Amours de Mme de Maintenon

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The Graphic Arts Collection is fortunate to have acquired a book written by Pierre Le Noble, the pseudonym for an unidentified author and published by Pierre Marteau, a fictitious publisher. Although the title page records Cologne as the place of publication, it is more likely to have been printed in Amsterdam for a French audience, to avoid trouble with the censors.

Françoise d’Aubigné marquise de Maintenon (1635-1719) married Louis XIV (1638-1715) in a private ceremony during the winter of 1685-86. It was the second marriage for both. Although morganatic marriages were not recognized in France, this was a secret, unapproved marriage between two people of uneven rank, barring the passage of the King’s titles and privileges to his wife.

The king’s (well-known) secret marriage was a sensitive topic in the seventeenth century, hence the use of a pseudonym by the author and a fictitious name for the publisher. Neither one wanted to risk their careers being connected to a potentially scandalous book.

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Le passe-temps royal de Versailles. ou, Les amours secretes de Madame de Maintenon. (The Royal Pass-times of Versailles or The Secret Loves of Madame de Maintenon) (Cologne, Pierre Marteau, 1695). Originally published under the title La cassette ouverte de l’illustre criole, ou, Les amours de madame de Maintenon (A Ville Franche [i.e. Amsterdam?]: David du Four, 1690). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2013- in process. Purchased with funds provided by the Goreff/Neuwirth Charitable Trust in honor of Danielle D. van Jaarsveld, Class of 1995.

See also
M. de Beaumelle, (Laurent Angliviel, 1726-1773), Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire de Madame de Maintenon (Amsterdam: Aux depens de l’auteur, 1755-1756). Rare Books (Ex) DC130.M2 L18 1755

Françoise Chandernagor, The King’s Way: Recollections of Françoise d’Aubigné, Marquise de Maintenon, wife to the King of France: a novel (San Diego: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1984). Firestone Library (F) PQ2663.H314 A7913 1984

Jeremie Benoit, Les Dames de Trianon (Paris: Berg International; Versailles: Château de Versailles, 2012). Firestone Library (F) DC801.V57 B46 2012