Baldassare Castiglione: a true Renaissance man, diplomat, and author

Baldassare Castiglione, Count of Casatico, was born on the 6th of December 1478. He was an Italian courtier, diplomat, soldier, and, most importantly, an illustrious Renaissance author. Born in Casatico, near Mantua, into a family of the minor Italian nobility, he was related through his mother, Luigia Gonzaga, to the...

Veronica Gambara: a Renaissance poetess and stateswoman

Veronica Gambara was born on the 29 or 30th of November 1485 (she died on the 13th of June 1550). This illustrious woman was not only an Italian poet, stateswoman, and political leader, but also the ruler of the County of Corregio from 1518 until 1550. Veronica was born in...

Eleanor of Austria: a daughter of illustrious parents, a marriage pawn

It is not enough to have illustrious parents and lineages to be happy.  The life of a queen, a princess, or a royal descendant did not belong to her: from her birth, a royal girl was a valuable commodity in the European marriage market, especially if her parents were the...

King François I of France: a godfather of the French Renaissance

King François I of France was born on the 12th of September at Cognac, Aquitaine, France.  The only son of Charles d’Orléans, Count d’Angoulême, and his wife, Louise de Savoy, François was a great-great-grandson of King Charles V of France called the Wise (le Sage).  A son of the man with...

Dauphin François of France: poisoned or died of natural causes?

Duke François III of Brittany, who was also Dauphin of France and an heir apparent, was the eldest son of King François I of France and his first wife, Queen Claude of France, who also was his cousin as daughter of King Louise XII and his second spouse, Anne de...

‘The Peace of the Ladies’, and the misfortunes of King François I of France

The Treaty of Cambrai, also called ‘Peace of the Ladies’ (French: ‘Paix Des Dames’), was signed on the 3rd of August because of the efforts of two powerful women – Louise de Savoy, the mother of King François I of France, and Archduchess Margaret of Austria, who was Emperor Charles...

The visit of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V to England in 1522

On the 26th of May 1522, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V arrived at the English city-port of Dover.  Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Archbishop of York, as well as his entourage of approximately 300 Englishmen, specially selected for this occasion in advance, greeted the Habsburg emperor.  At the time of the emperor’s...

The Italian Wars: the Truce of Nice of 1538

On this day in history, the 18th of June 1538, the Truce of Nice was signed, ending the Italian War of 1536–38 between King François I of France and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.   The Italian Wars, which are often referred to as the Habsburg-Valois Wars, were a series of...