Thursday, June 18, 2020

Louis XVI of France--

Portrait of Louis XVI of France with bust of Marie Antoinette by Alexandre Roslin, 1782-1783 (PD-art/old), Zamek Królewski w Warszawie (ZKW), one of the portraits assembled by Stanislaus Augustus for his Conference Room at the Royal Castle in Warsaw
Louis XVI of France

His lover was:
1) Philippine de Lambriquet.

"[A]s a man of morals, he had neither desire for mistresses nor favorites. He did, however, want to know for certain who would be at fault if his wife did not conceive. There was a young chambermaid at court named Philippine de Lambriquet, whose husband, Jacques, served on the staff of the Comte de Provence. The King proceeded with his agenda and, it seems, after her liaison with the King, she became pregnant -- though as she also had a husband, Louis was still not quite certain of his own fertility." (Marie-Therese: Child of Terror: 15)

Charles X of France--

Charles X of France 1.PNG
Charles X of France

King of France
Also known as:
Charles-Philippe de France, Comte d'Artois.

Son of: Louis de FranceDauphin de France & Maria Josepha von SachsenDauphine de France.

Husband of: Marie-Therese de Savoie, daughter of Amedeo III of Sardinia & Maria Antonieta de Espana. mar 1773.

Nothing but a 'marriage of state'.

"Charles grew into a handsome young man, tall, slim and broad-shouldered, with a fine, rather small head, very well set, with large brown eyes, black hair and the Bourbon nose. When he was only sixteen he was married to an equally juvenile Princess of Sardinia, Maria Theresa, daughter of Victor Amadeus III and sister to Madame. She was a dwarf, four foot high, with a grotesquely loing nose, and completely characterless. But it [the marriage] was never more than a marriage of state . . ." (Biographies & Memoirs)

"Artois shared neither Provence's corpulence nor his brains. Handsome, athletic and promiscuous, his limited talents were initially devoted to the pursuit of pleasure. . . ." (The Road from Versailles)

Comte d'Artois had the Bourbons' pathological sensuality.

"Artois had the pathological sensuality of his house. Not only did he run through all the most famous prostitutes in Paris, but he seduced many of the court ladies, including the Duchesse de Guiche whom, so Hezecques tells us, 'the public long looked upon as one of his easiest conquests'. Hezecques also explains how Charles possessed 'that fashionable ease and light amiability which please women. Once can well believe the rumours that few beauties could be cruel to him.'" (Biographies and Memoirs)
Aglae de Polignac.

His lovers were:
1) Aglae de Polignac  (1768-1803)
Duchesse de Guiche

Also known as Aglae-Louise-Françoise-Gabrielle de Polignac.

Daughter of: Jules de Polignac1st Duc de Polignac & Gabrielle de Polastron.

2) Anne-Michelle-Dorothee de Roncherolles 

Comtesse de Canillac. 
French salonniere & courtier

Also known as Anne de Roncherolles.

Daughter of: Marie-Louise Amelot de Chaillou, Marquis de Roncherolles. & Claude-Sibylle-Thomas- Gaspard-Nicolas-Dorothee (Diderot Studies, Volume 28: 137)

Wife of: Ignace Montboissier-Beaufort, Comte de Canillac.

"Anne de Roncherolles became the wife of Ignace Montboissier-Beaufort, Comte de Canillac. Madame de Canillac attended the court of Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette at Versailles and served as a lady-in-waiting to Princesse Elisabeth, the king’s unmarried sister. She was the mistress of the Comte d’Artois (Charles X) and attended the salons of Madame Du Deffand and Madame de La Reyniere in Paris. Madame de Canillac was mentioned in the the correspondence of the British antiquarian Horace Walpole and survived the horrors of the Revolution." (A Bit of History)

Louise d'Esparbes de Lussan
3) Louise d'Esparbes de Lussan (1764-1804)
French aristocrat & royal mistress.
Comtesse de Polastron.
Lady-in-waiting to Queen Marie-Antoinette

Also known as:
Marie-Louise d'Esparbes de Lussan.

Daughter of: Louis-Francois d'Esparbes de Lussan & Marie-Catherine-Julie Rougeot.

Wife of: Denis Polastron (1758-1821)

"Marie Louise Franchise d'Esparbes de Lussan. Having had the misfortune to marry the Comte de Polastron, "a nonentity who played the violin," she became the mistress of the Comte d'Artois, and, when the Revolution broke out, followed the prince to Turin, and afterwards lived with him in Scotland and England. She died of consumption in London on March 27, 1804. On her deathbed, she made Monsieur, who had loved her passionately to the last, take a solemn oath, in the presence of his almoner, the Abbe de Latil, that "after her, he would love no one but God." This oath he faithfully observed. A few weeks after his mistress's death, the prince wrote to his friend, the Comte de Vaudreuil : " I have no longer anything on earth, neither object, nor desire, nor hope, nor even any feeling. She used to reunite everything ; she used to animate everything for me, and her death has broken all the links of my heart, my soul, and my mind." Unfortunately, the Duc de Berry was incapable of anything approaching such fidelity as this." (Princess of Adventure: 83)

"Ironically, it was through his membership of the Queen's set that in 1785 Charles met the woman who reformed him, Mme de Polastron, the sister-in-law of Yolande de Polignac. Louise de Lussan d'Esparbes, Vicomtesse de Polastron, was only twenty-one, a delicate, nervous ash-blonde with china-blue eyes, a wonderfully sweet smile and a low voice; Lamartine describes her as 'the perfection of tenderness'. Charles and Louise fell completely and unreservedly in love. Even Hezeques admits that 'the passion of Mme de Polastron for the Comte d'Artois was as unconcealed as it was genuine, for heartfelt affection was their only bond'. Charles confided to one of Louise's friends, the Marquise de Lage, 'It's really true---in all the world I live for her alone. Never, no never, was Heaven pleased to form two hearts, two beings better suited to each other. I truly believe it, I even dare be sure of it, and you can have no idea how proud the very idea makes me. But if I deserve your friend, if my heart is worthy of making her happy, it is to her alone that I owe it. It is her advice, still more her sentiments, which have purified my soul and renewed it, Think what I owe her for teaching me how to be happy.'" (Biographies & Memoirs)

Rosalie Duthe
4) Rosalie Duthe (1748-1830).
French ballerina.

Louis XVIII of France--

Louis-Stanislas-Xavier de France, comte de Provence (1755-1824), future Louis XVIII, 1788 by Adelaide Labille-Guiard (1749-1803) (Saint-Quentin)
Louis XVIII of France

King of France
King of Navarre 1815

Also known as:

born Louis-Stanislas-Xavier de France
Louis-Stanislas, Comte de Provence

Son of: Louis, Dauphin de France & Maria Josepha von Sachsen.

Husband of: Maria Giuseppina Luigia di Savoia, daughter of Vittorio Amedeo III di Sardegna & Maria Antonia Fernanda de Espana, mar 1771.

"Louis-Stanislas was born at Versailles on 17 November 1755, the fourth son of the Dauphin Louis, and given the ancient title of Comte de Provence. Like his brothers, his education was entrusted to the pious Duc de Vauguyon, whose repressive regime may have been responsible for his lukewarm attitude towards religion. From a very early age he showed unusual intelligence, aided by a phenomenal memoryDelicate, with deformed hips which made it difficult for him to ride a horse, he was studious and developed a taste for history and literature which lasted throughout his life. He particularly enjoyed Voltaire, and the writings of the Encyclopedias. Naturally malicious, he was apt to sneer at his clumsy brother, Berry (the future Louis XVI), who was only a year older, mocking his bad grammar—‘A Prince should at least know his own language.’" (Erenow)

Physical appearance & personal qualities.

"Monsieur enjoyed pomp and circumstance. Despite his inability to ride, he kept one of the largest stables in France and his regiment of Carabineers was superbly mounted. As Grand Master of the Knights of St Lazarus, he restricted membership of that ancient hospitaller order to great noblemen. Everything about him was designed to enhance his pride and ostentation. Short, fat and swarthy, he overdressed in diamond-studded suits, and adopted a repentantly haughty manner. Yet a gouache of Monsieur in his early twenties, by Moitte, shows a surprisingly attractive face, with the Bourbon nose but an amused grin." (Erenow)

Comte de Provence & his wife.

"Monsieur had himself married in 1772, when he was only fifteen, but, despite boasting how he would outdo his brother, failed to beget children; it was rumoured that his impotency drove his wife to drink, though in fact he only became impotent much later in life. ‘Madame’ was Maria Giuseppina of Savoy, daughter of the King of Sardinia. She was small, dark, ugly, insignificant, and bad-tempered, coarse-natured, and dirty in her person—Louis XV begged her parents to persuade her to wash her neck and clean her teeth. Mme de Campan says that the only thing worth mentioning about her was a ‘pair of tolerably fine eyes’. Madame’s favourite occupation was catching thrushes in nets and having them made into soup. (Monsieur was fond of food too, but with more elegance—he created a dish which consisted of a partridge stuffed with an ortolan, which in turn was stuffed with foie gras.) Their flat was in the left wing at Versailles on the side near the Orangery, Monsieur and Madame occupying separate floors." (Erenow)

Louis XVIII's need of a special kind of affection for his beloved.

"Although not affectionate by nature, Louis XVIII had need of a special kind of affection. He must have near him a person in whom he had absolute trust, who saw him at any moment, who received all his confidences, all his secrets, and with whom he could think aloud. This friendship of a particular kind did not last indefinitely, but, so long as it did last, it possessed an exclusive character which made it a veritable passion. Any attack of the object of this favoritism was like high treason in the eyes of the King, and the greater were the jealousies excited by the person thus preferred, the more did the monarch please himself by heaping up and overwhelming him with favors. In aggrandizing him, he thought he aggrandized himself, and he identified himself with the object of his choice. Unable to hunt, and incapable of many pleasures, nailed to his armchair by sufferings, he had no resource but this impassioned friendship into which he cast all he possessed of mind and heart. It was thus that he loved, one after the other, the Countess of Balbi, the Count of Avaray during the emigration, the Duke Decazes from 1816 to 1820, and the Countess of Cayla from 1820 till his latest hour." (The Duchess of Berry and the Court of Louis XVIII:: 256)
Louis XVIII of France
The King's three mistresses.
" . . . He was known to have had three mistresses, or at least there were three ladies who enjoyed that title. Before the Revolution, Madame de Balby; since the restoration, Madame Princetot, M. Decazes' sister; and, finally, the celebrated Madame du Cayla. . . ." (The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte, Volume 4: 162)

The King's paternal relations with younger men.

