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Undercover Queen:THE SECRET WIFE OF LOUIS XIV Françoise d’Aubigné, Madame de Maintenon
The New York Times ^ | September 6, 2009 | Veronica Buckley

Posted on 09/07/2009 2:41:35 PM PDT by Cincinna

“Kings,” Louis XIV once observed, “should enjoy giving pleasure” and when it came to the fairer sex, he obeyed this precept zealously and often. “They’re all good enough for him, provided they’re women,” his sister-in-law remarked, “peasants, gardeners’ daughters, chambermaids, ladies of quality”; women of every stripe benefited from the Sun King’s sexual largesse. Neither the bonds of matrimony (to the sad, neglected Marie-Thérèse of Spain) nor the intrigues of his “official” mistresses (one of whom, Athénaïs de Montespan, wasn’t above spreading the rumor that a particular rival had scabs all over her body) could deter him from sharing the love.

But the prospect of eternal damnation was, to a Catholic sovereign, a rather more forceful deterrent. As Louis aged — afflicted by chronic tooth decay, a prostate tumor and a nasty case of gout — he worried that his adultery might cost him the kingdom of heaven. Eventually and paradoxically, this concern propelled him into a liaison with the morally exacting, middle-aged Françoise d’Aubigné, Marquise de Maintenon. To the astonishment of the court, accustomed to a monarch whose tastes ran more to pulchritude than to piety, she exerted such influence over him in his final years that once he was a widower he even, despite her shameful origins as a convicted felon’s daughter, deigned to wed her (albeit secretly). In his well-known chronicle of Louis XIV’s reign, the Duc de Saint-Simon demonized Madame de Maintenon as ruthless schemer whose devoutness was a ruse, devised solely to exploit her lover’s fear of sin. While likewise revealing that her faith was a matter of strategy rather than of substance, “The Secret Wife of Louis XIV: Françoise d’Aubigné, Madame de Maintenon,” by Veronica Buckley, offers a lively, sympathetic portrayal of the woman who, against all odds, succeeded in taming the royal tomcat.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: biography; bookreview; france; frenchhistory; godsgravesglyphs; louisxiv; madamedemaintenon; religion; royals; worldhistory
Fascinating new biography of the woman who won the heart of Louis XIV and brought religion back in his life and brought him back to the church.

Another excellent book on the subject is l'Allee du Roi by Francoise Chadernaggor.

1 posted on 09/07/2009 2:41:37 PM PDT by Cincinna
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To: Cincinna

BUMP


2 posted on 09/07/2009 2:46:10 PM PDT by BunnySlippers (I LOVE BULL MARKETS . . .)
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To: Cincinna; nctexan; MassachusettsGOP; paudio; ronnie raygun; Minette; fieldmarshaldj; untenured; ...

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A fascinating story of a woman born in prison who rose to be the morganatic wife of Louis XIV. She was not a woman of great beauty, but a woman with a keen intellect and education, and a woman of impeccable character and devotion to her King and to her Faith.


Françoise d’Aubigné MADAME DE MAINTENON


RACINE RECITING ATHALIE FOR LOUIS XIV ET MADAME DE MAINTENON

THE SECRET WIFE OF LOUIS XIV

Françoise d’Aubigné, Madame de Maintenon

By Veronica Buckley

Illustrated. 498 pp. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $35


3 posted on 09/07/2009 2:53:11 PM PDT by Cincinna (TIME TO REBUILD * PALIN * JINDAL * CANTOR 2012)
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To: Cincinna
It was all about sex, and can't we move on. Louis the 14th? Perhaps we could move on to the 19th century.

This qualifies as 'old news'.

/johnny

4 posted on 09/07/2009 3:01:39 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (God Bless us all, each, and every one.)
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To: Cincinna

Fascinating. Thanks for posting, I would have missed that review (and the opportunity to buy the book) had you not posted it.


5 posted on 09/07/2009 3:06:46 PM PDT by ottbmare (Ein Reich, ein Volk, ein Obama!)
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To: Cincinna

Bump for later. Thanks for posting!


6 posted on 09/07/2009 3:09:16 PM PDT by maggief
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To: JRandomFreeper

It had nothing to do with sex.

