Charles VII of France

Charles VII of France

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Charles VII called the Victorious or the Well-Served , was King of France from 1422 to his death, though he was initially opposed by Henry VI of England
Henry VI of England
Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. Until 1437, his realm was governed by regents. Contemporaneous accounts described him as peaceful and pious, not suited for the violent dynastic civil wars, known as the Wars...

, whose Regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

, the Duke of Bedford
John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford
John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford, KG , also known as John Plantagenet, was the third surviving son of King Henry IV of England by Mary de Bohun, and acted as Regent of France for his nephew, King Henry VI....

, ruled much of France including the capital, Paris. The English and Burgundians also initially controlled Reims
Reims
Reims , a city in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France, lies east-northeast of Paris. Founded by the Gauls, it became a major city during the period of the Roman Empire....

, the city in which Valois kings were traditionally crowned.

He was a member of the House of Valois, the son of Charles VI
Charles VI of France
Charles VI , called the Beloved and the Mad , was the King of France from 1380 to 1422, as a member of the House of Valois. His bouts with madness, which seem to have begun in 1392, led to quarrels among the French royal family, which were exploited by the neighbouring powers of England and Burgundy...

, but his succession to the throne was left questionable by the English occupation of northern France. He was, however, famously crowned in Reims
Reims
Reims , a city in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France, lies east-northeast of Paris. Founded by the Gauls, it became a major city during the period of the Roman Empire....

 in 1429 through Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc
Saint Joan of Arc, nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans" , is a national heroine of France and a Roman Catholic saint. A peasant girl born in eastern France who claimed divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War, which paved the way for the...

's effort to free France from the English. His later reign was marked by struggles with his son, the future Louis XI
Louis XI of France
Louis XI , called the Prudent , was the King of France from 1461 to 1483. He was the son of Charles VII of France and Mary of Anjou, a member of the House of Valois....

.

Early life


Born in Paris, Charles was the fifth son of Charles VI of France
Charles VI of France
Charles VI , called the Beloved and the Mad , was the King of France from 1380 to 1422, as a member of the House of Valois. His bouts with madness, which seem to have begun in 1392, led to quarrels among the French royal family, which were exploited by the neighbouring powers of England and Burgundy...

 and Isabella of Bavaria-Ingolstadt. His four elder brothers, Charles (1386), Charles (1392–1401), Louis
Louis, Dauphin of France (1397-1415)
Louis, Dauphin of France and Duke of Guyenne was a younger son of Charles VI of France and Isabella of Bavaria-Ingolstadt...

 (1397–1415) and John (1398–1417) had each held the title of Dauphin of France, heir to the French throne, in turn; each had died childless, leaving Charles with a rich inheritance of titles.



Almost immediately after his accession to the title of Dauphin, Charles was forced to face the threat to his inheritance, being constrained to flee Paris in May 1418 after the soldiers of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy
Duke of Burgundy
Duke of Burgundy was a title borne by the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy, a small portion of traditional lands of Burgundians west of river Saône which in 843 was allotted to Charles the Bald's kingdom of West Franks...

 attempted to capture the city. In the following year, Charles attempted to make a reconciliation between himself and the Duke, meeting him on a bridge at Pouilly, near Melun, in July 1419. This proving insufficient, the two met again on 10 September 1419, on the bridge at Montereau. The Duke, despite previous history, proved over-trusting in his young cousin, assuming the meeting to be entirely peaceful and diplomatic, and bringing with him only a small escort; the Dauphin's men reacted to the Duke's arrival, however, by setting upon him and killing him. Charles's level of involvement remained questionable ever afterward: although he claimed to have been unaware of his men's intentions, it was considered unlikely by those who heard of the murder, and furthered the feud between the family of Charles VI
Charles VI of France
Charles VI , called the Beloved and the Mad , was the King of France from 1380 to 1422, as a member of the House of Valois. His bouts with madness, which seem to have begun in 1392, led to quarrels among the French royal family, which were exploited by the neighbouring powers of England and Burgundy...

 and the Dukes of Burgundy. Charles himself was later required by treaty with Philip the Good
Philip III, Duke of Burgundy
Philip the Good KG , also Philip III, Duke of Burgundy was Duke of Burgundy from 1419 until his death. He was a member of a cadet line of the Valois dynasty . During his reign Burgundy reached the height of its prosperity and prestige and became a leading center of the arts...

