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Queens and Mistresses of Renaissance France$
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Kathleen Wellman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300178852

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300178852.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Agnès Sorel

Agnès Sorel

The First Official Royal Mistress

Chapter:
(p.25) 1 Agnès Sorel
Source:
Queens and Mistresses of Renaissance France
Author(s):

Kathleen Wellman

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300178852.003.0002

This chapter tells the life story of Agnes Sorel, who became the first officially designated French royal mistress in 1444. During his reign, forty-year-old king Charles VII selected the extraordinarily beautiful, twenty-two-year-old Agnes as his mistress, which led to him defining a new role for women in the courts and a new practice for French kings. Being presented to Charles VII's court gave Agnes a quasi-official status, not to mention bringing her into greater prominence than earlier mistresses. Unintentionally, Charles VII's designation of Agnes as royal mistress had long-term ramifications, specifically for the roles of the king and queen, and for their relationship. The position also offered new ways for a king's contemporaries and subsequent historians to assess his reign.

Keywords:   quasi-official status, Agnes Sorel, French royal mistress, Charles VII, French kings

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