King Theodore's Corsica

What could those consequences be? Spain is not going to invade or blockade Corsica. What would any of the "anti-Jesuit" states actually do? Other than pressure the Pope to excommunicate Theodore II or lay the interdict on Corsica. Theodore I survived excommunication without much difficulty, IIRC; and the interdict would be going too far.
They are unlikely to pursue direct action against Corsica, but with how reliant Corsica is on maritime trade with its Mediterranean neighbors, them taking on too politically unsavory positions may lead them to be less able to leverage favorable benefits from said neighbors. Better to stay in the good graces of Spain and have the ability to negotiate evenly with them, than snub their beliefs and be left in the cold diplomatically.
 
Depending on how anti-Jesuit Spain is feeling, I can see demands to at least stop accepting more exiles and to not allow them to operate openly being part and parcel of any trade agreements.
 
Thank you, I'm glad you've enjoyed it. :)

The importance of the Hispano-Corsican relationship lies partly in Spain's relationship with France, because while Spain is not perceived as a threat to Corsica, France absolutely is. As the kings of France and Spain are cousins and close allies, it's reasonable for Corsican statesmen to assume that maintaining good relations in Madrid might help deflect French aggression. Carlos may not call the shots in Versailles, but Louis takes the family compact very seriously and would certainly think twice before attacking a state which Carlos considered to be a strategic partner. There is also a domestic angle here, as the "Bourbonophile" aristocratic faction - which seems poised to come into power with Federico's succession - would prefer not to see Corsica alienated from Spain for the sake of some foreign Jesuits. Federico might be king, but he can't rule alone.

There's also really no reason to turn Corsica into the Jesuit refugee camp of Europe. The Spanish exiles currently on Corsica have more than enough teachers and experts among their ranks for Federico's purposes. Even if you judge the value of the Spanish relationship to be fairly low, why destroy it for no discernible advantage?
 
The House of Neuhoff
The House of Neuhoff

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Castle Rhade in Westphalia


Whatever else might be said about King Theodore’s grandfather Dietrich Stephan von Neuhoff zu Pungelscheid, he certainly fulfilled his duty to continue the family line. The senior line of the family, that of von und zu Neuhoff, had died off in the male line in 1701, but Dietrich's nine surviving children - including six sons - seemed to guarantee the survival of the Pungelscheid branch. In the space of two generations, however, this seemingly bountiful lineage came dangerously close to extinction. Of Dietrich’s six sons only three succeeded in marrying and siring heirs. One of these, Theodore’s father Leopold Wilhelm, was posthumously disinherited and removed from the succession by Dietrich’s own machinations. The other two, Franz Bernhard and Werner Jobst, produced only one son apiece who managed to reach adulthood and marry: The men who would later be known as Don Federico, Principe di Capraia, and Don Giovan, Principe di Morosaglia.

Although never warm, the marriage between Don Giovan and Maria Camilla Cybo-Malaspina grew colder in their last years in Corsica owing to Maria Camilla’s deep unhappiness with Corsican life, the personal incompatibility of the prince and princess, and their failure to produce children. Following the Royal Testament of 1761 and the agreement made between the two princes, Don Giovan had traveled to Westphalia alone, intending to summon his wife to join him once he had made everything suitable for her arrival. When the princess finally received his summons, however, she delayed, made excuses, and then flatly refused to go. It was bad enough to be living at the poorest, least cultured royal court in Europe; she was not about to leave her sunny Italian homeland for a baron’s castle in cold and dismal Germany, where she would be trapped for the rest of her life in a loveless marriage in a foreign country with no friends or family. Instead, Maria Camilla moved back to her family home of Massa. She became a dependent of her older sister Maria Theresa, the sovereign princess of Massa-Carrara and duchess-consort of Modena, and returned to her old life of fêtes and concerts. Although their marriage was never actually annulled, the prince and princess of Morosaglia would never see each other again.

