Maintenon, Françoise d'Aubigné, marquise de

(1635-1719)
   nobility
   Born in Niort, the granddaughter of agrippa d'aubigné, Françoise d'Aubigné, marquise de Maintenon was orphaned early in life and was raised by her grandparents in the calvinist faith (which she abjured in 1649). Forced by her financial difficulties to marry the poet paul scarron (1651), she held with him a brilliant salon that attracted many of the leading social figures of the day. The death of her husband in 1660 left her without resources, so she took the position of governess to the children of King louis XIV and his mistress Mme de montespan. In 1674, she became herself Louis's mistress and purchased the estate of Maintenon, which was made a marquisate in 1678. After the death of Queen maria theresa, she entered a morganatic marriage with Louis (1684). she had a moral, rather than political, influence on the king, and brought to the court an air of austerity. upon the king's death (1715), she retired to saint-cyr, the convent that she had established for the education of girls from poor noble families.
   See also fénelon, François de salignac de la motte.

France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.

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