, John's son, to pay penance for the murder, but he never did so; nonetheless, it is claimed, the event left him with a lifelong phobia of bridges.

In his adolescent years, Charles was noted for his bravery and style of leadership: at one point after becoming Dauphin, he led an army against the English, dressed in the red, white and blue that represented France; his heraldic device was a mailed fist clutching a naked sword. However, two events in 1421 broke his confidence: he was forced, to his great shame, to withdraw from battle against Henry V of England
Henry V of England
Henry V was King of England from 1413 until his death at the age of 35 in 1422. He was the second monarch belonging to the House of Lancaster....

; and his parents then repudiated him as the legitimate heir to the throne, claiming that he was the product of one of his mother's extramarital affairs (for which she was notorious). Humiliated, and in fear of his life, the Dauphin fled to the protection of Yolande of Aragon
Yolande of Aragon
Yolande of Aragon, , was a throne claimant and titular queen regnant of Aragon, titular queen consort of Naples, Duchess of Anjou, Countess of Provence, and regent of Provence during the minority of her son...

, the so-called Queen of the Four Kingdoms, in southern France, where he was protected by the forceful and proud Queen Yolande, and married her daughter, Marie
Marie of Anjou
Marie of Anjou was the Queen consort of King Charles VII of France from 1422 to 1461. Her mother, Yolande of Aragon, played a leading role in the last phase of the Hundred Years' War.-Family:...

.

On the death of Charles's insane father, Charles VI
Charles VI of France
Charles VI , called the Beloved and the Mad , was the King of France from 1380 to 1422, as a member of the House of Valois. His bouts with madness, which seem to have begun in 1392, led to quarrels among the French royal family, which were exploited by the neighbouring powers of England and Burgundy...

, the succession was cast into doubt: if the Dauphin was legitimate, then he was the rightful heir to the throne. If not, the heir was the Duke of Orléans, in English captivity. In addition, the Treaty of Troyes
Treaty of Troyes
The Treaty of Troyes was an agreement that Henry V of England and his heirs would inherit the throne of France upon the death of King Charles VI of France. It was signed in the French city of Troyes on 21 May 1420 in the aftermath of the Battle of Agincourt...

, signed by Charles VI in 1420, mandated that the throne pass to Henry VI of England
Henry VI of England
Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. Until 1437, his realm was governed by regents. Contemporaneous accounts described him as peaceful and pious, not suited for the violent dynastic civil wars, known as the Wars...

, the son of the recently deceased Henry V and Catherine of Valois
Catherine of Valois
Catherine of France was the Queen consort of England from 1420 until 1422. She was the daughter of King Charles VI of France, wife of Henry V of Monmouth, King of England, mother of Henry VI, King of England and King of France, and through her secret marriage with Owen Tudor, the grandmother of...

, daughter of Charles VI. None of the three candidates had an unquestionable claim to the throne; the English, however, being already in control of northern France, including Paris, were able to enforce their King's claim in those parts of France they occupied. Northern France was thus ruled by an English regent based in Normandy, for Henry VI. (See Dual monarchy of England and France
Dual monarchy of England and France
The dual monarchy of England and France existed during the latter phase of the Hundred Years' War when Charles VII of France and Henry VI of England disputed the succession to the throne of France...

.)

Charles, unsurprisingly, claimed the title King of France for himself; however, by indecision and a sense of hopelessness, he failed to make any attempts to throw the English out. Instead, he remained south of the Loire River, where he was still able to exert some small amount of power, maintaining an itinerant court in the Loire Valley
Loire Valley
The Loire Valley , spanning , is located in the middle stretch of the Loire River in central France. Its area comprises approximately . It is referred to as the Cradle of the French Language, and the Garden of France due to the abundance of vineyards, fruit orchards, and artichoke, asparagus, and...

 at castles such as Chinon
Chinon
Chinon is a commune in the Indre-et-Loire department in central France well known for Château de Chinon.In the Middle Ages, Chinon developed especially during the reign of Henry II . The castle was rebuilt and extended, becoming one of his favorite residences...

, being customarily known as "Dauphin" still, or derisively as "King of Bourges
Bourges
Bourges is a city in central France on the Yèvre river. It is the capital of the department of Cher and also was the capital of the former province of Berry.-History:...

" (named after the town where he generally lived), periodically considering flight to the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

, and allowing the English to advance in power.

