The King’s Favorite


These days at the Big Trianon you can see this portrait of Athenais de Montespan. Courtiers would avoid to be anywhere near the widows of her apartment when the king was there with her, for she was renown for her sharp tongue. Athenais conquered the King’s mind before she got to his heart. Then as the King’s favorite Marquise gave Louis XIV seven children — her husband thought there were eight; but who is counting! She made the basket dress popular because she was always pregnant; when Marquis de Montespan discovered his wife’s liaison with the King, the fellow went on a berserk brothel spree, trying to catch a venereal disease  to give it to his wife so that she would give it to His Majesty. The plan back-fired; denied all access to the conjugal bed, Monsieur Montespan attempted first a divorce,  then a burial to his living wife; finally, everything else failing, he attached giant elk antlers to his carriage and called himself the First Cuckold of France! Athenais Montespan was a true spirit of the XVII century Versailles.

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About versaillesgossip, before and after Francis Ponge

The author of the blogs Versailles Gossip and Before and After Francis Ponge, Vadim Bystritski lives and teaches in Brest France. The the three main themes of his literary endeavours are humor, the French Prose Poetry, the French XVII and XVIII Century Art and History. His writings and occasionally art has been published in a number of ezines (Eratio, Out of Nothing, Scars TV, etc). He also contributes to Pinterest where he comments on the artifiacts from the Louvre and other collections. Some of his shorter texts are in Spanish, Russian and French.
This entry was posted in Court, Courtiers, Louis XIV, Madame de Montespan. Bookmark the permalink.

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