Madame de Montespan, was born as Françoise de Rochechouart de Mortemart on October 5, 1641 in Lussac-les-Châteaux. Her family, the house of Rochechouart, was one of the oldest noble families and served the king and queen of France.
As a child she was sent to the Convent of Saint Mary in Saintes alongside other noble children and at 17 years old she was working in the court of the Palais du Louvre. In 1658 as the lady-in-waiting to the sister-in-law to Louis XIV, Henriette of England, the young Francoise was now close to king Louis XIV. A role given to her by Anne of Austria who her mother served as her lady-in-waiting, it was the family business after all.
On January 28, 1663 she married Louis Henri de Pardaillan de Gondrin, Marquis de Montespan, although she was in love with Louis de la Frémoille. A lady didn’t have much of a choice back then and was forced to marry Louis Henri. Montespan became the head mistress, mother of his seven children and trusted advisor until her role in the Affair of the Poison was reviled. Her entire story is at times pretty horrifying and could be sensitive to some. We tried not to get to into the dark stuff, but it is part of her story.
More info and photos: https://www.claudinehemingway.com/paris-history-avec-a-hemingway-podcast-1
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