Read e-book online Queens and Mistresses of Renaissance France PDF

By Kathleen Wellman

This publication tells the heritage of the French Renaissance throughout the lives of its such a lot famous queens and mistresses, starting with Agnès Sorel, the 1st formally famous royal mistress in 1444; together with Anne of Brittany, Catherine de Medici, Anne Pisseleu, Diane de Poitiers, and Marguerite de Valois, between others; and concluding with Gabrielle d’Estrées, Henry IV’s strong mistress throughout the 1590s.

Wellman exhibits that ladies in either roles—queen and mistress—enjoyed nice impact over French politics and tradition, let alone over the robust males with whom they have been concerned. The booklet additionally addresses the iconic mythology surrounding those ladies, pertaining to fascinating stories that discover a lot approximately Renaissance modes of argument, symbols, and values, in addition to our personal sleek preoccupations.

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Charles VII’s critics, for example, indicted his passivity but praised the verve and determination of his mistress, Agnès Sorel. Contemporaries hailed Louis XII as a man of the people but condemned his queen Anne of Brittany as haughty and remote. Their contemporaries delineated the parameters of the earliest assessments of royal women. Subsequent historians and commentators either followed their lead or rebutted them. Even if a royal woman elicited her contemporaries’ praise for her looks, her character, or her appealing contrast to her male consort, any political action she took almost inevitably provoked criticism.

One of Charles’s most vivid memories must have been of fleeing Paris to escape this particularly violent episode in the ongoing civil war. His claim to the throne was jeopardized further when Philip the Good allied with the English. ”15 Then Isabeau, in lieu of her husband (likely in the grip of madness), signed the Treaty of Troyes with the English, formally repudiating her son’s claim to the throne. Charles VI spent most of his reign confined in long periods of madness, emerging periodically, as the story went, to procreate his twelve children.

After Joan’s death, Charles again sank into indecision and did not emerge until four years later, likely as a result of the Treaty of Arras of 1435, which finally reconciled the Burgundians to the crown. Charles then waged war successfully against the English, took Paris, and, in 1444, settled the noble revolt against him with the Treaty of Tours. Joan was just one of the powerful women who supported Charles. His early life story relegates him to a supporting role in a play dominated by powerful women.

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