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Châteauroux, Marie Anne de Mailly-Nesle, Duchesse de (1717–1744)

Châteauroux, Marie Anne de Mailly-Nesle, Duchesse de (1717–1744)

French mistress of Louis XV. Born 1717; died Dec 8, 1744; 4th dau. of Louis, marquis de Nesle (descendant of one of Mazarin's nieces) and Madame de Nesle (lady-in-waiting to Queen Marie Leczinska); sister of Pauline, marquise de Vintimille (1712–1741), Louise, comtesse de Mailly (1710–1751), and the Duchesse de Lauraguais; m. marquis de la Tournelle.

Upon death of husband (1740), attracted the attention of Louis XV of France; intelligent and ambitious, replaced her sisters Louise and Pauline as titular mistress (1742); treated Queen Marie Leczinska with contempt and drove a wedge in the relationship between king and queen from which it never totally recovered; directed by Richelieu, encouraged the king to pay more attention to affairs of state and joined him on his army campaigns; when Louis became dangerously ill at Metz, pretended that his illness was a passing one and, against his wishes, would not send for the queen; when news of her actions were made known, was booed by the French whenever she appeared in public; retired to her bed with a complete breakdown.

See also Ed. and J. de Goncourt, La Duchesse de Châteauroux et ses swurs (Paris, 1879); and Women in World History.

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