A Woman to Know: Agnes Sorel
|Julia Carpenter||Oct 11, 2016|
By our Lord's passion, this woman is the cause of all our misfortunes. — Louis XI
(image via The Brooklyn Museum)
Once a lowly queen's lady-in-waiting, Agnes would soon become the first officially-recognized mistress in the French court. This dubious distinction, plus her penchant for low-cut gowns, earned her a number of high society enemies in the palace. The "Agnes Sorel-style bodice" revolutionized courtly fashion; soon, ladies noblige sported frocks with one boob out (seriously, this was a *real style*).
But beyond the scandalous ensembles, Agnes had a very powerful relationship with King Charles VII. During her years of power, she counseled the King on topics ranging from place settings to politics — and now, many historians wonder if her sudden death in 1450 was in fact a poisoning, orchestrated by her royal rivals.
Add to your library list:
Agnes Sorel (The Brooklyn Museum)
A History of the Breast (The New York Times)
Agnes Sorel (Britannica)
La Dame Verte (The History Witch)
Goddesses, Harlots and Other Male Fantasies (The New York Times)
France's Forensic Sleuth (The New York Times)
Mistress of the French King (The Freelance History Writer)
** Thank you for Abby Ohlheiser for recommending Agnes as a woman to know! And for being my nerd geek support. <3 **
** Send your own recommendations for women to know! Reply to this newsletter with your lady and she could be featured in an upcoming edition. You can browse the archive here. **