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Mother-daughter Muddle

May 2024
1min read

The author replies: I have no wish to slander Eugénie—whose self-proclaimed reputation for sexual probity was the bored talk of the Continent—with the indiscretions of her more pliant mother, as Mr. Carson argues so persuasively that I have done. Mr. Carson’s letter does raise some questions, however. First, I said only that the two were “romantically linked” in court gossip. This I believe to be true, although I hope it is understood that court gossip is no more binding than a Rona Barrett column. Perhaps one reason for the haste of Gottschalk’s departure was to protect Eugénie’s name. But my article referred only to the rumor, not to the fact. Second, there is some confusion as to who is the countess of what. The excellent Chambers’s Biographical Dictionary identifies Eugénie as the Countess de Montijo. If Mr. Carson’s research identifies her as the Countess of Teba, I accept the correction. Regardless of the title, however, the person we are talking about here is almost certainly Eugénie, who would have been about twenty-six at the time of Gottschalk’s visit to Spain .

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