madame maintenon


Versailles George Blagden et Alexander Vlahos nous racontent la saison 3″ by Première on Dailymotion

Transcript (of the English-spoken part - I don’t understand French, sorry French part translated by @schattie here):

G: So, in this season we’ll have a lot of new storylines. In season 2 we dealt with one big theme, which was the Affair of the Poisons, and in season 3 we branch out into lots of exciting stories… His [Alex’s] storyline is very exciting. You talk about your storyline, can you talk about it?

A: Yeah, yeah, I think I can. I think it’s out in the public domain that we’re gonna touch on the idea of the man in the Iron Mask… so, yeah, that’s Philippe in detective mode, Philippe gets to be Sherlock Holmes and I get to have some amazing scenes with Tygh Runyan, who plays Fabien. In season 1 and 2 I think we said one word to each other and passing on the corridor. I love that man so much, so yeah in season 3 I get to be Sherlock and he gets to be Dr. Watson and we get to sort of trying discover the man in the Iron Mask, which is fun! And you get some great stuff with Maintenon!

G: Yeah! Louis has a new woman in his life in Maintenon and this is… like a woman he’s never been with before. She’s very very mature and she’s very equal to him in terms of power and status and can match him, and we see a relationship that’s a lot like Claire and Frank Underwood in House of Cards. We’re all equals and we see a lot of big decisions that he needs to make being made by her, which is fantastic, and I think the audience will really enjoy watching this realtionship develop

who you should fight: Versailles historical edition

Louis XIV: who do you think you are? William of Orange?? Nah buddy best case scenario here is you both end up dead ok unless you’re really that eager to beat up that ugly lil moustache there is literally nothing you can gain from this scenario

Philippe D’Orleans: Even as a child boi wasn’t afraid to give people a good smack but also like??? Why would you want to hasn’t he been through enough

Madame de Maintenon: might be satisfying, or you might end up smacked down by God himself. Who knows.

Comte de Guiche: please, please fight him. Stealing his boyfriend’s wife and beating him up at parties?? someone’s gotta get revenge for that. Ruin his pretty lil face.

Liselotte: try it m8 if she doesn’t destroy you i will

Chezzles McFezzles: the brave warrior? the war hero? One of the biggest snakes at court?? There’s no point trying tbh but i’m sure there’s some kind of anti-Chev support club at court you can join

Charles II: y e s. 

anonymous asked:

Why did so many women at court aspire to become the king's mistress?

For one, being the king’s mistress could be rewarding on a personal level, as kings were known to lavish great wealth on their favorites. Alice Perrers, mistress to Edward III of England, was granted robes and jewels belonging to the dead Queen Philippa (the jewels were worth over six million pounds in today’s money), as well as over a dozen manors, by her royal lover. Barbara Palmer and Louise de Kerouaille, mistresses of the lascivious Charles II, were granted dukedoms in their own right, with their requisite lands and incomes, and Barbara was given Henry VIII’s Nonsuch Palace. Louis XIV was so entranced by Athenais, the Marquise de Montespan, that he granted her a suite of 20 rooms in Versailles (compared to the queen’s 10), and had built for her the Chateau de Clagny, spending millions of livres to do so. Leopold II of Belgium shocked and angered his subjects by the wealth the aging monarch lavished on his teenage mistress, Caroline Lacroix, including millions of francs (Caroline once bragged about spending three million in a single shopping spree) and estates in Belgium and France. Even foreign visitors would know to flatter the king’s favorite: when the future Gustav III of Sweden visited the court of Louis XV, he presented the king’s mistress, the notoriously luxury-loving Madame du Barry, a collar for her little spaniel, made of diamonds and with a ruby leash. 