"Louis was fond of stressing the paternal element in his relations with these younger men, and it is significant that they began only after he had given up hope of having children with Marie-Josephine. In the case of Decazes, this was carried to extremes. Sometimes Louis would set down his feelings in full" 'My Elie, I love you, I bless you with all my soul, I press you against my heart. Come to it and receive the tenderest embraces of your friend, your father, your Louis!' At other times he would express them in acronyms of which he was very fond. A message of 11 April 1816 ends 'm.e.j.t.p.s.m.c.e.j.t.b.m.em.m.f.' (Mon Elie, je te presse sur mon coeur et je te benis, mon Elie, mon fils --- 'My Elie, I press you to my heart and I bless you, my Elie, my son'.) (The Perilous Crown: 94-95)
Comtesse de Balbi

Louis XVIII's lovers were:
1) Anne-Jacobé Caumont de La Force (1758-1842)
Lover in 1780-1794.
Comtesse de Balbi

French aristocrat, courtier & royal mistress

Lady-in-waiting to the Comtesse de Provence.

Also known as:
Anne Nompar de Caumont de La Force, Comtesse de Balbi
Anne-Jacobee Nompar de Caumont de La Force, Comtesse de Balbi
Madame de Balbi.

Daughter of: Bertrand Nompar de Caumont La Force, Marquis de La Force de Caumont et Taillebourg & Adelaide Luce Madeleine de Galard de Brassac de Bearn.

Wife of: Francois Marie Armand, Comte de Balbi, Marchese de Piovera, mar 1776.

"Somewhat surprisingly in view of his ugliness, timidity and ill-defined sexuality, Louis-Stanislas acquired a glittering young mistress, the high-spirited Mme de Balbi, who was one of Madame’s ladies. Anne-Jacobé Caumont La Force had been born in 1759, the daughter of a distinguished member of Monsieur’s household. Admired by all for her elegance and dashing appearance, she married the Comte de Balbi, grandson of a Genoese Doge, but he turned out to be insane; in 1780 violent behaviour culminated in his beating his wife with his cane after finding her en galanterie, and he was confined in a madhouse (some said with Monsieur’s connivance). What appealed to Louis-Stanislas about la Balbi was not so much her physical charms, and certainly not her promiscuity, as her literary tastes and mordant wit; though it is likely that they slept together, for at this date he was not yet impotent. He installed her in a flat above his own at Versailles, Madame continuing to live below. In Paris Anne-Jacobé held court at the Petit Luxembourg, where she entertained the literary men whose company her lover enjoyed so much. Her extravagance on clothes, jewellery and gambling reached such heights that Monsieur soon found himself in serious financial difficulty." (Erenow)

JPEG - 155.6 ko
Antoine-Louis-Francois de Besiade
1st Duc d'Avaray
@New York Day by Day
2) Antoine-Louis-Francois de Besiade (1759-1811)
1st Duc d'Avaray 1799

Son of: Claude Antoine de Besiade, Marquis d'Avaray.

"After la Balbi’s fall, the focus of Monsieur’s affections was the Captain of his Bodyguard. Antoine-Louis-François de Bestiade, Comte d’Avaray, was thirty-four and a career soldier whose skilful organization of his master’s escape to Coblenz had won him his master’s confidence; later the infatuated Louis-Stanislas gave him the right to bear the royal arms of France on his own with the motto Vicit iter durum pietas (loyalty finds a way over even the stoniest road). Henceforward, until his death, he only left Monsieur when sent on special missions. The two men had no secrets from each other, Avaray’s one fault in Monsieur’s eyes being that he had no Latin. Indeed it is probable, though there is no actual proof, that Monsieur was a repressed homosexual. Significantly, Hézecques compares his character with those of Henri III and Monsieur, brother of Louis XIV (though admittedly he does not speak of common sexual tastes). Undoubtedly, Louis-Stanislas found full emotional satisfaction in male friendships, even if these were platonic because of his low sexual drive. Like Louis XIII, he sought the perfect friend." (Erenow)

The most feeling of friends.

"For all his undoubted probity, Avaray, the King’s favourite companion, inspired jealousy and even hatred. He particularly irritated conservative émigrés by speaking English and dressing like an Englishman. In 1808 a Vendéen veteran, General de Puisaye, accused Avaray of trying to have him assassinated. The scandal reached such proportions that Louis issued a public defence of ‘the most feeling of friends’ and appointed a committee of twenty-four noblemen who quickly declared Avaray innocent. The favourite at once challenged Puisaye to a duel, but the King had him arrested by the English authorities to prevent him fighting. As a mark of his esteem he then made Avaray a Duke. However, the favourite’s health was collapsing—he seems to have been tubercular—and he had to leave England for a warmer climate at the end of 1810." (Erenow)

Personal & family background.

"A. L. F. De Besiade, Count d'Avaray, eldest son of the Marquis d'Avaray, who was before the Revolution, and is still, what we call Groom of the Stole. The Count d'Avaray was born in 1759, and served at the siege of Gibraltar; after which he became Colonel of the Regiment de Boulonnais . . . Monsieur, on assuming the title of Louis XVIII, made M. d'Avaray Captain of the Guards, and gave him the arms of France, to be borne as an honourable augmentation to his own, with the date of the King's escape as a motto. In 1799 he received, what at that time must have appeared, the empty honour of being created a Duke. M. d'Avaray followed the fortunes of the exiled monarch into Italy, Germany, Russia, Poland, and finally into England. He had the entire possession of his private confidence, and the greatest share in his political concerns. . . [H]e was advised to try a voyage to Madeira (where) M. d'Avaray died . . . in 1811. His father has been created a Duke and peer of France; his next brother is now Count d'Avaray." (Royal Memoires on the French Revolution: 47)

3) Pierre Louis Jean Casimir de Blacas. (1771-?)

Comte d'Aulps; 1st Duc de Blacas.

"Luckily, Louis quickly found a new dear friend, one who had been recommended by Avaray himself. Pierre-Louis-Jean-Casimir de Blacas, Comte d’Aulps, had been born in 1771 of an ancient family of Provence. Like his predecessor, he was a career soldier, a former dragoon captain. He had joined Louis’s household at Verona and had stayed with him ever since. A quixotic figure who modelled himself on the heroes of French chivalry, he insisted on regarding his gouty master as the reincarnation of Saint Louis and Henri IV. He knew Latin, and soon Louis was devoted to him. As Blacas said later, ‘You don’t know the King—he must have a favourite and he might as well have me as anyone else.’" (Erenow)

"Our author also well understood and well describes the character of Louis XVIII. In reality an able and sensible man, but utterly passive; condemned by obesity to inaction, he had the pride and in some degree the greatness of royalty, but his horizon was bounded by the precincts of his court. Intellectually akin to Louis Philippe, his character was different. The latter was active both in body and mind; but not so high in his views a Louis, because he felt himself less a king. Louis XVIII was fond of displaying his literary acquirements; Louis Philippe spoke readily of home politics, without paying much attention to the affairs of Europe, which Louis XVIII, judged with greater acuteness and dignity. Both sovereigns were minds of the middle sort, but in their way very intelligent men. Louis XVIII needed a favourite because of his indolence; this he found in the Duc de Blacas in 1814, and in M. de Cazes in 1816. When they deprived him of the latter he was all adrift, and took no interest in governing, though he found in it a solace for his pride. The Duc de Richelieu was little to him, M. de Villele nothing at all. It was then he surrendered himself to his female favourite, Madlle de Cayla, who was in Villele's interest, and through whom Villele was allowed at last to do as he liked." (The Rambler: 223)

Elie, Duc de Decazes
Lover in 1816-1820.
French statesman

Comte Decazes 1815, Hertug af Glucksbierg, 1818, 1st Duke of Glucksbierg 1818, 1st Duc de Decazes 1820, Paris Prefect of Police 1815, Minister of Police 1815, Minister of Interior 1815, President of the Council/Prime Minister of France 1819, Ambassador to Great Britain 1820.

Son of: Michel Decazes & Catherine Trigant de Beaumont.

Husband of:
1. Elisabeth-Fortunee de Muraire (d.1806), daughter of Comte Honore Muraire., mar 1805
2. Wilhelmine-Egidia-Octavie de Beaupoli (d.1873), Comtesse de St. Aulaire-Glucksbierg, mar 1818.

