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AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED by PRINCESS MARIE - Clotilde, Marie (1759-1802). Known a - 1782. 
Turin, 1782.. 1782.. Very good. - Over 200 words penned on 7-1/4 inch high by 5-3/4 inches wide buff pictorial watermarked "Pro Patria" paper. In her letter penned from Turin, Italy, Marie Clotilde apologizes to her recipient for not replying sooner: "J'ai ete bien facher de n'avoir pu repondre plustot a votre lettre Madame pour vous en faire mes remerciements...." Marie Clotilde goes on to assure her that she has often thought of her friend's worries and concerns over her sister. It is interesting to note that Marie Clotilde's weight was a concern to many during her life as she here mentions that she has gained weight again: "je commence a s'engraisser un peu ce qui m'afflige beaucoup..." She concludes by expressing her pleasure at receiving news of her friend's children and wishing her best wishes for the new year. Signed "Marie Clotilde". Folded for mailing, the corners are slightly darkened with a few spots of foxing. The top right corner is slightly but roughly torn and darkened. Once likely mounted into an album, there is evidence of glue stains and minor remnants of paper to the verso at the corners.
Born in Versailles, Marie Clotilde (1759-1802) was the sister of King Louis XVI. Her religious education initially inspired her to wish to join the Order of the Carmelites but her brother had other plans as he sought to forge alliances with other kingdoms. To that end, Marie Clotilde married Charles Emmanuel, Prince of Piedmont and settled in Turin. Her weight was the but of jokes in the French court, with some wits suggesting that the groom had been given two brides instead of one, to which Charles Emmanuel is said to have more kindly responded that he had been given more to worship. Indeed, the couple became devoted to one another. Marie Clotilde was never to return to France as the French Revolution which swept through her native country led to the execution of her brother, now King Louis XVI, his wife Marie Antoinette and her younger sister Madame Elisabeth. Marie and her husband took in her younger brother, the Comte d'Artois, who fled France for Italy in 1789 as well as her aunts Madame Adelaide and Madame Victoire. Marie Clotilde became Queen of Sardinia when Charles Emmanuel ascended to the throne in 1796. Forced to abdicate all territories on the Italian mainland by the 1798 war with the French Republic, the couple withdrew to the island of Sardinia. During their years of exile, the couple traveled to uphold diplomatic relations and Marie Clotilde took on the role of de facto chief Councillor and first minister to her husband. Although she played down her role, Madame Clotilde handled the Sardinian government in exile with great diplomatic skills. The couple lived in Rome and in Naples as guests of the Colonna family. Charles Emmanuel abdicated the throne following Marie Clotilde's death in 1802, ceding power to his brother Victor Emmanuel I. It's interesting that Pope Pius VII, who had known her personally, declared her venerable on April 10, 1808, the first step toward her beatification.
[Bookseller: Blue Mountain Books & Manuscripts, Ltd.]
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