The Maid of Orléans



In 1429, however, came a change. Orléans had been under siege since October 1428. The English regent, the Duke of Bedford
John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford
John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford, KG , also known as John Plantagenet, was the third surviving son of King Henry IV of England by Mary de Bohun, and acted as Regent of France for his nephew, King Henry VI....

 (the uncle of Henry VI) was advancing into the Duchy of Bar, ruled by Charles's brother-in-law, René. The French lords and soldiers loyal to Charles were becoming increasingly desperate.

Meanwhile, in the little village of Domrémy
Domrémy-la-Pucelle
Domrémy-la-Pucelle is a commune in the Vosges department in Lorraine in northeastern France.The village, originally named Domrémy, is the birthplace of Joan of Arc. It has since been renamed Domrémy-la-Pucelle after Joan's nickname, la Pucelle d'Orléans .-Geography:Domrémy is positioned along the...

, on the border between Lorraine
Lorraine (province)
The Duchy of Upper Lorraine was an historical duchy roughly corresponding with the present-day northeastern Lorraine region of France, including parts of modern Luxembourg and Germany. The main cities were Metz, Verdun, and the historic capital Nancy....

 and Champagne
Champagne, France
Champagne is a historic province in the northeast of France, now best known for the sparkling white wine that bears its name.Formerly ruled by the counts of Champagne, its western edge is about 100 miles east of Paris. The cities of Troyes, Reims, and Épernay are the commercial centers of the area...

, a teenage girl named Jeanne d'Arc
Joan of Arc
Saint Joan of Arc, nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans" , is a national heroine of France and a Roman Catholic saint. A peasant girl born in eastern France who claimed divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War, which paved the way for the...

 (in English: Joan of Arc), believing she had been given a divine mission after apparently hearing the voices of angels, demanded of the Duke of Lorraine the soldiers and resources necessary to bring her to Chinon, and the Dauphin. Granted an escort of five veteran soldiers and a letter of referral to Charles by the governor of Vaucouleurs, Robert Baudricourt, Jeanne rode to Chinon, where Charles was in residence, arriving there on 10 March 1429.


What followed would later pass into legend. When Jeanne arrived at Chinon, Charles—testing Jeanne's claim to recognise him despite having never seen him—disguised himself as one of his courtiers, and stood in their midst when Jeanne (who was herself dressed in men's clothing) entered the chamber. Jeanne, immediately identifying him, bowed low to him and embraced his knees, declaring "God give you a happy life, sweet King!" Despite attempts to claim that another man was in fact the King, Charles was eventually forced to admit that he was indeed such. Thereafter Jeanne referred to him as "Dauphin" or "Gentle Dauphin" until he was crowned in Reims four months later. After a private conversation between the two (during which, Charles later stated Jeanne knew secrets about him that he had voiced only in silent prayer to God) Charles became inspired, and filled with confidence. Thereafter, he became secure in his intention to claim his inheritance by travelling to Reims.

One of the important factors that aided in the ultimate success of Charles VII was the support from the powerful and wealthy family of his wife Marie d'Anjou (1404–1463), particularly his mother-in-law the Queen Yolande of Aragon
Yolande of Aragon
Yolande of Aragon, , was a throne claimant and titular queen regnant of Aragon, titular queen consort of Naples, Duchess of Anjou, Countess of Provence, and regent of Provence during the minority of her son...

. Despite whatever affection he had for his wife, the great love of Charles VII's life was his mistress, Agnès Sorel
Agnès Sorel
Agnès Sorel , known by the sobriquet Dame de beauté, was a favourite mistress of King Charles VII of France, for whom she bore three daughters....

.

Jeanne d'Arc then set about leading the French forces at Orléans, forcing the English to lift the siege and thus turning the tide of the war. After the French won the Battle of Patay
Battle of Patay
The Battle of Patay was the culminating engagement of the Loire Campaign of the Hundred Years' War between the French and English in north-central France. It was a decisive victory for the French and turned the tide of the war. This victory was to the French what Agincourt was to the English...

, Charles was crowned King Charles VII of France on 17 July 1429, in Reims Cathedral
Reims Cathedral
Notre-Dame de Reims is the Roman Catholic cathedral of Reims, where the kings of France were once crowned. It replaces an older church, destroyed by a fire in 1211, which was built on the site of the basilica where Clovis was baptized by Saint Remi, bishop of Reims, in AD 496. That original...

 as the de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

 king.

