Louise de La Vallière: Mistress of the Sun King
Louis XIV did not always have good taste when it came to women. Witness the nasty, (literally) poisonous Marquise de Montespan.
However one of his other mistresses stood out by her grace and dignity. I am thinking of Louise de la Vallière, the heroine of Sandra Gulland‘s new novel, Mistress of the Sun.
Louise (1664-1710) bore the King four children, only to suffer the indignity of sharing his attentions with Madame de Montespan.
She was also deeply religious and racked by remorse. At the age of 30, she renounced her position at Court and in the world to enter the Carmel under the name of Sister Louise de la Miséricorde.
I just began reading the novel last night and discovered Louise’s childhood love of horses (an autobiographical trait, maybe, Sandra?) A lot of research obviously went into 17th century horsemanship.
Sandra kindly agreed to be interviewed for this blog. She went so far as to state, when I remarked on the similarity in the titles of our respective novels, that there always room for more than one mistress, especially when it comes to kings. That was certainly true of Louis XIV.
So stay tuned…