The Letters of
Marie Mancini

painting of a woman's face with white skin, curly brown hair, and red lips

In the spring of 1672, Italian noblewoman Marie Mancini discovered that her husband, the preeminant Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna, intended to poison her. To escape, she fled Rome with her sister, Hortense, to France where the two hoped to win the protection of King Louis XIV (Marie's former lover), which would allow them to live independently from their husbands.

But the king did not welcome them to court, and the two were forced to devise other means of living independently.

Marie's letters to her estranged husband and her friends from this time describe her struggles, triumphs, and emotions as she navigated her new freedom.

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View Marie's letters and read their transcriptions and translations.

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Explore the trajectory of Marie's journey across Europe.

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Learn more about The Letters of Marie Mancini Project.