Jeanne was later captured by the Burgundians who handed her over to the English. Tried for heresy
Heresy
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

 she was burned at the stake on 30 May 1431. Charles VII did nothing to save the one to whom he owed his throne, though he probably could have engineered her release.

Charles and Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, then signed the Treaty of Arras
Congress of Arras
The Congress of Arras was a diplomatic congregation established in Arras in 1435 between representatives of England, France, and Burgundy. Toward the close of the Hundred Years' War, both the Congress and Treaty of Arras represented diplomatic failures for England and major successes for...

, thus allowing the Burgundians to return to the side of the French just as things were going badly for their English allies. With this event, Charles attained the goal that was essential, that no prince of the blood recognised Henry VI
Henry VI of England
Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. Until 1437, his realm was governed by regents. Contemporaneous accounts described him as peaceful and pious, not suited for the violent dynastic civil wars, known as the Wars...

 as King of France.

Over the following two decades, the French recaptured Paris from the English and eventually recovered all of France with the exception of the northern port of Calais
Calais
Calais is a town in Northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's capital is its third-largest city of Arras....

 and the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
The Channel Islands are an archipelago of British Crown Dependencies in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. They include two separate bailiwicks: the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Bailiwick of Jersey...

.

Close of reign


Charles's later years were marked by increasing hostility between himself and his heir, Louis. Louis demanded real power to accompany his position as the Dauphin; Charles refused. Accordingly, Louis stirred dissent and made plots in attempts to destabilise his father. He quarrelled with his father's mistress, Agnès Sorel, on one occasion driving her with a bared sword into Charles's bed, according to one source. Eventually, in 1446, after Charles's last son, also named Charles, was born, the King banished the Dauphin to the Dauphiny. The two never met again; Louis thereafter refused the King's demands that he return to court, eventually fleeing to the protection of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, in 1456.

In 1458, Charles became ill: a sore on his leg (an early symptom, perhaps, of diabetes or another condition) refused to heal, and the infection in it caused a serious fever. The King summoned Louis to him from his exile in Burgundy; but the Dauphin refused, and employed astrologers to foretell the exact hour of his father's death. The King lingered on for the next two and a half years: increasingly ill, but unwilling to die. During this time he also had to deal with the case of his rebellious vassal John V of Armagnac.

Finally, however, there came a point in July 1461 when the King's physicians concluded that Charles would not live past August. Ill and weary, the King became delirious, convinced that he was surrounded by traitors loyal only to his son. Under the pressure of sickness and fever, the King went mad. By now another infection in his jaw had caused a tumor or abscess in his mouth; the swelling of this became so large that, for the last week of his life, Charles could swallow no food or water. Although he asked the Dauphin to come to his deathbed, Louis refused, instead waiting for his father to die at Avesnes, in Burgundy. Thus, at Mehun-sur-Yèvre
Mehun-sur-Yèvre
Mehun-sur-Yèvre is a commune in the Cher department in central France.-Population:-References:*...

, attended by his younger son, Charles, and aware of his elder son's final betrayal, the King starved to death. He died on 22 July 1461, and was buried, at his request, beside his parents in Saint-Denis.

Legacy



Although Charles VII's legacy is far overshadowed by the deeds and eventual martyr
Martyr
A martyr is somebody who suffers persecution and death for refusing to renounce, or accept, a belief or cause, usually religious.-Meaning:...

dom of Joan of Arc, he himself was also responsible for successes unprecedented in the history of the Kingdom of France. When he died, France controlled the territories traditionally governed by England and possessed its first standing army, which in time would yield the powerful gendarme
Gendarme (historical)
A gendarme was a heavy cavalryman of noble birth, primarily serving in the French army from the Late Medieval to the Early Modern periods of European History...

 cavalry companies, notable in the wars of the sixteenth century. He also established the University of Poitiers
University of Poitiers
The University of Poitiers is a university in Poitiers, France. It is a member of the Coimbra Group.-History:Founded in 1431 by Pope Eugene IV and chartered by King Charles VII, the University of Poitiers was originally composed of five faculties: theology, canon law, civil law, medicine, and...

 in 1432, and his policies had brought some economic prosperity to his subjects. His rule as a monarch had at times been marked by indecisiveness and inaction, and his final years were marked by hostility between himself and his elder son. Nonetheless, it is to his credit that he left his kingdom in a better condition than he had found it.

