The Troubled Trinity: Godoy and the Spanish Monarchs

By Douglas Hilt | Go to book overview

5
A ROYAL BRIDE FOR MANUEL

No single error in judgment was to pursue Godoy as remorselessly as his selection of Escoiquiz. Both antagonists have left us their memoirs purporting to describe the same events. Two facts, heatedly denied by the respective authors, immediately become clear. First, Escoiquiz sought the position with every means at his disposal, not shunning crass adulation, and owed his nomination entirely to Godoy. Secondly, the Prince of the Peace was delighted with the choice he had made. Although hedged with retrospective qualifiers, his enumeration of Escoiquiz's abilities seems factual enough; after all, to admit that he had engaged an incompetent would have been to acknowledge gross dereliction of duty. Having been instructed by the king to engage an ecclesiastic as tutor for the Prince of Asturias, Godoy interviewed several candidates:

When it became known what was being sought, one of the aspirants to the honor was Canon Escoiquiz. His presence, his outward bearing, and his conversation inclined me towards him. Escoiquiz had often visited my house and seemed to have allied himself to the Enlightenment . . . I checked into reports, and his were the most advantageous. He was regarded very highly by the most respected people at Court in matters of art, science, taste, talents, moderation, prudence, fine feelings, and decorum. They added the fact that this meritorious man was being persecuted on account of his knowledge and was being oppressed by his chapter of the cathedral. This persecution, as it was referred to in all good

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The Troubled Trinity: Godoy and the Spanish Monarchs
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations viii
  • Preface ix
  • Chronology xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • I - Carlos and María Luisa 6
  • 2 - The Dazzling Ascent 22
  • 3 - Prince of the Peace 35
  • 4 - The French Alliance 47
  • 5 - A Royal Bride for Manuel 62
  • 6 - Entr'Acte 76
  • 7 - The Power of the Pen 97
  • 8 - The War of the Oranges 112
  • 9 - Family Squabbles 129
  • 10 - Napoleon 145
  • 11 - Parry and Thrust 163
  • 12 - The Escorial Affair 179
  • 13 - The Tightening Vise 197
  • 14 - Mutiny at Aranjuez 211
  • 15 - Jacta Est Alea 227
  • 16 - Exile 243
  • 17 - The Long Last Years 265
  • 18 - Coda 282
  • Notes 285
  • Glossary of Foreign Terms 308
  • Bibliography 311
  • Index 316
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