All Things Tudor

E53: The Femme Fatale Summit: French Mistresses

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Episode notes

What caused the juxtaposition from bedmate to power player?

Monarchs in medieval Europe had extraconjugal sexual partners. What about the Tudors? Why was it only in France that a royal mistress could become a political power player? 

This unique episode of All Things Tudor explores this phenomenon with Drs Tracy and Christine Adams, and we take a look at how a special place at court was developed for the royal mistress. 

A new way of political influence developed - in the form of an intelligent, charismatic woman - one who usually became the royal mistress. Diane de Poitiers is a prime example of this power player. 

This podcast will appeal to anyone interested in the history of women and royalty, gender studies, and Anne Boleyn.

Dr Tracy Adams is Professor of French in the School of Cultures, Languages and Linguistics at the University of Auckland. She is the author of three books, including Christine de Pizan and the Fight for France, also published by Penn State University Press.

Dr Christine Adams is Professor of History at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She is the author or co-editor of four books, including A Taste for Comfort and Status: A Bourgeois Family in Eighteenth-Century France, also published by Penn State University Press.

Special thanks to Penn State University for supplying their book to me for this podcast.

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Produced by Rockwood Audio, U.K. This episode was produced by Ben Williams, Rockwood Audio, U.K. Music developed by Rockwood. Cover art by The Happy Colour Studio, U.K. Voiceovers by Paul Hunter.

Written by Deb Hunter.

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