Power and reputation at the court of Louis XIII

The career of Charles d’Albert, duc de Luynes (1578–1621)

Historians relying upon hostile contemporary sources have dismissed Charles d'Albert, duc de Luynes, as an inept mediocrity. Luynes took the oath of office as constable on Friday 2 April 1621 in the long gallery of the Louvre overlooking the Seine. Cardinal Richelieu considered Luynes to be the implacable enemy of the Queen Mother, and blamed him for her quarrel with her son. Cardinal Richelieu, a client of the Queen Mother, despised Luynes whom he savaged in his memoirs in a devastating character assassination that significantly influenced later historiography. This book presents a more positive assessment of his career as a favorite, and long-overdue recognition of his contributions to Louis XIII's government. It provides another look at Luynes untainted by the malice of Richelieu. The occupation of falconer reveals something about Luynes's character; it is said to be like the falconer-patient, goodtempered, shrewd, and inventive with keen eyesight, sharp hearing, a strong voice, and a habit of sleeping lightly. The book discusses the nature of the king's relationship with Luynes as demonstrated by their staging of royal ballets. The book discusses Concini's murder and the Order of Saint Esprit, which became the most prestigious military order in France, as well as the dilemma faced by the court nobility. The siege of Montauban, executed by Luynes is also discussed. The pamphlet attack on Luynes began with the Queen Mother's revolt in 1620. The anti-Luynes attack accelerated with the southwestern campaign against the Protestants, and continued for a year after his death.

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