Thursday, 25 February 2016

Louis XIV the Sun King's Mistresses

Louis XIV de France
by Charles Le Brun, 1667
Louis XIV de France (1638-1715)
King of France.
a.k.a. Louis le Grand (Louis the Great), le Roi Soleil (the Sun King), Louis Dieudonne (Louis the Godgiven)
Son ofLouis XIII de France & Anne de Austria.

The Sun King's physical appearance & personal qualities.
"At eighteen Louis XIV, the Dieudonne, was of middle height, with somewhat broad shoulders, and his walk was very dignified.  He threw his foot forward with a proud and at the same time graceful step.  He was slightly pitted with the small-pox; his hair was dark and hung in richly-flowing waves; his eyes were at once soft and brilliant; his lps red and full.  He spoke well and deliberately---sometimes with kindling warmth, and in animated gestures expressed with energy the dominant passion of his soul." (Royal Favourites, Volume 2: 386)

" . . . All contemporary accounts agree that he was astonishingly handsome at this stage. The beautiful, curling hair, sentimentally praised by the Grande Mademoiselle, was only one of his physical assets, but it was much prized at the time. . .  Louis's figure was described as 'tall, free, ample and robust'. . . ." (Love and Louis XIV: 34-35)
Marie-Thérèse d'Autriche (1638-1683), reine de France, circa 1660-1683, French school (Musée Carnavalet):
Maria Teresa of Spain
Queen of France
by Unknown artist, b/w 1680/83
@ Musee Carnavalet
Husband ofMaria Teresa de Espana (1638-1683), a.k.a. Marie Therese of Francemar 1660Daug
[See the Black Nun of Moret below]

"Queen Marie Therese was a plain if not ugly woman, devoutly religious but determined to do her 'duty'---at least twice a month---by her husband, even if it meant sharing their living quarters with his mistresses. She bore xix of Louis' children, although only one, the Dauphin Louis, survived infancy. The solitary suggestion of scandal to mar her married life occurred when a rival for Louis' affections, Madame de Montespan, claimed that Marie Therese had borne a black child after being given a black dwarf by an African prince. The queen said that during her pregnancy the dwarf once frightened her, and that that incident caused the child to be born black. . . ."  (The Intimate Sex Lives of Famous People: 339)
Louis XIV & family
by Jean Nocret, 1670
at Versailles Palace
Energetically acquiring beautiful women after initiation into sex.
" . . . His virginity having been removed obligingly by his mother's faithful servant, Catherine Bellier, Louis had swiftly become sexually disenchanted with his plain Spanish bride, once she had produced him an heir, and---in the way of French monarchs---had energetically set to acquiring beautiful young women from the court. First there came Louise de la Valliere, with whom Louis fell passionately in love almost simultaneously with the beginnings of his obsession with Versailles. There there arrived the extraordinary, tall blonde beauty, Marie-Angelique de Fontanges (described by the arch-gossip, Mme. de Sevigne, as being 'belle comme une ange, sotte comme un paniere'). Poor Louise was forced to take flight to a convent. She was succeeded by infinitely wilier, sexually adept and more conniving Athenais de Montespan. . . ." (La Belle France)

His women were confidantes --- as well as lovers.
 "Although facially scarred by a childhood bout with smallpox, Louis XIV was an athletic and witty charmer and an indefatigable lover. Married twice, he had innumerable affairs with noblewomen and palace servants alike and was generous to them all, ignoring scandal while he rewarded them with jewels, estates, and rank. His women were confidantes as well as lovers, and he decreed legitimate his many children born out of wedlock. . . ." (The Intimate Sex Lives of Famous People: 339)

They're all his.
" . . . [T]he King continued with the many amours he regarded as his due: young Anne Lucie de la Mothe; mature and lovely Lydie de Rochefort; the 'divine nymph' Marie du Fresnoy, daughter of a laundress, elevated to the King's bed via that of his minister Louvois; lively Olympe de Soissons, niece of the late Cardinal Mazarin; Anne de Soubise in a particular pair of emerald earrings, indicating her husband's absence and her own availability; red-haired, blue-eyed Isabelle de Ludres. . . ."  (The Secret Wife of Louis XIV)

Precocious fondness for sex.
" . . . Precocious in his fondness for the female sex, and frivolous in his objects of pursuit, his whole time was spent in new and ever-varying pleasures, into which the new court was plunged.  As one new fancy chased another in this round of voluptuous enjoyment, and as each fair face and graceful form received in its turn the homage of the young ruler, the most acute observer could have detected little in the court, that augured of future greatness, either to the crown or to the people."  (The American Review, Vol. 2, 1848, pp. 486-487)

Royal quickies.
"By 1667 the tell-tale signs of royal ennui with Athenais were evident to many courtiers. In the next three years the king went through a series of brief adulteries beginning with Mlle Claude de Vin des Oeillets, a chambermaid in service to Mme de Montespan. Next came Mme de Soubise, who court wits noted ironically suffered from the 'king's evil' (the skin disease of scrofula), but not for want of having been touched by the king. Then there was an erstwhile nun, Mme de Ludre, who served as royal mistress for only eighteen months, and finally the beautiful but noticeably slow-witted Mlle Marie Angelique de Fontanges. This sorry state of royal philandering epitomized Athenais's failure to hold the king's attention." (A Lust for Virtue: 90)

Sex can't wait.
" . . . When Louis XIV once had to wait while one of his upper-class mistresses got ready, he'd impatiently gestured to her maid to get undressed: he'd have sex with her first, while he was there. . . ." (Passionate Minds: 202)

"In the hierarchy of Versailles, the most coveted position for a woman was without doubt that of official mistress or favorite. 'All the women,' Primi Visconti claimed, 'want to be the king's mistress,' and no wonder. The advantages were enormous: jewels, estates, chateaux, and coveted positions for relatives. These benefits accrued only if the union endured, however. In the fifty-five years of Louis XIV's personal reign, he had sexual relations with at least three dozen women of various ranks. Most were passing flirtations of which he tired within a few months or even weeks. The problem was not attracting the king's attention but keeping it. His distractions were numerous. First there were the mistresses from the past who suddenly reappeared, like Marie Mancini. Then there were the unmarried girls who attended the royal women. These maidens were not numerous: Anne of Austria kept only five in her household, but a few found a lover first in the king." (Servants of the Dynasty: Palace Women in World History: 203-204)

Made love to 3 mademoiselles all at once: " . . . [I]t was determined that Louis should enact the part of lover to some of the ladies of the household. To select an object for this feigned passion, the king, the princess, and their confidants chose several girls well calculated by their grace and beauty really to attract the attention of the king. The three who more particularly attracted attention were, Mademoiselle de Pons, who, we are told, was very handsome, but was not particularly clever; Mademoiselle de Chemerault, one of the queen's maids of honour, likewise handsome, but rather too clever; and Mademoiselle de la Valliere, one of the ladies of honour to Henrietta of England, who is described well by Madame de la Fayette as very pretty, very gentle, and very innocent. Madame de Motteville enters more into the detail of her appearance, and days, ' Her beauty had great attractions, by the brilliant fairness and the carnation of her complexion; by the blue of her eyes, which were full of sweetness; and by the beauty of her flaxen hair, which increased that of her countenance.' Her person, however, was not without defects; for though her figure was good and graceful, she was slightly lame. These three having been selected as worthy of being the ostensible objects of those gallantries on the part of the king which were only intended to cover more real and more dangerous feelings, Louis went rather farther than he had agreed upon with his fair sister-in-law, and instead of choosing one of the three to pay his court to, he made love to all three at once. . . ." (The Life & Times of Louis XIV: 104-105)

Louis XIV's lovers were:
1) Anne de Conty d'Argencourt (1638-1718)
Lover in 1662
Maid-of-Honour to Anne of Austria, Queen of France 1657.
a.k.a. Anne-Madeleine de Conty d'Argencourt; Mademoiselle de la Motte-Argencourt
Daughter ofPierre de Conty d'Argencourt Madeleine de Chaumont Berticheres.

First encounter in 1654.
"When Louis was but sixteen, his attention was attracted by a certain Mlle. de la Motte d'Argencourt, 'who had neither dazzling beauty nor extraordinary intelligence, but whose whole person was agreeable.' His predilection for her society became so very marked that the Queen and Mazarin grew uneasy, and the former, one evening when Louis had conversed with the young lady rather longer than she deemed prudent, rebuked him sharply and openly. The monarch received the maternal reprimand 'with respect and gentleness'; but it would not appear to have had much effect, for, shortly afterwards, we hear of him speaking to Mlle. de la Motte 'as a man in love, who was no longer virtuous,' and assuring her that, if she would only return his affection, he would defy both the Queen and the Cardinal. The lady, however, from motives either of virtue or policy, declined to entertain his proposals, and the Queen having pointed out to her son that 'he was wandering from the path of innocence,' the King was moved to fears, confessed himself in his oratory, and then departed for Vincennes, in the hope that a change of scene might assist him in subjugating his passion. After a few days' absence, he returned, fully determine never to speak to Mlle. de la Motte again; but, 'not being yet wholly strengthened,' so far departed from his resolution as to dance with her at a ball, with the result that he was on the point of succumbing once more, when the Queen and the Cardinal put an end to the affair by packing the damsel off to a convent at Chaillot, where, Madame de Motteville assures us, 'she led a life that was very tranquil and very happy.'" (Five Fair Sisters: 65-66)

"After the marriage of Olympe Mancini [1657], the King cast a favourable eye upon a certain Mademoiselle de La Motte d'Argencourt, 'who had neither dazzling beauty nor extraordinary intelligence, but whose whole person was agreeable.' (Madame de Montespan & Louis XIV, p.5)

" . . . According to Bussy Rabutin in his 'Histoire amoureuse des Gaulles' she had an affair with the young Louis XIV of France before she became the mistress of Jean-Baptiste Amador de Vignerot du Plessis de Richelieu, marquis de Richelieu (1632-1662)."  (Les Chroniques de Loulou)
Anne de Rohan-Chabot
Princesse de Soubise
French aristocrat & royal mistress.
Dame de Soubisse, Dame de Frontenay.
Lover in 1669-1675 & 1673-1675
(or 1665-1675).
a.k.a. Anne-Julie de Rohan-Chabot, Anne de Rohan, Anne de Soubise, Madame de Frontenay, La Belle Florice, Madame Guillotine.
Daughter ofHenri ChabotDuc de Rohan & Marie de RohanDuchesse de RohanDuchess of Soubisse, Princess of Soubise, Lady-in-waiting to Queen Marie-Therese 1674
Wife ofFrancois de RohanPrince de Soubisse (1630-1712)
Lieutenant-General, mar 1663.

