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,
Chateaux didn’t magically appear during the French Renaissance, but judging from the numbers of them still in existence across France, you would be forgiven for assuming that they did. They did, however, start to change their basic appearance during the 15th century and took on a decidedly foreign flair. During the Middle Ages, the typical
A short life and a romance to boot. For such a short life (sorry, spoilers!), Marie of Cleves had more adventure than most women of the 16th century. Marie’s life peaked my interest from the first when I read her Wikipedia article. When I read that she and her husband were given the choice to
Today might be my birthday but I’m feeling generous. I have a present for you: an excerpt from The Valois Mistress, coming in 2018 As I walked across the courtyard, I barely caught myself before I tripped over a pair of muddy boots. “Going somewhere, Mademoiselle?” a jaunty voice called out at my