Don Giovan was initially furious at his wife’s betrayal, but there were certain benefits to her absence. The prince still retained his dowry, and his expenses were greatly reduced now that he was no longer responsible for Maria Camilla’s extravagant upkeep. Giovan - now styling himself Johann Friedrich von Neuhoff, Prinz von Korsika - established himself at his cousin’s estate of Rhade. The position of the “lady of the house” was taken up by Prince Johann’s sister and only surviving sibling, Klara Helena Christine Angela. Klara, now in her early 50s, was the childless widow of Christian August, Freiherr von Schütz zu Isengarden, and through a series of inheritances she had acquired the estate of Benninghofen near Dortmund.[1] Unable to maintain the estate herself, Klara transferred it to her brother in exchange for lodging and a regular stipend sufficient for her needs.

It was probably at Dortmund that Prince Johann made the acquaintance of his first cousin (once removed) Caspar Adolf, Freiherr von Romberg zu Brüninghausen. Caspar von Romberg was a literal coal baron, noted today as one of the pioneers of proto-industrial coal mining in the Ruhr region. He was also an enterprising landlord who made a tidy profit by buying up distressed noble estates and reforming their agricultural production. Using some of his estranged wife’s dowry - a considerable fortune - Prince Johann became one of his cousin’s primary investors, helping to bankroll the massive expansion of the Romberg collieries in the late 18th century which made Caspar Adolf into one of the richest men in Westphalia. At his death, Baron Romberg left an estate worth a million florins. While not as rich as Romberg, Prince Johann also profited handsomely from his investment.

As a wealthy and well-connected man with a princely title and extensive lands (being owner or administrator of all the Neuhoff estates), Johann quickly became a notable figure in the County Mark. The Elector of Brandenburg, young Friedrich Wilhelm IV, was quite interested in making the most of his Westphalian possessions after the loss of Silesia and East Prussia, and the Prinz von Korsika became a part of these plans. The elector allowed Johann to succeed as drost (bailiff) of Iserlohn, Altena, and Neuenrade, positions traditionally held by the Neuhoff-Pungelscheid barons, and granted him the position of geheimrat (privy councillor).

As neither King Theodore nor Prince Johann produced a legitimate heir, the responsibility for continuing the Neuhoff house fell entirely upon the Prince of Capraia, subsequently Federico I, King of Corsica. Fortunately for both the family name and the royal succession, Federico and his wife Elisabeth Cherrier Jeanne d'Harcourt proved equal to the challenge. Despite marrying relatively late by the standards of royalty - they were both around 27 at their wedding - the couple had five children who survived infancy: Maria Anna Caterina Lucia (1752), Teodoro Francesco Giuseppe (1755), Federico Giuseppe Lorenzo (1759), Elisabetta Theodora Amalia (1761), and Carlo Teodoro Maurizio (1764).

The center of family and court life was Bastia, as Queen Eleanora had deemed the old Palace of the Governors to be the most appropriate royal residence on the island. While the prince and princess of Capraia were very involved with the upbringing of their own children - more so, it seems, than most royal families of the period - the rearing of young princes and princesses was a communal affair. Governesses were chosen from the ladies of the Corsican nobility (usually widows) to supervise the children, and various noble children spent time at the palace as playmates. The palace was a bewilderingly multilingual environment: French was the language of court and the native tongue of Princess Elisabetta, while Theodore, Federico, and Eleanora were native German speakers, and the various governesses and playmates spoke Italian. The children were also instructed in Spanish, English, Greek, and Latin, with varying degrees of success.

At around the age of six, the children started formal tutoring under the direction of Leonardo Grimaldi, the royal preceptor.[2] Grimaldi, a Franciscan friar who taught mathematics and philosophy at the University of Corti, was assisted by a variety of tutors. Initially these were other Corsican ecclesiastics, almost all of them Franciscans, as very few Corsican laymen held academic degrees. A few foreign tutors were also on the payroll - we know, for instance, of a Florentine fencing master and a French dancing instructor. In 1767 Theodore obtained the services of the Cremonese nobleman, writer, and Freemason Giambattista Biffi, one of the lesser-known figures of the Italian Enlightenment. Biffi resided in Bastia until 1772, teaching history and philosophy while he worked on translating the works of the French philosophes into Italian.

