LA BELLE SOREL by Jacques Carton

LA BELLE SOREL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A biography in fiction form this tells of the ""faulty, charming and sincere"" Agnes Soreau who, in the fifteenth century, became the mistress of Charles VII, the king whom she made kingly. Of petty nobility, she became one of the ladies of the Duchess de Bar, met the King when the Duchess went to plead for her husband, imprisoned by the ""Goddams"", and later joined the Queen's household when the Duchess took the crown of Sicily. Winning the King by her youth and her voice, their friendship was chaste until he claimed her love and sympathy. Their secret was known, the Queen turned against her and Agnes, now Demoiselle Sorel, had only the king for her happiness -- and sometimes desolation. The unending persecution by Charles' son, Louis, finally brought her recognition and her acknowledged position as favorite rewarded the years of ostracism. Charles, at last a true power, pursued peace without war, found her a good counselor and failed her when she tried to deliver news of a conspiracy and died of poisoning. A recreation that follows its history carefully, this works in interpretative portraits of its characters in human terms against the panoply of castles, battles, tournaments and intrigue. A prize winner in France, this surrounds its subject with loving understanding.

Publisher: Ives Washburn