Margaret of Valois

Margaret of Valois (, 14 May 1553 – 27 March 1615), popularly known as La Reine Margot, was a French princess of the Valois dynasty who became Queen of Navarre by marriage to Henry III of Navarre and then also Queen of France at her husband's 1589 accession to the latter throne as Henry IV.

Margaret was the daughter of King Henry II of France and Catherine de' Medici and the sister of Kings Francis II, Charles IX and Henry III. Her union with the King of Navarre, which had been intended to contribute to the reconciliation of Roman Catholics and the Huguenots in France, was tarnished six days after the marriage ceremony by the St Bartholomew's Day massacre and the resumption of the French Wars of Religion. In the conflict between Henry III of France and the Malcontents, she took the side of Francis, Duke of Anjou, her younger brother, which caused Henry to have a deep aversion towards her.

As Queen of Navarre, Margaret also played a pacifying role in the stormy relations between her husband and the French monarchy. Shuttling back and forth between the two courts, she endeavoured to lead a happy conjugal life, but her infertility and the political tensions inherent in the civil conflict led to the end of her marriage. Mistreated by a brother who was quick to take offence and being rejected by a fickle and opportunistic husband, she chose the path of opposition in 1585. She took the side of the Catholic League and was forced to live in Auvergne in an exile that lasted 20 years. In 1599, she consented to a "royal divorce", the annulment of the marriage, but only after the payment of a generous compensation.

A well-known woman of letters, an enlightened mind as well as an extremely generous patron, she played a considerable part in the cultural life of the court, especially after her return from exile in 1605. She was a vector of Neoplatonism, which preached the supremacy of platonic love over physical love. During her imprisonment, she took advantage of the time to write her ''Memoirs'', the first woman to have done so. She was one of the most fashionable women of her time and influenced many of Europe's royal courts with her clothing.

After her death, the anecdotes and slanders circulated about her created a legend, which was consolidated around the nickname ''La Reine Margot'', invented by Alexandre Dumas père, They were handed down through the centuries on the myth of a nymphomaniac and incestuous woman. In the late 20th and the early 21st centuries, historians have reviewed the extensive chronicles of her life and concluded that many elements of her scandalous reputation stemmed from anti-Valois propaganda and a factionalism that denigrated the participation of women in politics and was created by Bourbon dynasty court historians in the 17th century. Provided by Wikipedia
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    by Marguerite de Valois
    Éditions Classiques Garnier numérique 2009
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    by Marguerite de Valois
    Publications de l'université de Saint-Etienne 2004
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    by Marguerite de Valois
    H. Champion 1998
    Available online : Online Via Correspondance, 1569-1614
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    by Marguerite de Valois
    Éditions Classiques Garnier 2009
    Available online : Online Via Album de poésies
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    by Marguerite de Valois
    Classiques Garnier Numérique [2004]
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    by Marguerite de Valois
    Papers on French Seventeenth Century Literature 1984
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    by Marguerite de Valois
    Classiques Garnier Numérique [2004]
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