HORTENSE MANCINI (DUCHESS OF MAZARIN) (1646-1699) Autograph letter to Jean de Hautefeuille.
Chelsea], 9 February 1699. 1 p. 1/2 in-4, address on verso, red wax stamp with ephebe profi le probably from an antique intaglio. Duchess Mazarin, a free and gallant woman, Hortense Mancini lived a romantic life: she came to the French Court in 1653 and attracted with her great beauty a host of prestigious suitors, the future King of England Charles II, the King of Portugal Peter II and Charles of Lorraine, but married the Marquis de La Meilleraye who took the title of Duke Mazarin and inherited his fortune. The marriage being unhappy, Hortense fl ed and led a wandering and gallant life in Europe, becoming, for example, the mistress of the Duke of Savoy in Chambéry, that of his own nephew the Chevalier de Soissons who fought for her in a duel, or that of the Prince of Monaco at the Court of London where she ended her life. A physicist and mechanic, the abbot of Hautefeuille (1647-1724) was a protégé and librarian of Hortense’s sister, the Duchess of Bouillon Marie-Anne Mancini.