She was called the most beautiful woman of the 15th century, she was wasteful, but she helped the poor, she dressed provocatively, but she looked innocent. And in history Agnes Sorel entered as the first officially recognized favorite of the king of Francewho was able to become not only a constant mistress Charles VIIbut also a friend of his wife, Queen Mary of Anjou.
The meeting of Agnes Sorel with the king was organized, oddly enough, by his mother-in-law. She often arranged maids of honor at court, and when they became mistresses of noble nobles, Iolanthe received the necessary information and kept everything under her control. She could not influence the king with the help of her daughter, and she found a more sophisticated way - she found a mistress for this purpose.
Charles VII, seeing the girl, immediately went to the attack, but she ran away from him. The king was carried away in earnest, and his persistence was soon rewarded. Within a few months, everyone at court said that the king was in love.
Charles VII lost his head so much that he was ready to fulfill any wish of Agnes Sorel. To prove the seriousness of his feelings, he proclaimed her the official favorite. From now on, the vassals were obliged to give her royal honors, she took part in the political life of the court, the royal treasurer paid her the necessary sums, and their children with the king received the family titles of Valois. As a gift from King Agnes she received the castle of Bote-sur-Marne and the title of Dame de Bote.
Agnes quickly got used to living in a big way. She allowed herself bold experiments with appearance at that time. The trains of her dresses reached 5 meters, the priests called them “devil's tails”. She began to wear diamonds, although until then wearing them by uncrowned persons was unacceptable. The courtiers were shocked by her extravagant figure-hugging dresses, with an asymmetrical neckline that completely bare one breast. The queen was angry, but quickly changed her anger to mercy, deciding to become a friend for her husband's mistress. Maria gave her rival jewelry and outfits, they walked together and went hunting.
The insolent behavior of the favorite and her official status caused indignation among many. Thus, Archbishop des Ursen pointed out to the king the extravagance of his mistress and her revealing outfits, he said that the ladies at court began to resemble "painted donkeys put up for sale." In response, Karl defiantly declared: “If the Beautiful Lady has dresses embroidered with gold, she will be in a good mood. If she is in a good mood, I will also be in a good mood. If I am in a good mood, the whole of France will have a good mood. Therefore, France has a direct need for beautiful dresses."
Agnessa could not help but notice the growing resentment towards her. She began to help the sick and crippled, donate huge sums to the poor. The constant poverty, the British who dominated the French lands and the inaction of the king aroused the indignation of the people. And then Agnes, not without the influence of Iolanta, convinced Charles VII to renew the war against the British. The cowardly and weak-willed king, nicknamed by his mother as a "goose" in childhood, the favorite was able to inspire the idea of his courage. So Karl became the Winner. The victorious end of the Hundred Years War was celebrated without her - Agnes had died 3 years earlier.
Karl was convinced that Agnes had been poisoned, and he was right. The examination carried out in our days has confirmed the high content of mercury in the remains of the favorite. Perhaps it was unintentional poisoning - in those days, mercury was added to cosmetics and medicines.
Agnes Sorel, as a model for caring for the interests of the country, was later set as an example to all influential favorites of the French kings, including Françoise d'Aubigne - favorite and secret wife of Louis XIV