Non-fiction

Painting of Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, better known as Madame de Sévigné: French letter writing luminary

Madame de Sévigné: French Letter Writing Luminary

In an era when newspapers were still in their infancy, letters played an indispensable role in connecting minds and disseminating news. Madame de Sévigné, became one of the earliest of the French letter writing luminaries. She navigated the intricate web of court politics, fashion, and social dynamics, while penning her insights with eloquence and humor.

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Louise de Savoie, Duchess of Angoulême

Countess Louise, Astrology, & January 1

What do Countess Louise, Astrology, and January 1 have in common? Readers of the Journal de Louise de Savoye, duchesse d’Angoulesme, d’Anjou et de Valois will know the answer. For the rest of you, let me explain. Estimated reading time: 4 minutes Three crucial events In the 20 years between 1496 to 1515, three crucial

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Who Was Marguerite de Rohan?

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes Table of contents When did Marguerite de Rohan live? Who were Marguerite’s brothers and sisters? Who was her husband, Count Jean d’Angoulême? Who were Marguerite and Jean’s children? Where Marguerite and Jean have their lands? Some sources for information about Marguerite de Rohan Marguerite de Rohan, Countess d’Angoulême was the

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The Women of 16th-Century France: Fact and Fiction

I began this website with facts not fiction about the women of 16th Century France. It was too limiting. , I posted historical content about the women I was fictionalizing. It was too limiting. Now my site is more eclectic. I have lots about my fiction, the blog posts with historical content about the women

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Importance of Male Heirs for Brittany

As I was researching my new novel I reflected on the importance of male heirs for Brittany and France. I had been reading an article that electrified me in the book Noblesse de Bretagne du Moyen Age à Nos Jours. Failures in the male line One article in particular challenges several standard interpretations of Breton

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A Brief History of Princess Renée de France: Staunch Huguenot

You’ll find my brief history of the life of Princess Renée de France, a stanch Huguenot, at The Freelance History Writer. I recently wrote a guest blog post there to celebrate the launch of my novel The Importance of Pawns. In the post, I give an overview of the tumultuous life that Princess Renée lived.

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Renée de France’s Difficult Life

Born on 25 October 1510 at the Château de Blois, Renée de France’s life did not begin as difficult. She was the second daughter of Louis XII of France and Anne of Brittany. Blessed with a Golden Infancy Unusually for the times, Louis stayed in the queen’s chambers during Renée’s birth. Even though they had

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The Importance of Pawns

Who were the women of The Importance of Pawns?

Who are the four women in The Importance of Pawns who dominate the action? At the centre of the plots are Princess Claude and Princess Renée of France, the elder and younger daughters of the French King and Queen. The third, Baronne Michelle de Soubise, Renée’s Gouvernante*, fights to shield herself and the two daughters

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