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16th C. Angsty French Siblings in History

It's Sunday and let's look at some history I read on French wikipedia, because as far as I can tell it's not on English Wikipedia and might as well put that Comp Lit degree in French lit to use somehow. Today "somehow" will be translating this paragraph about the DRAMATIC AND SAD LIVES of Julien and Marguerite de Ravalet.

so many sad things

Julien de Ravalet was born in France in 1582, and his sister Marguerite in 1586. They were the children of Jean III de Ravalet, lord of Tourlaville. Tourlaville is in northwestern France, and part of Normandy. 

The article is a bit vague, but essentially, Julien and Marguerite were too close for their parents' liking (although the article uses "amour platonique," which totally has the same meaning here as there), so when Julien was 13, they sent him away. A few years later, when, according to the timeline here, Marguerite is 14, they marry her to Jean Lefevre de Haupitois, who's 32 years older.




Apparently the marriage of this 14 year old to a 46 year old wasn't happy (WHAT A SHOCK) and she ran away to find her brother. They were arrested September 8th, 1603 at the request of her gross husband, who accused them of adultery and incest (she's 17 now and her brother's 21). They both denied these charges, but were still executed in the Place de Grève in December 1603.

The Place de Grève is now known as the Place de l'Hotel de Ville, but was used for executions at least as far back as the 1200s.

Place de Grève

Place de l'Hotel de Ville

If you google them, you basically get landed almost immediately on a page about how incest is totes misunderstood and I'M SORRY TO HAVE CLICKED ON IT but info on them is scanty. That page says they were convicted because Marguerite was pregnant after being on the run for a whiiiiiile with her brother, which makes more sense than her husband just having accused them of incest and then having them be convicted, especially since their aristocratic father asked for mercy and it was denied

Look. Nature has shown us incest is not the way to go. Unless you think debilitating diseases are beneficial to the human race. That being said, these two super bum me out, not for that, but because Marguerite's life sounds real damn terrible, and she basically got murdered for that. Yep, I'm calling a state execution murder I'M EDGY LIKE THAT. 

the 17th c. French government

I only found out about these two kids because Netflix said "Would you like to watch Marguerite et Julien, Alice?" and I said "Maybe!" and watched the first 30 seconds and when it said based on real events or whatever, I paused it and did all this research. In the course of that, I found out that the movie was uniVERSALLY panned, so I'm not finishin' it. But now we all know about the sad sad lives of Marguerite and Julien de Ravalet, who were both killed the same year Elizabeth I died and the Stuarts came to reign in England. Just for some context. 

Let's not sleep with our siblings and let's also not marry our 14-year-old kids to people more than 30 years older than they are. There're just a bunch of lessons we can take from this. Essentially, don't do stupid shit, guys.


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