From the earliest age, Diane of Poitiers was raised to always obtain the best, to always possess more and "to rise above the common." Thus, Mireille Lesage reveals to us in her work “Diane de Poitiers, Lady, Queen and Mistress” the important moments of the life of this Influential person.
The four lives of Diane de Poitiers
1505-1515: from his youth and his first steps at Court, imposing respect and keeping his feet on the ground, surrounded by predictions and signs such as these words which will remain engraved in memory "Tête de neige will save, then Tête d'Or will lose ”at her marriage to Grand Senechal Louis de Brézé, becoming the queen's maid of honor and no longer simply a great lady's follower, despite her reluctance to be married to a barbon.
1515-1531: Diane Grande Sénéchale forms with Louis a respectable couple, esteeming each other, where mutual and deep trust is established; initiated into the management of estates, opting for rigorous and prudent conduct without missteps, dominating her emotions, she remains faithful to her husband until his death.
1531-1548: Diane countess of Brézé, is a widow, adopting black and white forever; friend of king François Ier, she is responsible for perfecting the education of the dauphin in view of his marriage with Catherine de Medici; their relationship is respectful and sincere, Diane is the friend, the confidante until the first kiss and the first embrace organized by the spiritual father of the dolphin; establishing new rules of discretion, restraint and modesty, Diane becomes Henri's mistress, but above all his advisor, straight and serene, bringing the young spouses together so that they have a child; with her head on her shoulders, she always avoids the low blows, the insults and the pikes of the party of the royal favorite Anne d'Etampes, watching over Henry so that he becomes a great capable king.
1547-1559: Diana triumphs, Henri II becomes king upon the death of his father and appoints her Duchess of Valentinois; First Lady of the kingdom, she is aware of business, management, politics, always working to obtain the best for her King; mediator and conciliator during the campaigns of Henri II, and although the queen gets involved in politics, the court always calls on Diane to settle the problems of armies, ransoms, treaties, alliances until the unhappy day where Henri II dies from the consequences of his eye injury, leading to the ouster of the "beauty among the beautiful". Dignified, serene and detached, allied to the greatest families, she joined her domain in Anet to end her life there.
Diane de Poitiers has her place in this “Les Influentes” collection. Queen in the shadow of Henri II, beautiful and intelligent mistress of the king, she also succeeds in giving all their splendor to estates like Chenonceau and Anet.
Mireille Lesage has been able to write an interesting, lively work and avoid the established clichés of royal mistresses and favorites.
Diane de Poitiers, by Mireille Lesage. Editions TRélémaque, June 2014.