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Mother-daughter Muddle

February 2024
1min read

In the December 1982 issue, Peter Andrews, writing of the conquests, musical and amorous, of Louis Moreau Gottschalk, nineteenth-century pianist and composer, states that during a triumphal tour of Spain, Gottschalk was “romantically linked with … the queen’s sister, Dona Luisa, and the Countess de Montijo, who was soon to become the wife of Napoleon III.”

The author has confused the Empress Eugénie with her mother, Maria Manuela de Montijo. She was the countess. The daughter, Eugénie, was called Mademoiselle, or, sometimes, Countess of Teba.

I hope Mr. Andrews does not mean anything serious in using the phrase “romantically linked,” which in our modern usage has come to mean a liaison. True, the Andalusian beauty had many suitors. But she told Napoleon III that she was a virgin. Louis Napoleon believed her. And so do I.

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