Charles d’Orléans (Dictionary of World Biography: Middle Ages)
Article abstract: Defeated and taken prisoner while leading French troops at Agincourt, Charles spent twenty-five years in captivity in England writing lyric poetry in French and English. When released, he contributed to peace negotiations and maintained a poetry salon.
The parents of Charles d’Orléans were Louis, Duke of Orléans and brother of King Charles VI, and Valentina, daughter of the Duke of Milan. Louis had powerful influence in French politics but was a man of dissolute habits; Valentina was a gentle, cultured lady. On June 29, 1406, at age fourteen, Charles married Isabelle, who was five years older than he, daughter of Charles VI and child-widow of England’s Richard II. Isabelle died September 13, 1409, after giving birth to a daughter.
In 1407, two years before Charles lost his wife, his father was murdered by hired assassins of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, whose interest was in destroying rivals for control over Charles VI, who was often mentally unstable. Charles’s mother, apparently exhausted by the combination of sorrow, appeals for justice, and burdens in administering the estate, died a year later.
With support from friends of his father, Charles assumed the title Duke of Orléans himself and in 1410 married Bonne, the daughter of Bernard d’Armagnac. With this alliance, Charles tried for years to avenge Burgundy’s crime, coming closest in 1415 by...
(The entire section is 2152 words.)
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