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.
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
Making a final decision on the cover design for The Valois Mistress is driving me around the bend these days. I think that I’m just too attached to Charlotte de Sauve to be partial. The finalists: These are the ones that made the final cut. Why not use her actual portrait? I really wish that
A while back, I saved an image with Charlotte de Sauve’s signature to my Pinterest board about her. It’s been so long since I did it that I forgot how I came across it. It was sold at auction, and the description lists it as a letter. Since it’s in Old French, few people outside
In the heyday of the Flying Squadron, Catherine de Medici dispatched two beguiling young women to spy on tow Bourbon brothers, the Prince de Conde and the King of Navarre. Any time a royal asks a favor there is a danger of disaster, whether the person being asked agrees or refuses the request. In the
If you’re under the impression that the life of a royal mistress was nothing more then lounging around a bed naked, I’m sorry to disappoint. These women worked hard for their position, and the worked even harder to keep them. Patriotic presence Most queens were of foreign origin, and it was difficult to fully trust