Children


Charles married his second cousin Marie of Anjou
Marie of Anjou
Marie of Anjou was the Queen consort of King Charles VII of France from 1422 to 1461. Her mother, Yolande of Aragon, played a leading role in the last phase of the Hundred Years' War.-Family:...

 on 18 December 1422. They were both great-grandchildren of King John II of France
John II of France
John II , called John the Good , was the King of France from 1350 until his death. He was the second sovereign of the House of Valois and is perhaps best remembered as the king who was vanquished at the Battle of Poitiers and taken as a captive to England.The son of Philip VI and Joan the Lame,...

 and his first wife Bonne of Bohemia
Bonne of Bohemia
Bonne of Luxemburg, Duchess of Normandy, Countess of Anjou and of Maine , was born Jutta , the daughter of John the Blind of Luxemburg, king of Bohemia and his first wife Elisabeth of Bohemia. She was the first wife of King John II of France; however, as her death occurred a year prior to his...

 through the male-line. They had fourteen children:
  • Louis XI, King of France
    Louis XI of France
    Louis XI , called the Prudent , was the King of France from 1461 to 1483. He was the son of Charles VII of France and Mary of Anjou, a member of the House of Valois....

     (1423–1483), married Charlotte of Savoy
    Charlotte of Savoy
    Charlotte of Savoy was the second wife and only Queen consort of Louis XI of France. She had three surviving children, one of whom succeeded Louis as King Charles VIII of France, with her eldest daughter, Anne of France, acting as his regent.- Family :She was a daughter of Louis, Duke of Savoy,...

    , by whom he had issue including King Charles VIII of France
    Charles VIII of France
    Charles VIII, called the Affable, , was King of France from 1483 to his death in 1498. Charles was a member of the House of Valois...

    , Anne of France
    Anne of France
    Anne of France was the eldest daughter of Louis XI of France and his second wife, Charlotte of Savoy. Anne was the sister of King Charles VIII of France, for whom she acted as regent during his minority; and of Joan of France, who was briefly queen consort to Louis XII...

    , and Joan of France, Duchess of Berry
    Joan of France, Duchess of Berry
    Joan of France was briefly Queen consort of France as wife of King Louis XII of France, in between the death of her brother, Charles VIII, and the annulment of her marriage....

    .
  • John of France (Jean de France) (1424–1425)
  • Radegonde of France (Radegonde de France) (1428–1444), betrothed to Sigismund, Archduke of Austria
    Sigismund, Archduke of Austria
    Sigismund of Austria, Duke, then Archduke of Further Austria was a Habsburg archduke of Austria and ruler of Tirol from 1446 to 1490....

  • Catherine of Valois (Catherine de France) (1428–1446), married Charles the Bold in 1440
  • James of France (Jacques de France) (1432–1437)
  • Yolande of Valois
    Yolande of Valois
    Yolande of Valois was a Duchess consort of Savoy. She was was a daughter of King Charles VII of France, "The Victorious," and Marie of Anjou. She married Duke Amadeus IX of Savoy in 1452. She was named after her grandmother, Yolande of Aragon. She is sometimes known as Yolande of France...

     (Yolande de France) (1434–1478), married the future Amadeus IX, Duke of Savoy in 1452. Upon his death in 1472, she became regent
    Regent
    A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

     of Savoy
    Savoy
    Savoy is a region of France. It comprises roughly the territory of the Western Alps situated between Lake Geneva in the north and Monaco and the Mediterranean coast in the south....

    . She was the mother of ten children.
  • Joan of Valois (Jeanne de France) (1435–82), married the future John II, Duke of Bourbon
    John II, Duke of Bourbon
    John de Bourbon, Duke of Bourbon , sometimes referred to as John the Good and The Scourge of the English, was a son of Charles I of Bourbon and Agnes of Burgundy...

     in 1452. No issue.
  • Philip of France (Philippe de France) (4 February 1436 – 11 June 1436)
  • Margaret of France (Marguerite de France) (1437–1438)
  • Marie of France (Marie de France) (7 September 1438 – 14 February 1439)
  • Joan (Jeanne de France) (7 September 1438 – 26 December 1446)
  • Marie of France (Marie de France) (1441 – died in childhood)
  • Magdalena of Valois
    Magdalena of Valois
    Magdalena of Valois, also called Madeleine de France , was a daughter of Charles VII of France and Marie of Anjou, and acted as regent for her children, Francis I and Catherine I, who were successively monarchs of Navarre.Magdalena was betrothed to Ladislaus the Posthumous however he died suddenly...