From 1766 the Corsican tutors were supplemented by several Jesuit exiles who received the king’s patronage. The Spanish Jesuit Lorenzo Hervás, a prolific author who is considered to be one of the founders of comparative linguistics, served the court as a tutor of mathematics, astronomy, language, and metaphysics, and was given the position of Royal Librarian. Less famous than Hervás but perhaps more influential was Gaspar Xuárez, a Jesuit botanist born in the Governorate of the Rio de la Plata. Xuárez became royal gardener to the crown, assisted the agricultural ministry, and established several gardens and herbariums on the island, most famously the exotic Giardino Indiano Reale (“Royal Indian Garden”) near Ajaccio which still exists today.[3]


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Il Giardino Indiano Reale, Ajaccio


The oldest of the royal children was Maria Anna Caterina Lucia, more usually known as Karine (by her family) or Donna Caterina (by the Corsicans). She was a striking figure: quite tall, with reddish hair, described by one diplomat as “very fair” but with a "too prominent" nose. A boisterous and difficult child, she was bored by sewing and music lessons and was always evading her tutors to go run and play. Her father grew increasingly concerned about her behavior and what he perceived as Theodore’s encouragement of it, as the king doted on his eldest grand-niece and rarely refused her anything. In one incident, Caterina asked her great uncle if she could wear a uniform like his, and the king had a riding habit made for her in the colors of the Noble Guard which became her favorite outfit. She was so fond of wearing it that the guards nicknamed her “La Colonella.” Donna Caterina was particularly fond of horsemanship, and in later years would clash with her parents over her alarming proclivity for wearing breeches and riding astride rather than sidesaddle in the manner of a proper lady.

Caterina’s eldest brother and Federico’s heir apparent, Teodoro Francesco Guiseppe - known throughout his early life as Don Teo - challenged his father in other ways. Even among the Neuhoff clan, which gained something of a reputation for producing good-looking princes and princesses, Theo stood out. He was of average height, but broad-shouldered and well built like his great uncle. He had a somewhat rounded face with a strong jaw, chestnut hair, and dark eyes. As a young man he was considered very handsome, which was enhanced by his pleasant, easy going demeanor. He was fond of riding, fencing, and dancing, but his academic record was less impressive. To his father’s great consternation he was a rather indifferent student, and his tutors complained that he was lazy, easily distracted, and given to daydreaming. He struggled with mathematics and geometry, was bored by philosophy, and was once punished by his father for falling asleep during theology class.

When Theo was twelve, Gaspar Xuárez introduced him to the natural sciences. Rather than merely studying texts, Xuárez had the prince gather plant specimens from nature and in the Jesuit’s herbarium, and instructed him on their parts and properties. The prince was immediately absorbed by this new subject, which seemed to hold his interest even in the classroom; his sister Karine would later joke that Theo “only learned Latin to read [Carl] Linnaeus.” In fact he did more than read the works of the Swedish botanist - Prince Theo sent him letters and seeds of Corsican plants for his collection, and the prince and the botanist struck up an occasional correspondence which lasted until Linnaeus’s death in 1778. While Don Federico tolerated this hobby, he was not wholly convinced of the value of botany to a prince and spoke disapprovingly of “mon fils, le jardinier.”

Federico’s favorite son - or at least the one who gave him the least trouble - was Federico Giuseppe Lorenzo, four years younger than Don Teo. Tall and slender with a darker complexion than his elder brother, Federico did not quite match Theo's looks or charisma; he was always rather reserved, although hardly a shrinking violet. He was also an attentive pupil who took his responsibilities more seriously than his elder brother, and could generally be relied on to perform for his tutors to his father’s satisfaction. This was the source of some resentment from Theo at his father’s rather obvious favoritism, but the brothers themselves seem to have remained on good terms with one another throughout their childhood.[4]

Although Federico’s marriage to his cousin Elisabetta was both happy and fruitful, it had not done much for the status of the Neuhoff clan. Emperor Franz’s act of legitimation allowing Elisabetta to bear the surname of d’Harcourt mitigated the stigma of the queen’s birth, but even a legitimate daughter of a count and a baroness was still far beneath the select circle of princely and royal families from which European sovereigns usually chose their partners. If the ruling family of Corsica was to be truly accepted as one of Europe’s royal houses, they would need an infusion of far richer blood.

