Louise de la Vallière
Favorite of Louis XIV
1644 – 1710 A.D.
Louise de la Vallière, favorite of Louis XIV of France, born in Touraine, of an ancient and noble family. At an early age she lost her father and was brought to court by her mother, who had married a second time. She was not a great beauty and she had a slight lameness, but her amiable and winning manners, and her sweet and tender disposition rendered her very attractive. Her affection for the king seems to have been the genuine passion of an innocent, religious-minded girl, who brought neither coquetry nor self-interest to their relation.
She bore the king four children, of whom two died in infancy. In 1674, after her displacement by Madame de Montespan, she entered the convent of the Carmelites in Paris, and spent thirty-six years there in penance and prayer.
Madame de Genlis and Alexandre Dumas have written historical novels founded on the romance and pathos of her life, and Lebrun executed a penitent Magdalene, of which the face is from her portrait.
A necklace with pendants has been named for her; it is usually spelled lavaliere.
Her Réflections, lettres [sic] et sermons, by M. P. Clement appeared in two volumes in 1860.
Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.