"During his [Louis XIV] wife's first pregnancy he took a fancy to her seventeen-year-old lady-in-waiting, the blond, club-footed Madame de Soubisse. The affair lasted for several years; the King didn't completely go off her until her front teeth went black and fell out. She later fell seriously ill with a glandular disease known as 'King's Evil.'The was the name given to scrofula, or tuberculosis of the lymph glands, which causes swellings in the neck and was originally associated with Edward the Confessor. It was believed that all royals could cure the disease by touch. . . Madame de Soubisse's illness was not, it was noted, for want of being touch by the King." (Royal Babylon: The Alarming History of European Royalty: 93)

"It is said that Anne became Louis XIV's short term mistress in 1669 when the court was sojourning at Chambord at which Anne was present. At the time, Louis' full affections were between the Louise de La Vallière and her future successor Madame de Montespan. At the same time, she gave birth to her second son,Hercule Mériadec de Rohan (future Prince of Soubise yet styled as the Duke of Rohan-Rohan)."  (Wikipedia)

" . . . Another candidate for a fling was the rather more agreeable Anne de Rohan-Chabot, Princesse de Soubise, with her reddish hair, white skin and her slanting brown eyes.  'La belle Florice', as she was known to her friends, maintained her beauty by a strict diet, surprising for her time, of chicken and salad, fruit, some milky foods and water only occasionally tinctured with wine. A devoted wife, still very young, at this stage she probably did reject the advances of the gallant King in favour of a flirtatious friendship."  (Love and Louix XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King: 95)

"The 'fresh game' in question was Anne de Rohan, Princesse de Soubisse, dame du palais to the Queen, very beautiful, very discreet, and very greedy. She loved the King out of love for her husband, a very complaisant old gentleman indeed, nearly forty years her senior, who, unlike the poor Marquis de Montespan, had not the smallest objection to share with Jupiter, so long as Jupiter was prepared to make it worth his while. He was rarely seen at Court, was wholly occupied in the management of his estates, and never appeared to entertain the slightest suspicion of his wife's infidelity. After collecting for him all the honours, dignities, and hard cash, she could lay her hands on, Madame de Soubise, her object accomplished, retired from the field, though, if Saint-Simon is to be believed, there were occasional returns to favour, extending over a period of several years."  (Madame de Montespan and Louis XIV: 184)

Pimp Hubby:  ". . . Francois de Rohan-Montbazon, prince de Soubise (1631-1712), counted among his ancestors of the previous century the bastard son of the last duke of Brittany. . . But that was not all: even worse was the allegation that Soubise had acted as pimp for his wife, whom he had supposedly prostituted to Louis XIV in exchange for substantial rewards. (T)he charges were largely false and slanderous.  Soubise and his wife were honorable people, not the Sun King's pimp and whore.  Indeed, the lady had never been the king's mistress. . . . "  (Saint-Simon and the Court of Louis XIV, p. 103-104)[Ref1:Aristokratos Index]

Physical Traits & Personal Qualities:  ". . . Another candidate for a fling was the rather more agreeable Anne de Rohan-Chabot, Princesse de Soubise, with her reddish hair, white skin and her slanting brown eyes.  'La belle Florice', as she was known to her friends, maintained her beauty by a strict diet, surprising for her time, of chicken and salad, fruit, some milky foods and water only occasionally tinctured with wine.

First Encounter:  " . . . (T)here were rumours that the King was paying attention to the Princess Anne de Soubise, nee de Rohan-Chabot, who held office as a dame du palais in the Queen's household.  Anne and Louis met, it seems, in the private rooms of one of the former's colleagues in the Queen's establishment, that is the Marechale de Rochefort, who willingly placed her apartments at the lovers' disposal. . .  When she first attracted the King's attention she was in her twenty-eighth year, and it has been held . . . that she continued to meet the King secretly, from time to time, until the period of his marriage with Mme. de Maintenon. . . . "  (The Favourites of Louis XIV, p. 231)
Anne Lucie de La Mothe-Houdancourt, Marquise de La Vieuville (1647-1689). Maîtresse du roi Louis XIV.
Anne-Lucie de La Mothe-Houdancourt

Lover in 1662.
a.k.a. Anne-Lucie de La Vieuville

Blond, blue-eyed beauty: " . . . One of them was Anne-Lucie de La Motte d'Argencourt, who, while not a startling beauty, had a bewitching combination of blue eyes, blonde hair and naturally very dark eyebrows (black eyebrows, unlike black hair, were much admired at the time). Furthermore, she shared Louis's 'violent passion' for dancing. . . ."  (Fraser, 2007, n.p.)

"A perfect beauty: The Marquis de Sourches describes Anne Lucie as a perfect beauty. . .  Anne Lucie appears to have been a very sprightly and coquettish young person,and having been persuaded to try the effect of her allurements on the King, it seemed for a time as if she would really capture him."  (The Favourites of Louis XIV, p. 126)

A diversionary affair: "Another intrigue indeed supervened, and the King showed a strong disposition to add Mademoiselle de la Mothe Houdancourt to the number of those who yielded to his seductions; but some feelings of virtu on the part of the young lady herself, it would seem, fortified by the vigorous morality of the Duchess of Navailles, and some iron gratings which she caused to be placed on the roof of the palace around the apartments of the maids of honour, saved Mademoiselle de la Mothe, and left Mademoiselle de la Valliere in full possession of the field. Mademoiselle de Montpensier, however, states her firm conviction to have been, that Louis's attachment to Mademoiselle de la Mothe was merely affected, for the sake of concealing his more real passion for the unhappy Louise de la Valliere." ((The Life and Times of Louis XIV: 219)

"Among the maids of honour of Anne of Austria was a young lady named Anne Lucie de la Mothe Houdancourt. Louis, though not long married, showed ns of others bring upon even the virtuous. The queen-dowager, Anne of Austria, was living at St. Germains when Mademoiselle de la Mothe Houdancourt was received in some symptoms of admiration for this debutante in the wicked ways of the court. Gay, radiant in the bloom of youth and innocence, the story of this young girl presents an instance of the unhappiness which, without guilt, the sin of others bring upon even the virtuous. The queen-dowager, Anne of Austria, was living at St. Germains when Mademoiselle de la Mothe Houdancourt was received into her household. The Duchess de Noailles, at that time Grande Maitresse, exercised a vigilant and kindly rule over the maids of honour; nevertheless, she could not prevent their being liable to the attentions of Louis: she forbade him however to loiter, or indeed even to be seen in the room appropriated to the young damsels under her charge; and when attracted by the beauty of Anne Lucie de la Mothe, Louis was obliged to speak to her through a hole behind a clock which stood in a corridor. Anne Lucie, notwithstanding this apparent encouragement of the king's addresses, was perfectly indifferent to his admiration. She was secretly attached to the Marquis de Richelieu, who had, or pretended to have, honourable intentions towards her. Everything was tried, but tried in vain, to induce the poor girl to give up all her predilections for the sake of a guilty distinction---that of being the king's mistress: even her mother reproached her with her coldness. A family council was held, in hopes of convincing her of her wilfulness, and Anne Lucie was bitterly reproached by her female relatives; but her heart still clung to the faithless Marquis de Richelieu, who, however, when he saw that a royal lover was his rival, meanly withdrew. Her fall seemed inevitable; but the firmness of Anne of Austria saved her from her ruin. That queen insisted on her being sent away; and she resisted even the entreaties of the queen, her daughter-in-law, and the wife of Louis XIV; who, for some reasons not explained, entreated that the young lady might remain at the court. Anne was sent away in a sort of disgrace to the convent of Chaullot, which was then considered to be quite out of Paris, and sufficiently secluded to protect her from visitors. According to another account, a letter full of reproaces, which she wrote to the Marquis de Richelieu upbraiding him for his desertion, had been intercepted." (The Wits and Beaux of Society: 51-52)

4) Anne-Madeleine de Lisle Marivault (d.1698)
Lover in 1657.
a.k.a. Anne-Madeleine de l'Isle Marivaux.
Daughter ofFrancois de L'Isle Marivaux, Marquis de Marivaux & Catherine de Caillebot.
Wife ofJean-Louis Louet de Calvisson (1630-1700)
Bonne de Pons
Madame d'Heudicourt, 1660?
by Unknown artist
@ Musee Francisque-Mande
French aristocrat & royal mistress
Lady-in-waiting to Queen Maria Theresia
Lover in 1661.
a.k.a. Bonne d'Heudicourt, Bonne de Pons d'Heudicourt, la Grande Louve, Mademoiselle de Pons, Madame d'Heudicourt.
Daughter ofPons de Pons & Elisabeth de Puyrigauld.
Wife ofMichel III Sublet, Marquis d'Heudicourt, Master of the Hunt at the Court, mar 1666.

Famous for her beauty & coquetry: "Bonne de Pons, a relation of the marshal d'Albret and wife of the marquis d'Heudicourt, was a lady famous for her beauty and her coquetry. Louis Xiv seems for some time to have divided his attentions between her and Mlle. de la Valliere. . . ." (A Manual of French Literature: 143)

A bit mad, but as beautiful as the day: "Francoise's friend Bonne de Pons, 'a bit mad' but ' as beautiful as the day,' had narrowly missed becoming the King's mistress, and she was quite annoyed about it. In 1661, at the age of sixteen, she had been taken to court with the wine-loving marechale d'Albret, and while there had engaged the interest of the twenty-three-year-old King, one year married and already desperately disenamoured of his podgy Spanish wife. The marechale's friends, 'perhaps pushed by the marechal,' persuaded her to pack her niece swiftly off home before anything untoward could happen, and so, on the pretext of an illness on the past of the marechal, she went.  Bonne's dismay was great when she found her uncle-cousin d'Albret in perfect health, but he managed to console her, 'or so the gossips say,' by taking her as his own mistress instead. By the time she had managed to return to court in the mid-1660s, Bonne's hopeful bark had sailed: the King had already chosen a mistress, Louise de la Valliere, another sixteen-year-old virgin, sweet, shy, and attractive despite a small bust, uneven teeth, and a slight limp, these last to Bonne's sure disgust. . . ."  (The Secret Wife of Louis XIV: Francoise d'Aubigne, Madame de Maintenon: n.p.)

References for Mademoiselle de Pons.
Bonne de Pons, Marquise d'Heudicourt @ Au coeur de l'histoire.
6) Catherine-Henriette de Beauvais (1614-1689)
Lover in 1653.
First mistress of Louis XIV
Lady-in-waiting to Anne of Austria, Queen of France
a.k.a. Catherine Bellier, Catherine-Henriette Bellier, Baronne de Beauvais, La Beauvais, La Borgnesse (by Queen Anne of Austria), One-Eyed CatherineOne-Eyed Caton, One-eyed Kate.
Daughter of: Martin Bellier.
Wife of: Pierre de Beauvais, Baron de Beauvais.

