Madame de Maintenon
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Born in a bleak French prison, the child of a condemned man and his jailer's daughter, Francoise d'Aubigne rose to become the most powerful woman in France. Her intelligence and good looks caught th attention of Louis XIV, who elevated her to the aristocracy as the Marquise de Maintenon, forsaking his many other lovers to make her his unofficial consort. This engrossing biography sets the life of this remarkable woman against the glittering backdrop of the intrigue-ridden court of Versailles. Slightly off-mint.