Born to Otto and
Hildegard in January 1850, in the manor house on the estate
looked like her mother, but had her father’s gleeful, energetic
approach to life. Not only was Luise more robust physically and
emotionally than her mother, she had far more intelligence and
understood nothing about Luise, to the point of feeling
ashamed of and embarrassed by her only child instead of
being proud of her.
Otto, on the
other hand, delighted in his daughter, who became both son
and daughter to him, as well as providing him with a
substitute for the companionship that was not available in
The contrast in
the way she was treated by her father and by her mother
forced Luise to rely on herself more than children normally
did in those days. She rode wild and free across the estate
on her pony, with her dog, entertaining herself with made up
games in the forests and meadows, becoming self-reliant,
curious, and headstrong.
Although she is
a spoiled child in one sense, Otto’s insistence on good
behaviour means Luise is not entirely a brat. She’s good
hearted and cheerful, but she has learned to ignore the
things her mother says to her, which at times leads to her
ignoring rules she should have obeyed.
handicapped by an injury to her right shoulder that she got
from falling in the stream and being rescued by her dog, a
black spaniel named Franz. She is frustrated by being not
able to move around the estate the way she used to. With the
staff being busy preparing for winter, Luise rides out to
her meadow without being seen. While there she meets Jean-Philippe,
and they play together.
them and the three children play together for the five weeks
that the Frenchmen are on the estate.
deception of the staff and her father causes a rift between
Luise and her father, she is profoundly changed by the boys. They gave her a look into a life that she’d had no idea