1930. With sixteen illustrations in photogravure. The story of Madame de Maintenon who was born in a prison and raised to a Throne or next door to it. Freaks of fortune fantastic as a fairy-tale, contrasts of penury and magnificence which seem invented only to astonish and amuse. Yet the heroine of these incredible vicissitudes was no exotic enchantress dominating by superhuman beauty or intelligence. Her personality is singularly free from any abnormal characteristic. She was neither the femme fatale, the malevolent witch blasting all who offended her, of Saint-Simon's malignant invention, nor the all-powerful Dictatress, scourge of the Huguenots, of the Dutch Gazettes, nor finally the hypocritical religious despot of the biographers, austere governess ruling her nuns with a rod of iron when nothing else was left to rule. No personage of her importance in history has been so maligned, so misunderstood, so misrepresented. She, stigmatized as cruel, capricious, vindictive, fatal to France, was in reality a paragon of honesty, loyalty and magnanimity; very simple, very straightforward, supremely charitable; a saint, whose sole ambitions were to convert her King and alleviate the misery caused by his wars.
Воспроизведено в оригинальной авторской орфографии издания 1930 года (издательство "London, K. Paul, Trench & Co.").