Dames de la cour

Better and lesser known ladies of Louis XIV's court.

  • Françoise de Brancas, Princesse d’Harcourt

    Louis XIV’s court was full with strange people and if the stories regarding the Princesse d’Harcourt are true, she is certainly on the very top of the list. Françoise de Brancas was born in around 1650 as the oldest daughter of Charles de Brancas, Marquis de Maubec, and his wife Suzanne Garnier. The family was quite respectable and her papa,…

  • Marie-Madeleine Pioche de La Vergne, Comtesse de La Fayette

    Marie-Madeleine Pioche de La Vergne better known as Madame de La Fayette, was the author of France’s first first historical novel La Princesse de Clèves. It was so successful that people outside of Paris had to wait months in order to get their hands on a copy, if they managed at all. Marie-Madeleine was born on 18 March 1634, into…

  • Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre

    Music during the time of Louis XIV was dominated by the male gender, there is one woman however who was celebrated for her creations as much as the males.   Élisabeth Jacquet was born in the first months of the year 1665 to Claude Jacquet and Anne de la Touche. Her baptism took place on 17 March 1665 and her papa…

  • Anne d’Autriche

    Ana María Mauricia de Austria y Austria-Estiria or short Anne d’Autriche was born on 22 September 1601 as oldest daughter of Philip III of Spain and his second cousin and wife Margaret of Austria.   Anne received her first name in honour of her grandmother Anne of Austria, fourth wife of Philip II, her second name María in honour of…

  • Jeanne-Baptiste d’Albert de Luynes, Comtesse de Verrue

    Born on 18 January in 1670 at the Hôtel de Luynes in Paris, Jeanne-Baptiste was a daughter of Louis-Charles d’Albert, Duc de Luynes, and his second wife Anne de Rohan, a daughter of the famous Madame de Chevreuse.   Jeanne, who was named after her godfather Jean-Baptiste Colbert, spent most of her early years at Port-Royal, where she was educated.…

  • Élisabeth-Charlotte d’Orléans, Duchesse de Lorraine

    Born on 13 September in 1676 at Saint-Cloud, Élisabeth-Charlotte was the third and last child born to Philippe de France and his second wife Liselotte von der Pfalz. She was the granddaughter of a King, niece of a King, mother of an Emperor and grandmother of France’s most famous Queen, Marie-Antoinette. After five years of marriage and two sons, Monsieur was…

  • Marguerite-Louise d’Orléans, Grande-Duchesse de Toscane

    Born on 28 July in 1645 at the château de Blois, Marguerite-Louise was the first child and daughter of Gaston de France and his second wife Marguerite de Lorraine and thus a first-cousin to Louis XIV.   Gaston de France was the brother of Louis XIII and married Marguerite de Lorraine in secret and against the will of his kingly brother, which led to…

  • Anne-Geneviève de Bourbon, Duchesse de Longueville

    On 28 August in 1619, a girl was born in the dark prison of the château de Vincennes, which was sixty years later inhabited by poisoners awaiting their death sentences after plenty of torture.   That girl was Anne-Geneviève de Bourbon, the first child and only daughter of Henri de Bourbon, Prince of Condé, and his wife Charlotte-Marguerite de Montmorency. Her parents…

  • Julie d’Aubigny, Mademoiselle Maupin

    One can use a lot of words to describe Mademoiselle Maupin, a flamboyant cross-dressing opera-singing swords-woman, but utterly badass might be the most fitting.   Julie was born between 1670 and 1673 to Gaston d’Aubigny, who served as secretary to the Comte d’Armagnac. Said Comte d’Armagnac, Louis de Lorraine, was  a Prince of Lorraine and the Grand Écuyer of France and on…

  • Marie Bosse, palm-reader and poisoner

    After the arrest of Madame de Brinvilliers, who had conspired with her lover to murder half her family in order to inherit wealth and property, the people of Paris and Louis XIV’s court were not just truly shocked by it all, the arrest also made them remember quite the number of strange and mysterious deaths and talk of powders and…

  • Marie de Lorraine, Princesse de Monaco

    Marie de Lorraine, born on 12 August 1674, was a daughter of Louis de Lorraine, Comte d’Armagnac, and his wife Catherine de Neufville de Villeroi. The couple was very fertile and had fourteen children, Marie was their ninth child and fifth daughter.   Both of her parents were rather prominent courtiers. Louis held the rank of foreign prince and the…

  • Julie d’Angennes, Duchesse de Montausier

    Julie-Luciana d’Angennes was born in 1607 in Paris as daughter of Charles d’Angennes and the famous Catherine de Vivonne. Charles and Catherine married as she was twelve years old and they had seven children, two boys and five girls.   Catherine, known as Madame de Rambouillet, was a very famous lady. She hosted the first and most brilliant Parisian literary…

  • Françoise-Madeleine d’Orléans, Duchesse de Savoie

    Françoise-Madeleine was born on 13 October in 1648 as third child and daughter of Gaston de France and his second wife Marguerite de Lorraine. The little girl received the style Mademoiselle de Valois, from one of her father’s properties, and spend much of her early years in the French countryside. Her papa was fond of intrigues and the result of one of…

  • Marguerite de Lorraine, Duchesse d’Orléans

    Born on 22 July in 1615, Marguerite was a daughter of François de Lorraine and his wife Christine de Salm. At the time of her birth, her father was known as the Comte de Vaudémont. He was a son of Charles III, Duc de Lorraine, and Claude de France, daughter of Henri II, and upon Charles’ death in 1608, François’ older brother Henri became Duc…

  • Ninon de Lenclos, courtisane and femme d’esprit

    Louis XIV’s court was full with witty and smart ladies. Ninon de Lenclos is one of the most famous. She was praised for her beauty, her style, her mind, her spirit, her council… the list goes on. She was legendary already during her lifetime.   Ninon was born around 10 November 1620 as Anne de l’Enclos, also spelled de Lenclos or de Lanclos, and…

  • Marie-Adélaïde de Savoie, Duchesse de Bourgogne et Dauphine de France

    Marie-Adélaïde de Savoie was certainly on of the most sparkling gems of Louis XIV’s Versailles and the mother of Louis XV. She was born in Turin on 6 December in 1685 to Victor-Amédée II, Duc de Savoie, and Anne-Marie d’Orléans. Anne-Marie d’Orléans was a daughter of Monsieur, brother to Louis XIV, and his first wife Henriette d’Angleterre, sister of Charles II. She married Victor-Amédée…

  • Françoise-Marie de Bourbon, Duchesse d’Orléans

    Françoise-Marie was the youngest illegitimate daughter of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan. She was born 4 May 1677 at the château de Maintenon, but not given into care of Madame de Maintenon, because the Marquise was not happy the King and la Montespan were still sharing beds.   She grew up in the care of the Mesdames de Monchevreuil,…

  • Marthe-Marguerite Le Valois de Villette, Marquise de Caylus

    Madame de Caylus was one of the grand dames of Versailles and famous for her writings. She was born on 17 April 1671 or 1673 to Philippe Le Valois de Villette de Mursay and Marie-Anne de Chateauneuf at the château de Mursay, a estate that once belonged to Agrippa d’Aubigné. This Agrippa d’Aubigné, a famous companion of Henri IV, was…

  • Anne-Marie d’Orléans, Reine de Sardaigne

    Anne-Marie d’Orléans was the last born child of Philippe de France and his first wife Henriette d’Angleterre. The couple married in 1661 and their first child was born in 1662. After a miscarriage in 1663, a son was born to them in 1664, who died two years later. Another 3 miscarriages, in 1665, 1667 and 1668, followed, before Anne-Marie was…

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