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Database: Dauphin Louis-Charles

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This little duke of Normandy became dauphin upon the death of his elder brother on June 4, 1789, in the midsts of the crisis at the Estates General. A scrawny child, he grew badly, and suffered from tuberculosis from which he would eventually die. His three years in prison at the Temple would worsen his state of health, but were not the direct cause of his death. No more than the abuse seemingly inflicted upon him by his keeper, the cobbler Antoine Simon. Simon was a brute, but not a conscious torturer. He insisted on teaching Louis well-known dirty songs. Recognized by the émigrés as Louis XVII in 1793, he died alone in the darkness of his cell on June 8, 1795. His death led to all sorts of outrageous theories: some claimed the child had escaped from the Temple. In subsequent years, a number of phony dauphins would come forth to claim the title.

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