The Good King: Rene of Anjou and 15th Century Europe by Margaret L. Kekewich

By Margaret L. Kekewich

Ren? of Anjou is healthier recognized to English language readers because the father of Margaret, queen of Henry VI. Ren?'s failure to make stable his declare to the dominion of Naples or to offer his daughter an honest dowry condemn him as a loser. but he's nonetheless remembered in his lands of Anjou and Provence as "good king Ren?." This booklet discusses his occupation and recognition together with his contemporaries and posterity within the context of his family members fortunes, patronage of the humanities and the crises that beset Europe: conflicts in the Catholic Church, the Empire, Italy and the Hundred Years warfare.

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110–12. Paris BN Ms lat. 81v. René faces his arms that include those of the Kingdom of Naples so the miniature must post-date his accession in 1435; Chapter 4. 61 Schnerb, p. 93. 62 Calmet, 5, pp. 21–2, 65–70, 76, 78 et seq. 60 30 The Good King At the end of 1434 Louis III of Anjou died in Italy leaving no children and early the following year Joanna II of Naples also died after declaring that René was her heir. Philip of Burgundy was not impressed and simply assumed that the price of his prisoner’s freedom had increased.

Charles then demanded payment from the abbot of St Martin’s for some fruit that he had picked: incensed by this creeping assumption of sovereignty the citizens of Metz supported him when he refused. In July 1429 René sent his herald to defy them and his gouty father-in-law appeared, carried in a chair. 52 This was 48 Little, pp. 118–20. Lecoy de la Marche, René, 1, p. 67 and n. 2. 50 Monstrelet, 4, p. 296. 51 Calmet, 3, pp. 542–7. 52 Lecoy de la Marche, 2, pièces justicatives, pp. 219–20. 49 Anjou, Bar, Lorraine and Provence 27 to be an expensive act of loyalty to the Valois: a pension and the prospect of regaining Guise had been dangled before him by the English and Burgundians.

60 Duchess Isabelle had made a truce with Vaudemont who was still furious at the loss of his prisoner to Burgundy and who knew that the people of Lorraine would not recognise him as duke. Isabelle conducted the government of both duchies assisted by an old friend and mentor, Henri de Ville bishop of Toul, who was head of her council in Lorraine. Until his death five years later he was a valuable go-between in the negotiations with Burgundy for René’s release and he also assisted Isabelle and her ally, Charles VII, in protecting the duchies.

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