Birth and Childhood
Jules de Polignac, who by his first wife Barbara Campbell had had one daughter and one son, by his second wife Mary Charlotte Parkyns (1792–1864), had, in 1830, two sons, and a daughter was born as he began his sentence. Despite the harsh sentence, visitation was allowed, and two more sons were born to Jules while he was imprisoned. Edmond was his last child, born in Paris on 19 April 1834.
As his father was legally non-existent, Edmond was listed on his birth certificate as the son of 'the Prince called Marquis de Chalançon, presently on a trip'. In 1836 King Louis-Philippe granted a petition for the release of the imprisoned cabinet members on the grounds of their declining physical condition. Jules was released from jail with the proviso that he leave Paris permanently. The family moved to Bavaria, near Landau, where Jules was granted a second princely title by King Ludwig I of Bavaria, and built a château named "Wildthurn". Edmond received a classical education there, including instruction in Greek, Latin, modern languages, dancing and horseback riding. English, French and German were all spoken regularly in the household. Early on Edmond demonstrated an inclination toward performance and the creative arts, writing plays and comedies for the children's theatre built by his father. His elder brothers mocked him for his frailness and his lack of athleticism; as a sort of recompense, his parents permitted him to take lessons in piano and music theory.
In November 1845 the family returned to France, moving to Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Two years later, on 30 March 1847, Jules de Polignac died. The remaining family moved to Paris in the rue de Berri, and Edmond continued his education with a preceptor in the Faubourg Saint-Germain. Edmond by now had determined that he would be a composer, though this dismayed his mother, who felt music was an acceptable hobby for an aristocrat, but not an acceptable profession.
Read more about this topic: Prince Edmond De Polignac
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