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Madame De Maintenon: The Secret Wife of Louis XIV


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Francoise d'Aubigne was born in a bleak provincial fortress in 1635, her father a condemned murderer and traitor. Yet during her lifetime she managed to make her way from desperate poverty, via the bountiful and treacherous Caribbean islands, to a brilliant salon life in Paris and the centre of power at Versailles. Married at fifteen to forty-two-year-old Paul Scarron, tragically disfigured and scandalously popular poet of the burlesque, Francoise encountered in her husband's famous salon all the brilliant, beautiful, comic ...