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Françoise Athénaïs Montespan, marquise de

Montespan, Françoise Athénaïs, marquise de (fräNswäzˈ ätānäēsˈ märkēzˈ də môNtəspäNˈ) [key], 1641–1707, mistress of King Louis XIV of France. She was maid of honor to Queen Marie Thérèse and replaced (c.1667) Mlle de La Vallière as the king's mistress. She bore the king several children. Their education was entrusted to Mme de Maintenon, who succeeded her in the king's favor. She later retired to a convent.

See H. N. Williams, Madame de Montespan (1903); F. Mossiker, The Affair of the Poisons (1970).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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