"One reason for the survival of Richelieu’s ministry was the fact that its Minister of the Interior was M Elie Decazes. This dark-haired, fine-featured Gascon lawyer in his early thirties, the son of a little notary in the Gironde, had replaced Blacas as the King’s dear friend. Of his appearance Talleyrand said—knowing that his words would be reported to Louis—‘He resembles a moderately good-looking hairdresser’s assistant.’ Minister of Police during the First Restoration, Decazes had won his master’s confidence by following him to Ghent, and then endeared himself by retailing malicious gossip about the country’s leading figures, which he gleaned from police files. He never bored the King with tiresome detail but took care that he was informed of anything of genuine importance. In addition he was of a literary turn of mind, and an excellent listener who enjoyed Louis’s stories. Soon the King was infatuated, addressing him as ‘mon fils’ and writing to him three times a day—‘Come to receive the tenderest embraces of thy friend, thy father, thy Louis.’ He even gave his adorable minister English lessons, and was amazed by his progress; in fact Decazes was discreetly visiting the best tutor in Paris after each lesson. The King said of ‘his darling child’ that, ‘I will raise him so high that the greatest lords will envy him.’ Again, one’s mind goes back to Louis XIII." (Erenow)

A man more powerful than the King; the confidant, the favorite, the alter ego of the sovereign: "There was a man in France at the beginning of 1820 who was probably more powerful than the King. This was Count Decazes, president of the Council of Ministers. The credit he enjoyed caused the ultras an exasperation bordering on convulsive rage. On ascertaining the omnipotence of a former favorite of the Empire, it was all the emigres could do to refrain from treating Louis XVII as a disguised Bonapartist or crowned Jacobin. x x x The man who excited the jealousy and rancor of the courtiers of Louis XVIII to such a pitch was not yet forty. Born September 28, 1780, at Saint-Martin-de-Laye, near Libourne, where his father was lieutenant of the presidial, he had been first a barrister, and afterwards employed in the Ministry of Justice, under the Consulate. In 1805 his married with the daughter of Count Muraire, first president of the Court of Cassation, opened to him the career of the magistracy. Having been appointed judge of the Seine tribunal, he became a counsellor of the imperial court in 1806. He was called to the Hague the same year by King Louis Bonaparte, whose confidential counsellor he became. After the abdication of this Prince he filled the post of private secretary to Madame Mere from 1811 to the close of the Empire. Under the Restoration he became an avowed royalist. He refused to keep his post in the magistracy during the Hundred days, and Napoleon exiled him forty leagues from Paris. After Waterloo he became prefect of police to Louis XVIII. September 24, 1815, he entered the cabinet as Minister of Police, and from that day onward he was the confidant, the favorite, the alter ego of the sovereign." (The Duchess of Berry and the Court of Louis XVIII: 132)

From royal affection to real infatuation.
"The King's affection for his minister became a real infatuation. He made him a count, a peer of France, Minister of the Interior, and President of the Council. As M. de Viel-Castel has very justly remarked, it was all the easier for M. Decazes to succeed in convincing the King of his absolute devotion because, touched himself by the kindness with which he was treated and the affection displayed toward him by the sovereign, he responded to it by profound gratitude. After being a widower for twelve years, he had married in 1818, thanks to the royal protection, a young person of noble family, Mademoiselle de Saint-Aulaire, grandchild through her mother of the last reigning Prince of Nassau-Sarrebruck, and grandniece of the Duchess of Brunswick-Bevern, who obtained for the new married pair from Frederick VI of Denmark, the succession of the duchy of Glucksberg. In speaking of his favorite minister, Louis XVIII said, 'I will raise him so high that the greatest lorts will envy him.' Any criticism aimed at M. Decazes was considered by the sovereign as a seditious attempt against royal authority, and a sort of conspiracy or high treason." (The Duchess of Berry and the Court of Louis XVIII: 136)

A relationship difficult to fathom.
"Louis XVIII's embrace of the political centre was unquestionably his own decision. Yet it was helped by the fact that at this juncture, rather alarmingly, he found love. The object of his affections was his minister of police, Elie Decazes. The precise nature of the relationship is very difficult to fathom, since Louis's own sexuality remains a grey area. Outwardly he appeared to be heterosexual: he had managed to impregnate his wife, Marie-Josephine of Savoy, twice, though on each occasion Marie-Josephine miscarried, and further efforts were hampered by growing evidence that she was alcoholic and a lesbian. Louis had then turned to another woman, the witty and imperious Mme de Balbin, who became his mistress for fourteen years. On the other hand, Louis' emotional life was also marked by a series of extremely close friendships with younger men --- the duc de Levis, the comte d'Avaray, Blacas, and finally Decazes. There is no evidence that any of these were sexual, although one of Louis' letters to Levis, written in English in the style of Smollett, is both obscene and slightly voyeuristic." (The Perilous Crown: France Between Revolutions, 1814-1848 : 94)

5) Madame de Mirabel.

6) Madame Princeteau.
7) Mademoiselle Bourgoin.
Zoe, Comtesse du Cayla
8) Zoe TalonComtesse du Cayla (1785-1852)
Lover in 1820-1824.

Finding a new love.
" . . . Enormous, red-faced, smiling, with his three chins and his 'penetrating, lynx-like, look,' Louis also found time to enjoy a new favourite, the 35-year-old Zoe Talon, Comtesse de Cayla, a former pupil of Mme Campan's Academy. Mme de Cayla was an agreeable, plump, blonde, seductive woman, 'with pock-marked skin and bad teeth, for whom the King would build a pavilion of marble and acacia, with an orangerie and stables, later home to the sheep with long silky coats to which she would give her name. Mme de Cayla's husband was said to have gone mad as a result of her infidelities. Growing older, Louis spoke of the 'exhausting glories' of royal life." (Dancing to the Precipice: Lucie de la Tour du Pin and the French Revolution)

Madame du Cayla's physical appearance & personal qualities.
"July 10th---I dined with the Duke of Wellington yesterday, a very large party for Mesdames the Duchesse d'Escars and Madame du Cayla. . . Madame du Cayla is come over to prosecute some claim upon this government, which the Duke has discovered to be unfounded, and he had the bluntness to tell her so as they were going to dinner. She must have been duc good-looking in her youth; her countenance is lively, her eyes are piercing, clear complexion, and very handsome hands and arms; but the best part about her seemed to be the magnificent pearls she wore, though these are not so fine as Lady Conyngham's. All king's mistresses seem to have a rage for pearls; I remember Madame Narischkin's were splendid. Madame du Cayla is said to be very rich and clever." (The Greville Memoirs: 75)

"Madame du Cayla had been the soi-disant mistress of Louis XVIII, or rather the favorite of his declining years.'Il fallait une Esther,' to use her own expression, 'a cel Assuerus.' She was the daughter of M. Talon, brought up by Madame Campan, and an early friend of Hortense Beauharnais. Her marriage to an officer in the Prince de Conde's army was an unhappy one; and she was left, deserted by her husband, in straitened circumstances. After the assassination of the Duc de Berry, M. de la Rochefoucauld, one of the leaders of the ultra-Royalist party, contrived to throw her in the way of Louis XVIII, in the hope of counteracting the more liberal influence which M. Decazes had acquired over the King. Madame du Cayla became the hope and the mainstay of the alter and the throne. The scheme succeeded. The King was touched by her grace and beauty, and she became indispensable to his happiness. His happiness was said to consist in inhaling a pinch of snuff from her shoulders, which were remarkably broad and fair.M. de Lamartine has related the romance of her life in the thirty-eighth book of his Histoire de la Restauration, and Beranger satirized her in the bitterest of his songs---that which bears the name of 'Octavie.'". (The Greville Memoirs: 75)

Mademoiselle Talon's personal & family background.
"M. Decazes was still in high favor when he introduced to Louis XVIII the who woman who was to replace him in the monarch's favor. Zoe Victoire Talon, Countess of Cayla, was born in 1784. Her father, who belonged to an ancient family of advocates, had taken part in the struggle between the court and the Revolution from 1789 to 1792, and was mixed up, so it was said, with the policy of the Count of Provence. . . During the emigration of her father, Zoe Talon had remained in France. She had been educated there by Madame Campan, and had profited by that elegant education which Lamartine has called a school of feminine diplomacy. She was intimate with Hortense de Beauharnais and the brilliant young persons who were the fashionable women of the Consulate and the Empire. Pretty, amiable, and intelligent, she possessed all that could make her pleasing. She was married to a man of high birth, belonging to the little court of the Condes, Count du Cayla, who became a peer of France in 1815. This union was not a happy one, and the pair separated on the ground of incompatibility of temper. But the Countess was skilful enough to secure the sympathy of the Condes and that of her mother-in-law, who had belonged to the household of Madame the Countess of Provence, wife of Louis XVIII." (The Duchess of Berry and the Court of Louis XVIII: 257)

" . . . With Decazes banished to London, the versatile king had switched to a female favourite, Zoe, comtesse du Cayla. A witty, intelligent

Madame du Cayla's spouse & children.
"She was married to a man of high birth, belonging to the little court of the Condes, Count du Cayla, who became a peer of France in 1815. This union was not a happy one, and the pair separated on the ground of incompatibility of temper. But the Countess was skillful enough to secure the sympathy of the Condes and that of her mother-in-law, who had belonged to the household of Madame the Countess of Provence, wife of Louis XVIII. The dowager Countess of Cayla was altogether on the side of her daughter-in-law. Before dying, she sent her a letter, which, in case of necessity, wouldv become a talisman. She addressed it to the King, whom she always found full of good will toward her, and in words which her approaching death rendered solemn and affecting, she supplicated the monarch to protect her son's wife against the resentment of her son." (The Duchess of Berry and the Court of Charles X: 257)

References for Louis XVIII of France

Louis XVIII et ses Favoris
The Duchess of Berry and the Court of Louis XVIII

Louis XIII of France----

File:Louis XIII of France Head.jpg
Louis XIII of France
King of France
King of Navarre 1610.

Son of: Henri IV de France & Marie de Medici.

Husband of Anne of Austria

Physical appearance & personal traits.

" . . . Dr. Heroard described the infant heir as large boned, muscular, and vigorous, with a large, well formed head, brown eyes, small lips a little turned up, very powerful lungs, large arms, straight legs, and long feet. Later painted or drawn portraits show a chubby-faced, well-proportioned boy, with a disconcertingly suspicious look in his penetrating eyes and narrow, pursed lips. More attractive than either his haughty, austere, full-faced mother, or his playful-looking father whose breath reeked and beard was always disheveled, the future Louis XIII gained many compliments on his deportment. A discerning ex-Queen Marguerite, on first seeing him with his governor and riding master, exclaimed: 'Oh! How handsome he is! Oh! How well built he is! How lucky the Chiron who teaches this Achilles!'." (France in the Age of Louis XIII and Richelieu: 92)

"Louis XIII was short, ungainly, and---until disease attacked him---inclined to corpulence. He was not beautiful, although Sully, who had served the royal house so faithfully, professed to admire the boy's regular features. His nose was too large, his head out of proportion to his body, his chin projected, his lover lip was unpleasantly thickened, and his mouth was usually half-open. Owing to the awkward formation of his palate he was compelled to speak little and slowly to avoid a trying stammer. He suffered from chronic gout, and it is almost certain that he had at least one epileptic fit. His teeth were decayed, and he was a continual invalid through persistent dyspepsia. Most of these physical defects may be traced in his family history. Many of them he bequeathed to his sons. Philip inherited his undersized stature as well as his brown hair and swarthy skin. In profile Louis XIV challenged comparison with the ancestral Bourbons, and was in more ways than one a true grandson of Henri IV." (A Prince of Pleasure: 14)

Louis XIII's character.

