Madame De Maintenon Analysis

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Maintenon made numerous attempts to make the king more religious; each attempt achieved varying degrees of success. She wrote to him, “You have promised me, Sire, a sincere and lasting Conversion to God; I rely entirely on your Word. I am encouraged thereby; I blame my Suspicions, my Credulity: But if – the rest is wanting” (Maintenon 139). Maintenon frequently reminded Louis XIV of his religious responsibilities including: “the need for charitable bonnes oeuvres, rigorous spiritual exercises, or at least regular attendance at services, and support for religious houses” (Bryant 139). However, she found little success with her reminders and Louis XIV’s unwillingness to comply frustrated her (Bryant 139). This further reinforces the fact that…show more content…
This flub established a chain of correspondence between the Maintenon and Rome that became increasingly intimate as the years went on (Bryant 64). In one piece of correspondence Cardinal Janton, in a letter to Madame de Maintenon wrote, “. . . the Letter which you have done me the Honour to write to me, along with that for the Pope, which I delivered to him, and with which he was a good deal affected: He has expressed to me an infinite Esteem for your Person and your Virtue” (qtd. in Maintenon 200). The relationship appeared to function like so: if a pope needed something from Maintenon, “a legate or an extraordinary emissary would be dispatched to France to present the particular case, and its accompanying letter, to the marquise” (Bryant 225). In return for doing what she could to help Rome, Maintenon’s relationship with the Pope allowed her to secure favors, such as indulgences to the ladies at St. Cyr (Maintenon 200). This arrangement allowed Maintenon some degree of influence over the Pope as demonstrated by a letter from M. de Mailly, who after failing to receive a grant from the pope, appealed to Maintenon; “A Letter from you, Madam, would give Weight to the Attempt: But if it should be ever so little inconvenient to you, I would think no more about it” (qtd. In Maintenon 256). During the 1690s, the papacy continued to garner favor with Maintenon with the hope of strengthening their relations with the French crown and even attempted to have her become a minister of sorts for the Holy See, a position which she refused (Bryant
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