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I love it when worlds intersect (I won’t say collide; that sounds a bit too violent).
Let’s explore Bavarian Duke Ludwig Wilhelm, the handsome guy in the photo. How did he get onto my radar?
My mother-in-law dropped off quite a bit of stuff recently that she’d had in a barn. She moved, and I offered to go through these things. In one box, there were newspapers. Old newspapers. Old, as in 1800s. My oldest daughter and I found lots to amuse and educate in these.
Here’s one clipping that stood out, from an 1892 newspaper:
Who exactly is Duke Ludwig Wilhelm (because that apparently is his name; not sure where the “Ernest” is coming from)? Well, he is the older brother of Elisabeth of Austria, who was married to Emperor Franz Joseph I. She was also known as “Sissi,” and she was one of the few who was befriended by King Ludwig II, the fascinating Bavarian king whose biography I wrote.
Another sister of the Duke’s was Sophie, who was King Ludwig’s fiancee for a short time.
Duke Ludwig gave up his rights as firstborn son to marry an actress, Henriette Mendel. After her death, he married again — this time to the actress referenced in this clipping, Antonie Barth. I’m wondering why it seems to have been such an issue of him marrying an actress, since his first wife appears to have been similar?
In addition to the historical ties, I love the wording and the drama of old newspaper write-ups. You wouldn’t read a marriage announcement like that today.
Small world …
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