“Lieux et expressions du pouvoir” Coll. No 4 - “La marquise de Verneuil, maîtresse d’Henri IV

La marquise de Verneuil, maîtresse d’Henri IV by Flavie Leroux, joint publication Centre de recherche du château de Versailles / Éditions Fayard (“Lieux et expressions du pouvoir” Collection), October 2023, 320 p., 15.3 x 23.5 cm, €23 (ISBN: 978-2-213-72096-8).


Henriette de Balsac d’Entragues, Marquise de Verneuil (1579-1633), was one of the most well-known women of her time. Yet posterity has all but erased the woman who succeeded the beautiful Gabrielle d’Estrées at the side of Henri IV.

Royal mistress, traitor, business woman: the rise of this exceptional figure, who went from nobody to the focus of the attention of the court of France in just a few months, confounded conventions. The king’s favour brought her fortune, influence and power, but also discredit, deception and even treason. Because conspiracies would soon follow, placing her in the defendant’s box, facing royal justice and persecution from her contemporaries. It was only after the death of the king that she revealed a different side to herself, as a widow, dividing the next twenty-three years between her children, her estates and her charitable works.

For the first time, Flavie Leroux retraces the journey of this central figure of the reign of Henri IV, long despised, often ignored, still hated, and yet truly remarkable.

Research fellow at the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles, Flavie Leroux is a specialist in the history of the court and the women of France in the modern era, particularly the royal mistresses, who have been the focus of her thesis and two publications, Les maîtresses du roi, de Henri IV à Louis XIV (Champ Vallon, 2020) and L’autre famille royale (Passés composés, 2022).

To order the book

Éditions Fayard

Website produced with the support of:
Château de Versailles
Conseil général des Yvelines