 who made her tell of the Court of France and all the beginnings of the Revolution, so interesting for her as a queen and as a sister.
I was admitted into the society of the princesses her daughters, and it is there that began my liaison, if I dare use that expression, with the Princess Amélie, since become Queen of the French. We spoke French and English, we read together, and I went to spend days with her at Portici and at Caserta. She distinguished me among all her other little companions. I was on less good terms with her sisters, even though we were together almost as often.