Post by jlk7e Post by Igor Sklar
I think Henri III, Philippe I Duc d'Orleans, and Louis XVIII could be
called 'openly gay' (especially the first two).
I agree there's s little doubt about Henri III. But I raised the
possibility about Louis XVIII a few months ago, and I found the
posted refutations pretty convincing.
Again, I've read fairly strong refutations on Henri III, surprisingly
enough. Yeah, so he was rather extravagant towards his very close
male friends who were quite pretty and were called his "mignons"...
but supposedly this only seems indicative of homosexual behavior to
our jaundiced 20th century eyes,
Henri's reputation was severely flawed before the 19th century. Dumas'
descriptions of Henri's court, for instance, leave no doubt what he
thought about mignons' and their relationship to the king.
Post by jlk7e
and, I imagine, to the hostile
pamphleteers who wrote nasty things about poor Henri back then, and
for some time thereafter.
Why didn't they write such things about, say, Henri IV?
Post by jlk7e
Supposedly, the idea that the mignons were
particularly effeminate is, in fact, a myth - they duelled all the
time, and such.
As i understand, mignons were active, and Henri was a passive
homosexual. So it's not clear to me how their duelling habits may
refute homosexuality of the king.
In any event, despite the
Post by jlk7e
seeming implausibility of this, the account I read was both quite
recent (from the 90s, so obviously not some post-Victorian whitewash),
and fairly convincing in its arguments (it was R.J. Knecht's "Rise and
Fall of Renaissance France", I believe). In any event, Henri's
failure to have children, at the least, can be attributed not to him
not sleeping with his wife, but to her having a nasty miscarriage
early in the marriage, which likely left her unable to have children.
(On the other hand, unlike his brother, father, grandfather, and
brother-in-law, he had no illegitimate children either.
Of course, part of the problem here is trying to apply modern
definitions to early modern and medieval people. The idea of being
homosexual, as opposed to simply committing homosexual acts, would not
have been familiar to anyone before the late 19th century, I think.
So while it's certainly likely that, say, James I had sexual
relationships with other men, to say that he was "gay" doesn't really
have much meaning (and, despite his same sex relationships, his
relationship with his wife seems to have been fairly loving, as far as
early modern royal marriages go).
" ... Le roi, comme l'on dit, accole, baise et lèche,
de ses poupins mignons le teint frais, nuit et jour ;
eux, pour avoir argent, lui prêtent tour à tour
leurs fessiers rebondis, et endurent la brèche ...
" ... Tandis que vous branlez, sans faire sang, la pique,
et que, des voluptés, se paie votre désir
votre couronne choit, et l'on veut s'en saisir
par ruses et accords que l'étranger pratique.
Je sais que vous direz que le grand Jupiter
ne fait rien dans le ciel que culs et cons fouter
et que pour tout cela il ne perd sa couronne
il est plus fort là-haut que vous n'êtes ici
il a des fils vaillants, vous n'êtes pas ainsi
votre semence choit en terre qui n'est bonne ... "
" ... Ores, en votre lieu, sont les fesses molettes,
et les culs blancs de chair, de tout poil découverts,
les culs plus que les cons sont maintenant ouverts,
les mignons de la cour y mettent leurs lancettes.
Le roi ne m'aime point, pour être trop barbu,
il aime à semencer le champ qui n'est herbu,
et, comme un vrai castor, chevaucher le derrière,
lorsqu'il foute les culs, qui sont cons rétrécis,
il tient du naturel de ceux des Médicis,
en prenant le devant, il imite son père. ..."
This is what Pierre de Ronsard thought about his king. The court poets
like Philippe Desportes were of different opinion:
" Ce mignon si frisé qui sert d'homme et de femme
à votre esprit léger nouvellemement surpris,
il est votre Adonis, vous êtes sa Cyprie,
il vous nomme son coeur, vous l'appelez votre âme. "