“Issuing from the Great Flame of This Joy”: Marguerite of Navarre, Louise of Savoy, and Emotional Intimacy
The difference between contemporary impressions of Marguerite of Navarre and her mother Louise of Savoy and the fearful personae that they adopt in their descriptions of themselves and each other is striking. Assuming a formidable political persona gave noble women like Marguerite and Louise the courage to advocate for their families. The fearful persona, which was as fully developed and significant as the strong persona, offered a way to share and thus offload distress that might otherwise have overwhelmed them. But if noble women throughout early modern France were trained, broadly speaking, in such an emotional regime, the real interest lies in considering how individual women interacted with the training to manage their own burdens. An examination of Marguerite and Louise’s personal interaction offers a fascinating glimpse of how this powerful team drew comfort from each other to survive in a period fraught with difficulty for highly ranked women.