The one-eyed woman who initiated the king into sex" . . . Now fifteen, Louis was ready. Just as Charles II, while still Prince of Wales, had been seduced by the opulent Mrs. Christabella Wyndham, Louis is always supposed to have been initiated by one of his mother's trusted ladies-in-waiting (she had taken part in the flight from the Palais-Royal on that fateful night). 'One-eyed Kate', as the Baronne de Beauvais was nicknamed, was about twenty-four years older that Louis, much closer to this mother's age that his own. The incident was said to have taken place as Louis was on the way back from the baths -- 'she ravished him or at least surprised him' -- and to have bee enjoyable enough to be repeated on several more occasions." (Love & Louis XIV: 37-37)

The king's first sexual encounter at age 15: "The Queen's vigilance was, however, powerless to save the young sovereign from the wiles of the intriguing femme de chambre, Madame de Beauvais, the same lady who had lent herself to the schemes of the presumptuous Jarze, and had received a term of exile for her pains. Madame de Beauvais, called by her royal mistress 'Cateau la borgnesse,' was very far from being beautiful, while her youth was only a memory; but she was 'a woman of experience,' who possessed 'l'humeur galante au dernier point'; and she had the distinction of opening that famous list which contains the names of La Valliere and Montespan." (Five Fair Sisters: 66)

The woman asked to relieve the king of his virginity: " . . . Catherine Bellier, handmaiden to Queen Anne of Austria, Louis XIV's mother, was assigned the responsibility of relieving the young king of his virginity at the bequest of his mother. Amazingly, Catherine Bellier was extremely ugly. She was nicknamed 'One-Eyed' Caton. It was specifically because of her ugliness that she had access to the king's private chambers with raising suspicions of any 'hanky panky'.  (The Man Who Stole Louis XIV's Virginity)

Personal & family background: "Madame de Beauvais served at the court as chief lady-in-waiting to Anne of Austria, the wife of Louis XIII. She later became the first mistress of the young Louis XIV, thirty years her junior. She was the mother of Andre de la Betoulout (1629 – 1693), Seigneur de Frementau and Comte de La Vauguyon who was married the wealthy older widow Marie de Stuer de Caussade de Saint-Maigrin (c1611 – 1693), Comtesse de Broutay. Madame de Beauvais always retained the affection and regard of King Louis and was mentioned in the Memoires of the court historian the Duc de Saint-Simon." (Russell)

"Anquetil tells us that his Majesty next paid his addresses to La Beauvais, the first lady in waiting to the queen, 'a woman of experience,' and nicknamed by Anne of Austria La Borgnesse. She was dismissed [from] the service, but was soon afterwards reinstated, her Majesty being unable to get on without her. This matter would hardly deserve a remark, but for the fact of St. Simon having seen her at the toilette of Madame la Dauphine when she was old, 'was minus one eye, and wept with the other,' and yet 'accomplished marvels at Court, because from time to time she went to Versailles and saw the king, who spoke with her in private, and treated her with the greatest consideration. Her daughter,' adds Anquetil, ' was quite the contrary to her mother---she was exceedingly graceful and virtuous, and afterwards became Duchesse de Richelieu...." (Bingham, Vol., 1, 1890, p. 433)

Hotel Beauvais
A Grateful Queen Mother's Gift
Affair's benefits to Mme de Beauvais
". . . Catherine Bellier ended up being ennobled with the title of Baroness de Beauvais. She obviously must have done something spectacular to gain the queen's favor." (The Man Who Stole Louis XIV's Virginity)

"Queen Anne provided her with the stones that would help Baroness de Beauvais and her husband build an elegant townhouse at 68 Rue Francois Miron designed by the architect Le Pautre. To this day, the sculpted faces of the major 'players' in this royal story decorate the courtyard walls. . . . " (The Man Who Stole Louis XIV's Virginity)

" . . . Madame de Beauvais was rewarded with a house and pension -- conceivably for services to the mother rather than the son, or possibly both. More cogently, the young Saint-Simon remembered her, wrinkled and by this time almost entirely blind, being treated with great respect at Versailles by Louis XIV and accorded that ultimate mark of favour, a talk with the king 'privately'." (Love & Louis XIV: 38)

Catherine-Charlotte de Gramont
Princesse de Monaco
by Jean Nocret, 17th c.
@ Palais du Versailles
Princesse de Monaco, as wife of Louis I of Monaco.
Lover in 1665.
a.k.a. Charlotte de Gramont.
Daughter ofAntoine III Agenor, Duc de GramontMarshal of France 1641, Viceroy of Navarre & Bearn, Governor of Bayonne, & Francoise-Marguerite du Plessis.
Wife ofLouis I de Monaco mar 1660

"Catherine Charlotte de Gramont, sister of the celebrated Philibert de Gramont, and wife of Louis I, Prince de Monaco. Leaving her consort to the enjoyment of his miniature sovereignty, she loved a gay life at the French Court, where he was renowned for the rapid succession of her lovers, every one of whom was regularly hung in effigy by the prince in the avenue leading to his palace at Monaco, with a label around his neck for the information of passers-by. The number became so great that strangers flocked from far and near to admire the spectacle, and at length Louis XIV felt constrained to interfere. He ordered the prince to remove the effigies; but the latter turned a deaf ear to his suzerain's commands and continued to add to his collection, until Louis, finding that his threats were vain and the scandal on the increase, had recourse to conciliatory methods, and promised that a strict guard should be kept over the princess, upon which understanding his Highness consented to do as he was required." (Madame de Montespan and Louis XIV: 129)
Dame Charlotte Éléonore de La Mothe-Houdancourt, 5ème. Duchesse de Ventadour, Marquise d'Annonay, Comtesse de La Voulte (1654-1744), Dame de la Duchesse d'Orléans et Gouvernante des Enfants de France.:
Charlotte-Eleonore de la Mothe-Houdancourt
Duchesse de Ventadour
8) Charlotte-Eleonore de la Mothe-Houdancourt, 5th Duchesse de Ventadour (1654-1744)
Lover in 1681.
Governess of Louis XV 1704, Marquise d'Annonay, Comtesse de La Voulte.
a.k.a. born Charlotte-Eleonore-Madeleine de La Mothe Houdancourt, Mademoiselle de la Mothe-Houdancourt, Madame de Ventadour.
Daughter of: Philippe de La Mothe Houdancourt, Duc de Cardona, Marechal de France & Louise de Prie, Marquise de Toucy, Duchesse de La Motte Houdancourt.
Wife of: Louis-Charles de Levis, Duc de Ventadour, Governor of Limousin, mar 1671.
9) Claude de Vin des OEillets (1637-1687)
Chambermaid of Madame de Montespan
Lover in 1670-1676.
Daughter ofactors Nicolas de Vin and Louise Faviot.
Natural OffspringLouise de Maisonblanche (1675-1718), a.k.a. Louise de Bourbon de Maisonblanche, Baronne de La Queue,  who was adopted by Philippe de Maisonblanche, a cavalry captain, & his wife Gabrielle de La Tour.
10) Diane-Gabrielle Damas de Thianges, Duchesse de Nevers (1656-1715)
Lover in 1680 (rumour)
Daughter ofLeonor de Damas, Marquis de Thianges & Gabrielle de Rochechoaurt.
Wife ofPhilippe-Julien Mancini Mazarin, mar 1670.
1670 Elizabeth Hamilton, Comtesse de Grammont (1640-1708) by Sir Peter Lely:
Elizabeth Hamilton
Comtesse de Gramong
Irish courtier & royal mistress.
Lady-in-waiting to Queen Marie-Therese of France.
a.k.a. La Belle Hamilton.
Daughter ofSir George Hamiltonson of Earl of Abercorn. & Mary Butler, daughter of James, Duke of Ormonde.

An acknowledged beauty untainted by suspicion
" . . . Miss Hamilton was one of the few ladies attached to the court of Charles II who appear to have preserved a reputation, in spite of acknowledged beauty, untainted by suspicion. In the brilliant pages of the 'Memoires de Grammont,' she is style, 'the chief ornament of the court, worthy of the most ardent and sincere affection---nobody could boast a nobler birth, nothing could be more charming than her person.' She had many noble offers of marriage, and after refusing the duke of Richmond, Jermyn, nephew of the earl of St. Albans, and Henry Howard, afterwards the duke of Norfolk, she married Philibert, count de Grammont, brother of the duke of that name, and hero of the 'Memoires de Grammont.' . . . After her marriage to the Count de Grammont, she was appointed dame du palais to Maria Theresa of Austria, queen of Louis XIV. Her husband died January 3, 1708, aged 67. . . ." (The Scottish Nation: 440)

Physical appearance & personal qualities
"'Miss Hamilton,' he says, 'was at the happy age when the charms of the fair sex begin to bloom; she had the finest chapre, the loveliest neck, and most beautiful arms in the world; she was majestic and graceful if all her movements; and she was the original after which all the ladies copied in their taste, and air of dress. Her forehead was open, white, and smooth; her hair was well set, and fell with ease into that natural order which it is so difficult to imitate. Her complexion was possessed of a certain freshness, not to be equalled by borrowed colours; her eyes were not large, but they were lively, and capable of expressing whatever she pleased; her mouth was full of graces, and her contour uncommonly perfect; nor was her nose, which was small, delicate, and retrousse, the least ornament of so lovely a face. . . . Her mind was as proper companion for such a form; she did not endeavour to shine in conversation by those sprightly sallies which only puzzle, and with still greater care she avoided that affected solemnity in her discourse, which produces stupidity; but, without any eagerness to talk, she just said what she ought, and no more. She had an admirable discernment in distinguishing between solid and false wit; and far from making an ostentatious display of her abilities, she was reserved, though very just in her decisions; her sentiments were always noble, and even lofty to the highest extent, when there was occasion; nevertheless, she was less prepossessed with her own merit than is usually the case with those who have so much. Formed, as we have described, she could not fail of commanding love; but so far was she from courting it, that she was scrupulously nice with those whose merit might entitle them to cherish any pretensions to her.'" (Famous Beauties and Historic Women: A Gallery of Croquis Biographiques, Volume 1: 68-69)

Her admirers and wooers
" ... Her rare personal charms, united with no ordinary degree of wit, judgement and sensibility, made her at once an object of admiration, and exposed her to the degrading homage of the loose courtiers of a voluptuous sovereign. Her virtue---or her prudence---repulsed every comer, and the biographer of De Grammont enumerates will ill-concealed satisfaction the many distinguished wooers whose addresses she rejected. The highest in rank and the most important of her lovers, was the Duke of York, who had been captivated by a glance at her portrait in Lely's studio. His proposals, however, being neither flattering nor honourable, were haughtily rejected. The Duke of Richmond, a gamester and a drunkard; the heir of Norfolk, a wealthy simpleton; the brave and handsome Falmouth, who afterwards died a hero's death in one of the great sea fights with the Dutch; the two Russells, uncle and nephew; and the invincible Henry Jermyn, in succession acknowledged the power of her charms, and offered her their hands. They were refused. The Count of Grammont next presented himself, and was more successful, though in moral character he was not superior to his predecessors, and in fortune was their inferior." (Famous Beauties and Historic Women: A Gallery of Croquis Biographiques, Volume 1: 70-71)