     (Madeleine de France) (1443–1495), married Gaston of Foix, Prince of Viana
    Gaston of Foix, Prince of Viana
    Gaston, Prince of Viana, also called Gaston de Foix , was the son of Gaston IV of Foix and Eleanor of Navarre, and was the heir of both. As a Prince of Navarre, he was called Prince of Viana....

    , in 1462, by whom she had issue.
  • Charles, Duke of Berry
    Charles de Valois, Duc de Berry
    Charles de Valois, Duke of Berry was a son of Charles VII, King of France. He spent most of his life in conflict with his elder brother, King Louis XI of France.-Life:...

     (Charles de France) (1446–1472), died without legitimate issue.

Mistresses

  • Odette de Champdivers
    Odette de Champdivers
    Odette de Champdivers was the mistress of Charles VI of France...

    {1390–1424} – formerly mistress to Charles VII's uncle Louis of Valois, Duke of Orléans
    Louis of Valois, Duke of Orléans
    Louis I was Duke of Orléans from 1392 to his death. He was also Count of Valois, Duke of Touraine , Count of Blois , Angoulême , Périgord, Dreux, and Soissons....

     and his father Charles VI of France
    Charles VI of France
    Charles VI , called the Beloved and the Mad , was the King of France from 1380 to 1422, as a member of the House of Valois. His bouts with madness, which seem to have begun in 1392, led to quarrels among the French royal family, which were exploited by the neighbouring powers of England and Burgundy...

  • Agnès Sorel
    Agnès Sorel
    Agnès Sorel , known by the sobriquet Dame de beauté, was a favourite mistress of King Charles VII of France, for whom she bore three daughters....

    , by whom he had three illegitimate daughters.
  • Antoinette de Maignelais
    Antoinette de Maignelais
    Antoinette de Maignelais was the chief mistress of Charles VII of France from 1450 until his death. The Baroness of Villequier by marriage, she replaced her cousin Agnès Sorel as the king's favourite mistress after Sorel's sudden death in 1450...

    , cousin of Agnès Sorel.

Charles VII in the arts

  • Appears as Charles, The Dauphin in Jean Anouilh
    Jean Anouilh
    Jean Marie Lucien Pierre Anouilh was a French dramatist whose career spanned five decades. Though his work ranged from high drama to absurdist farce, Anouilh is best known for his 1943 play Antigone, an adaptation of Sophocles' Classical drama, that was seen as an attack on Marshal Pétain's...

    's play The Lark
  • Appears as Charles the Dauphin in George Bernard Shaw
    George Bernard Shaw
    George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60...

    's play Saint Joan
    Saint Joan (play)
    Saint Joan is a play by George Bernard Shaw, based on the life and trial of Joan of Arc. Published not long after the canonization of Joan of Arc by the Roman Catholic Church, the play dramatises what is known of her life based on the substantial records of her trial. Shaw studied the transcripts...

  • Appears as the Dauphin in Maxwell Anderson
    Maxwell Anderson
    James Maxwell Anderson was an American playwright, author, poet, journalist and lyricist.-Early years:Anderson was born in Atlantic, Pennsylvania, the second of eight children to William Lincoln "Link" Anderson, a Baptist minister, and Charlotte Perrimela Stephenson, both of Scots and Irish descent...

    's Joan of Lorraine
    Joan of Lorraine
    Joan of Lorraine is a 1946 play-within-a-play by Maxwell Anderson. It is about an acting company who stages a dramatization of the story of Joan of Arc and the effect that the story has on them. As in the musical Man of La Mancha, most of the actors in the drama play two or more roles...

  • Appears as a significant character in Thomas Keneally
    Thomas Keneally
    Thomas Michael Keneally, AO is an Australian novelist, playwright and author of non-fiction. He is best known for writing Schindler's Ark, the Booker Prize-winning novel of 1982 which was inspired by the efforts of Poldek Pfefferberg, a Holocaust survivor...

