Revealing the Secrets of a Mansion.
Yes, it’s true! When other new authors have landed on the scene with historical romances set in England or Scotland—I picked 17th century France.
“Ah, why on earth would you do that, Lila? What’s wrong with Regency England as a setting?” you ask?
My response, “Absolutely nothing! I LOVE regency-set historical romances. In fact, it’s because I love historical romances set in the Regency period, that I fell in love with 17th century France. It was just as refined as Regency England. I kid you not! Full of decadence, you had distinguished lords and lovely ladies who lived in city mansions and sprawling palatial country estates. There were spectacular ballrooms and elaborate masquerade balls. Theater—and plenty of scandalous behavior. All those elements you love about the Regency period are found in the time and place when the genre of fairy tales was born!
They said it couldn’t be done. That I couldn’t sell a historical romance set in 17th century France, have a New York house want to publish it. And have readers love it.
Well, I’m delighted to say, I’ve sold THREE BOOKS such books to Berkley and, thanks to you, dearest readers, I receive a steady stream of emails from fans who not only have fallen in love with my hot historical bad boys, and strong smart heroines—but the very time period itself.
I’m flattered, and ever so honored by it! The lessons here: 1. Chase your dream, relentlessly. 2. Why blend if you have the chance to stand out? :) I’ve delivered something familiar, yet fresh and new. And fairy tale.
So, let’s take a look at the “ton” in France, shall we?
Over the next few posts, I’m going to dissect my favorite 17th c. French country mansion. Vaux-le-Vicomte. And expose some tantalizing details! At the end of this series of posts I have a *really* cool SECRET to reveal about this spectacular chateau!!! Stay tuned!
Vaux-le-Vicomte was built by Nicolas Fouquet, Marquis of Belle-Île, and Viscount of Vaux and Melun, the 3rd most powerful man in all of Europe—until his fall from grace, that is. He was the Finance Minister of Louis XIV. Handsome, charismatic….oh, and ultimately convicted of embezzlement of funds. (Some say Fouquet was innocent. More on this totally fascinating man in another post!) ).
So without further ado……
Here she is. (Click on image on the left for a larger view) This painting hangs in the sitting room of Mrs. Fouquet’s private apartments in Vaux. It depicts her clipping the wings off Cupid—so that love would never leave her but be hers forever. Unfortunately, Fouquet was terribly unfaithful to his very young, most enamored wife.
Her private apartments overlook the gorgeous gardens (these gardens are breathtaking! Oh, if the trees could talk. . .they would tell a scandalous tale or two! ). Her private apartments consisted of her bedchamber, her sitting room, and her private bathroom.