“Marrying upwards” was easier said than done. Whatever their opinions about Corsican independence as a political matter, the monarchs of Europe had no interest in offering their daughters to the grubby relations of the “crowned baron” of Corsica. The notionally sovereign princely houses of the Empire might have seemed more promising, but there was not much in it for them - sending a daughter (and a dowry) off to Corsica offered neither much prestige nor a political alliance which would be useful to a German prince. Corsica also suffered from a very limited diplomatic presence in Germany, which made negotiations challenging. King Carlos III of Spain showed some interest in the matter when it was brought to his attention by the Corsican ambassador Cosimo da Gentile, but no viable candidate seems to have come of it.

In the late 1760s Federico pursued the idea of a match with the House of Savoy-Carignano, a cadet branch of the royal family of Savoy. The Princes of Carignano were not sovereign, but they had royal blood, and commonly intermarried with German and Italian princely families. The current Prince of Carignano, Luigi Vittorio, had an unwed daughter named Gabriella Maria Luisa who was just a year older than Theo. Federico was somewhat concerned with the destitution of the prince - Luigi had been forced to sell many family assets to cover his late father’s obscene gambling debts - but still considered the match worth pursuing on the basis that some royal blood was potentially worth a poor dowry. King Louis XV, however, had other ideas. The King of France had scant regard for the Neuhoffs and was at that very moment working to link the House of Savoy more closely to his own. Catching wind of the proposed match, the French convinced Luigi Vittorio to wed her to a Bourbon cadet instead.

Federico was considerably less interested in the marriage of his female relations. The same problem of finding a partner of sufficient status was compounded by the fact that Federico would be obligated to give, rather than receive, a royal dowry for the marriage of one of his daughters. It has been often said that Federico came to regret not marrying off his troublesome eldest daughter, but whatever embarrassment the headstrong Donna Caterina caused him had to be weighed against the financial blow which he would have presumably suffered by marrying her off. In fact Caterina would never marry - some contemporaries nicknamed her the "Corsican Diana" - and she rejected every attempt by her father to convince her to take religious vows.

The prince's disinterest applied equally to his three sisters. The eldest, Sofia Theodora (b. 1727) was already an Ursuline nun by the time of Corsica’s independence, but the younger two - Margreta Christina Josina (1729) and Maria Katharina Wilhelmina Elisabeth (1736) lived in the town of Herdecke in a damenstift, a kind of secular convent for noblewomen which was a common destination for the daughters of the German lesser aristocracy. Young women could be safely stowed away at the damenstift for as long as necessary, and because they did not take permanent religious vows they could always be removed from their cloister if a favorable match was found (provided they were still of marriageable age).


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Johann Aloys, Count of Oettingen


Unlike his daughter, however, Federico’s younger sisters could not simply be left in place. It was unseemly for members of an aspiring royal house to reside in a damenstift along with the rest of the surplus daughters of the Westphalian baronial class. Federico did not want to bring them to Corsica, however, and his sisters don't appear to have been fond of the idea either. Instead Federico arranged for them to go to Vienna. This could not have been accomplished without the aid of Queen Eleanora, who still had important friends and family at the imperial capital. Federico’s sisters were placed under the supervision of Eleanora’s brother-in-law Johann Aloys, Graf von Oettingen-Spielberg, who was very well connected in Viennese society: a few years later, he would celebrate the marriage of his daughters to the Prince of Liechtenstein and the son of the empress’s chief minister Wenzel Anton Kaunitz.

