Anne of Brittany

Life Story

Anne of Brittany inherited the duchy aged eleven. Despite her youth, she tried to fend off Brittany’s predatory neighbour, France. Eventually, the best bargain she could make was to marry the king of France, Charles VIII, and then his successor, Louis XII.  Anne was the only woman to be crowned queen of France twice, and her memory is honoured there and in Brittany as that of a woman of queenly virtues.

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Following in the Footsteps

Anne spent most of her life in the beautiful chateaux of the Loire, occasionally visiting Paris, or the eastern parts of France. When possible, she visited her own duchy.

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Anne’s greatest fear was that Brittany would be subsumed into France as the French kings gobbled up the last remaining independent territories, and her political life was always directed to avoiding such an end. Ultimately, she was unsuccessful. However, she was also known for patronage of scholars and artists, evidenced by her superb Book of Hours. She was greatly mourned by her husband, and her funeral was a one of the spectacles of the age. 

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