Elizabeth Hamilton's husband
"The celebrated with, who has become so famiiiar to us through the graphic pages of Count Hamilton's Memoirs, was born in 1621. Having been banished from France by Louis XIV for entering himself against that monarch in the lists of love with Mademoiselle dLa Motte Houdancourt, he repaired to the court of Charles II, where he immediately became the 'observed of all the observers.' He was handsome, graceful, and accomplished; his manners possessed an indescribable fascination; his address was polished and easy; his conversation light and amusing. But his enemies accused him of being treacherous in his friendships, cruel in his jealousies, and trifling in his loves. He was assuredly a man of unprincipled character, and as falsely towards a friend as he was fickle to his mistress; but an undefinable brilliancy of manner, which dazzled every eye, imposed on the judgment of all whom he came in contact, and it was only those whom he had dedrauded oor betrayed that could distinguish the cliquant from the pure metal."  (Famous Beauties and Historic Women: A Gallery of Croquis Biographiques, Volume 1: 71-72)

12) Elizabeth Ternan.
Daughter ofSieur de Ternan, King's master of the household.
"The king's first known passion . . . was for Mademoiselle Elizabeth Ternan, but that affair proved altogether inconsequential. . . ."  (Royal Favourites, Volume 2: 386)
Madame de Maintenon in semi-déshabillé by ? (musée Lambinet - Versailles France):
Francoise d'Aubigne
Marquise de Maintenon
13) Francoise d'Aubigne (1635-1719)
Lover in 1674-1715.
Marquise de Maintenon
French aristocrat & royal mistress
a.k.a. Madame Scarron; Madame de Maintenon, La Belle Indienne (by her husband); the King's Old Drab, the Old Witch, the Old Whore (by the Duchesse d'Orleans)
Marie Angélique de Scorailles, duchesse de Fontanges:

Personal & family background.
Francoise was the daughter of Constant d'Aubigne. " . . . Descended from a Protestant family, born in a prison, educated in poverty, wedded in early life to the deformed and impotent Scarron, left a poor and friendless widow at the age of twenty-five, obliged to accept the situation of governess to keep herself from starvation, forsaking her religion to avoid the persecutions of her relations, and herself afterwards the bitterest persecutor of the faith of her fathers, raised at length to independence, opulence, the highest honors and the most unlimited power, the life of Madame de Maintenon presents incidents more various and alternating than are to be found in the imagination, poetry, and wild romance of the middle ages...." (The American Review, Vol. 2, 1848, p. 438)

"Francoise d'Aubigne, afterwards Madame Scarron, and later Madame de Maintenon, come of an ancient family originally from Anjou, the most distinguished member of which was her grandfather, the famous old Huguenot, Theodore Agrippa d'Aubigne, 'for whom nothing was too hot or too cold,' and who wielded sword and pen with equal facility. The accomplished old gentleman had a most unworthy don, Constant by name, who, not content with wasting his substance in riotous living, committed various crimes, in consequence of which he passed a considerable part of his life in gaol. In the year 1635 he was serving a term of imprisonment at Niort, and here, on November 27, his second wife, Jeanne de Cardillac, a brave and devoted woman, who had obtained permission to share his punishment, gave birth to Francoise." (Madame de Montespan and Louis XIV: 88)

Madame Maintenon's love life.
"Among the 'great' courtesans and mistresses, there was but one who ended up a moralist and prostitution reformer. This was Francoise d'Aubigne, best known as Madame de Maintenon. Among her lovers were the writer Paul Scarron and Louis XIV. In her old age, she became a defender of French classicism's ethical dramatist Jean Racine...." (Ringdal & Daly, 2005, p. 192)

Affair's benefits.  
"...He first made her a present of 100,000 livres, with which she purchased the estate of Maintenon...."  (The American Review, Vol. 2, 1848, p. 438[Bio2:92] [Ref1:Elliott]
Louis de Mornay
Marquis de Villarceaux
Marquise de Maintenon's other lover was:
Louis de Mornay (1619-1691)
Marquis de Villarceaux
Son of: Pierre de Mornay & Anne Olivier de Leuville.
Husband of: Denise de la Fontaine d'Esche, mar 1643.

"Ninon was so little imbued with jealousy that when she discovered a liaison between her own lover, Marquis de Villarceaux and her friend, Madame Scarron, she was not even angry. The two were carrying on their amour in  secret, and as they supposed without Ninon's knowledge, whose presence, indeed, they deemed a restraint upon their freedom of action... Both the Marquis and his mistress made Ninon their confidante, and thereafter lived in perfect amity until the lovers grew tired of each other...."  (Ninon's Life)
File:Madame de Montespan by Pierre Mignard.jpg
Francoise-Athenais, Marquise de Montespan
by Pierre Mignard
Lover in 1667-1681.Fr
French royal mistress
a.k.a. nee Francoise-Athenais de Rochechouart de Mortemart, Madame de Montespan, Marquise de Montespan, Mademoiselle Tonnay-Charente.
Daughter ofGabriel de Rochechouart, Duc de Mortemart, Governor of Paris & Diane de Gandseigne.
Louis XIV and Montespan children: Françoise-Marie de Bourbon, Louise Marie Anne de Bourbon, Louis César de Bourbon, comte du Vexin Louis-Auguste de Bourbon, Louis-Alexandre de Bourbon, Louise Françoise de Bourbon
Louis XIV & Montespan
Madame Montespan's physical appearance and personal qualities
" . . . She was astonishingly beautiful. She had long, thick, corn-coloured hair which curled artlessly about her shoulders when she was in a state of deshabille. Her eyes were huge, blue and very slightly exophthalmic; she had a pouting mouth. There was something at once sexy and imperious about her appearance that ravished the eye while her lusciously curved figure appealed to contemporary taste in contrast to that of slender Louise. This voluptuousness makes plausible at least one story by which Louis plotted to spy on her at her bath disguised as a servant; awestruck, he gave away his presence, at which Athenais laughingly dropped her towel... "But Athenais was far, far more than a mere beauty, of whom there were, after all, large numbers at Versailles. She was high-spirited and amusing. . . ." (Fraser, 2007, n.p)

One of the three most beautiful women in France
". . . Francoise Athenais Rochechouart came to the court in 1661, served the Queen as a maid of honor, and married the Marquis de Montespan (1663). According to Voltaire she was one of the three most beautiful women in France, and the other two were her sisters. Her pearl-studded blonde curls, her languorous proud eyes, her sensuous lips and laughing mouth, her caressing hands, her skin with the color and texture of lilies---so her contemporaries breathlessly describe her, and so Henri Gascard painted her in a famous portrait. She was pious, she fasted strictly on fast days, and attended church devoutly and frequently. She had a bad temper and a cutting wit, but that was at first a challenge." (The Age of Louis XIV: The Story of Civilization: n.p.)

Montespan's natural offspring
She had the following illegitimate children with Louis XIV: Louis Auguste de Bourbon, duc du Maine (1670-1736); Louis César de Bourbon, comte de Vexin; Louise Françoise de Bourbon, mademoiselle de Nantes (1673-1743); Louise Marie Anne de Bourbon, mademoiselle de Tours (1674-1681); Françoise Marie de Bourbon, mademoiselle de Blois (1677-1749); Louis Alexandre de Bourbon, comte de Toulouse (1678-1737).

Personal & family background
"The Rochechouart-Mortemart of Lussac in Poitou were of ancient lineage and proud of it, the two grand families having been joined together by marriage in the thirteenth century. . . ." (Love & Louis XIV: 105)

Effects on Other People and Society
"Mme. de Montespan was of noble birth, being the youngest daughter of Rochechouart, first Duke of Mortemart. She was born in 1641, at the grand old chateau of Tonnay-Charente, and was educated at the convent of Saint-Marie... She was known first as Mlle. Tonnay-Charente, and was maid of honor to the Duchess of Orleans. When, at age of twenty-two, she married the Marquis de Montespan and became lady in waiting to the queen, her beauty, with and brilliant conversational powers at once made her the centre of attraction; for several years, however, the king scarcely noticed her. Upon secretly becoming his mistress in 1668 and openly being declared as such two years later, her husband attempted to interfered, and was unceremoniously banished to his estates; in 1676 he was legally separated from her. She persuaded the king to legitimize their children, who were confided to Mme. Scarron,---afterward Mme. de Maintenon,---who later influenced the king to abandon his mistress. Mme. de Montespan's power, lasting fourteen years, was almost unlimited, and was the epoch of courtiers intoxicated with passion and consumed by vice, infatuated with the king and his mistress, whose title as maitresse-en-titre was considered an official one, conferring the same privileges and demanding the same ceremonies and etiquette as did a high court position...." (Thieme, 2006, pp. 77-78)

Affair's benefits & beneficiaries.
"As might be expected, the King's bounty was far from being confined to Madame de Montespan herself; honours and riches were showered upon her relatives and her children. Her father, Duc de Mortemart, was made Governor of Paris; her brother, the Duc de Vivonne, general of the galleys, governor of Champagne, and marechal de France; one of her sisters, the Marquise de Thianges, was granted a pension of 9000 livres and a gratification of 6000 livres; another, Gabrielle de Rochechouart, a nun of Poissy, who had only pronounce her vows fours years before, was made abbess of Fontevrault, to the disgust of the nuns and 'the astonishment and affliction of the Pope.' As for the children, the Comte de Vexin was hardly out of the nursery before his royal father made him abbot of both Saint-Denis and Saint-Germaine-des-Pres, in spite of vigorous remonstrances from the Vatican, and even talked of giving him the Abbey of Cluny as well, though this establishment was the chief of its Order and its superior had always been an ecclesiastic; but the little count's early death prevented this scandal. His elder brother, the Duc de Maine, as an earnest of what he might expect when he arrived at man's estate, was appointed captain of the Hundred Swiss, colonel of a regiment which henceforth bore his name, and governor of Languedoc. Nor this his good fortune, even as a boy, by any change end there." (Madame de Montespan and Louis XIV: 124)

15) Françoise Thérèse de Voyer de Dorée.
Lover in 1681.
a.k.a. Mademoiselle de Dorée

Dame Gabrielle de Rochechouart-Mortemart, Marquise de Thianges, 1633-1693.:
Gabrielle de Rochechouart de Mortemart
Marquise de Thianges
French aristocrat & royal mistress.
Lover in 1682-1683.
Daughter ofGabriel de RochechouartDuc de Mortemart & Diane de Gandseigne.
Wife ofClaude Leonor Damas de Thianges, Marquis de Thianges, mar 1655.

