Madeleine, Summer Queen of Scotland – a fragile flower destined to wither

Madeleine de Valois was born on the 10th of August 1520 to King François I of France and his first wife Queen Claude, Duchess of Brittany, at Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris.    The couple’s 5th child and 3rd daughter, Madeleine was a sickly girl since her early childhood.  Despite all...

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...

Claude of France: a gentle queen whose life was too short

Queen Claude of France, the eldest daughter of King Louis XII of France from his marriage to Anne of Brittany and the first wife King François I of France, died on 20th of July 1524 after a brief illness, at the age of only 24 at Château de Blois and...

Louis XII of France: a king by accident with dreams of Italian conquests

King Louis XII of France was born on the 27th of June 1462 at Château de Blois.  The son of Duke Charles d'Orléans, and Mary of Cleves, Louis XII  succeeded his father only at the age of 3.  King Louis XI appointed the chief councilors and servitors of the young...

King François I’s Book of Hours!

King François I’s Book of Hours! It belonged to the art-loving Knight-King, the first Renaissance King of France! It appears in my novels from time to time as François uses it quite often for prayers. Purchased in the 1530s, François used it every day. It is a stunning masterpiece of...

The Château de Chenonceau: “Château des Dames” of the Loire Valley

The Château de Chenonceau is a magnificent castle spanning the River Cher.  It is located close to the village of Chenonceaux in the Indre-et-Loire département of the Loire Valley in France.  One of the most famous châteaux of the Loire valley, it is a unique Renaissance castle, a fairytale and...

Marguerite de Valois, Duchess de Berry: birth and late marriage

Marguerite de Valois, Duchess de Berry, was born on the 5th of June 1523 at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye.  She was the youngest daughter and child of King François I of France and his first wife – Queen Claude of France, Duchess de Bretagne.  In a year after her birth,...

Birth of Charles de Bourbon, Duke de Vendôme – King Henri IV of France’s grandfather

Charles de Bourbon, Duke de Vendôme, was born on the 2nd of June 1489.  He was a French noblewoman ranked as prince du sang – a person legitimately descended in dynastic line from any of a realm’s hereditary monarchs.  Born at the Château de Vendôme, his birth brought a profound...

Marriage of François d’Angoulême and Claude of France

On the 18th of May 1514, François d’Angoulême, the future King François I of France, married his distant cousin Claude, the eldest of the two surviving daughters of Queen Anne and King Louis XII.  The quiet ceremony took place in the atmosphere of lament in a chapel at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, which...

Leonardo Da Vinci: a genius’s life in Italy and his last years in France

Leonardo Da Vinci was born on the 14 or 15th of April 1452 in the Tuscan town of Vinci, in the Republic of Florence.  He was undoubtedly the quintessential Renaissance man, one who spent most of his life in Italy and his last years in France.  Leonardo’s areas of interest...

Princess Mary Tudor: biding her time after marrying Louis XII

On the 13th of August 1514, Princess Mary Tudor was married to King Louis XII of France by proxy at Greenwich Palace.  A young and beautiful maid became the wife of an ailing and old monarch!  Mary was eighteen, while Louis was fifty-two!  However, the age difference did not matter...

“The Field of the Cloth of Gold”

On the 7th of June 1520, the sensational meeting of Kings of England and France occurred near Calais that was to become known to history as “The Field of the Cloth of Gold”. This luxurious meeting became the standards to which international peace treaties were measured in many years to...

King François I’s worst defeat: the Battle of Pavia and captivity

This post is devoted to one of the most important events in the life of King François I of France, who is one of the main characters in my alternate history serious about Anne Boleyn. Today is a new anniversary of the Battle of Pavia, which was fought on the...