Being the royal mistress could also be an avenue to power. Henry II of France was so devoted to his lifelong passion Diane de Poitiers that the two would often collaborate on government letters and documents, even signing the bottom “HenriDiane”. The Protestant (later Catholic) Henry IV of France relied on his beloved mistress Gabrielle d’Estrees to make peace with the noble Catholic families of the country, and it was under her influence that he created the Edict of Nantes, which gave significant rights to French Huguenots (indeed, so trusted was Gabrielle that Henry gave her a seat on his Council of National Policy). Too, as an intimate of the king, a royal mistress would be expected to have the king’s ear in private moments ordinary courtiers could never dream of sharing, and could be a useful intermediary between the king and his courtiers. Such was the power and influence of Madame de Pompadour on Louis XV that Empress Maria Theresa of Austria’s ambassador approached her for aid in the negotiations that would lead to the Treaty of Versailles and the Diplomatic Revolution that would bring Austria and France together in alliance. Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany and second son of George III, was not a king, but he was commander in chief of the army from 1795 - a position he was forced to resign in 1809, when his mistress, Mary Anne Clarke, was brought before the House of Commons and testified that she had, with the duke’s knowledge and assistance, been selling army commissions (even pinning the names of those desiring commissions to the curtains in the home they shared).

Nor should family ambition be discounted; having great influence over the king meant that a mistress could secure boons for her kin as well as herself. While sleeping with Mary Boleyn and thereafter pursuing sister Anne, Henry VIII granted a number of honors to the Boleyn family: Sir Thomas Boleyn (father to Mary and Anne) was made Viscount Rochford in 1525, Earl of Wiltshire in 1529, and Lord Privy Seal in 1530; their brother George was knighted and made a Gentleman of the Privy Chamber in 1529 (at which time he was also granted the courtesy title Viscount Rochford), held several key offices in Henry VIII’s court, and was made an ambassador to France, doubtless via his sister’s influence. The family of Anne, Duchess of Etampes, benefited greatly from her affair with Francis I of France, as her uncle, Antoine Sanguin, was made Bishop of Orleans and a cardinal and named Grand Almoner by Francis I when the post became vacant and two brothers also rose high in Church hierarchy. (However, when Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, suggested that his daughter Mary - widow of Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, Henry Fitzroy - become the king’s mistress to wield similar influence she pointedly refused.)

And there was always the chance, however small (and however politically meaningless), that the king would make his mistress his wife. Indeed, Henry IV had come extremely close to marrying Gabrielle: in 1599, after writing to Pope Clement asking for an annulment from his marriage to Margaret of Valois, Henry gave Gabrielle his coronation ring and promised to wed her (unfortunately for Henry, she died on April 10 of that year, probably from eclampsia). Alexander II, Emperor of Russia, actually did marry his mistress, Catherine Dolgorukova, a little more than a month after his first wife, Marie of Hesse and by the Rhine, died, and gave Catherine the title Princess Yurievskaya and the status of “Serene Highness”; although the marriage was morganatic, there were fears, particularly within the imperial family, that Alexander would strive to put his children by Catherine in the succession (particularly as Catherine claimed Alexander had placed the imperial crown on her head in a private ceremony, and as Alexander had legitimized the children and made pointed comments about his son by Catherine, George Alexandrovich - commenting that George was a “real Russian” and introducing him to his heir, the future Alexander III, as George’s “eldest brother”). Louis XIV was far more secret about his marriage to Madame de Maintenon; although the marquise was never formally acknowledged as his wife, her presence at court was substantial, and for the roughly three decades their marriage lasted, Madame de Maintenon exerted far more influence over the Sun King than her predecessor, Maria Theresa, ever had.

anonymous asked:

Okay so your French History lessons are delightful, and I am an American with a terrible school system and an affection for historical factotum, please tell me something--anything--I don't know about the history of France. (Also your blog gives me life, you're fantastic, and have a lovely day.)


Louis XIV was known to have a lot of sex when he was young and later in adulthood. Like. A lot. 

His brother, Phillipe d’Orléans, was known to be gay and quite publically so, and though he did obey his brother’s wishes to marry and have children, he kept lovers under his sleeves all his life

So when he was older, Louis XIV married one of his mistresses, Madame de Maintenon, who was a devote Jansenist. So the King had a sort of religious crisis and became SUPER CATHOLIC. So much so that he told his brother to “stop his indiscretions”, talking about his gay lovers. And Phillipe roasted him on a spike saying: 

“Well let me remind you you fucked more girls than there are beads on your rosary, so STFU” (I believe he said something along the lines of “Vous avez enfilé plus de filles que de perles à votre chapelet” in French which is fucking SAVAGE)

Louise de La Vallière (Françoise Louise de La Baume Le Blanc; 6 August 1644 – 7 June 1710) was a mistress of Louis XIV of France from 1661 to 1667. She later became the Duchess of La Vallière and Duchess of Vaujours in her own right. Unlike her rival, Madame de Montespan, she has no surviving descendants. Louise was also very religious and she led a religious penance for herself near the end of her life.