"Then, writes historian Victor Tapie, 'a new character appeared on the stage---the King.' Louis XIII was nearly sixteen years old, no longer a child. He was very frail, often in ill health, and suffered from many ailments, including the tuberculosis that would kill him at the age of forty-three. He had a dark, restless spirit and an explosive temper. His mother had left his upbringing in the hands of a governess, Madame de Monglat. His father, Henri IV, regarded him with profound disappointment and instructed his caregiver to 'beat the Dauphin as often as possible, ' to make a man of him." (Champlain's Dream: 347)

"Personally Louis XIII was modest to timidity, and he never conquered an enervating childishness. In his seventeenth year some of his amusements were puerile. He could be seen harnessing pet dogs to toy cannon, or dressing boys up as ballet-dancers to make them skip to the music of violin and drum. Laughed at by the Court, his mother openly ejected him from his own Council. He did not invite the friendship of his young wife and remained wholly indifferent to her. The situation was abnormal." (A Prince of Pleasure: 14)

Louis the Chaste.

He was also christened 'Louis the Chaste.' Serious and reflective, somewhat dull, he found himself married by force to a girl who was lightheaded, petulant, and silly. It may be true that for a few weeks after their marriage they loved each other. During those early years it is hard to discover their real feelings. The formula is as old as the earth. When she loved him he did not care for her; but if her large eyes twinkled in another direction he became violently angry---hardly logical, but very natural. He disliked his Queen to accompany him when he had made royal progresses through his kingdom. Once he suddenly joined him on a hunting expedition. He abruptly sent her home to the Louvre. If he did not care for her cause the sex itself was unattractive to him, at least he managed to excite her jealousy. In 1617 it was rumoured that he was fascinated by Mademoiselle de Maugiron, a maid of honour in the household. The Queen presented the girl with ten thousand crowns and packed her off to an expectant bridegroom in far-distant Dauphiny. But Louis was not, never had been in love. If the demoiselle wept at her exile she had reason to smile over her wedding portion." ((A Prince of Pleasure: 17)

Louis XIII's amours.

"But the amours of Louis XIII differed from those of all other men. His nature was cold. His relations with the queen were those of indifference, occasionally warming into dislike. Louis constantly desired some companion on whom he could bestow a puerile affection, but those on whom he lavished his devotion were usually men. The succession of male favorites was at last broken by a passion for two beautiful women, but a passion alike pure and grotesque. . . ." (France Under Mazarin, Vol. 1: 191)

"With young Louis XIII now in power, France took a long step on the road to royal absolutism. He would have a turbulent reign. The king himself was a deeply troubled young man and his private life was in disorder. He was thought to be bisexual in a strongly heterosexual world, and he surrounded himself with beautiful young creatures of doubtful gender who came and went in rapid succession. Some of these royal favorites trued to turn their intimacy into power. There were reports of a homosexual affair between the king and Francois de Barradat, who would be banished from the court for political intrigue ad perhaps other things. He was replaced by Claude de Saint-Simon and then fifteen-year-old Henri d'Effiat, the marquis de Cinq Mars, a bold young man who dared to challenge the greatest ministers.

" . . . Unlike the mid-century civil wars, however, this one principally involved struggles for power between the royal mother and her son, Louis XIII (1601-1643), whom history has described as timid and indecisive, suspicious and taciturn, with a congenital speech impediment, a melancholic mad who was not able to father a child for 23 years after his marriage to Anne of Austria at the age of 14. Dubbed 'Louis the chaste,' he is depicted in Tallemant de Rieux's notoriously gossipy Historiettes, as having numerous male lovers, including his equerry, Francois de Baradas, the Connetable de Luynes, the falconer who became the king's closest advisor and M. le Grand [the Marquis de Cinq-Mars], later executed for conspiring with the Spanish. On one notable occasion, Tallemant reports, Monsieur le Grand came to the king's bed 'decked out like a bride,' but otherwise unresponsive to the king's passionate embraces and 'great ardor.'." (The Dynamics of Gender in Early Modern France: 40)

Lovers conforming to two opposite types.

"As Louis passed from early childhood to premature middle age, his relationships took on a set pattern. He continued to be obsessively drawn to both men and women, but now it was to younger and not older persons. Luynes was followed by Barradat, Saint-Simon, and Cinq Mars. Mme de Luynes (now Mme de Chevreuse) was succeeded by Marie de Hautefort and Louise de La Fayette. Each of these young male and female flames conformed to one of two opposite types. The Louis the Just who was torn between punishing and pardoning subjects also alternated between petulantly demanding and gentle, understanding friends. To complicate matters, the king's relationships often  overstepped---and they always paralleled his ritual of dutiful lovemaking with his estranged wife. The most dramatic sequence of these entanglements led directly to the conception of Louis's heir and successor which, to be sure, was no accident, though it has routinely been depicted that way." (Louis XIII, the Just: 273)

Blatant infatuation for influential and attached male courtiers.

"There was, however, an aspect of Louis's personality the French pejoratively attributed to his Italian side, and it was his prudishness with women juxtaposed to his blatant infatuation for men. Louis's marriage, as barely an adolescent, to the Spanish Infanta Anne of Austria in 1614 failed to keep him from influential and attached male courtiers. The first of these being Charles d'Albret, the Duc de Luynes. Despite being middle-aged, teenage Louis could not bear to be parted from the first in a long line of male favorites, which would infamously end with Cinq-Mars. A Tuscan ambassador to the French court during the Luynes affair would quip in a letter, 'La buggara he parrato i monti [Buggery has crossed the Alps]. Later, when the king was involved with Henri d'Effiat, Marquis de Cinq-Mars, Pierre Perrault wrote to the Prince de Conde a letter comparing Louis's homosexuality to that of his half-Italian predecessor Henri III. Notwithstanding this feature of Louis's intimate life, Louis XIII was able to produce an heir and a spare upon his indifferent wife Almost twenty-four years after they were wed." (The Color Line: A History: 394)

"The bridegroom elect of Dona Ana, meantime, Louis, son of the great Henry, spent a wearisome youth in the Louvre, with few diversions and joys. The unhappy and premature death of Henri IV not only exercised a fatal influence over the political destinies of France, but deprived his young son of judicious and princely training. The miserable jealousies of the favourites and advisers of Marie de' Medici likewise, had debarred the boy-king of the example, and the counsels of his father's tried and wise friends. Instead of being inured to arms, and trained in gallant accomplishments, and taught the self-denial, and magnanimity becoming his kingly stations, the unfortunate Louis was confined to a corner of the Louvre, the object at one time of his mother's indulgent weakness; at others, the victim of her caprice and passion. The young king was of a reserved and suspicious temper, sensitive to the slightest ridicule or neglect, having a memory retentive of petty affronts. His household was not selected with a view to correct the nervous shyness, and overbearing pride of his character. The fears of the Queen, and the ignoble precaution of her servants the Marquis d'Ancre and his wife, induced her Majesty to choose young companions for her son of a class inferior to the usual entourage of princes. Such noble names as Rohan, Guise, Montmorency, Bouillon , and La Rochefoucauld, were never heard among the playmates of Louis XIII. . . ." (The Married Life of Anne of Austria: 9-10)

Louis XIII's boyhood friends--the Luynes brothers.

" . . . His chief friends were the three brothers de Luynes, sons of a gentleman of Provence, of the town of Mornas; whose future marvellous fortunes rank amongst the most notable instances on record of dignities conferred by royal caprice. . . The three brothers bore the names of Luynes, Brantes, and Cadenet. The eldest, Charles d'Albert de Luynes, was born in 1578. His godfather was Henri Quatre . . . which fact at once contradicts the stories current at court of the plebeian origin of the brothers. He was created Duke de Luynes and Constable of France;Brantes was created Duke de Luxembourg, on his marriage with the daughter f the Prince de Tingry; Cadenet was created Duke de Chaulnes, on his marriage with the daughter and heiress of the Vidame d'Amiens, M. de Pequigny." (The Married Life of Anne of Austria: 10)
Anne of Austria
Queen of France
Husband of: Anne de Austria, Princess of Spain.

"I would would vouch for the Queen's virtue from the waist down, but not from the waist up." (Princesse de Conti) [It's About Time: Anne de Austria Biography]

Anne's physical appearance & personal qualities.

" . . . Anne was an extremely attractive, even beautiful woman with her full, voluptuous figure, her thick bright chestnut hair, her luminous pale skin and her dark eyes with the green glints which gave them a special sparkle. She had her share of feminine vanity and was especially proud of her much-admired white hands, which seemed made 'to hold a sceptre.' As for her character, that was made up of contradictions, Anne was certainly pleasure-loving -- she adored the theatre and gambling -- but at the same time she was extremely pious." (Love and Louis XIV: 6)

"Anne of Austria, daughter of Philip III of Spain, boasted several descents from the House of Hapsburg. Like her husband she was small, quickly receiving the nickname of 'the little queen.' Contemporary accounts of her charms do not exactly tally, although, if Pourbus was a reasonably truthful portrait-painter, as a girl she was far from ill-looking. Her thick hair was blond and curly. Her skin was very white, and her mouth small and well formed. Particularly were her eyes described as fine. One report notices a glint of green shining in their depths. Madame de Motteville, always an enthusiastic and admiring companion, declares  her mistress to be the greatest beauty of the century. Other tales are not so kind. Her nose is too big, writes one. Her eyes would be more graceful if they were not so large, cries a second critic. Her complexion was doubtful---it is so difficult to separate nature from the adornments of art. Admittedly well made, she might be termed an agreeable princess, but her voice was harsch, inclining either to a shrill falsetto or a cold hard tone which perhaps revealed her soul" (A Prince of Pleasure: 41)

Anne of Austria's loveliness.