Margreta would eventually follow her elder sister into the religious life, but the prince’s youngest sister would take a different path. During the Four Years’ War she was introduced to Prince Ludwig Eugen, the younger brother of the Duke of Württemberg. Born in 1731, Ludwig had grown up at the court of King Friedrich of Prussia and had led a German cavalry regiment in French service during the War of the Austrian Succession. He eventually reached the rank of Lieutenant-General in the French army, but in 1757 he transferred to Austrian service and fought with bravery and distinction against the Prussians until he was wounded in action in 1759.[5] Shortly after the war’s end, Prince Ludwig rather unexpectedly sent word to Corsica asking for the hand of Maria Katharina. The prince was 29, and Maria was 24.[A]

Their relationship has been described as a love match, but it has also been suggested that it was encouraged by the Austrians - though their motives for doing so are less than clear. Austro-Corsican relations were good and the emperor was indeed godfather to Prince Federico’s son, although Corsica was hardly a vital ally. It may be that Vienna was more concerned about the loyalty of Württemberg. The reigning duke Karl Eugen, Ludwig’s older brother, had become estranged from his wife and did not seem likely to leave a legitimate heir, while Ludwig’s younger brother Friedrich Eugen was seen as Vienna’s enemy. Friedrich had married a niece of the late King Friedrich of Prussia, had agreed that his children would be brought up in the Lutheran faith, and had fought against Austria (and his own brothers) during the recent war.


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Ludwig Eugen, Prince of Württemberg


King Theodore welcomed the proposal, and Federico concurred once he realized that nobody was actually asking him for a royal dowry - whatever his reasons, Ludwig was clearly not interested in Maria Katharina for her money. Although it may have modestly raised the profile of the Neuhoffs, the marriage did not have much immediate consequence for Corsica. The prince retired from military service and moved to an estate near Lausanne with his wife, reinventing himself as a “gentleman of letters” who patronized Enlightenment journals and exchanged correspondence with Voltaire and Rousseau. The marriage was evidently a happy one. It would be nearly 30 years before Ludwig returned to prominence, upon the death of his elder brother without a legitimate heir and Ludwig's succession as Duke of Württemberg.[6] At the time of the wedding of Ludwig and Maria Katherina there had been some question as to whether the marriage was technically morganatic, given that the bride - whatever the accomplishments of her relatives - was a mere baroness by birth. Initially the rest of his family rejected the idea of the marriage being a suitably equal match, but Duke Karl Eugen was eventually convinced to change his mind. Not all of his relatives agreed, however, and the issue would raise its head again in the 1790s when it became clear that the status of Ludwig's children would determine whether the duchy would be ruled by a Catholic or a Protestant.


Footnotes
[1] Benninghofen had initially been the possession of Johann Christian von Neuhoff-Ley, of another cadet branch of the senior von und zu Neuhoff line. Johann Christian married one of Theodore’s aunts, Anna Henrina Catarina von Neuhoff zu Pungelscheid, but the marriage was childless. Prior to his death, rather than allowing Benninghofen to revert to his own relatives, Johann Christian willed the estate to his wife. His wife, in turn, willed the estate to her niece Klara Helena, who transferred it to her brother Prince Johann.
[2] A Franciscan friar from Campoloro, Grimaldi taught mathematics and philosophy at the University of Corti and had been an eloquent propagandist of the naziunali during the Revolution. When he was not writing revolutionary apologetics, Grimaldi was giving sermons in Corsican villages claiming that those who “died for king and fatherland” would be assured of salvation. He had also been among those theologians who, in 1736, had given his endorsement to Theodore’s policy of religious tolerance.
[3] “Indian” in this case is a reference to the West Indies. Although the Indian Garden was certainly designed with aesthetics in mind, its initial primary purpose was to evaluate the suitability of foreign crops - particularly American crops - for Corsican agriculture. Xuárez and his garden played an important role in the introduction of Nicotina tabacum to Corsica.
[4] Federico’s youngest two children will be discussed in more detail later. At the time of their father’s coronation they were but nine and six years old respectively.
[5] Prince Ludwig's transfer to the Austrian army was not entirely by choice. Württemberg's soldiers, who were mostly Protestants, hated the French and were appalled at the idea of fighting alongside them. In their view, France was the eternal enemy of the Germans, while the heroic King of Prussia was the best defender of Protestant liberty within the empire. When they were mustered and placed under French command, the duke's army revolted and entire regiments disbanded on the spot. Karl Eugen had to promise his men that they would only fight alongside the Austrians, not the French, to prevent his army from completely falling apart. This succeeded in reconciling most of the deserters, although the Württembergers remained rather grudging participants in the war and the ducal army was continually plagued by mutiny and desertion.
[6] Although he failed to sire a legitimate heir, Karl Eugen was an accomplished philanderer who produced numerous bastards from at least eight different mistresses.

