I love my husband's grandmother's name, Marie Theresa Romaine Eugenie Van Wanghe Van Cuyck (1880-1952) https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Van_Wanghe-2 . His entire family had elaborate names, but somehow her's just charms me. She was a wonderful grandmother, despite the high spirits of her numerous young grandchildren and the antics they pulled, like riding up and down the dumbwaiter in her four-story townhouse. My husband and his brother tried to grind stones in her coffee bean grinder, which did not survive their experiment.
Despite being born into a wealthy and noble family Marie Theresa did not lead an easy life. She was schooled in all the social arts a young woman of the Edwardian age was expected to know. She was a trained and skilled artist, a concert-level pianist who played to appreciative audiences, and she was taught how to manage a large household. She was an extremely devout Roman Catholic with the dream of having 12 children!
In January of 1900 she married Emilius "Mio" Franciscus Jacobus van Cuyck, https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Van_Cuyck-6 , eldest son of Emile Henri Francois Van Cuyck and Clotilde Catharine Louise Tessaro. Both the Van Cuycks and Tessaros were movers and shakers in the European art world. Clotilde's father and uncles owned galleries in Bruxelles and Antwerp and were early adopters of the new technology of photography. The Van Cuyck family had produced several of Holland's Master painters from the 12th Century. Mio himself was a Louvre Scholar in the 1890s, studying drawing and painting before his marriage.
After Marie Theresa and Mio were wed they set off on a year's honeymoon, on the "Grand Tour" of Italy so popular at the time, but Mio insisted on expressing his artistic flair, by travelling as extremely elegant peasants, in an open hay cart pulled by burros who always had flower wreaths around their ears, followed by a second cart of servants who carried the silver tea service, the crystal, the proper table linens, cooked and cleaned and catered to their every need. Poor Marie Therese was extremely grateful when this tiresome trip was cut short in November by her need to return home to give birth to their first child, Emilius Jr.
Within 13 years they had six children, four sons and two daughters. Mio had moved into a management position with the Tessaro Gallery in Antwerp, and left his family alone for long periods, travelling to visit artist friends in Italy and France, buying works of art along the way for the gallery.
Marie Theresa and the children lived in the "Villa of the Bees" in Tirlemont, Brabant Province, a wedding gift from her family. The Villa's grounds were extensive, with large apple and pear orchards, greenhouses and a cannery, in addition to a large sprawling house and stables.
Mio's wife's devotion irritated him. Her twice daily attendance at mass exasperated him to no end. Every other sentence began with "Father Antoine says..." The disagreements escalated, the atmosphere in the house was so cold it could have been carved into an ice sculpture. When their youngest child, Marie-Christine Isabel, https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Van_Cuyck-5 was six months old he told Marie Theresa that he'd had enough, packed his clothes and moved to Bruxelles.
Marie Therese was devastated, but she was also resourceful. Her father was still alive, and her family would have helped her financially, but she was too proud to accept their charity. Looking at what she had in her back garden, she determined she could put the cannery back into operation, produce and sell jam and support her family that way. She hired workers, produced and marketed an excellent line of jams, and in two years had a successful business which provided a healthy income. Mio then returned, and under Napoleonic law, which states that all of a wife's assets belong to her husband, assumed control of her business. In two years he had bankrupted her and cleaned out her bank account, then he left, leaving her penniless again.
Though she did not believe in divorce she recognized that she'd never be able to protect her children from exploitation and poverty if she stayed married to her husband. She sued for divorce.
In the following years she faced ostracism for her decision to divorce the man who had given her little but heartache. Her family shamed her, as did her society friends. My mother-in-law remembered vividly being sent home at age 11 from school by the Mother Superior because the coat she was wearing, which her 14-year-old sister had made from cloth cut from one of their father's discarded overcoats, was "too fashionable" for the child of a divorced woman. (Goodness we can be mean to one another!)
Fancy name or not, nothing is guaranteed in life. I'm just glad that women are, in most countries, no longer under the thumb of oppressive religious beliefs, but it's not so long ago that women in our society were pretty oppressed.