Anne of Brittany, books, Brittany, Charles VIII, culture, European history, european royalty, fiction, France, French kings, French Queens, History, Italian campaigns, love, Naples, political marriage, politics, power, relationships, Renaissance, review
Anne and Louis wins the General Fiction genre of the Publishers Weekly 2018 BookLife Prize.
Book Two of the Anne of Brittany Series, Anne and Louis covers the first years of Anne of Brittany’s marriage to Louis XII, King of France. Featuring a cast of characters from Christine de Pizan to Cesare Borgia, Anne and Louis serves up historical accuracy with passion and wit, according to InD’Tale Magazine.
“A gripping novel about a larger than life queen, Anne and Louis is a smartly written read filled with both passion and wit.”—InD’tale Magazine
Here’s what New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Brown says about Anne and Louis:
“A lively, engaging story, rich with historical detail that brings the story of a forgotten queen to life. Reminiscent of Philippa Gregory and Jean Plaidy, Anne and Louis gives voice to Anne of Brittany, allowing her to step from the historical shadows and illuminating her as a determined and influential political figure, as well as a bright and devoted woman in her own right.” —Eleanor Brown, NYT bestselling author of The Weird Sisters, The Light of Paris
Anne and Louis excerpt:
“Charlotte, you are safe. She is gone,” he murmured behind her.
Charlotte turned and slapped Nicolas de Laval across the face as hard as she could. “And since you are not gone, I am not safe at all,” she hissed.
Nicolas stumbled backward, his hand to his cheek. “My lady, you misunderstand.”
“I understand perfectly. You know her, she knows you, and I don’t want to know anymore.”
—Anne and Louis, p. 84
Anne of Brittany, arranged marriage, Brittany, Charles VIII of France, feminist ruler, fiction, France, History, immature men, infidelity,, late medieval, Marriage, political alliance, relationships, Renaissance, royal, royalty
Who was Anne of Brittany?
Her dates: 1477-1514.
- Decidedly feminist.
- Delightfully feminine.
- Highly educated.
- Raised to rule over Brittany.
- Lavish in her spending.
- A bookworm.
- Lovingly conscientious to her husbands, both kings of France.
- Faithfully conscientious to her Breton subjects, over which she ruled from the age of eleven.
Ever since picking up Mildred Allen Butler’s book on Anne of Brittany a few years ago (Twice Queen of France: Anne of Brittany. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1967), I’ve been fascinated by this French queen who came to power at age eleven as ruler of Brittany, then became queen of France at age fourteen.
Anne of Brittany’s travails trying to bring live children into the world rival any woman’s in history. This girl/woman went through the wringer as a mother. Her fourteen pregnancies resulted in the survival of two children, both daughters.The rest? Three miscarriages, five stillborn infants, one son dead after three hours, one daughter dead after one day, another son lived three weeks, her longest living son survived to age three when he succumbed to measles. As a public figure, this queen’s drama played out on the stage of all of France. If I had made this up, readers wouldn’t believe it. But it’s all true, and carefully historically documented.
I began to wonder why Anne of Brittany’s story is not well known. Many modern women share the same secret heartaches their medieval and ancient sisters suffered: pregnancy loss, inability to bring a live child into the world, inability to keep a child alive once born. Women still struggle with these issues and still suffer in silence when pregnancy and childbirth loss occurs. My heart aches for every one of them.
I wanted to bring alive Anne of Brittany’s tale for modern women, may of whom share her story in suffering and in courage. At the same time this brave woman endured continual personal tragedy she achieved great success as queen of France. She provides the world with an exceptional model of fortitude and resilience in the face of great personal suffering. Brava, Anne of Brittany!
- Anne of Brittany ruled over the most sophisticated court in Europe.
- She helped usher in the glories of the Renaissance from Italy to France. She ran the first finishing school for young women of noble birth, educating them in book learning and estate management and supplying or supplementing their dowries when they married.
- Both of Anne of Brittany’s husbands were madly in love with her. Neither considered putting her aside despite her inability to produce an heir for the throne of France. Her second husband, Louis XII of France, died less than a year after her death at the age of thirty seven. It was said that he never recovered from her death.
- Anne of Brittany was renown all over Europe as a matchmaker. Rulers of other European countries, including King Ferdinand of Spain after his wife Isabella’s death and the king of Hungary sought her advice in choosing a suitable spouse for them.
I could say more, but I’ll save it for the sequel. Anne of Brittany: Girl Who Ruled a Country should arrive in early 2017. Meanwhile, please join me in discovering the remarkable historical figure of Anne of Brittany in my new release Sense of Touch.
