30 August 2011

The Children of Emperor Franz II of Austria: The "Child" Emperor Ferdinand of Austria

By Jennifer Linforth
It is common knowledge that many royals intermarry. One such couple would raise a retarded son who later became the Emperor of Austria. Emperor Franz II of Austria (1768-1835) married his double first cousin, Marie Therese of Naples and Sicily (1772-1807). Ferdinand was the second born out of twelve children. Born with epilepsy, the famous Hapsburg lip and a over-sized head he was only one of many sadly challenged royals of this line. His sister, Marianna was often kept hidden from the world due to her mental state and sad disfigurements.

Nandle as he was known grew into a gentle and loving child. His speech was stammered often repeating things he already said and his weak limbs made it hard for him to walk or hold heavy objects. The epileptic attacks were frequent and his appearances in public limited lest the world see the horrible truth of his state. His father however was a family man and was often seen at his side even though public appearances of the child were carefully staged. It is said that Emperor Franz often would weep in pain as his son shuffled about the palace or attempted to speak. Fun loving Nandle enjoyed music boxes and sometimes was seen wedging himself in baskets so to roll around on the floor.

Despite skeptics Ferdinand was officially crowed his father’s heir in 1830 and took the throne of Austria in 1835. His father on his death bed told his son to “Reign, and don’t change anything.” Ferdinand did, through some of the most trying times of Austrian history until revolution forced him to abdicate to his now famous nephew Franz-Josef. Through the years of his silent service to Austria he ruled for the most part in image only relying on aide to do what his feeble mind would not allow.

Emperor Ferdinand became known as “the good-natured of Austria” and summed up his rule and life in one sentence. "It is easy to govern, but what is difficult is to sign one's name…."

Jennifer Linforth expands the classics by continuing The Phantom of the Opera. and are available now. Look for future books based on the classics, in addition to her unique historical romances. "Ms. Linforth's prose is phenomenally beautiful and hauntingly breathtaking." ~ Coffee Time RomanceMADRIGALABENDLIED