France’s miserable relations with Protestant dissenters wasn’t limited to those who followed John Calvin. In the 1540s, another sect of Protestants known as the Vaudois started to become a thorn in Francis I’s side. The Vaudois were concentrated in the south, mostly in Provence and Piedmont. The group was composed mostly of peasants, as opposed
The third and final division of the King of France’s household was that of the Chapelle, or chapel. For a man who held a mystical position in concert with the Catholic church, the chapel was an integral part of his royal duties. The men assigned to the chapel looked after the king’s spiritual needs. Like
Today we’re continuing to look at the organization of the King’s household during the Renaissance. If you’re looking for the strictly codified world of Versailles, you’re at least a century too early. The royal household of the Renaissance was scandalously known to be overly-familiar. In fact, many foreign diplomats wrote home, sneering at how accessible
All of France is choosing sides: Catholic verses Protestant, Valois verses Boubon. Which side will prevail? As Duchesse de Guise, Catherine is caught in the middle. Rumors swirl that the King plans to assassinate her husband, but is there anything that Catherine can do to stop the oncoming storm? Read an excerpt from Catherine’s story,
The King of France required several people to help run his household. By the 15th century, the French King was struggling to keep up with the Ducs of Burgundy, but by the time Francis I took the French throne, the King’s household started to balloon to reflect the growing prestige of the French crown. By
I’m headed cross-country to Hawaii today. Should be back just before Christmas Eve. If you don’t see me after then, I’m trapped in the Newark airport.
Portraits assumed to be of Renee de Rieux. Marie, Princesse de Conde was not the first woman to inspire a fit of passion in Henry III. Before the two met, Henri had an affair with Renee de Rieux, who would go on to become infamous at his court. Renee’s father left a successful career
The hardest part of writing about the court of the 16th century is the simple fact that it was not the court of the 17th and 18th centuries. When we think of French court, images of what things were like at Versailles come to mind. When the Valois were on the throne, things were different.
Unless you’re a newcomer to historical fiction, you know that one of the mainstays of court intrigue is the system of obtaining allies through marriage or even more torturous forms of allying with other nobles. It took several centuries before France developed a system of civil service or even a standing army to do the
It’s tempting to imagine court life in France as what it was like at Versailles. Louis XIV created Versailles as a new model of court life, one that was very different from that of a courtier during Renaissance France. Court life was always expensive, no matter what the century. Nobles had vast estates to run,