Recent Books

The Tuileries, A French Renaissance Palace

Most sources say Catherine de Medici built the Tuileries, a French Renaissance palace. Her reason? Because she refused to live in the Louvre after her beloved husband, Henri II, died there. So, she needed another home in the centre of Paris. Laura de Pre has a different take. Laura de Pre tends to think of […]

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The Regent, Louise of Savoy

On 1 January 1515 Louise of Savoy’s son became king and by July, François I was at war in Italy, leaving the Regent, Louise de Savoy in charge. He was away until early in 1516. Her contemporaries, among them Pope Leo X, acknowledged and appreciated her status as a powerful mater regis. Charles Brandon, the Duke

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Mary, Queen of Scots – A Study in Failure

Mary, as a Queen of Scots, portrayed as a study in failure in Jenny Wormald’s book, was viewed very differently in France. Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, has long been portrayed as one of history’s romantically tragic figures. Devious, naive, beautiful and sexually voracious, often highly principled, she secured the Scottish throne and bolstered the

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The Great Hours of Anne of Brittany

Queen Anne’s Library and Books of Hours Queen Anne’s library, duchess of Brittany, included several Books of Hours. France considers her Great Hours one of its national treasures. Master Jean Bourdichon, who painted it was one of the great painters of the early French Renaissance. Anne’s library is a famous collection. Some she inherited from her

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Anne of Brittany’s Influence on French Literature

Duchess Anne of Brittany’s influence as a patron played a critical role on early Renaissance French literature. She employed poets, writers and historians such as Jean Marot and Pierre Le Baud as secretaries, almoners and heralds. When her husbands went on campaign she sent them to describe their travels. The library she expanded at Blois

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Three Graces Trilogy: Novels of the French Religious Conflict

 The Three Graces Trilogy offers something unusual: novels of the French religious conflict with noblewomen as heroines. The three de Clèves sisters find themselves on differing sides, so each brings a unique perspective. Thus Laura du Pre offers her readers an experience of the religious wars in a personal, female way. The Three Graces Trilogy: Engaging

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4 Novels about Diane de Poitiers

4 novels about Diane de Poitiers, one of France’s  powerful French royal mistress are available now. French Royal Mistresses were powerful women.  From Agnes Sorel, the first official royal mistress, each royal wife tolerated one or more accepted mistresses.  Diane de Poitiers mistress of King Henri II, was Catherine’s de Medici’s great rival.  A description

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Nine Novels About Two French Renaissance Queens

Nine novels about two French Renaissance Queens! What a delightful array to choose among when you next want something to read. Especially when they’re about the two  most notorious queens of the period Catherine de Medici and her daughter, Marguerite de Valois. So it should be no surprise they dominate historical fiction in English written

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