Louis XIV was an extraordinaty man, with an extraordinary inyellect and education. His writings show an artistic temperament, but disciplined, well school in the art of statecraft.


7 posted on 09/07/2009 3:09:17 PM PDT by Cincinna (TIME TO REBUILD * PALIN * JINDAL * CANTOR 2012)
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To: JRandomFreeper

We FReepers are very interested in History, historical figures and Biographies,ancient history to the recent past.


8 posted on 09/07/2009 3:11:31 PM PDT by Cincinna (TIME TO REBUILD * PALIN * JINDAL * CANTOR 2012)
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To: Cincinna
October 1685 saw Louis XIV revoke the Edict of Nantes and declared Protestantism illegal with the Edict of Fontainebleau.The Madame de Maintenon had appeared on the scene as one of Henry's official mistresses in 1680.

I see a pattern here ~ there's ol' Henry, fat dumb and happy living in a very prosperous France at peace with itself, and with its Protestant neighbors. Then, here comes Madame de Maintenon and she turns Henry to "the Church" whereupon he revokes the very act of official state toleration that kept France's middle class and Protestant merchants at home.

Next thing you know France is up to its eyeballs in conflicts with its Protestant neighbors; the Brits turn hungry eyes on French zones in India, and on the Ohio Valley and on New France!

Real smart Madame de Maintenon!

That's called "screwing the pooch".

9 posted on 09/07/2009 3:25:18 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

Francoise d’Aubigne. later later la Veuve Scarron, later Madame de Maintenon was a Calvinist. Her piety and devotion were known throughout France.

Henry? I think you have your Kings of France mixed up!


10 posted on 09/07/2009 3:42:47 PM PDT by Cincinna (TIME TO REBUILD * PALIN * JINDAL * CANTOR 2012)
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To: Cincinna

Nothing sexier than a king with chronic tooth decay. Ugghh. The horror.


11 posted on 09/07/2009 3:46:09 PM PDT by ReneeLynn (Socialism is SO yesterday. Fascism, it*s the new black.)
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To: Cincinna

I had heard vaguely of this woman, and thinking that she was called “Maintenant” (now), I figured that this had something to do with her readiness to serve the King in a sexual way.


12 posted on 09/07/2009 3:53:52 PM PDT by wideminded
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To: Cincinna
I am pretty sure I had my tongue planted squarely in my cheek when I wrote that post. I should have used a /s?

No one with a brain would confuse Louis the 14th with anything sexual. Not hetrosexual, anyway.

/johnny

13 posted on 09/07/2009 3:53:53 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (God Bless us all, each, and every one.)
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To: Cincinna

I read a book about her years ago and dang, I wish I could remember the name and author! It was a good read, covering the years before her marriage to Scarron, through her friendship with Montespan and the years she spent raising the ‘royal bastards’ apart from the court. Ended with Louis’ proposal to her. I’d never heard of her before reading it, but it hooked me.


14 posted on 09/07/2009 3:54:30 PM PDT by ktscarlett66 (Face it girls....I'm older and I have more insurance....)
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To: muawiyah

King Henry?????? Huh?


15 posted on 09/07/2009 3:56:32 PM PDT by ktscarlett66 (Face it girls....I'm older and I have more insurance....)
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To: ktscarlett66

She had an absolutely fascinating life.

Let me know if you remember the name of the book.


16 posted on 09/07/2009 4:07:58 PM PDT by Cincinna (TIME TO REBUILD * PALIN * JINDAL * CANTOR 2012)
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To: muawiyah
Henry, Louis, so many French Kings have those names ~ yeah, a mindfart as "Henry of Navarre" oozed through the history filter into the issue.

Next time I'll be more careful.

17 posted on 09/07/2009 4:11:23 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: JRandomFreeper

Louis XIV was definitely hetero, and quite a womanizer in his early years.

You may be confusing him with Henri III.