Early life

Louise de La Vallière was born in Tours, the daughter of an officer, Laurent de La Baume Le Blanc (who took the name of La Vallière from a small estate near Amboise) and Françoise Le Provost. Laurent de La Vallière died in 1651; his widow remarried in 1655, to Jacques de Courtarvel, marquis de Saint-Rémy, and joined the court of Gaston, Duke of Orléans, at Blois.

Louise was brought up with the younger princesses (the future Grand Duchess of Tuscany, Duchess of Alençon, and Duchess of Savoy), the half-sisters of La Grande Mademoiselle. After the death of Gaston, Duke of Orléans, his widow moved with her daughters to the Luxembourg Palace in Paris and took the sixteen-year-old Louise with them.

Louis XIV

Through the influence of a distant kinswoman, Mme de Choisy, Louise was named Maid of honour to Princess Henrietta Anne of England, sister of King Charles II of England, who was about her own age and had just married Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, the King’s brother. Henrietta (known as Madame) was extremely attractive and joined the court at Fontainebleau in 1661. Her friendly relationship with King Louis XIV, her brother-in-law, caused some scandal and fed rumors of a romantic affair.

To counter these rumors, the King and Madame decided that Louis should pay court elsewhere as a front, andMadame selected three young ladies to “set in his path”, Louise among them. The Abbé de Choise reported that the seventeen-year-old girl “had an exquisite complexion, blond hair, blue eyes, a sweet smile … [and] an expression [at] once tender and modest." One of her legs was shorter than the other, so Louise wore specially made heels.


Louise had been at Fontainebleau only two months before becoming the king’s mistress. Although she was intended to divert attention from the dangerous flirtation between Louis and his sister-in-law, Louise and Louis soon fell in love. It was Louise’s first serious attachment and she was reportedly an innocent, religious-minded girl who initially brought neither coquetry nor self-interest to their secret relationship. She was not extravagant and was not interested in money or titles that could come from her situation; she wanted only the King’s love. Antonia Fraser writes that she was a "secret lover not a Maîtresse-en-titre like Barbara Villiers.”

Nicolas Fouquet’s curiosity in the matter was one of the causes of his disgrace, for, when he bribed Louise, the King mistakenly thought that Fouquet was attempting to take her as a lover.

In February 1662, the couple fell into conflict. Despite being directly questioned by the King, Louise refused to tell her lover about the affair between Henrietta and the comte de Guiche. Coinciding with this, Jacques-Benigne Bossuet delivered a series of Lenten sermons in which he condemned the immoral activities of the King through the example of King David’s adultery—and the pious girl’s conscience was troubled. She fled to the convent at Chaillot. Louis followed her there and convinced her to return to court. Her enemies—chief among them, Olympe Mancini, comtesse de Soissons, niece of Cardinal Mazarin—sought to orchestrate her downfall by bringing her liaison to the ears of Louis’s queen, Maria Theresa of Spain.

During her first pregnancy, Louise was removed from the Princess’ service and established in a lodging in the Palais Royal, where, on 19 December 1663, she gave birth to a son, Charles, who was taken immediately to Saint-Leu and given to two faithful servants of Jean-Baptiste Colbert. Despite the secrecy of the transfer, organised by a doctor Boucher who was present at the birth, the story quickly spread to Paris. The public scorn at a midnight mass on 24 December resulted in a distraught Louise escaping home from the church.[6]


Concealment was practically abandoned after her return to court, and within a week of Anne of Austria’s death on 20 January 1666, La Vallière appeared at Mass beside Maria Theresa. Ashamed of her conduct, she treated the queen with humility and respect. In return, the queen was reportedly venomous towards her during the five-year affair, continuing even after the affair really ended—unaware that the king had taken another mistress.

