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 Mme de Maintenon 
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:19 pm
Posts: 129
Post Mme de Maintenon
Born in 1635 she became the morganatic 2nd wife of
King Louis 14th
They married secretly in 1685.
There are no written records of
the marriage and it was never announced to the public.


MMe de Maintenon was age 49 when she married King Louis 14
At age 75 she begged her confessor to absolve her from her marital
duties.... her husband... the 70 year old King .... was still demanding
to make love twice a day !
(The old goat ! )

Mme de Maintenon died in April 1719


Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:48 pm
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 4:10 pm
Posts: 710
Post Re: Mme de Maintenon
I've heard that too! What a laugh riot!!!! That old rascal!

Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:46 am
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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:32 am
Posts: 294
Post Re: Mme de Maintenon
There has never been morganatic marriage in France and morganatic marriage never existed in French laws. Equality of birth is not so important in France because antiquity of nobility in the male line is only taken into account: a Frenchman should have cent ans de noblesse (100 years in the male line) to become a Knight of Malta. A German should have quatre quartiers de noblesse (all four grandparents being noble) for the same purpose.

There was, however, a French practice, somewhat different to morganatic marriage, sometimes used in situations of inequality between the spouses: an "openly secret" marriage - that is, the marriage ceremony took place in private (with only a priest, the bride and groom, and a few witnesses in attendance) and the marriage was never officially announced (although it might be widely known), and thus the woman never publicly shared in her husband's titles and rank. Louis XIV married Madame de Maintenon, his second wife, this way. Madame de Maintenon was too old to bear children in this marriage. However, because of the similar definitions between a secret marriage and an morganatic marriage, this marriage is sometimes mistakenly included in an example list of morganatic marriages.

She has, as I recall, quite a bit to answer for, since it was her particular brand of piety which led the king to revoke the Edict of Nantes, protecting Protestants. Aside from the immediate human cost of this "Christian" action, it helped drive an extremely productive group from the country, with corresponding benefits to others (including the then English colonies that became America).

Though she has her defenders even on that point:

Some have accused her of responsibility for the revocation of the Edict of Nantes and the dragonnades, but recent investigations have shown that in spite of her ardent Catholicism, she at least opposed the cruelties of the dragonnades, although she was pleased with the conversions they procured.

Jim Chevallier
North Hollywood, CA

Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:10 am

Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:25 pm
Posts: 44
Post Re: Mme de Maintenon
This lady (professionally, a courtesan) was the target of a farce entitled "La Fausse Prude" which earned the Italian players banishment from the kingdom. Another example of the power of truth revealed in comedy or satire aimed at blowhards, pompous asses, hypocrites: all who think they can hide their true nature (it is a futile enterprise). I would like to think it was the Regent who let them back in. I love it!

Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:53 pm
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