I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that in those circles they’d be less likely to admit that a son was illegitimate if at all possible, what with inheritance of titles and all that fun stuff. It’s no wonder we’re having such a time finding any.
I just saw Ali wrote back this morning, sorry for not sending it sooner. Still working on internet.
I’m just imagining poor pregnant Ali waddling around in the summer heat. I feel for her.
I’m afraid Chateau de Chantilly is a gorgeous dud. I was too tired (and huge) to explore everything, but I knew the moment the tour stepped onto the grounds. Maybe I’d been there at some point in my lineage, but this isn’t the place. Nothing felt familiar. Well, that’s not entirely true. There’s a museum there, and something about it felt resonant, but it was too faint to grasp. There were several paintings there that caught my attention, by Antoine Watteau, but again, nothing concrete. Tell the Mounties I’m sorry I can’t help them to better hone in on the answer, but I appreciate them offering to help. This is driving me nuts. On the flip side, this part of the country is gorgeous, and does feel familiar. I don’t think we’re on the wrong track, we’re just— track adjacent.
This is mostly a lot of big leaps of logic, but I think Chateau de Meudon could be it?
First, it was decorated by Claude Audran III sometime between 1695 and 1711, which includes 1708, the year that Antoine Watteau began working with Audran, which is a potential connection to Watteau, especially if he happened to assist in decorating this place.
Second, it was bought in 1426 by the valet of Charles VII. Charles VII was the grandfather of Charles VIII, who Anne of Brittany was married to for 7 years. That’s a tenuous connection but the best I could find, really. The valet’s grandson, Antoine Sanguin, then demolished and rebuilt the manor in an Italian renaissance style in 1520. The place has been rebuilt several times which fits the “new buildings” part of Ali’s sense. Edit: Antoine Sanguin’s father, Jean Sanguin, was apparently known as the “Bastard of Sanguin,” although whether he was actually illegitimate is unknown and I couldn’t find anything about the man on the internet unfortunately.
Third, it sits between Paris and Versailles “in the heart of a hunting reserve”, according to wikipedia. Louis XVI loved to hunt here apparently.
Fourth, in 1793, Meudon was converted to a testing facility for military “aerostats” and other scientific experiments. In 1795, a fire destroyed much of certain parts of the chateau, caused by some of the research being conducted.
To be honest I’m not entirely sure where the illegitimate son or confluence part comes in? And some of this is pretty tenuous, but I suppose we could consider some of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette’s children to be “illegitimate” in the antiquated sense because they were adopted? As far as I am aware though, neither of their adopted sons ever married or had children. Louis XV had a LOT of illegitimate kids, only one of whom was ever legitimized, so it also theoretically could have been one of them (although the legitimized son ended up becoming an Abbot so maybe didn’t have kids). A TON of people have lived here over the ages though so there’s a fairly decent chance that someone was illegitimate and having a good time! The confluence part is harder to understand though.
So, at risk of making another very pregnant woman walk around another (possibly un-air conditioned) ancient home in the summer heat - what about this place?
So, as a big etymology fan, I’ve been poking around at the word “confluence” from Ali’s images Eaves sent us:
“Condé” means “confluent” in French via the Latin “Condatum” which in turn is from the Celtic “Condate” - it means were two rivers meet. This chateau is at the confluence of two rivers, which gives the place its name.
It might just be that it’s a pretty commonly used French place name and therefore pure coincidence, but the museum that Ali felt resonance with at Chateau de Chantilly’s name is " Musée Condé".
I sent her both Château de Meudon and Château de Condé last night and I just got a response:
It’s Château de Condé. She’s here. They did it, as always.
Oh I’m so happy for her! It must feel amazing to be back with her mom.
I should really know better at this point in my Mountaineer career (Mountcareer? Mountaincareer?) than to say that anything could be “pure coincidence.”
“A year had passed in the old fort. Perhaps more.”
Yay! Great work everyone. Take care of yourself Ali!
“Alistair’s snow-stung eyes were fixed on the spot above the railing where Ben had just been standing.”
Ali had her baby! From Knatz:
“Aliza Renee was born yesterday. 8lbs 7oz, or 3.8 kilograms if you’re also here in France for the foreseeable. A lot to discuss when we come up for air, but for now, we’re suffocating in her brilliance.”
We also have a lot to catch up on, Mounties, everything is great, haunted and winter-in-a-castle, but also, great. More very soon.
Edit: I forgot to mention… Aliza was the Herald’s given name.
Congratulations, Knatz! Such a sweet name