"It was the irony of fate that such a man should have been linked in marriage with one of the most beautiful women in Europe. Although only fourteen at the time of her marriage, Anne of Austria was already very lovely. She was tall and slender with a graceful figure and exquisite hands. Her complexion had a clear pallor that gave her face the appearance of a finely-cut cameo. Glowing dark eyes with curling lashes made an effective contrast with her masses of chestnut curls." (The Intriguing Duchess, Marie de Rohan, Duchesse de Chevreuse: 12)

Louis XIII and his wife Anne of Austria.

" . . . Louis XIII had been married by proxy to Anne of Austria, daughter of the King of Spain. . . The Regent was intoxicated with triumph at the success of her diplomacy. The bridegroom did not share his redoubtable parent's excitement. He was a lethargic youth, not much given to displaying emotion. Gloomy dark eyes looked out from under an unruly thatch of bristly black hair. He had the large Bourbon nose and a mouth that habitually hung half open, giving his face a look of melancholy stupidity. for five years Louis had been taught to regard the Spanish Infanta as his predestined bride. Her portrait hung in his rooms at the Louvre, and his ears had rung with praises of her beauty and charm. His response had been nil. By some curious chance this son of the amorous Henry of Navarre was sexually abnormal. No lovely face could make his heart best faster or send the blood coursing madly through his veins. He was terrified of women, shrank from the very thought of physical contact, and was to earn only too well his tile of Louis the Chaste." (The Intriguing Duchess, Marie de Rohan, Duchesse de Chevreuse: 12)

Louis the Just's great need for love.

 " . . . Louis XIII was the husband but never the lover, either of his wife or of any other woman. His need for love and tenderness remained unsatisfied all his life. Marie de Medici was only his mother in official declarations; he only knew her in her capacity as regent or as a person of very high rank towards whom he had certain religious and State obligations. He never knew what it was to be deeply loved---hence his attempts to find emotional satisfaction in relationships that were filled with tenderness and affection. Yet he knew that too fond a relationship was forbidden him,a nd was the first to deny himself such an indulgence---as in the case of his love-affairs with innocent girls like Mlle de la Fayette and Mlle de Hautefort, whom he made his sweethearts but not his mistresses. Her whom he loved most he conducted to a nunnery, and this with the full approval, indeed with the connivance, of contemporary society, for in Louis XIII's day it was held that anything which ended at the steps of an altar ended well. He also went though phases of ardent devotion to others of his own sex. In his youth he was attracted to men older than himself, of whose distinction and glamour he formed an exaggerated opinion; later he turned to younger men, and for a time he would fancy that he loved them as if they were his sons. The were moments when he felt a deep affection for Richelieu. But it was never long before Louis XIII developed suspicions about those whom he loved." (France in the Age of Louis XIII and Richelieu: 92)

Husband's troubled sexuality.

"The sexuality of the husband of this romantic and unfulfilled woman was what would now be called troubled. Louis XIII formed lugubrious attachments to both men and women: late is his life the Marquis de Cinq-Mars became his favourite. But at one point Louis fell yearningly in love with Marie d'Hautefort (his conjugal visits to Anne were said to have increased in consequence). However, when his friend the Duc de Saint-Simon offered to act as a go-between, the King was shocked: 'the more my rank as king gives me the facility to satisfy myself,' he said, 'the more I must guard against sin and scandal.' Low-spirited and willingly dominated by his great minister Cardinal Richelieu, Louis XIII was one half of an incompatible pair." (Love and Louis XIV: 6-7)

"'Women,' remarks Guizot in his History of France, 'occupied but a small place in the life of Louis XIII. Twice, however, in the interval of ten years which separated the conspiracy of Montmorency from that of Cinq-Mars, Richelieu considered himself menaced by feminine influences, and twice he employed artifice to deprive two maids of honour, Marie d'Hautefort and Louise de Lafayette, of the affection and confidence of the monarch.' . . ." (The Marriages of the Bourbons, Volume 1: 413-414)

The temptation & seduction of Anne of Austria.

" . . . Anne of Austria now found herself contending for her husband's love not merely with a meddling mother-in-law but with an enemy of her house and her native land. What was an attractive, lusty, and reasonably intelligent young woman in her mid-twenties to do? Well, she could flirt. First, there had been Henry II, Duke of Montpensier, a twenty-three-year-old charmer, then the sixty-year-old Duke de Bellegarde, who made a fool of himself, but the most egregious flirtation came up in 1625 when the court of France succeeded in arranging a marriage between Louis XIII's younger sister, Henrietta Maria, and the Prince of Wales, soon to be Charles I of England. In preparation for the marriage, and in order to bring his new bride back to England, Charles, now king, sent his later father's and his own favorite, the dashing Duke of Buckingham, to the court of France. His specialty was the seduction of beautiful women, the higher on the social scale the better, and her immediately set his sights on Anne of Austria. . . ." (The Search for the Man in the Iron Mask: A Historical Detective Story: 14)

Queen Anne and the Duke of Buckingham.

"This third objective must be kept in mind since it explains, if it does not justify, the subsequent conduct of La Rochefoucauld. From earliest childhood, he tells us, it was impressed upon him that Richelieu was a tyrant and the natural enemy of his class. In consequence, he associated at court with the Cardinal's opponents and, because he was young and chivalrous, ardently championed the cause of the Queen, Anne of Austria, regarding her as the pathetic victim of a shameful persecution. To La Rochefoucauld, the Queen's intrigues with the brilliant Duke of Buckingham wee but the natural and spirited reactions of a woman tied to a weak and suspicious monarch who allowed himself to be dominated by an odious minister. Years later, when he sat down to compose his Memoires, La Rochefoucauld acquired a more accurate picture of the situation and, in a few lines, paid just tribute to the achievements of Richelieu. . . ." (Maximes: 3)

" . . . The scene was sent for the memorable incident, which took place in a garden, sometime between June 7 and June 16, 1625. Anne and the Duke of Buckingham were strolling. For a period of time---it is not clear how long---they fell out of sight of their attendants. There were sounds of a scuffle, and a woman's cry was heard. The attendants came running, and Buckingham had disappeared. It would seem as if on the following day the queen referred to him as a brute and expressed fears that she was pregnant, which makes some sense given that he himself was later to brag that in the course of his life he had made love to three queens and had browbeaten them all. The attendants did their best to cover up the incident but, like so many cover-ups, it only added fuel to the fire. And Buckingham had made matters worse by coming back from Calais, where he, the Chevreuses, Lomenie, and others had gone in order to accompany Henrietta Maria back to England, for an impromptu visit at the bedsides of the queen mother and the queen." (The Search for the Man in the Iron Mask: A Historical Detective Story: 16)

Louis XIII's lovers were:
Charles d'Albert
1st Duc de Luynes

Charles d'Albert 
1st Duke of Luynes

Constable of France 1621
Grand Falconer of France 1616

Son of: Honore d'Albert, Seigneur de Luynes.

Husband of: Marie de Rohan.

" . . . Louis was 15 at the time of the ministerial reshuffle. An adult in the eyes of the law, he was less and less inclined to leave everything to his mother. While deliberately kept away from the affairs of state, Louis had become infatuated with one of his falconers, Charles d'Albert de Luynes. The latter was twice the king's age, a father figure doubling as an intimate, possibly even as a lover. Luynes was instrumental in steeling the king's nerve to hatch a plot and seize power. When Concini entered the Louvre on 24 April 1617, he was apprehended for treason and shot upon the slightest sign of resistance. . . ." (Dynasty and Piety: Archduke Albert (1598-1624) and Habsburg Political Culture in an Age of Religious Wars: 449)

Francois de Baradas

Royal favourite in 1624-1626.

First Gentleman of the Chamber

Premier Ecuyer.

Louis XIII's first great love.
"The first great love of Louis's life was Francois de Baradas, a handsome and athletic officer of the royal household. Of their relationship, a contemporary chronicler wrote that the king 'loved Baradas violently; he was accused of committing a hundred filthy acts with him.' Baradas apparently didn't know when he was ahead, and not content with the favors he had been granted, he became restless and when on a visit to Nantes he had sexual affairs with a couple of nobles. When Louis heard about it, he became jealous and decided he no longer loved the young officer. . . ." (The Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations in Human Societies: 405)

" . . . Baradas came after De Luynes, 'a young gentleman who gained the favour of the King so rapidly that in six months' time he had attained to the offices of principal equerry, first gentleman of the bedchamber, Captain of St. Germain and King's Lieutenant in Champagne. Such was his Majesty's devotion to him that he had his hand always on his shoulder, and could not bear him to be out of his sight for a moment. This excessive favour caused much jealous displeasure to the Cardinal, who used all his artifice for two years to destroy him, but at last in the return from Nantes (after Gaston's first marriage) he was sent away and deprived of all his officers.'" (The Court of Louis XIII: 185-186)

"In 1524, Louis XIII had been smitten by Francois de Barradat. This attention quickly went to the head of the handsome youth. He put on airs, though not only of himself, and kept the king on edge. People muttered that the king was out of control in this relationship; even Richelieu was careful to write grovelling letters to the high-flying favori. . . . " (Louis XIII, the Just: 285)

The first great love of Louis' life was Francois de Baradas, a handsome and athletic officer of the royal household. Of their relationship, a contemporary chronicler wrote that the king 'loved Baradas violently; he was accused of committing a hundred filthy acts with him.' Baradas apparently didn't know when he was ahead, and not content with the favors he had been granted, he became restless and when on a visit to Nantes he had sexual affairs with a couple of nobles. When Louis heard about it, he became jealous and decided he no longer loved the young officer...." (The Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations in Human Societies: 405)

"BAR'ADAS (_Count_), the king's favorite, first gentleman of the chamber, and one of the conspirators to dethrone Louis XIII., kill Richelieu, and place the duc d'Orleans on the throne of France. Baradas loved Julie, but Julie married the chevalier Adrien de Mauprat. When Richelieu fell into disgrace, the king made count Baradas his chief minister, but scarcely had he so done when a despatch was put into his hand revealing the conspiracy, and Richelieu ordered Baradas' instant arrest.--Lord Lytton, _Richelieu_ (1839)." (Brewer,1892, n.p.)

