• Marie-Thérèse d’Autriche

    Marie-Thérèse d’Autriche was born on September 10 in 1638, five days after her future husband, which made many believe they were meant for each other.   As daughter of the reining King of Spain Philip IV and his Queen Élisabeth de France, sister of Louis XIII, Marie-Thérèse was Infanta of Spain – meaning as much as Princess – from the day she…

  • Laure Mancini, Duchesse de Mercœur

    Laure Mancini was the oldest of the five Mancini sisters. Born on May 6, 1636, she was called to France by Cardinal de Mazarin, along with her sister Olympe and cousin Anne-Marie Martinozzi, in 1647.   Upon arriving in France, Laure adopted, like the rest, the French spelling of her name, Laure-Victoire Mancini. Due to the influence of their uncle, Cardinal…

  • Catherine Monvoisin, fortune teller, sorceress and poisoner

    France was shaken by a scandal of enormous proportions in the late 1670’s, l’affaire des poisons, in its center the King, various women of the best noble families of France and a woman called La Voisin.   Catherine Deshayes was born around 1640 and married Antoine Monvoisin, sometimes spelled Montvoison. He was a jeweller with a shop at Pont-Marie, in…

  • Hortense Mancini, Duchesse Mazarin

    Born on June 6 in 1646, Ortensia was the second youngest of the Mancini sisters, who along with their Martinozzi cousins were known as les Mazarinettes.   Ortensia was six years old as she arrived in France with her sisters and like them, swiftly adopted the French style of her name, Hortense. She was part of the second group of…

  • Marie-Anne Mancini, Duchesse de Bouillon

    Born in 1649, to Girolama Mazzarini, sister of Cardinal de Mazarin, and Lorenzo Mancini, a Baron and necromancer, Marie-Anne Mancini was the youngest of the five famous Mancini sisters, who along with their Martinozzi cousins became known as the Mazarinettes.   Marie-Anne Mancini was the last to join her sisters, brothers and cousins in France. Aged only 6 upon her…

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