Author Rozsa Gaston
Anne of Brittany, book, daughters versus sons, European culture, French history, French queen, History, hot, Kindle Scout, Louis XII, medieval French history, publishing campaign, Renaissance, ruler, Salic Law, trending, women of history
Sense of Touch is burning up the Hot & Trending list of Kindle Scout nominations for the second week of its one month campaign to receive a publishing contract. Why?
Readers want to know more about Anne of Brittany.
Anne of Brittany is a fascinating historical figure about whom almost nothing has been written in English. Her dates? 1477-1514. She reigned as Queen of France after Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204) and before Catherine de Medici (1519-1589).
This week I uncovered a poignant painting of her with husband Louis VII by court painter Jean Pichore. The name of the painting says it all: Douleur du Roi sans Fils. Translation: Sorrow of the King without Sons.
Before you feel sorry for Anne of Brittany, don’t.
She may not have brought a son to adulthood, but she succeeded with two daughters, Claude of France, and Renée of France. Claude of France married Francis I, known as the Renaissance King, and produced Henry II, another important Renaissance king and husband of Catherine de Medici.
Anne’s Breton blood found its way into the French royal bloodline through her daughter, not her sons. Her leadership skills, authority and self-confidence have informed French women ever since. Long live Anne of Brittany, vive Anne de Bretagne!
Speaking of sons, she had many. All of them either stillborn, dead hours after birth, weeks after birth, or by age three.
Let’s take a look at the full Jean Pichore painting of Anne of Brittany with second husband Louis XII.
We see Louis XII, King of France, looking sad. The man behind him looks at the queen with a recriminating expression, as if to say, “Why can’t you produce a son for France?”
We see Anne of Brittany, Queen of France looking regal, confident, not sad at all. Defiant, in fact. Why?
Sadness of the King without Sons, Jean Pichore, c. 1503
Who’s in the hot seat here? Anne.
Who’s the power on the throne? Anne.
Who’s appealing to whom? Louis and his court are appealing to Anne.
Who’s the boss? Anne. She was also a loving and deeply beloved wife to both of her husbands, Charles VIII of France before Louis, and Louis XII of France.
The more I learn about this French Renaissance queen, the more I fall in love with her.
Anne of Brittany is an amazing historical role model for girls. She invited young girls to her court where she educated them, taught them household and estate management skills, arranged marriages for them and paid for their dowries. More about this in my next blog post. Please nominate my book about her here.
Keep Sense of Touch on Kindle Scout’s Hot & Trending list until campaign ends Oct. 20. It’s FREE to vote and if Sense of Touch is selected for publication you will receive the eBook free.
I can’t wait to share more with you about Anne of Brittany, one of the Renaissance’s most important queens.
Author Rozsa Gaston
Anne of Brittany, be here now, Boadicea, born to rule, Brittany, Charles VIII, cleopatra, confidence, crowd-sourced publishing, Dido, French culture, French history, historical fiction, historical romance, Huffington Post, Kindle Scout, publishing, reader-powered publishing, readers, Renaissance queen, romance, Salic Law, women of history, women's fiction, women's issues
Sense of Touch was #1 on the Hot & Trending list on Kindle Scout last week, thanks to reader nominations. If you haven’t voted, please vote here for my tale of Anne of Brittany (1477-1514), French queen who welcomed Italy’s Renaissance to France. Your vote is FREE and you will receive an eBook edition of Sense of Touch as thanks if it is chosen for publication. http://bit.ly/NominateSenseofTouch
“To my life” or “à ma vie” was Anne of Brittany’s motto.
This early Renaissance queen didn’t lack for confidence. Born to rule Brittany, she was not raised to attract the attention of a king so that she might become queen consort one day, if she was lucky.
Already she was born to rule her country, the Duchy of Brittany, to the west of and independent from France.
Firstborn royal children of Brittany’s ruler, male or female, inherited the Duchy of Brittany. France’s Salic laws of royal inheritance stipulated males only inherited the Kingdom of France. Two countries side by side with inheritance laws SOOO very different…
This changed everything for Anne of Brittany AND for the way queens were viewed in France. When Anne of Brittany married Charles VIII of France she came to France as ruler of her own country.
Anne was a female ruler in the tradition of Cleopatra, Boadicea or Dido. She was not a woman raised to attract a powerful man. She was raised to exercise power. And that, friends, is why her motto was “to my life.”
Vote here to nominate Sense of Touch for publication by Kindle Press. Campaign closes October 19 and I’ll let you know soon after if it was selected. Let me know you voted, readers and friends, so that I may add you to my acknowledgments page. You will have been a part of helping me bring this remarkable French queen’s story to life.