Henri de Talleyrand-Périgord, comte de Chalais.jpg
Henri de Talleyrand-Perigord
Comte de Chalais

Henri de Talleyrand

Comte de Chalais

French noble & royal favourite

Master of the King's Wardrobe

Son of Daniel de Talleyrand-Perigord, Prince de Chalais, and Francoise de Montluc.

Husband of Charlotte de Castile, mar 1623.

Widow of the Comte de Charny.

Charlotte was accused of having a lover, the Comte de Pontgibault whom Henri killed in a duel.

"There was at this time in the King's Household, and very near His Majesty's person, in virtue of his office as Master of the Wardrobe, a young noble of twenty-seven, Henri de Talleyrand, Comte de Chalais, a member of an ancient sovereign house of Perigord, and, through his mother, a grandson of the Marechal de Montluc, author of the celebrated Commentaries to which Henri IV gave the name of 'The Soldier's Bible.' 'M. de Chalais,' writes Fontenay-Mareuil, 'was young, well-made, very adroit at all manly exercises, but, above all, very agreeable, which rendered him a favourite with the ladies, who ruined him.' Brave to rashness, he had distinguished himself on both the field of battle and that of honour, and a duel he had found with the Comte de Pontgibault, in which the latter had been killed, was long talked of. Chalais was so fortunate as to be a favourite of both the King and his brother, which would make his support of peculiar value to the cabal, since he would be able to add his persuasion to theirs to induce Monsieur to refuse the hand of Mlle. de Montpensier, and, at the same time, serve their interests with the King by misleading him as to the intentions of the malcontents. It was considered, however, very improbable that he could be persuaded to follow Monsieur's fortunes, since he was known to 'ambition' the post of Colonel of the Light Cavalry, and to have an excellent chance of securing it. But, unhappily for Chalais, there was something that he desired still more than the command of the Light Cavalry: he had been for some time past madly enamoured of Madame de Chevreuse, and when that siren, who had not as yet condescended to accept his devotion, began to show signs of relenting, it was all over with him; and, oblivious of everything but this fatal passion, the unfortunate young man allowed her to lead him whither she willed. The consequence was that, before he had fully realised his position, he found himself drawn into the very thick of the conspiracy which was to bring him to his doom."  (A Gallant of Lorraine, Vol 2: 95)

"The count belonged to the house of Talleyrand-Perigord, was Master of the Robes, and stood high in favour with Louis XIII. . . ."  (The Marriages of the Bourbons, Vol 1: 402)

"The duchess of Chevreuse had inveigled one of her many suitors into taking part in the conspiracy. He was Henri de Talleyrand-Perigord, comte de Chalais, a young noble of high birth who held the appointment of master of the king's wardrobe. He was of the same age as Louis XIII and had been brought up at court close to the king. " (France de Louis XIII Et de Richelieu. Anglais: 167)

"Henri de Talleyrand-Perigord, Comte de Chalais (1599-1626) [was] one of Louis's handsome young favorites and the Master of the King's Wardrobe, came under the influence of the Duchesse de Chevreuse and joined one of Prince Gaston's early conspiracies against Richelieu and the king. When the cabal was discovered and broken up, the high-ranking plotters mostly escaped punishment. Chalais, a mere tool, was made the escape goat, and was executed in a spectacularly bungled beheading that took the amateur headsman hired for the job over thirty blows to complete." (The Three Musketeers)

Claude de Rouvroy
Duc de Saint-Simon

Claude de Rouvroy (1607-1693)
1st Duc de Saint-Simon
Royal favourite in 1626-1636.

Son of Louis de Rouvroy, Seigneur du Plessis & Denise de La Fontaine.

Husband of:

1. Diane de Budos de Portes (1629-1670), mar 1644

2. Charlotte de l'Aubespine (1640-1725), mar 1672.
Claude de Rouvroy, Comte de Rasse, 1er. Duc de Saint-Simon, Pair de France (1607-1693).
Claude de Rouvroy
1st Duc de Saint-Simon

"Three weeks later, Louis fell for another teen. His infatuation for Claude de Saint-Simon was a form of slumming, as Claude was not a sophisticated youth, but short and homely, with salty language and a way with horses. Claude's relationship with the king was intriguing; the king invented a coded language in which the pair could send romantic correspondence. Evidently, after Louis involved Claude in a love triangle with Marie de Hautefort, the boy urged his sovereign to just go ahead and bed the lovely young girl. As with Barradas, there is no concrete proof of any physical sexual affair between Louis and Claude de Saint-Simon, who was heterosexual, and was often seen slipping away from Louis's quarters in 1634 to rendezvous with one of his 'wenches,' as Claude's casual liaisons were described. Louis was just as jealous of his male favorites' attachments to someone else as he was of the idea of Marie de Hautefort marrying anyone. . . The king remained enamored of Saint-Simon for a decade. As the councilor of state to governor of the town of Blaye in 1630 (the same year Louis fell in love with Marie de Hautefort), and in 1635, he made Saint-Simon a duke and peer." (Inglorious Royal Marriages: A Demi-Millennium of Unholy Mismatrimony.)

"With his elder brother Charles (who later became the marquis de Saint-Simon), Claude de Rouvroy entered the service of Louis XIII as a page and found instant favour with the king. Named first equerry in March 1627, he became in less than three years the captain of the châteaux of St-Germain and Versaillesmaster of the houndsfirst gentleman of the bed-chamberroyal councillor and governor of Meulan and of Blaye. On the fall of La Rochelle in 1628, he received lands in the vicinity valued at 80,000 livres. In 1635, his seigneurie of Saint-Simon in Vermandois was erected into a duchy, and he was created a peer of France. Despite the estrangement of later years, he had a true regard for the king, and he brought his son up to revere him as the model of kingship." (Wikipedia)

" . . . Next in line was Saint-Simon, a youth of far more tact and grace who remained with Louis for ten years and ended up as a duke. When Saint-Simon made the mistake of associating too closely with Richelieu's enemies, the cardinal had him banished. . . ." (The Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations in Human Societies: 405)

Affair's benefits to Claude de Saint-Simon.

"And so Saint-Simon remained as favorite from 1626-1636, as first gentleman of the chamber, honorary councillor of state from 1629, governor of the town of Blaye from 1630, and duke and peer from 1635. . . . " (Louis XIII, the Just: 166)

Favori's Finis: affair's end & aftermath.

". . . Only when the nobleman's loyalty to the king came into conflict with family bonds did the favor end. The disgrace bore all the mark's of Louis's sense of justice. Saint-Simon's uncle had surrendered a town to the invading Spaniards. the favorite defended that conduct to the king, and warned his uncle to flee before a hanging in effigy could be followed by his actual execution. Louis abruptly banished his longtime friend." (Louis XIII, the Just: 166)

Duc de Saint-Simon's family background.

"Louis de Rouvroy, Duke de Saint-Simon [w]as born 16th January, 1675, the son of Claude de Saint-Simon, by his second wife, Charlotte de l'Aubepine, daughter of the Marquis d'Hauterive, lieutenant-general of the king's army, and in the service of the states-general of the United Provinces; having passed great part of his life in Holland, where he died, 1670, the same year in which his daughter's marriage took place. This Claude de Rouvroy was born in 1604. He had an elder brother, eight years older, who died in 1690, at the age of ninety-four. Their father had been a soldier, and a passionate royalist; he was descended from the Chevalier Matthew de Rouvroy, lord of Plessis, who in 1332 married Margaret de Saint-Simon, daughter and heir of Jacques, lord of Saint-Simon, a branch of the house of the Counts of Vermandois, spring from one of the sons of Charlemagne. But war and family misfortune had ruined this branch of the house of Saint-Simon. He brought up his two eldest sons pages to Louis XIII, and died in 1643, the same year with that monarch. Claude became a great favourite with king Louis, who made him a duke and peer in 1633, at the age of twenty=seven. He sold his charge of first-gentleman of the chamber to the Duke de Lesdegueires, and with the money bought of the elder branch of his house the estate of Saint-Simon, which had never been out of the family since it came by marriage as a part of the inheritance of Vermandois. His second marriage took place in his old age, and from the death of Louis XIII he lived in retirement. He never could console himself for the death of that monarch, nor could speak of him without tenderness and veneration for his virtuesHe died 3rd May, 1693, aged eighty-seven, leaving the author of these memoirs, then at the age of eighteen. The author died at the age of eighty, but these memoirs are only carried down to the death of the regent, in 1733, who survived Louis XIV eight years. . . ." (Fraser's Magazine, Vol 8: 415)
Louise de la Fayette (1618-1665)
Lover in 1635-1637.
French courtier & Louis XIII's close friend.
Maid of honour to Anne of Austria

Daughter of Jean, Comte de La Fayette & Marguerite de Bourbon-Busset.

First encounter -- 1635.

"Louis's other mistress, Mlle de La Fayette---who interrupted the Hautefort's tyranny---also tried to reconcile the royal couple. The King first met this timid little Maid of Honour with brown ringlets and blue eyes in the autumn of 1635, when she was only sixteen. A deeply pious girl, she refused and made the Sign of the Cross when Louis paid her the unheard-of-compliment of asking her to come and live with him at Versailles. She too hunted with the King and, entirely disinterested, seems to have genuinely loved him for himself. But she also detested Richelieu and his 'wicked policies'. Ruthlessly, the Cardinal ordered her confessor to encourage her leaning towards the religious life, and in May 1637 Louise de La Fayette entered a Carmelite convent in Paris, in the rue Saint-Antoine. The King was in tears. So was Louise. 'I shall never see him again,' she wept. Her confessor told the King that her decision could be postponed, but Louis replied that if he kept her from her vocation he would regret it all his life. For a few months he visited her at her convent, though he was only able to speak to her through a grille (her somewhat worldly abbess said that the King ought to exercise his royal prerogative and come inside, but he was shocked by this suggestion). Marie de Hautefort soon returned, to make his life a torment again." (The Bourbon Kings of France)

Mademoiselle la Fayette's physical appearance & personal qualities.