"After a brief interval of pensive regret, consequent upon the final retirement of the Duchess de la Valliere, Louis XIV gradually resumed his Grand Turk mode of life. The kith and kin of the reigning favourite, the Mortemarts, obtained all and every title and distinction they coveted---in fact, absolute power. For, independently of Madame de Montespan, two sisters next appeared at court with a rank and splendour commensurate with their wit and beauty. The first was the charming Marchioness de Thianges; the second, the wise and witty Abbess of Fontevrault, to whom the king granted a dispensation of non-residence in her convent. Louis, although still in the prime of life, had already begun to show traces of age in his handsome features. At the fetes of Versailles, bedecked with ribbons and lace like a page, he appeared, always surrounded by the three sisters, rivaling each other in grace and majesty; and even at chapel Louis did not scruple to seat himself beside them in the same tribune. The Duke de Vivonne was alone wanting in his retinue to include the entire family of the Mortemarts under the royal roof." (Royal Favourites, Volume 2: 404-405)
Platonic lover in 1661.
Lover in 1661.
Isabelle de Ludres
18) Isabelle de Ludres (1647-1726)
Lover in 1675-1678.
French aristocrat & royal mistress
Canoness of Poussay, Lady-in-waiting to Henrietta of England, Duchesse d'Orleans 1666, Queen Maria Theresa of Spain 1670 & Elisabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate 1673
a.k.a. Madame de Ludres, Marie-Elisabeth de Ludres, Isabelle, Marquise de Ludres 1720, la Belle de Ludres

"At the beginning of the following year a new and very formidable pretender to the royal heart appeared upon the scene. This was a certain Isabelle de Ludres, a lady from Lorraine, fille d'honneur to the Princess Palatine, the second Madame. Her contemporaries describe her as a very beautiful woman and very witty, but with a disagreeable voice and a strong German accent. When she was quite a young girl she had attracted the notice of the susceptible Charles IV, Duke of Lorraine, who fell so madly in love with her that he sent away his mistress, Beatrix de Cusance, who died of grief shortly afterwards, and determined to make her his duchess. However, before the date fixed for the nuptials he transferred his affections to another damsel, a Mademoiselle de Nanteuil, and announced his intention of espousing her instead. The fair Isabelle, who had a number of very passionate letters from the duke in her possession, and was no means inclined to surrender the crown matrimonial without a struggle, prepared to oppose the marriage; but, on being threatened with a persecution for lese majeste, a capital offence in those days, thought better of it and resolved to try her fortune at the French Court, where she made a number of conquests, including Madame de Montespan's brother, the Duc de Vivonne, the Chevalier de Vendome, and the young Marquis de Sevigne, and, finally Louis XIV himself."  (Madame de Montespan and Louis XIV: 186-187)

19) Jeanne
"...The first lover of Louis XIV (1643-1715), the Sun King, stated historian J. Michelet, was an African woman named Jeanne...."  (Sertima, 1984, p. 141)

Lover in 1681.
Maid-of-Honour to Queen Maria-Theresa 1671-73 & to Duchesse d'Orleans 1673-75
Daughter ofPierre de Rouvroy, Seigneur de Puys & Ursule de Gontery.
Wife ofPierre-Felix de La Croix de Chevrieres (1644-1699), Comte de Saint-Vallier, Marquis de Chevrieres, mar 1675

"Jeanne's affair with Louis was very brief - she was even described as a "passing mistress" of the king's in 1681. The king had personally signed her marriage contract so they had at least been acquainted since 1675. She died just eight years later." (This is Versailles)

21) Julie de Guenami, Mademoiselle de Chateaubriant (1668-1710)
Lover around 1683.
Louise, Duchesse  de La Valliere, 1667
@ Versailles Palace
Courtesy of Joconde database
22) Louise, Duchesse de La Valliere (1644-1710)
Lover in 1661-1667.
First Official Mistress, Maid-of-Honour to Henrietta of England
Duchesse d'Orleans 1661, Duchess of La Valliere 1667, Duchess of Vaujours 1667
Daughter ofLaurent de la Baume le Blanc, 3rd Marquis de la Valliere & Francoise le Prevot de la Coutelaye.
Louise de La Valliere & her children
by Peter Lely, 17th century
@ Musee des Beaux-Arts de Rennes
Louise's personal & family background
"Louise Frances de la Beaume-Leblanc, duchess de la Valliere and de Vaujour, was daughter of the marquis de la Valliere, and born at Amboise, of which place her father was governor, in 1644.  Her mother having on her third marriage united herself with the marquis de saint Remi, first maitre d'hotel to the duke of Orleans, Mademoiselle de la Valliere was brought up in the Palais Royal, and appointed maid of honour to Madame Henrietta, duchess of Orleans, in 1661."

Louise's physical appearance & personal qualities
"Her function in that office frequently brought her into the society of the king. Simple and lively, she conceived an attachment the consequences of which she did not calculate, as she beheld in him a handsome and interesting young man whom in his exalted position she might freely admire. Her manners were modest and even timid; she spoke little, reach much. Her face is so well known, that a description of it is almost unnecessary; it has been described as that of the Christian Venus of France. Her eyes, blue as the virgin martyr's, and fringed with light silken lids, were seldom seen; her smile was gracious and closed; although her mouth was large, those who loved her admired it---but her rivals, and Bussy, the echo of all jealousy, attribute it to the irregularity of her teeth; her form was slight, but elegant and flexible; and her countenance expressed all that was amiable, notwithstanding her natural reserve: but sh was marked with the small pox.  the defect in her gait was scarcely perceptible; a modern author, in remarking this imperfection, likens her to 'a beautiful swan wounded.'  Madame de Sevigne calls Mademoiselle de la Valliere 'l'humble violette, si touchante, si interesante, et si honteuse de l'etre.'" (Memoirs of the Queens of France: 154-155)

"The beauty of Mademoiselle de la Valliere rendered the arrangement he had made with his sister-in-law to affect a passion for her maid of honour no difficult task for the monarch; but other qualities than mere form or complexion soon rendered that real which had been at first assumed. 'Se was bitm' says the Abbe de Choisy, who knew her well, and had been her companion in infancy,---'She was not one of those perfect beauties that one often admires without loving. She was very loveable, and the words of La Fontaine, 'Et la Grace plus belle encore que la Beaute,' seemed made for her. She had a beautiful complexion, fair hair, a sweet smile, her eyes were blue, with an expression so tendere, but at the same time so modest, that it gained our heart and our esteem at the same moment. Farther, she had but little wit,---but that she did not fail to cultivate continually by reading: no ambition, no interested views, more taken up in dreaming of him she loved than attentive to please him, totally shut up in herself, and in her passion, which was the only one of her whole life.'" (The Life and Times of Louis XIV: 216-217)

"...Her beauty was so striking, of such an exquisitely tender type, that no women actually rivaled her as queen of beauty. Distinguished by blond hair, dark blue eyes, a most sympathetic voice, and a complexion of rare whiteness mingled with red, she was guileless, animated, gentle, modest, graceful, unaffected, and ingenuous; although slightly lame, she was...considered charming." (Thieme, p. 75), (Blunt, 2003, pp. 243-244)

"...Her silvery, fair hair, her brown eyes, full cherry lips, lovely complexion, and slender figure gave her a delicate loveliness, which the modesty of her bearing and the real virtue of her heart served to accentuate. She was timid, unassuming, discreet, and sensitive, and prided herself not a little upon the sagacity of her mind and her conduct...."  (Every Woman's Encyclopedia)

"Louise Francoise de la Baume Le Blanc de la Valliere was born in 1644, in the centre of the garden of France, near the gates of Tours, of a noble stem, originally from the Bourbonnais and established in Touraine.  Having lost her father in childhood, she had been brought up in the old chateau of Blois, the residence of the king's uncle, Gaston.  The mother of Louise had remarried with the duke's chief matre d'hotel, Jacques de Courtravel, Marquis de Saint-Remy. At fifteen, when the English princess Henrietta formed her court, on her marriage with Philip d'Orleans, the king's brother, Mademoiselle de la Valliere was enrolled amongst the duchess's maids-of-honour.  She was then a childish-looking girl, with only slightly regular features, but whose features bore an expression of ineffable sweetness.  An air of languour, probably arising from physical delicacy, gave a somewhat peculiar charm to her slender figure, though she was slightly lame with one foot.  It was upon her the well-known bitter line was penned---'Soyez boiteuse, ayez quinze ans.'  Added to this, all her companions praised her graceful, witty, animated, and at the same time amiable conversation; full, also, as it was of those pungent sallies which frequently constitute the best feature of high-bred social intercourse.  Somewhat later, the loveliness of Mademoiselle de la Valliere became a nature and quality so exquisite and tender that all contemporary writers are unanimous on the subject. The engravings or even painted portraits of her will hardly now convey a just idea of that species of beauty which was entirely her own. Freshness and delicate brilliancy of complexion, a vivacious yet soft and subdued manner, constituted an essential part of her fascination.  'She was very amiable, writes Madame de Motteville, 'and her beauty had great fascination through the dazzling pink and white of her complexion, through the gentle glance of her blue eyes, and by the radiance of her glossy hair, which strikingly enhanced the lustre of her expressive countenance. Her soft gaze was accompanied by a touching tone of voice that went straight to the heart.'. . . . (Royal Favourites, Volume 2: 376-377)
Louise de La Vallière, Jean Nocret, 1661
Louise de La Valliere at 17
by Jean Nocet, 1661
Mademoiselle de La Valliere at age seventeen.
"At this period she had just attained her seventeenth year; and while ecclipsed in beauty by many of those about her, the charm of her unaffected modesty, the retiring timidity of her manner, the extreme purity of her complexion, her large and languishing blue eyes, and the profusion of flaxen hair which shaded her brow and bosom, gave a singular loveliness to her appearance, of which she alone was unconscious. Her figure, which was not yet formed, and a slight lameness, occasioned by a fall during her girlhood, were the only defects which even her enemies could discern in her appearance; save, perhaps, a slight trace of smallpox, which had in some degree impaired the smoothness of her skin; and, meanwhile, her peculiarly unobtrusive habits excempted her on all sides from either jealousy or suspicion." (Louis the Fourteenth and the Court of France in the Seventeenth Century, Volume 2: 339)

Adored the man, but hated the king as the enemy of her happiness
" . . .(H)e turned to easier game in the person of one of her Maids-of-Honour, Louise de La Valliere, who became his mistress in the summer of 1661. Few royal favourites have been as sympathetically regarded as Louise, 'the modest violet,' who adored Louis the man, hated Louis the king as the enemy of her happiness, and never did anyone a bad turn in her life. By the callousness with which Louis discarded her, and the selfish brutality with which he treated her after she had ceased to be his mistress, she retains our pity to this day. . . By the winter of 1666 it was plain that the star of Mme. de Montespan was rising." (The Sunset of the Splendid Century, p. 18)