Timeline Notes
[A] IOTL, Ludwig Eugen eventually married a minor Saxon countess three years his senior. This was a morganatic marriage, rejected by his family, which made his children ineligible for the succession. The reasons for his choice are unclear, although Austro-Saxon politics may have played a part. As a consequence, the duchy thus passed to his younger brother Friedrich upon Ludwig's death, and eventually to Friedrich’s children, returning the duchy to Protestant rule.
 
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An incredibly interesting update! Am I correct in presuming the German estates would have reverted to the Crown of Corsica after the Prince's death, or would the first cousin once removed have staked a claim of sorts?

You've certainly a way with fleshing out your original characters, as you've made me quickly fond of the Corsican Artemis. A shame she doesn't have an Orion to keep her company, but one must make due within one's means. I'm very curious to see who her siblings marry and why.
 
The talk of Württemberg makes me wonder if we are seeing the seeds being planted for a larger conflict further down the line. It certainly seems like something relatively small now, but who knows.
 
A very interesting update. A lot of future events potentially being set up. The adventures of the beautiful but incredibly headstrong tomboy princess who likely remembers and idolizes king Theodore as much as his most ardent followers back in the day and thus perhaps is not entirely sure her father is a worthy successor could be an entire chapter or three. The easily distracted crown prince who nevertheless is an able fighter and obsessed with botany of all things, potentially being a good future warrior or agricultural-reformer king, but likely one who has a hard time understanding the concept of a budget - he is a probable future central protagonist. A second-in-the-line prince who is the calm and collected dutiful son, daddy's favourite but too honourable to try and replace his elder brother. Ideally, his brother's keeper and the voice of reason should the third generation come to power in their youth.

And then the Württemberg issue. It seems like Austria and Prussia may come to blows over whether that duchy has a catholic or a protestant fürst, with Corsican honour guards potentially on both sides.

A shame she doesn't have an Orion to keep her company, but one must make due within one's means. I'm very curious to see who her siblings marry and why.

She is said not to marry, what if any romantic adventures she might have are as yet unrevealed.
 
Caterina sounds a lot like Christina of Sweden. I wonder if she, like Christina, will be reimagined as gender-fluud/lesbian by future generations- certainly I can imagine that being a plausible bit of artistic license in the inevitable historical docudrama.
 
Am I correct in presuming the German estates would have reverted to the Crown of Corsica after the Prince's death, or would the first cousin once removed have staked a claim of sorts?

Romberg has no claim on the Neuhoff estates unless the lines of descent from Dietrich Stephan's sons are totally extinguished. That would require not only the death of Don Giovan, but that of Don Federico and his whole family. Assuming Maria Katharina has children with Prince Ludwig Eugen (which was alluded to in the update), those children will also take precedence in the Neuhoff line of succession over the claims of the Baron Romberg. The Romberg inheritance of the Nuehoff-Pungelscheid lands is thus extremely unlikely.

Some of Don Giovan's possessions could presumably be sold or willed to a recipient of his choosing - including the Rombergs, if he wanted - but most of his property is either subject to entail or doesn't actually belong to him. Don Federico gave Don Giovan control over all his German estates and their revenues as part of their agreement, but did not actually give him title to most of these estates, so even if Don Giovan had produced legitimate heirs those lands would still have returned to Don Federico upon Giovan's death.

It seems like Austria and Prussia may come to blows over whether that duchy has a catholic or a protestant fürst, with Corsican honour guards potentially on both sides.