" . . . Mademoiselle de la Fayette is described as possessed of many personal attractions: she was a brunette, with shining eyes; rather embonpoint in figure, without much dignity of carriage; shy, and sedate in manner and speech; given to sentiment, poetry, and meditation; and preferring a secluded life, to courtly gaieties. She had also been destined from her early youth to a cloister: her father was poor and proud, and despairing of finding for his daughter an alliance suitable to her birth, he had encouraged the longings of the pensive girl for seclusion. . . ." (The Married Life of Anne of Austria, Queen of France, Volume 1: 353-354)

The switch of royal affection.

" . . . Mlle. de LaFayette, though less beautiful than her rival, was attractive in appearance and had a melancholy charm of manner, which was more pleasing to Louis than the railleries of de Hautefort. The Bishop of Limoges, St. Simon, and various ladies joined in the attempt to establish her as a new favorite. It may be said to their credit that in this endeavor they knew they were not exposing the young girl's virtue to any serious peril. Richelieu also favored this endeavor to remove the king from the influence of de Hautefort. . . Mlle. de LaFayette was thrown in his way and he soon transferred his affection to her. She was well fitted to excite and to keep the love of so peculiar a temperament. Louis' melancholy, his capricious and variable moods and his mental depression in the great place he held, which had either amused or bore Mlle. de Hautefort, excited a sincere interest and sympathy in the mild and religious character of her successor. A strong attachment grew up for Louis, not as a king but as a man. Mlle. de LaFayette's affection for Louis XIII was as personal and as touching as that of Mlle. de La Valliere for his son. Louis found this personal attachment a new experience, and into her ear, therefore, he poured the fulness (sic) of his heart." (France Under Mazarin, Vol. 1: 193-194)
Image result for louise de la fayette & louis xiii
Louis XIII & Louise de La Fayette
The lady's got very powerful Court connections: " . . . Louise Angelique Motier de la Fayette was only daughter of Jean de la Fayette, Seigneur de Hautefeuille, and of Marguerite de Bourbon-Busset, who was descended from an illegitimate branch of Bourbon Montpensier. Her great grandmother, Suzanne de Bourbon Busset, Madame de Moissin, was the faithful friend of Queen Jeanne d'Albret, and the governess of Henri Quartre. In family influence, therefore, Mademoiselle de la Fayette surpassed Mademoiselle de Hautefort. Her uncle was the Bishop of Limoges, a prelate well-known at court. She also cousin-german to the Marquise de Senecee, lady-in-waiting to the Queen; and second cousin of the famous Capuchin Joseph de Tremblay. The governess of the Queen's maids, Mademoiselle de Polignac, was also a near relative. With such connections at court---persons placed, all of them, in influential positions---it has been a subject of wonder that the sagacity of Richelieu did not rather induce him to withdraw from the notice of his royal master a lady so powerfully supported. . . ." (The Married Life of Anne of Austria, Queen of France, Vol 1: 353)

"As Mlle. d'Hautefort refused to act as an instrument in the hands of the cardinal for the persecution of Anne of Austria, a Court cabal was formed in order to find another 'mistress' for his Majesty. . . and that lady selected to replace Mlle. d'Hautefort was Mlle. de Lafayette, the niece of the bishop, and a relation of the celebrated Pere Joseph, the ame damnee of the cardinal. It is true that the members of this cabal were perfectly certain that Mlle. Lafayette's virtue would run no danger." (The Marriages of the Bourbons, Vol 1: 414-)

Why Louise de la Fayette?.

" . . . She brought out the king's warmer and affectionate qualities, deeply suppressed by the persona of Louis the Just. Her code name in the Louis-Richelieu correspondence, la fille or 'the maiden,' spells out the difference between La Fayette and Hautefort. She liked to ride with the king, and she listened with rapt attention to his stories about the royal hunt. He felt so comfortable with this innocent maiden that he even confided his occasional doubts about the progress of his war with the Habsburgs. Undoubtedly he let slip remarks about his chief minister's imperiousness, and perhaps misgivings about some foreign policy moves." (Louis XIII the Just: 276)

A counter-attraction to Marie d'Hautefort: "Since direct methods had failed to drive Marie de Hautefort from her place in the Kings affection, Richelieu decided to supply a counter-attraction. More by good luck than good management he found the demurely lovely Louise de la Fayette with whom Louis fell genuinely in love. Since Louise was the niece of Father Joseph, Richelieu assumed as a matter of course that she would be a partisan of his own. Once again his inability to understand or handle women betrayed him. Louise was a gentle, saintly soul who had come to Paris in order to enter a convent. the loneliness and unhappiness of the puppet King aroused a fierce tenderness in her and she became his champion against the all-powerful Cardinal. The rather clumsy efforts of Richelieu to bribe her by promises of money and prestige antagonized her and she threw all her influence against him. Much as she loved Louis, her religious convictions were outraged by his domestic affairs. She saw something tragic and sinful in the conflict between mother and son, between husband and wife. Once made aware, thanks to the hints of Richelieu, of her power over the King, she began to use it according to her lights." (The Intriguing Duchess, Marie de Rohan, Duchesse de Chevreuse: 175)

Affair's effect on the lovers' families, other people & society.

" . . . More seriously, their constant companionship between 1635 and 1637---whenever he was home from military campaigns---made Queen Anne jealous; she was wounded by the king's attention to this stripling, even though she had been disdainful of his normal aloofness. . . ." (Louis XIII the Just: 276)

The end of the affair and aftermath: "When Louise recoiled in horror from sinning at Versailles with her monarch, he hung his head in shame for 'falling away from his accustomed modesty.' Louis gave in to royal and religious duty: he kept his throne and let his loved one go. On 9 May 1637, she took her leave in the queen's chambers. As Anne looked on, Louis broke down in tears, and Louise stoically rode off in her carriage to join the Sisters of the Visitation. . . On 5 December, five days before Louis dismissed Caussin for troubling his conscience, he saw Louise for the last time. He lingered at the grille until a rainstorm prevented the completion of his journey from Versailles to the monks of St-Maur. After trying to wait out the rain rather than take temporary quarters at the Louvre, where his wife was staying, the king of France finally gave in to the urgings of his male companions and slept in Anne's bed. Exactly nine months later, the future Louis XˆV was born." (Louis XIII the Just: 277)

Marie d'Hautefort

Lover in 1637-1639.

Maid of honour to the Queen

Daughter ofCharles, 2nd Marquis de Hautefort & Renee du Bellay.

Wife ofCharles de Schomberg, Duc de Schomberg, Marshal of France, mar 1646.

""Meantime, the sombre and imperious admiration of Louis XIII filled the mind of Marie de Hautefort with foreboding. Among the beautiful women of the era of Louis XIII, Marie de Hautefort stands prominent, as one of the most noble, heroic, and virtuous. Firm in her principles, and devoted in her friendship and duty to the Queen her mistress, Marie seems to have confided to Anne her misgivings. Endowed with a heart worthy of a queen, or of a heroine, Marie at first beheld with complacency the homage of her King; and accepted with elation the assiduities of Richelieu. For her sake, and to obtain the coveted interview, Louis daily repaired, twice or thrice to the apartments of the Queen, where Mademoiselle de Hautefort was often summoned from a conference with her Majesty to become the recipient of sighs, and Plaints of the King. Anne comforted and reassured her friend; the King professed sentiments purely Platonic; he wanted, he said, the solace of friendship, and confidential intercourse; he liked to cavil at his minister; above all, he desired faithful, exclusive attachment. Marie, inspired with genuine compassion for the dreariness of a life of emotions so repressed, accepted, with the secret sanctions of the Queen, the office of comforter. Anne gloried in the hope that in this liaison she descried the future germ of her enemy's downfall. The King's bashful shyness in his intercourse with Marie, allayed the most prudish suspicion. . . ."  (The Married Life of Anne of Austria, Queen of France, Vol 1: 306)

She was called Aurora to express her fresh loveliness.

" . . . Mlle. de Hautefort was the first whose beauty and grace excited the ardor of the chaste king. She was a young girl of good family with scanty means, who was early left under the charge of her grandmother, to be reared in the monotony of provincial life. The splendor and excitements of the Court seemed like the joys of paradise to those whose birth entitled them to entrance, but who found themselves removed by chance or misfortune. . . Mlle. de Hauteforte, though fitted to shine, was enveloped in tedium and obscurity, and she offered fervent prayers to God that He should have her sent to the Court. Her prayers were answered, and at fourteen she was made one of the maids of honor of the queen-mother. Her beauty charmed the new world in which she found herself, and she was called the Aurora, to express her fresh loveliness. She soon excited Louis' admiration, but any jealousy the queen might have had of this favorite, was prevented by the independent and loyal character of the girl, as well as by the virtue of the king. Louis' devotion was marked by a modesty which excited the amusement rather than the respect of the Court. The king was fond of music, and he composed little airs and songs, of which the charms of Mlle. de Hautefort were always the burden. At table he could look but on her. Though content to do without her favors himself, he was jealous of any suitor who endeavored to invade his virtuous harem." (France Under Mazarin, Vol. 1: 191-192)

The king's curious reports of the most innocent, the most stormy, and the most restless affection: ". . . It was in 1630, at Lyons, during mass, that the king remarked Mlle d'Hautefort, who was at that time but fourteen years of age. The first mark of attention paid by his most Christian Majesty to the young beauty was to send her the red velvet cushion upon which he was kneeling for her to sit upon. Mlle. d'Hautefort refused the royal offer, and remained with her companions seated on the ground. However, a platonic liaison ensued between his phlegmatic Majesty and his lively companion, who seems to have grown rather weary of an admirer who never spoke to her of anything but his hounds and falcons. It seems that this strange pair were constantly disputing and making it up again. The king was jealous of the affection which Mlle. d'Hautefort bore his wife! He said to her one day---'You love an ungrateful woman, and you will see how she will repay your services.' After each quarrel it appears that the king used to retire to his study and write out a detailed account of what had passed, and at his death a box was found which was filled with 'these curious reports of the most innocent, the most stormy, and the most restless affection." (The Marriages of the Bourbons, Vol 1: 414)

The king fell in love with her instantly.