"First among the mistresses of Louis XIV was Mlle. de La Valliere, whom Sainte-Bauve mentions as the personification of the ideal of a lover, combining disinterestedness, fidelity, unique and delicate tenderness, with a touching and sincere kindness. When, at the age of seventeen, she was presented at court, the king immediately selected her as one of his victims.  Her beauty was so striking, of such an exquisitely tender type, that no woman actually rivalled her as queen of beauty. Distinguished by blond hair, dark blue eyes, a most sympathetic voice, and a complexion of rare whiteness mingled with red, she was guileless, animated, gentle, modest, graceful, unaffected, and ingenuous; although slightly lame, she was, by everyone, considered charming." (Thieme, 2006, p. 75)
Image result for louise de la valliere

Louis XIV with Louise de la Valliere

 in the Bois de Vincennes

by Jean Frederic Schall

First Encounter
"Louise saw Louis XIV for the first time amidst the gaieties of the little court his sister-in-law, and her impression was as deep as it was instantaneous. It was never effaced, as will be seen, although she was at the time no older than fifteen. She was then in attendance on Henrietta of England at St. Cloud, where the Duchess d'Orleans was giving a series of fetes on occasion of the completion of large additions made to that palace, and when the waters of the fine cascade designed by the Chevalier de Lorraine were first seen descending in foaming torrents down a flight of marble stairs to join the calm course of the Seine."  (Royal Favourites, Volume 2: 379)

"...First among the mistresses of Louis XIV was Mme. de la Valliere... When, at the age of seventeen, she was presented at court, the king immediately selected her as one of his victims...." (Thieme, p. 75)

The true object of royal affection: "Shortly after the royal marriage, rumors began to circulate at court that the king was much more interested in his brother's new bride, the English Princess Henriette, that his own bride. But before any definite proof of romantic interest could be established, it became apparent that the true object of royal affection was Henriette's lady-in-waiting, Louise-Françoise de La Baume-le Blanc de La Valliere. Lithe and athletic, the seventeen-year-old La Valliere was a striking contrast to Queen Maria-Theresa. Although not overly beautiful she was a skilled horsewoman who loved the out-of-doors and possessed little courtly grace. Instead, Louise de La Valliere exuded that vulnerable quality of adolescent femininity that excited a king bent of lustful pleasure. Without any pretense, in 1661 she eagerly placed herself at his disposal. Their adultery lasted a little more than seven years and resulted in six pregnancies and two royal children." (A Lust for Virtue: 85-86)

Introduced by Henrietta of England, the Duchess of Orleans
"It was Henrietta who gave the King the first of his more public mistresses. Born at Tours in 1644, Louise de La Valliere received with unquestioning faith the religious education given her by her mother and her priestly uncle, the future bishop of Nantes. She had barely reached the age of First Communion when her father died. Her mother remarried; the new husband, maitre d'hotel for Gaston, Duc d'Orleans, secured a place for Louise as lady in waiting to the daughters of the Duke; and when, after Gaston's death, his nephew and successor Philippe married, he took Louise with him as maid of honor to Henrietta (1661). In that capacity she frequently saw the King. She was dazzled by his splendor, power, and personal fascination. Like a hundred other women she fell in love with him, but hardly dreamed of speaking to him. . .  Henrietta, to discourage gossip that she herself was the royal mistress, had the King's attention drawn to Louise. The scheme worked too well; Louis was attracted by this timid girl of seventeen, so different from the proud and aggressive ladies who surrounded him at the court. One day, finding her along in the gardens of Fontainbleau, he offered himself to her, with no very honorable intentions. She surprised him by confessing the she loved him, but she long resisted his importunities. She pleaded with him not to make her betray both Henrietta and the Queen. Nevertheless, by August 1661, she was his mistress. Everything seemed good if it was the King's will." (The Age of Louis XIV: The Story of Civilization: n.p.)

The affair's benefits to Louise de la Valliere
"The king, who was wearied with this surveillance, took great pleasure in conducting his beloved mistress, far from etiquette and jealousy, to Versailles, which was then an inelegant little chateau in the middle of a wood, with nothing in the neighbourhood but a small tavern and a mill.  He afterwards ornamented and magnificently furnished her a residence (the Hotel Biron at Paris_, and in 1662 gave most brilliant carousals in her honour in the place which still bears that name.  His crown was ornamented with a half-blown brown rose, the emblem of his modest favourite, and his devise was, 'Quanto si mostra men, tanto e piu bella.'"  (Memoirs of the Kings of France: 158)
A reconstructed image of the Château de Vaujours, part of the Duchy de Valliere that Louis XIV created for Louise de La Valliere in 1667 as a parting gift when he ended their relationship.
A reconstructed image of the Château de Vaujours,
part of the Duchy de Valliere that
Louis XIV created for Louise de La Valliere in 1667
as a parting gift when he ended their relationship.@Pinterest
" . . . He [Louis XIV] his first two declared mistresses, Louise de La Valliere and Athenais de Rochechouart de Mortemart, Marquise de Montespan, in a state of semi-imprisonment, forbidding them visitors for feat that these might persuade them to intercede with him and that it might be said that the women governed him. Mlle de La Valliere was universally celebrated for her disinterestedness, though this did not prevent her from accepting, among other trifles, the duchy of Vaujours and the sumptuously furnished Palais Brion for herself, the abbey of Chelles for her sister, a rich heiress for her brother and the elevation of her surviving bastard daughter to the rank of Princesse de Conti. . . ." (Women In 17th Century France: 145)

The Duchy of Vaujours.
" . . . In 1667, the French Parlement was put on notice of the king's intentions with a letter patent that declared Louise the Duchesse de Vaujours, with the ability to hand down the title and all the wealth that went along with it---which included Vaujours and the barony of Saint-Christophe---'the two holdings equally considerable by their revenues---to her children and her children's children. Louis's generosity did not stop there. Even Louise's brother Jean-Francois, an anonymous cadet in a minor regiment, was suddenly elevated to command a new company, the Light Horse of the Dauphin, and spent a lot of time with the king." (Out of the Flames: The Remarkable Story of a Fearless Scholar, a Fatal Heresy, and One of the Rarest Books in the World; n.p.)
Chateau de Valliere
"Under the Ancien Regime, the castle was bought by Louis XIV in 166 and given in 1667 to his former mistress, Mademoiselle Louise de La Valliere; she became Duchesse de La Valliere et de Vaujours.  In the 18th century, Louise de La Valliere left the castle and bequeathed it to the Davot family. . . . "  (Wikipedia)
Louise de La Valliere & her children
Marie-Anne de Bourbon, Princesse de Conti & Comte de Vermandois
by after Pierre Mignard, 1865
@ Palais de Versailles
Natural Offspring:
1. Charles de La Baume Le Blanc (1663-1665)
2. Philippe de La Baume Le Blanc (1665-1666)
[Ref1:Favorites Royales] [Ref2:This is Versailles]

"The first child that Madame de la Valliere gave to the king was a son; it was on the occasion of the birth of a second---Mademoiselle de Blois, that he erected into a ducal peerage the lands of Vaujour and Saint-Christophe, situated in Touraine and Anjou, with reversion to Mademoiselle de Blois,' whose mother was created Duchess de la Valliere. . . ." (Royal Favourites, Volume 2: 383)

Affair's end & aftermath.
"Let us now turn from fields of blood to life in the palace. Madame de la Valliere, upon her return from the convent, soon found herself utterly miserable. She had hoped that reviving affection had been the inducement which led Louis to recall her. Instead of this, his attentions daily diminished. Madame de Montespan had accompanied the king in his brief trip to Holland, and returned with him to Paris. She was all-powerful at court, and seemed to delight, by word and deed, to add to the anguish of her vanquished rival. After a dreary year of wretchedness, Louise could endure no longer a residence in the palace. Her mother, who had been exceedingly distressed in view of the ignominious position occupied by her daughter, entreated her to retire to the Duchy of Vaujours with her children. Her mother promised to accompany her to that quiet and beautiful retreat. But the spirit of Louise was broken. She longed only to sever herself entirely from the world, and to seek a living burial in the glooms of the cloister. In those days of sorrow, penitence and the spirit of devotion sprang up in her weary heart. Louise was still young and beautiful. Her passionate love for the king still held strong dominion over her. Grief brought on a long and dangerous illness. For many days her life was in dancer. In view of the approaching judgment, shere she felt that she soon must stand, the greatness of her transgression harrowed her soul, and increased her desire to spend the rest of her life in works of piety and in prayer. When convalescent, the king consented to her retirement to the Carmelite convent. Like one in a dream, she took leave of her children without fear. Then, entering the apartment of the queen, she threw herself upon her knees, and with the sobbing of a remorseful and despairing heart implored her pardon for all the sorrow she had caused her. The generous Maria Theresa raised her up, embraced her, and declared her entirely forgiven. The morning of her departure arrived, The king, who was that day to leave Paris to visit the army in Flanders, attended high mass. Louise also attended. Absorbed in prayer, she did not raise her eyes during the service. She then, pale as death, and leaning upon the arms of her mother, but for whose support she must have fallen, advanced to take leave. . . ." (History of Louis XIV: 258)

23) Louise-Elisabeth de RouxelMademoiselle de Grancey
Lover in 1681.
a.k.a. Charlotte de Grancey?, Madame de GranceyMademoiselle de Grancey, Angel (by Madame de Sevigne)
Daughter ofJacques III de Rouxel, Comte de Grancey et de Medavy, Marshal of France & Charlotte de Mornay-Villarceaux.

24) Lucie de La Motte-Argencourt
Lover in 1657.

Lover in 1673-1677 or 1670-1672.
Marie Angelique Duchesse de Fontanges
Marie Angelique, Duchesse de Fontanges
French noblewoman & royal mistress
Lady-in-waiting to Elisabeth-Charlotte, Duchesse d'Orleans
Lover in 1679-1681.
a.k.a. Marie-Angelique de Scorailles de Roussille, Mademoiselle de Fontanges
Daughter ofJean-Rigal de Scorailles, a lieutenant of the king in Auvergne & Eleonore de Plas.

