Brantôme, a renowned biographer and gossip-monger, depicted Anne de Bourbon (1461-1522) and Anne of Brittany (1477-1514) as rivals. This interpretation, advanced seventy-five years after their deaths, has shaped interpretation to this day. I argue that accounts of their interactions must be understood in the context of the extensive networks of family relationships in which they functioned as intermediators. What have been taken as traces of innate personal qualities rendering the Annes incompatible must instead be recognized as traces of carefully enacted strategies of self-presentation aimed at specific political goals. Contemporary accounts, and two recorded interactions between the women, show no evidence of rivalry. Their continued contact, long after Charles VIII's death freed them from any mutual obligation, indicates that their relationship had grown affectionate. They continued to construct and cultivate their friendship in the absence of any political or social necessity.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 46-61
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.