" . . . In the spring of 1630, the fourteen-year-old Marie de Hautefort caught his eye. She was a pink-cheeked, spirited innocent with blue eyes and golden hair in the queen mother's household. He was in need of distraction. The monarch fell in love instantly. Louis politely begged his mother's permission to visit the girl. He donned colorful clothes and forgot all about hunting. Yet he dared not touch her; there is even a story that one day he used a pair of silver tongs to snatch a gossipy note she and the queen had tauntingly hid in her stirring bosom. In spite of this reserve, he became insanely jealous at the attention other men paid her. No wonder that Tallemant des Reaux concluded that Louis XIII had nothing of the lover in him but jealousy." (Louis XIII the Just: 274)

"Louis had several mistresses, but as M de Montglat says, the relationship was invariably platonic. When Mlle de Hautefort coyly dropped a letter into her bosom, the King retrieved it with a pair of tongs. She lasted longest of all his loves, holding sway for nearly a decade. He first met her in 1631 when she was a seventeen-year-old Maid of Honour to the Queen. Nicknamed ‘Aurora’ by the court, Marie de Hautefort was a big, bouncing, Gascon blonde with an aquiline nose. High-spirited, imperious and a little hard, she inflicted upon Louis all the miseries which he expected; their affair was a business of jealous quarrels and grudging reconciliations. He suspected her of making fun of him to the Queen, but loved her in spite of himself. One day he confided his love to Saint-Simon, whereupon that earthy young man suggested that he act as Louis’s ambassador to Marie, hinting that if he did, the King would very soon find himself in bed with her. Louis was horrified. ‘It is quite true that I’m in love with her,’ he admitted, ‘that I look for her everywhere, that I enjoy talking about her and that I dream about her even more. But it is also true that this happens in spite of myself, as I’m a man and weak in that way. Being King makes it no easier for me than for anyone else to indulge my feelings, because I have to be always on my guard against sin and giving scandal.’ The astonished Saint-Simon concluded that Louis’s passion was real enough, but kept in check by religious scruples. Mlle de Hautefort’s influence was not altogether beneficial; as a loyal friend of Anne of Austria she disliked Richelieu and was pro-Spanish. On the other hand, she did her best to bring together the King and Queen, between whom there was now little love. Also, according to la Grande Mademoiselle (Gaston’s daughter), she made the court more agreeable. As a précieuse with literary tastes, Marie complained that the King only talked to her about hounds and hunting (though she occasionally hunted herself). No doubt she preferred the music parties which took place three times a week." (The Bourbon Kings of France)

An alluring but domineering creature.

" . . . Since her experiences of the previous August the queen had been obliged to submit to a kind of exile at Court, and the king had developed an interest in Mademoiselle de Hautefort. She was an alluring fair-haired beauty but a domineering creature---too domineering to replace the gentle affectionate Louise de la Fayette. However Louis XIII used to credit his idols with virtues that were not always confirmed by experience and for the time being Mademoiselle de Hautefort seemed to him the perfect friend for whom he had never ceased to long. Even so such a friend was not and was not to become a mistress. . . ." (France in the Age of Louis XIII and Richelieu: 375)

" . . . After Saint-Simon, Louis tried his luck with a lady, Madame d'Hautefort, but like her predecessor in the role, she couldn't resist involving herself in court politics on the side of the opposition to Richelieu. In response Richelieu craftily went about undermining Louis' trust in the lady and then ensured her departure by bringing in another young man for the king, the exceptionally handsome Marquis de Cinq-Mars." (The Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations in Human Societies: 405)

"Mademoiselle de Hautefort: Marie de Hautefort, one of Anne of Austria's faithful 'Spanish' entourage, was instrumental in arranging the escape of Madame de Chevreuse in October 1637. . . ." (The Vicomte de Bregelone: 679)

Platonic royal fascination.

"To do him justice, Louis does not appear to have had any designs on the girl's virtue. He merely wanted a friend in whom he could confide. He came nightly to his wife's apartments to talk to the object of his platonic affections. It was noticed with some amusement that he was always careful to sit at a safe distance from her during these conversations. Marie de Hautefort herself told a friend that he talked about nothing but hunting and dogs. The innocence of his wooing was only equalled by its surpassing dullness. Sometimes the evenings were placid. If Louis ever dared to criticize his wife to the maid-of-honour, he would be treated to a blast of polite abuse for his treatment of her. Worsted in the battle of words the King would retire and tell his troubles to the sympathetic Richelieu." (The Intriguing Duchess, Marie de Rohan, Duchesse de Chevreuse: 173)

"Weighed down by the incredible volume of work, carrying the fate of France on his stooped shoulders, Richelieu overlooked the trouble brewing at Tours. He thought that Marie de Chevreuse, at least, was off his mind. It was of a piece with his ill fortune that another beauteous blonde, nearer at hand, should have given him some of the most anxious moments of his career. Marie de Medici and Marie de Chevreuse had, alternately and simultaneously, given him cause to curse the entire sex. Now there appeared yet a third Marie destine to give him many a sleepless night. This was Marie de Hautefort, the golden-haired beauty of the Court. At the time of Louis' serious illness at Lyons three years before, his lack-lustre eye fell on a girl of fourteen, who had recently become one of Marie de Medici's maids-of-honour. He promptly recovered, in spite of the well-meant efforts of his physicians. Even at that early age, Marie de Hautefort was warranted to galvanize the most moribund man into life. Great blue eyes sparkled and danced, a roguish smile revealed perfect teeth and ready blushes brought a glow to her creamy complexion. The mop of golden curls that formed an aureole around the dainty head, her air of dewy freshness and innocent gaiety, earned the name by which she was known at Court, l'Aurore, Goddess of Dawn." (The Intriguing Duchess, Marie de Rohan, Duchesse de Chevreuse: 171)

Effects on the lovers' family & society.

"Louis' interest in the girl did not escape the observant eye of the old Queen, who was quick to take advantage of it. To quote Madame de Motteville, 'As soon as the King saw her, he had an inclination for her. The Queen-Mother, to whom she had been as maid-of-honour, seeing this little spark of fire in the soul of the Prince so shy of women, tried to light rather than extinguish it, in order to gain his good graces by her compliance.' Using as bait the beauty and virginity of a firl of fourteen committed to her care, Marie de Medici tried to bring her son under her control but the 'Day of Dupes' put an end to her hopes of ruling France." (The Intriguing Duchess, Marie de Rohan, Duchesse de Chevreuse: 173)

Henri Coiffier de Ruzé

Royal favourite in 1639-1642.

Marquis de Cinq-Mars

French royal favourite and courtier.

Son of Antoine, Marquis d'Effiat, Marshal of France.

"The king's last male liaison made Barradat look like a budding Saint-Simon. Richelieu had taken a liking to the brave and dashing but spoiled son of his deceased colleague and creature, Marshal Effiat. When the open conflict with Spain erupted in 1635, the fifteen-year-old Henri d'Effiat, marquis of Cinq Mars, was made commander of one of Louis's new companies of bodyguards. . . In 1639, the youth fought in his monarch's presence at the northeastern front; by the year's end, Louis told Marie de Hautefort that his affections now belonged to Cinq Mars. The king was thirty-eight, his favori nineteen." (Louis XIII, the Just: 285)

Why Him?: "Louis succumbed to the lure that had swept him off his feet before. Cinq Mars had the handsome beauty of Luynes and Barradat, the youth of Barradat and Saint-Simon. The king was utterly blind to his friend's self-centeredness, ostentatiousness and promiscuity---characteristics Louis had spent a lifetime trying to eradicate from court and country. The spell that Monsieur le Grand cast on the king was stronger than Marie de Hautefort had been." (Louis XIII, the Just: 285)

" . . . To this end, Richelieu, after mature deliberation, selected as the new favourite a page named Cinq-Mars, whose extraordinarily handsome person and exuberant spirits could nor fail, a he rightly imagined to attract the fancy and enliven the leisure of the moody sovereign. This young noble, who was the son of an old and tried friend of the Cardinal, had appeared at court under his auspices, and consequently regarded him as the patron of his future; a conviction which to give to the relative position of the parties a peculiar and confidential character well-suited to the views of the astute minister. Cinq-Mars, like all youths of his age, was dazzled by the brilliancy of the court, and eager for advancement; while he was at the same time reckless, unscrupulous, and even morbidly ambitions; but these defects were concealed beneath an exterior so prepossessing, manners so specious, and acquirements so fascinating; there was such a glow and glitter in his scintillating wit and uncontrollable gaiety, that few cared to look beyond the surface, and all were loud in their admiration of the handsome and accomplished page." (The Life of Marie de Medicis, Queen of France: 556)

"Something very close to an action replay took place a decade later in France, thought on a rather more heroic scale. Under the regency of Marie de' Medicis, and more critically, in the early years of the reign of Louis XIII, the man who steadily concentrated power in his own hands was Bishop, and later Cardinal Richelieu, a highly active heterosexual, who, however, warmed to the delicately featured Henri d'Effiat, created Marquis de Cinq-Mars. As part of his scheme to dominate the sickly King, Richelieu pushed Cinq-Mars forward as a court favourite, Louis being completely captivated by this beautiful young man whose real talents, in fact, lay in seducing women: Marion de Lorne was madly in love with him, provoking the jealousy of the King, and the mother of Cinq-Mars bringing accusations of rape against Marion. Like Buckingham before him, Cinq-Mars came to feel himself all-conquering and invulnerable. In 1641 he joined the Spanish government in a conspiracy to assassinate his former patron, Richelieu, and take over power in Paris. Cinq-Mars and his cronies were no match for the Cardinal's espionage system. Nemesis once again overtook overweening male beauty: Cinq-Mars was executed." (A History of Human Beauty: 61)