Mistress of Beauty
Mistress of Beauty is the story of Agnes Sorel, a
demoiselle at the court of Isabelle of Lorraine
who subsequently became a mistress of Charles VII
of France was given the Castle of Beauty, also the city of
Vernon and other beautiful estates. I enjoyed
reading this book for the wonderful descriptions of life
at the French court during the Valois era and the magnificent
pageantry of the knights and the colourful royal processions
in which even the horses were richly caparisoned in the colours
of the owners with rich braid threaded through their manes and tails.
This story is quite unique in its telling with the majesty of the royal
castles of the time, the story of Good King Rene and his mother, Queen
Yolande of Aragon, who lived at the Castle of Saumur and the various
members of the royal court and the courts of Lorraine and Anjou. Styles
of dress, entertainments, jousting and the politics of the time are all
included in this epic story.
Charles VII’s son, the Dauphin, who later became Louis XI
is a character in the book as is the well known merchant, Jacques Coeur, who
had his beautiful palace at Bourges. The story of Agnes Sorel is quite poignant and
told from a unique perspective. It is quite a beautiful story. The King, Charles VII,
became a more assertive and stronger king more sure of himself from earlier times.
He also became successful and claimed territories from the English with
his new found confidence.
Mistress of Beauty is the second novel in a renaissance trilogy written by
Princess Michael of Kent. The first book is the Queen of Four Kingdoms
the story of Yolande of Aragon, which I have not read as yet. I have previously
read The Serpent and The Moon by Princess Michael of Kent which was set during
the time of Henri II of France and is the story of Diane de Poitiers and the king and also
Katherine de Medici. This book is also gives wonderful detail of renaissance France and
the life-style of the time.