Henri III
Henri III, 1551-89, was elected king of Poland in 1573 but returned to France in 1574 to succeed his brother Charles IX. His reign was almost continually disturbed by the Wars of Religion. The death in 1584 of his brother François made him the last male member of the House of Valois. His recognition of Henri de Navarre (later Henri IV) as heir presumptive was opposed by Henri, 3rd Duc de Guise, head of the Catholic League (the “War of the Three Henrys” resulted). Having procured the murder of Guise (1588), the king was faced with a revolt of the League and was expelled from Paris. Henri de Navarre came to his aid, but Henri III was assassinated in the siege by Jacques Clément, a fanatic monk. —Columbia-Viking desk encyclopedia, 1953
Henri III is something of an historical enigma. The beautiful sketches of the royal family by Clouet show a young man with compellingly soulful eyes; later there is a certain haunted quality to them. He was the military hero of Jarnac and Montcontour (notable royal victories over the Huguenots), a keen blade and afficionado of the fence, who occasionally dressed in women’s clothing and whose taste for luxury was considered the height of decadence. He kept a retinue of “mignons” — his fanatically loyal courtiers, pretty boys with sharp swords who picked duels with the retainers of his enemies. He was sincerely, if intermittently, religious, establishing congregations of Penitents in Paris and walking barefoot in their processions, flagellating himself (there is a certain masochistic quality to his outbreaks of piety). In 1577 he gave the Protestants all the rights they would later have in the Edict of Nantes in 1598, although these were annulled over the years under pressure from the Catholic wing. In the end he valued blood ties over religion, and named Henri de Navarre his heir on his deathbed. History remembers him as an indolent “Prince of Sodom”, but he was the most intelligent and capable of Catherine’s brood


18 posted on 09/07/2009 4:15:39 PM PDT by Cincinna (TIME TO REBUILD * PALIN * JINDAL * CANTOR 2012)
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To: Cincinna
I was getting my best stuff from "http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madame_de_Maintenon" and the concentration required to track the French against the English translation just to find the dates of her involvement with Louis XIV (with precision) definitely made me lose sight of which French king I was pointing to.

I definitely liked the intro to the Wiki piece though ~ it began: "Si Mme de Montespan pensa à elle pour devenir la gouvernante des bâtards royaux, c'était parce que la veuve Scarron avait su la divertir et qu'elle était ..." and when you got one like that on the line you know it's gonna' get down and nasty before you know it.

Now, about this ol'gal being a Calvinist, her father renounced such things just before he murdered her mother.

These people were such sweethearts ~ just who the heck let her get near the Court?

19 posted on 09/07/2009 4:20:07 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Cincinna
I live next to an 'henri' that parles francais. Baguettes and eggs for breakfast. No proper boiled tomatoes, ham and sardines. I don't mix up Henris. I do sometimes sing the "Henry the 8th, I am, I am" song while walking over. But that's just my frustration with an ancient frenchman.

Louis quatorze stands in history on his own.

/johnny

20 posted on 09/07/2009 4:40:47 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (God Bless us all, each, and every one.)
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To: muawiyah
Things were sorta rough back then. But it was a long time ago.

Maybe we could cut them some slack.

/johnny

21 posted on 09/07/2009 4:43:14 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (God Bless us all, each, and every one.)
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To: muawiyah
Which reminds me. Teddy Kennedy is still dead. He's part of history. Just like Louis 14th and Caesar Augustus.

Some things just give you a warm fuzzy.

/johnny

22 posted on 09/07/2009 4:47:06 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (God Bless us all, each, and every one.)
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To: wideminded

IOW, not exactly Miss “Right,” but rather Miss “Right Now!”


23 posted on 09/07/2009 6:21:27 PM PDT by Erasmus (Barack Hussein Obama: America's toast!)
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To: muawiyah

“These people were such sweethearts ~ just who the heck let her get near the Court?”

The same type of person who let Van Jones into the White House — the King. ;-)


24 posted on 09/08/2009 10:20:53 AM PDT by Constitutions Grandchild
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To: muawiyah

Try this.. WIKI in English.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madame_de_Maintenon

Quite detailed and extensive bio of M<adame de Maintenon.


25 posted on 09/08/2009 4:43:08 PM PDT by Cincinna (TIME TO REBUILD * PALIN * JINDAL * CANTOR 2012)
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To: Cincinna

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Thanks Cincinna. Great, now I'm having an Allen Sherman flashback, and it's not even the right Louie.

Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

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26 posted on 09/08/2009 8:21:45 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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