Württemberg acquired a Catholic ruler by accident - the old duke's son and heir died prematurely, and in 1733 the duchy was left to a cousin, Karl Alexander, who had decided to convert to Catholicism while serving in the Austrian army. There were fears that Karl Alexander would attack Protestant liberty, but he reigned for only a few years before his own death. His son (and the present duke) Karl Eugen became unpopular because of his absolutism, greed, and support for the Catholic powers against Prussia, but he did not try to impress his own religion upon his subjects, and over the course of his rather long reign there were no religious uprisings that I am aware of. The Württembergers would undoubtedly prefer a Protestant monarch, but they probably aren't going to launch a revolution to get one, and I don't think the religion of the Duke of Württemberg is important enough to draw major powers into a war. That said, there could still be legal/political disputes and civil unrest if Ludwig's heirs are unpopular and Friedrich Eugen maintains his claim.

Caterina sounds a lot like Christina of Sweden. I wonder if she, like Christina, will be reimagined as gender-fluud/lesbian by future generations- certainly I can imagine that being a plausible bit of artistic license in the inevitable historical docudrama.

My inspiration was actually Marie Antoinette, who in her youth famously rode astride in breeches (much to the consternation of her mother the empress, who warned her that it would endanger her ability to bear children). Donna Caterina is a little more transgressive, however - she wears uniforms and is fond of hunting (thus the "Corsican Artemis") - and unlike Marie Antoinette, who had to set aside some of her youthful interests as Queen of France, Caterina doesn't have to curtail her hobbies to focus on rearing children or maintaining the royal dignity. How this will play with the culturally conservative Corsicans remains to be seen.

Now that I think of it, it would probably be more appropriate for her to be the "Corsican Diana" rather than the "Corsican Artemis;" I tend to use the Greek names of the classical gods but in the 18th century it seems like Latin names were more commonly used.
 
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Mythologically speaking Artemis might be more of what you're going for, though. Going by purist descriptions Diana's more a regional Italian god that subsumed Artemis's stories than, and Corsica does have more Greeks currently than it does Romans. And who said the Corsicans were ever 'in-vogue' with what's hip around Europe? :p
 
Württemberg acquired a Catholic ruler by accident - the old duke's son and heir died prematurely, and in 1733 the duchy was left to a cousin, Karl Alexander, who had decided to convert to Catholicism while serving in the Austrian army. There were fears that Karl Alexander would attack Protestant liberty, but he reigned for only a few years before his own death. His son (and the present duke) Karl Eugen became unpopular because of his absolutism, greed, and support for the Catholic powers against Prussia, but he did not try to impress his own religion upon his subjects, and over the course of his rather long reign there were no religious uprisings that I am aware of. The Württembergers would undoubtedly prefer a Protestant monarch, but they probably aren't going to launch a revolution to get one, and I don't think the religion of the Duke of Württemberg is important enough to draw major powers into a war. That said, there could still be legal/political disputes and civil unrest if Ludwig's heirs are unpopular and Friedrich Eugen maintains his claim.

The Westphalian Peace also carved the religious border in the HRE into the ground. So there were plenty of princes who inherited territories those religion was another, and they were restricted from doing anything about it. As example the Wettin converted to Catholicism, but their Saxon territories upkept one of the most aggressive anti-Catholic (and anti-non-Lutheran) churches with a local inquisition. In general Lutheran land under Catholic princes tended to be vastly more conservative and intolerant with far stronger ecclesial authorities.
 
Since it's already been stated that Caterina never marries, is it possible her younger sister, Elisabeth, does at some point? I ask because I'd really love to see a Savoy-Neuhoff marriage laying the groundwork for an eventual Sardinia-Corsica personal union.
 
Since it's already been stated that Caterina never marries, is it possible her younger sister, Elisabeth, does at some point? I ask because I'd really love to see a Savoy-Neuhoff marriage laying the groundwork for an eventual Sardinia-Corsica personal union.
I think you've got it backwards- a Savoy Neuhoff marriage resulting in a Sardinia Corsica union but under the house of Theodore.
The timeline must end with Theodore's descendent becoming king of Italy after all.
 
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