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The Amorous RestorationLove, Sex, and Politics in Early Nineteenth-Century France$
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Andrew J. Counter

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198785996

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198785996.001.0001

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Secret Love Affairs of the Bourbons

(p.240) Coda
The Amorous Restoration

Andrew J. Counter

Oxford University Press

A 1789 pamphlet, Les Amours de Charlot et Toinette, recounted in pornographic detail a torrid, entirely invented love affair between Marie-Antoinette—‘Toinette’—and Louis XVI’s youngest brother, the comte d’Artois—‘Charlot’. Forty years later, in 1830, when Charlot—now Charles X—went into exile following yet another revolution, many similar works surfaced; not a single one of Charles’s imaginary sexual sins was left undisclosed. This would not be the last time sex played a role in the downfall of a political figure. But end of the Bourbon monarchy also witnessed the last flourishing of this emblematically Ancien Régime genre: libelles, in which pure sexual fiction had as much clout as truth, would not reappear after 1830. July 1830 was not, then, merely the demise of the old order; it was also the demise of an older form of popular opposition—not to mention of an older attitude to sex.

Keywords:   libelles, July 1830 Revolution, Charles X, Bourbon Restoration, scandal, slander

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