After five years, Louise’s favour was waning. On 7 January 1665 she had given birth to a second son, Philippe, and on 27 December of that year she gave birth a third son, Louis;but the three children soon died, Charles on 15 July 1665, Philippe before the autumn of 1666 and Louis shortly after. A daughter was born at Vincennes on 2 October 1666. In May 1667, by letters patent confirmed by the Parlement de Paris, Louis XIV legitimised his daughter, who was named Marie Anne de Bourbon and was given the title of Mademoiselle de Blois. Louis XIV also made Louise a duchess and gave her the estate of Vaujours. As a duchess, Louise had the right to sit on a tabouret in the presence of the queen, which was a highly prized privilege. However, Louise was not impressed. She said her title seemed a kind of retirement present given to a servant who was retiring. Indeed she was correct, for Louis commented that legitimising their daughter and giving Louise an establishment “matched the affection he had had for her for six years”: in other words, an extravagant farewell present.

On 2 October of that year, she gave birth to their fifth child, a son named Louis, but by this time her place in the King’s affections had been usurped by Françoise-Athénaïs, marquise de Montespan, whom both she and the queen (both pregnant when the affair began) had thought of as a trusted friend. Under the pretense of her pregnancy, Louise was sent away to Versailles while the King and the court were at the scene of the war; however, she disobeyed the King’s orders and returned, throwing herself at his feet sobbing uncontrollably. In a strange twist of fate, she ended her relationship with the King in the same way in which she started: used initially as a decoy for Louis and “Madame”, Louise now became a decoy for her own successor, as Louis made her share the Marquise de Montespan’s apartments at the Tuileries to prevent the legal manœuvres of the Marquis de Montespan (who wanted to get his wife back) and to keep the court from gossiping.

Mme de Montespan demanded that Louise assist her with her toilette, and Louise did so without complaint. Whenever the king wished to travel with his real mistress, Athénaïs, he made both Louise and Athénaïs sit in the same carriage with the queen. Since Athénaïs was married, it meant that both the king and she were committing adultery, a mortal sin. Louise had refused a smokescreen marriage for this very reason. (In cases where one partner is unmarried, canon law of the Roman Catholic Church considered a carnal affair to be simply fornication.)

Mlle de La Vallière was the godmother of Athénaïs’ and Louis XIV’s first daughter, who was given the first name Louise. Louise hated being the decoy for Athénaïs and begged and wept often to be allowed to join a convent. She took to wearing a hair shirt, and the strain of being forced to live with her former lover and his current mistress caused her to lose weight and become increasingly haggard.

She attempted to leave in 1671, fleeing to the convent of Ste Marie de Chaillot, only to be compelled (once more by order of the King) to return. In 1674, she was finally permitted to enter the Carmelite convent in the Faubourg Saint-Jacques in Paris under the name of Sister Louise of Mercy.

When Louise left the Court, the new Duchess of Orléans (born Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate) took care of the education of her only surviving son, Louis. He later was involved in a scandal with his uncle Philippe de France and Philippe’s favourite, the Chevalier de Lorraine, and died in 1683 while in exile in Flandres.His loving sister and aunt were greatly affected by his death, while his father did not shed a tear. His mother, still obsessed with the sin of her relationship with the king, said upon hearing of her son’s death:

I ought to weep for his birth far more than [for] his death.

Madame de Maintenon asked Louise if she had fully considered the discomforts that awaited her at the Carmelite convent which ended up including being forbidden to wear the shoes that allowed her to walk without a limp. “When I shall be suffering at the convent”, Louise replied, “I shall only have to remember what they made me suffer here, and all the pain shall seem light to me.” The day she left, she threw herself at the feet of the Queen, begging forgiveness: “My crimes were public, my repentance must be public, too.”

She took the final vows a year later, accepting the black veil from the queen herself, who kissed and blessed her. The queen already had a habit of spending brief sojourns at the convent for spiritual consolation and repose. Interestingly, later in life, Mme de Montespan went to Louise for advice on living a pious life. Louise forgave her, and counselled her on the mysteries of divine grace. She died in 1710. The Duchy of La Vallière went to her daughter Marie Anne as did the fortune she had acquired during her life as Louis’s mistress.

La Vallière’s Réflexions sur la miséricorde de Dieu, written after her retreat, were printed by Lequeux in 1767, and in 1860 Réflexions, lettres et sermons, by M. P. Clement (2 vols.). Some apocryphal Mémoires appeared in 1829, and the Lettres de Mme la Duchesse de la Vallière (1767) are a corrupt version of her correspondence with the Maréchal de Bellefonds.