 A lover of the King in the style of a heroine of romance
". . . At the beginning of March, we find Madame de Maintenon imploring the Abbe Gobelin 'to pray and to have prayers said for the King, who is on the brink of a deep precipice.' This 'deep precipice' was the heart of Marie Angelique d;Escorailles de Roussille, Demoiselle de Fontanges, a young beauty of eighteen summers and maid of honour to Madame, who supplies us with the following details: 'I had a fille d-honneur named Beauvais. She was a very honest creature. The King became enamoured of her, but she remained virtuous. Then he turned his attention to the Fontanges girl, who was also a very pretty, but without any intelligence. At first he said, laughing: 'Here is a wolf who will not eat me up'; and forthwith fell in love with her. Before she came to me, she had dreamt all that was to befall her, and a pious Capuchin had explained her dream to her. She told me all about it herself before she became the King's mistress. She dreamt that she had ascended a high mountain, and having cloud; then she found herself in such profound darkness that she awoke in an agony of fear. She told her confessor, who said to her: 'Be on your guard. That mountain is the Court, where some great distinction awaits you. It will, however, be of short duration, if you abandon God, he will abandon you, and you will fall into eternal darkness.' . . . The Fontanges girl was a silly little creature, but with a warm heart, and beautiful as an angel from head to foot. She was terribly sentimental and loved the King passionately in the style of a heroine of romance.'" (Madame de Montespan and Louis XIV: 221-222)

The affair's beneficiaries.
"Gradually Mademoiselle de Fontanges began to take a more prominent place at Court, where she astonished every one by her arrogance and ostentation. She drove about in a magnificent coach drawn by eight horses (Madame de Montespan had been content with six); she presented herself a the King's mass on New Year's Day; 'extraordinarily adorned with diamonds, over a dress made from the same material as that of her Majesty'; she passed in front of the Queen without curtseying to or even taking the slightest notice of her. Honours and riches were showered upon her and her relatives. She was created a duchess, with a pension in proportion to her rank; one of her sisters was appointed Abbess of Chelles, just as Madame de Montespan had been made Abbess of Fontevrault; another received on her marriage a dowry of 400,000 livres from the King; people hastened to solicit her good offices with his Majesty; and the capricious La Fontaine, who only a year before had dedicated to her predecessor in the royal favour his second collection of Fables, addressed to her an 'Epistle' in which he styled her 'digne present des cieux' and besought her to present his verses 'au dompteur des humains.'" (Madame de Montespan and Louis XIV: 225-226)
Jacob Petit Potpourri Urn and Cover, with a portrait of Mlle de Fontanges, mistress of Louis XIV
Mademoiselle de
by Jacob Petit
Mlle. de Fonranges's personal & family background.
"Mademoiselle de Fontanges was the daughter of an ancient but decayed family in Provence. Her extreme beauty led her parents to hope that she might make her a fortune at Court; and they obtained for her the patronage of the Duchess of Arpagon, by whom she was presented to the second Duchess of Orleans shortly after her marriage with Monsieur. At Court she was called 'the marble idol;' for though her figure was beautiful and her fortunes exquisitely formed, her countenance was never animated by a ray of intellect or feeling. Inconsistent accounts are given of the circumstances that brought her under the notice of the King. We take, first, the narrative of Madame, who may be regarded as the best authority for everything connected with the scandal of the Court, and the gossip of her household - - - 'I had a maid of honour,' says Madame, named Beauvais; she was a very honourable person: the King fell in love with her; but she resisted him firmly. He then turned to La Fontanges, who was also charming, but quite destitute of wit. At first he had said of her, 'There is a wold who will never eat me.' But, nevertheless, he afterwards fell deeply in love with her. Before she came to reside with me, she had seen in a dream all that had subsequently happened to her; and a pious Capuchin interpreted her dream. She told me the story herself, long before she became a mistress to the King. She dreamt that she had ascended a very high mountain, and tha on reaching the summit, she had been quietly dazzled by radiant vapours; that suddenly she found herself in the midst of intense darkness, at which she was so terrified that she awoke. When she related this dream to her confessor, he said, 'Take warning from this premonition. This mountain i the Court, where you will attain great splendour, but it will be of short duration: if you will abandon god, he will abandon you, and you will fall into eternal darkness.''"   (Memoirs of the House of Orleans: Including Sketches and Anecdotes ..., Volume 1: 86)

Poisoned' by a rival lover?
"One of the many paramours of Louis XIV of France, she was a lady in waiting to Maria Theresa of Spain who became his lover in 1679. She gave birth to a stillborn child and afterwards left the court for a convent, although many believed that Françoise-Athénaïs, Marquise de Montespan had her poisoned. Mlle de Fontanges died in June 1681 in Port-Royal. The fontange, a headdress worn by women in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, was named after her. It is said that she tied her hair up with a ribbon after losing her cap while horseback riding, and the king liked the look." (Chateaubriand's Memoirs)
Duchesse de Fontanges
Physical Traits & Personal Character
"The unfortunate affair of Angelique de Fontanges, twenty years younger than the King, beautiful as her angelic name indicated but rather stupid, may be regarded as Louis's last thing before he settled for the virtuous domestic existence preached to him for so long.  Angelique, although a virgin, was not a victim, except to her own tragic gynecological history:  with a taste for grandeur, she was eager to fill the place of the maitresse en titre for which no one, and finally not Louis himself, thought her suitable."  (Fraser, p. 327)
Duchesse de Fontanges
Royal Favours:  In 1678, 100,000 crowns a month.  In 1679, the title of Duchesse de Fontanges, 800,000 livres as pension.
Duchesse de Fontanges
Achievements & Honours:  Lady-in-waiting to the Duchess d'Orleans; Duchesse de Fontanges. [Fam1] [Ref2] [Ref3]

27) Marie-Anne von Wurttemberg (1652-1693)
Lover in 1681.
a.k.a. Marie Anne Ignace von Württemberg
Daughter of Ulrich won Wurttemberg & Isabelle de Ligne.

28) Marie-Antoinette de Rouvroy, Comtesse d'Oisy (1660-?)
Lover in 1681.
a.k.a. Mademoiselle de Rouvroy.
Daughter ofPierre de Rouvroy, Sire de Puys & Ursule de Gontery.
Marie-Charlotte de Castelnau, dame de Joinville (1648-1694)
by Pierre Mignard, 17th century
29) Marie-Charlotte de Castelnau (1648-1694)
Comtesse de Louvigny, Duchesse de Gramont:
Lover in 1676-1677
Daughter ofJacques, Marquis de Castelnau Marie Girard de l'Espinay
Wife ofAntoine-Charles IV, 3rd Duc de Gramont (1641-1720), mar 1668,

"She became the mistress of Louis XIV when the Marquise de Montespan was pregnant with the future Duchesse d'Orleans."  (Les Chroniques de Loulou)

30) Marie du Fresnoy.
Lover in 1673.
Lady-in-waiting to the Queen
a.k.a. Madame Dufresnoy; the Divine Nymph.
Daughter of a laundress
Wife ofElie du Fresnoy, Louvois's first clerk and his mistress

"Humiliated, she [Madame de Maintenon] watched as the King continued with the many amours he regarded as his due: . . . the 'divine nymph' Marie du Fresnoy, daughter of a laundress, elevated to the King's bed via that of his minister Louvois . . . " (The Secret Wife of Louis XIV)

When Louvois proposed to the King, for the first time, that he should appoint Madame Dufresnoy, his mistress, a lady of the Queen's bed-chamber, his Majesty replied, 'would you then have them laugh at both of us?'  Louvois however persisted so earnestly in his request, that the King at length granted it."  (Secret Memoirs of the Court of Louis XIV and of the Regency: 72)

From a minister's lover to His Majesty's.
"Besides giving the Le Tellier prestige and some long-term social security, court offices crucially kept the avenues of communication to the king open to Louvois at all times through his kin. Mistresses fulfilled the same role. . .  Another of Louvois's mistresses, the wife of Elie du Fresnoy, one of his chief clerks, had been installed in 1673 as a bedchamber attendant of the queen."  (The Dynastic State and the Army under Louis XIV: 45)

31) Marie Madeleine Agnès de Gontaut Biron, Marquise de Nogaret. (1653-1724)
Lover in 1680-1683.
Maid of Honour to the Dauphine 1679
a.k.a. Mademoiselle de Biron
Daughter of Francois de Gontaut, Marquis de Biron, Baron de Saint-Blancard, Lieutenant-General of the King's armies & Elisabeth de Cosse-Brissax, daughter of the Duc de Brissac & Grand Penetier de France
Wife of Louis de Louet de Calvisson de Nogaret
"Although Marie and Louis' affair lasted on and off for three years very little is known about their time together. She never managed - or wanted for that matter - to attempt to take the position of the king's declared mistress." (This is Versailles)
Dame Marie Louise de Montmorency-Laval, 2ème. Duchesse de Roquelaure.
31) Marie-Louise de Montmorency-LavalDuchesse de Roquelaure (1657-1735)
Lover around 1683.

32) Marie ManciniPrincesse de Colonna (1639-1715)
Lover in 1658-1660.
Daughter of: Lorenzo Mancini & Geronima Mazzarini, Cardinal Mazarin's sister.

"Anne and Mazarin's gravest concern about Louis XIV's amours surfaced in 1659, on the eve of his marriage to the Spanish infanta, when the young king's passionate attachment to Mazarin's youngest niece, the dark-eyed, ever-so-sylph, Marie Mancini, appeared to be much more than the usual royal infatuations. Eighteen-year-old Marie, along with her two sisters, had come to France to polish her French and to learn the court etiquette. When her adolescent friendship with the king blossomed into love, Anne and Mazarin moved swiftly to separate the pair. Louis begged Mazarin to allow him to marry the sparkling Italian beauty and forgo the diplomatic advantages of a marriage with Anne of Austria's plump Spanish niece, Maria-Theresa. Mazarin refused. Despite the young king's wishes and the famous tears of Marie Mancini, the young lovers parted and bowed to the realities of state. Marie left for Italy to marry the prince of Colonna, and Louis accepted his twenty-two-year-old Spanish cousin as his bride." (A Lust for Virtue: 84-85)

First Encounter in 1656
"...Then, as Marie attended her dying mother in late 1656, she was 'discovered' by the young king, who made daily visits to her mother's bedside. He was struck by her lively wit; love blossomed and so did Marie herself; and for two years she lived a life of idyllic romance...."  (Nelson & Mancini, 2008, p. 3)

Marie Mancini Gallery.
Marie Mancini
by Jacob Ferdinand Voet, c1665
Presumed portrait of Marie Mancini
by Pierre Mignard, c1660
@ Georges de Lastic collection
Marie Mancini
by Unknown artist, 17th & 28th century
Circle of Constantijn Netscher
Marie Mancini
Lover in 1682.
a.k.a. Marie-Rosalie de Brouilly-Piennes, Mademoiselle de Brouilly, Mademoiselle de Piennes
" . . .  Then we hear of a galanterie with the beautiful Duchesse de Chatillon, beloved of the great Conde; of an unsuccessful attack upon that impregnable fortress of virtue, the Princesse de Conti; and of an equally abortive attempt to woo a marvellous young beauty, Elizabeth de Tarneau by name, 'who had the prudence to refuse him so much as an interview.'" (Five Fair Sisters: 66)

Marquise de Chatillon's Spouse & Children:  "Chatillon had married Mlle de Piennes for love.  This pair was by general agreement the handsomest couple at court, the best and nobles looking of all.  They quarreled and separated, never to see each other again.   She [the wife] was lady-in-waiting to Madame and sister of the marquise de Villequier, who also married for love."  (Saint-Simon & the Court of Louis XIV, p. 183)
34) Olympe Mancini, Comtesse de Soissons (1638-1708)
Lover in 1654 to 1657, 1660-1661.
Superintendent of the Queen's Household
a.k.a. Olimpia Mancini
Daughter of: Lorenzo Mancini & Geronima Mazzarini.
Wife of: Eugenio Maurizio di Savoia-Carignano.

