Monday, 19 March 2012

HD at Anet

A lasting tribute!
I have recently been asked to include posts about Diane's personal style, a subject I hold very dearly! Nowhere is her essence more evident than in her homes. Unfortunately, Chenonceau had been drastically altered after Catherine de Medici claimed it for herself and tried to deface the many HD emblems Diane and Henri had placed there. Although Diane's influence is certainly to be found at Chenonceau to this day, Anet is a more accurate example.
The double D's and crescent moons in black and white, on a stone floor at Anet

The HD emblem on a beautifully cared doorway
When Diane and Henri set about re-creating Anet from the ancestral estate of Louis de Breze, they carved their monogrammed emblem throughout. It has endured through subsequent renovations, and today it is found in abundance, as the current owners strive to keep Diane's memory alive.
An elaborate dining room ceiling at Anet, with the HD emblem,
fleur de lis, crescent moons, and Diana's coat of arms

Friday, 9 March 2012

April 25, 2012 will mark the 446th Anniversary of Diane's Death...

Until that date, I am offering $10 off the cover price of A Portrait in Black and White.
This offer applies to both hardcover and softcover versions, and is limited to copies order through my website. Online retailers and bookstores will continue to offer the book at regular price.

For more information, or to order, visit

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Robert IV de la Marck

On March 1, 1539, Françoise de Brézé, Diane’s eldest daughter, married Robert IV de la Marck in the Louvre Chapel in Paris.
An undated portrait of Robert IV de la Marck

Robert IV de La Marck ( 1512-1556 ), was the Duc de Bouillon, Comte de Braine, and a Prince of Sedan. He was the son of Robert III de La Marck and Guillemette de Saarbrücken. Robert and Françoise had nine children.

Robert was a captain of the Hundred Swiss of the King's Guard. When Henri became King in 1547, he raised him to the office of marshal of France.
A portrait by Corneille de Lyon, c1550

In 1553 Robert was taken hostage at Therouanne, where he was very badly treated by the Spanish. His ransom was fixed at such a high sum that was eventually released on his honor to raise the money. Françoise was forced to sell much of her inheritance from her father. He was released from prison, but tragically he died on his way back home.  He was buried at St. Lawrence, Sedan.
Chateau de Sedan, as it appears today