"Olympia Mancini, like Maria Mancini, who afterwards was forced to marry a Colonna, had been one of the numerous mistresses of Louis XIV. Having, however, been soon supplanted by Madame La Valliere, she revenged herself by a satire on the inconstancy of the king, and on some secret love-passages in the life of her more fortunate rival. Being, therefore, banished the court, she went to Brussels. . . ." (Vehse, Vol. 2, p. 117)

"Where romantic flirtation as opposed to sex was concerned, Louis was originally captivated by Olympe Mancini, with her delicious fossettes or dimples and her 'eyes full of fire'. Olympe had a dubious reputation: she was described as having a nature 'little touched with Christian maxims', and there were rumours that Louis slept with her. It was certainly possible. It is true that this was an age when in the marriage-market all girls had to enter, virginity was highly prized and virgins closely watched: the Cardinal's men were after all everywhere. Yet Olympe's subsequent career would show her to be a bold and even amoral woman, not afraid to barter her physical charms for her own advantage -- or for her own pleasure. . . ." (Love & Louis XIV: 38)

Dangling the Prospect of Delights Upon a Teenager-King
"Emotionally as well as intellectually, Louis came slowly to maturity, and he was already in his eighteenth year when he found himself in love for the first time. The lady of his choice was Olympe Mancini, the most beautiful of Mazarin's nieces, and already at sixteen a woman of the world; she saw at once the impossibility of marrying the kind, and the prejudice to a brilliant match which any other relations with him might produce. With admirable skill she tantalized him with the prospect of delights which she had no intention of affording him, and whilst so doing rendered him the considerable service of educating him socially.  The ABC of that politeness and savoir vivre for which Louis was to be so famous was learnt in Olympe's boudoir." (The Sunset of the Splendid Century, pp. 14-15)

"To judge by the Comtesse de Soisson's subsequent history, she was not the kind of woman to be over fastidious as to the means she employed to retain in her chains this illustrious captive. It is true that other chains often drew him away; but Olympe knew how to make the most of her good fortune. It was much that the King remained constant, at least in his visits, and left her all the prestige of favour." (Five Fair Sisters: 66)

Olympe's physical appearance & personal qualities:  ". . . First of them to catch the King's eye was Olympe, wife of Prince Eugene-Maurice of Savoy-Carignano.  the affair with the Kings (sic) had began before her marriage and she was never described as especially beautiful but as very charming and fascinating with shiny black hair, black and vivacious eyes and a round and plump figure. . . . " (Reinette

First encounter: "The chief event of the campaign of 1654 was the defeat of the Spaniards at Arras, which was celebrated at the Court with great splendour. It was during the fetes given upon this occasion, and after the king had recovered from an illness contracted during the campaign, that the admiration of the young sovereign for Olympe Mancini, one of Mazarin's nieces, was first remarked. The young lady is said to have been no beauty---Capefigue says that none of the mistresses of Louis XIV were; she had dark hair, a long face, a pointed chin, small but expressive eyes; was stout for her eighteen years, had fine arms, pretty hands, and dressed with taste. . . ."  (The Marriages of the Bourbons, Volume 1: 431-432)

Olympe's character/persona: " . . .Accomplished beyond her years, gentle, pious, and affectionate to the queen-mother, but full of life, coquetry and repartee with the young noblemen of the court in the palace, Louis, then eighteen years old, full of susceptibility to the charms of the sex, and ardent in his attachments, had shown the fair Italian for man months pointed and constant attentions.. . . ."  (The American Review, Vol. 2, 1848, p. 487)

A coquette by nature & education: "Olympia de Mancini, one of the nieces of Cardinal Mazarin (was) an Italian girl (who) was among the first to whom the boy-king of fifteen became specially attached. Olympia was very beautiful, and her personal fascinations were rivaled by her mental brilliance, with, and fact.  She was by nature and education a thorough coquette, amiable and endearing to an unusual degree. . . . " (Louis XIV: Makers of History Series)

Olympe's spouse & children: " . . . The monarch [Louis XIV] himself had been in love with her in his youth. When his transitory passion yielded to other attractions, Olympia Mancini gave her hand to the Come de Soissons, a descendant of the House of Bourbon, general-in-chief of the Swiss regiments in the Royal service, and Governor of Champagne.  The count appears to have been a brave bonhomme; he had served well under Turenne, and was always ready to fight a duel on his wife's behalf; and think no scandal. To him was ascribed by the wits the honour of being the first inventor of M. Jourdain's great discovery---that he talked prose for forty years without knowing it. The marriage, however, was a good one for Olympia.  As the wife of a Prince of the Blood she had a splendid position and establishment. Though she lost the love, she preserved the friendship, of the King, who, when the fervour of his first amourettes was exhausted, became a daily visitor at her apartment, which was the haunt of the most brilliant society of France.  On the marriage of the King she was made superintendante of the Queen's household, and, as dame de la cour, was one of the chief ladies in France. . . ."  (Edinburgh Review, Volume 116: 506)

Other or Minor Mistresses of Louis XIV.
[Source: 210[See Bourg:221]
35) Baronne de Salis.
Comtesse de Sades.
Duchesse de Chaulnes.
Duchesse de La Rochefoucauld.
Madame de Beaunoir.
35) Madame Desparbes.
a.k.a. La Petite de Lussan.
36) Madame de Gramont.
Madame de La Rure.
37) Madame de Louvigny.
Lover in 1676-1677.
38) Madame de Martinville.
39) Madame de Saint-Martin.
Lover around 1682.
40) Madame de Villemant.
41) Mademoiselle de Blaru.
42) Mademoiselle de Bomango.
43) Mademoiselle de Chateau-Thiers.
44) Mademoiselle de Coulanges.
45) Mademoiselle de Grandi
46) Mademoiselle de George Weymer.
47) Mademoiselle de Lefevre.
a.k.a. the Messalina of the Italians
48) Mademoiselle de Lescot, Italian comedienne
49) Mademoiselle de Lise R.
50) Mademoiselle de Malignan.
51) Mademoiselle d'Ore.
Lover in 1681.
52) Mademoiselle de Romans.
53) Mademoiselle Ricardo.
54) Mademoiselle de Sainte-Helene.
Creole beauty.
55) Mademoiselle Theresia Campini.
56) Mademoiselle Tiercelin.
57) Marquise d'Eslignac.
58) Miss Witist.
a.k.a. la Belle Anglais.

Queen Marie-Therese & the Black Nun of Moret.

Louise-Marie-Therese (1664-1732)
a.k.a. the Black Nun of Moret.
"The preface to this strange incident, says Le Notre, went back twenty years before when the Grand Admiral of France arrived from Dahomey bringing with him a dwarf which the King of that country had sent as a present for the Queen. The Queen, pleased with the little black, dressed him in silken robes, ornamented with precious stones, costly bracelets and arm0bands, and a magnificent turban for which Madame de Maintenon gave him an aigrette of rubies, pearls, and diamonds. Sonn other ladies of the kingdom, following the Queen's example got little Negroes, too, to carry their trains and to show off the whiteness of their skins. This explains, says Le Notre, why Mignard and otehr painters of the time included Negroes in their canvasses. 'It was th emode, and became a veritable frenzy among the fashionable which lasted until a misadventure befell the Queen.'  (Sex and Race, Volume 1: 2248)

The Black Nun of Moret @ Party Like 1660.
The Queen's Black Baby: Fact or Fiction? @
Sex, spies and the Queen's black baby: the real history of Versailles @ Telegraph
Louis XIV, roi de France, enfant
Louis XIV as a child
YOUNG LOUIS XIV ~~ In 1643, seeing that death was at his door, Louis XIII decided to put his affairs in order. Defying custom, which would have made Anne the sole regent, he decreed that a regency council would rule on his son's behalf. His lack of faith in her political abilities was the primary reason. He did, however, make the concession of appointing her head of the Council. Oppositely Louis's relationship with his mother was loving and close until her death from a cancer.
Louis XIV, 1663
Louis XIV à 10 ans Henri Testelin (1616 – 1695, French)
Louis XIV at 10
View past auction results for Jean Nocret on artnet - Louis XIV
Louis XIV
by Jean Nocret, 1650-1652
ar Artnet
Louis XIV, roi de France, vers 1655, par Petitot
Louis XIV, 1655
LOUIS XIV JEUNE by the lost gallery, via Flickr
Young Louis XIV
Portrait of Louis XIV.
Louis XIV
"Louis XIV in Coronation Robes" by Pierre Mignard
Louis XIV in Coronation Robes
by Pierre Mignard
Louis XIV, roi de France, à 24 ans, en 1662, par Le Brun
Louis XIV at 24
by Le Brun, 1662
Louis XIV Gallery.
Louis XIV, as a child, by Jean Petitot, circa 1648. | Burghley Collections
Louis XIV, as a child
by Jean Petitot, c1648
Burghley Collections
Le Roi Louis le Quatorze de la France - King Louis the Fourteenth of France  Portrait at 8 years old by Philippe De Champaigne
Louis XIV at 8

Louis XIV à 16 ans
Louis XIV @ 16

Louis XIV at 16
by Charles Le Brun, 1661
at Versailles Palace
Louis XIV, roi de France, par Joseph Werner
Louis XIV
by Joseph Werner
Portrait of Louis XIV commissioned by his, mother Anne d'Autriche, to commemorate his marriage, 1660 by Wallerand Vaillant (1623-1677) (Chateau de Versailles)
Louis XIV
by Wallerand Vaillant, 1660
at Chateau de Versailles
Louis XIV at the Académie de Sciences, 1666. Detail, Testelin. Note the ribbons at his breeches, shirt, cravat and on his right shoulder. French
Louis XIV at the Academy of Sciences, 1666
Louis XIV de France
Louis XIV

References for Louis XIV of France.
Au Coeur de l'Histoire
Cierto Sabor a Veneno
Dark History of the Kings & Queens of Europe @GoogleBooks
De Reyes, Dioses y Heroes
Foro Dinastias: La Realez a Traves de Los Siglos @dinastias.forogratis
Histoire Amoureuse des Gaules, Vol. 4 @googlebooks
Las Amantes de Luis XIV @Retratos de la Historia
Les Favorites Royales @canalblog
Les Favorites Royales
Les Favorites Royales
Les Favorites Royales: Liste des Maitresses du Roi Soleil et Autres
Les Premiers Amours de Louis XIV
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