    's novel "Blood Red, Sister Rose".
  • Appears as 'The Dauphin' in William Shakespeare's Henry VI Part 1, and as 'King Charles' in Henry VI Part III.
  • Two Russian operas from the late 19th century portray Charles VII (and Agnès Sorel
    Agnès Sorel
    Agnès Sorel , known by the sobriquet Dame de beauté, was a favourite mistress of King Charles VII of France, for whom she bore three daughters....

    ) among the dramatis personæ. These are Pyotr Tchaikovsky's The Maid of Orléans
    The Maid of Orleans
    The Maid of Orleans is an opera in 4 acts, 6 scenes, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. It was composed during 1878–1879 to a Russian libretto by the composer, based on several sources: Friedrich Schiller’s The Maid of Orleans as translated by Vasily Zhukovsky; Jules Barbier’s Jeanne d’Arc ; Auguste...

    and César Cui
    César Cui
    César Antonovich Cui was a Russian of French and Lithuanian descent. His profession was as an army officer and a teacher of fortifications; his avocational life has particular significance in the history of music, in that he was a composer and music critic; in this sideline he is known as a...

    's The Saracen
    The Saracen (opera)
    The Saracen , is an opera by César Cui composed during 1896-1898. The libretto was written by Vladimir Vasilievich Stasov and the composer, based on a play by Alexandre Dumas entitled Charles VII chez ses grands vassaux...

    .
  • Charles VII's relationship with Joan of Arc is imagined fancifully in the 1975 Broadway musical Goodtime Charley
    Goodtime Charley
    Goodtime Charley is a musical with a book by Sidney Michaels, music by Larry Grossman, and lyrics by Hal Hackady.A humorous take on actual historical events, it focuses on the Dauphin of France, who evolves from a hedonistic young man enamored of women in general into a regal king while Joan...

    .
  • Charles VII has been represented in the movies by Raymond Hatton
    Raymond Hatton
    Raymond William Hatton was an American movie actor who appeared in almost five hundred movies, including a stint of being paired in 1920s comedies with Wallace Beery....

     (1917), Jean Debucourt
    Jean Debucourt
    Jean Debucourt was a French film actor. He appeared in 104 films between 1920 and 1958.-Selected filmography:* The Fall of the House of Usher * Mayerling * Devil in the Flesh...

     (1929), Gustaf Gründgens
    Gustaf Gründgens
    Gustaf Gründgens , born Gustav Heinrich Arnold Gründgens, was one of Germany's most famous and influential actors of the 20th century, intendant and artistic director of theatres in Berlin, Düsseldorf, and Hamburg...

     (1935), Emlyn Williams
    Emlyn Williams
    George Emlyn Williams, CBE , known as Emlyn Williams, was a Welsh dramatist and actor.-Biography:He was born into a Welsh-speaking, working class family in Mostyn, Flintshire....

     (1935), Max Adrian
    Max Adrian
    Max Adrian was a Northern Irish stage, film and television actor and singer. He was a founding member of both the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre....

     (1944), José Ferrer
    José Ferrer
    José Vicente Ferrer de Otero y Cintrón , best known as José Ferrer, was a Puerto Rican actor, as well as a theater and film director...

     (1948), Paul Colline (1955), Richard Widmark
    Richard Widmark
    Richard Weedt Widmark was an American film, stage and television actor.He was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as the villainous Tommy Udo in his debut film, Kiss of Death...

     (1957), Daniel Gélin
    Daniel Gélin
    Daniel Yves Alfred Gélin was a French actor, occasional director and screenwriter.-Early life:Gélin was born in Angers, Maine-et-Loire. When he was 10 his family moved to Saint-Malo where Daniel went to college until he was expelled for 'uncouthness'. His father then found him a job in a shop that...

     (1978), Keith Drinkel
    Keith Drinkel
    Keith Drinkel is a British actor, born in York on 14 November 1944. He was educated at St Michael's College, Leeds and is now based in Brighton....

     (1979), Oleg Kulko (1993), John Malkovich
    John Malkovich
    John Gavin Malkovich is an American actor, producer, director and fashion designer with his label Technobohemian. Over the last 25 years of his career, Malkovich has appeared in more than 70 motion pictures. For his roles in Places in the Heart and In the Line of Fire, he received Academy Award...

     (1999), Neil Patrick Harris
    Neil Patrick Harris
    Neil Patrick Harris is an American actor, singer, director, and magician.Prominent roles of his career include the title role in Doogie Howser, M.D., Colonel Carl Jenkins in Starship Troopers, the womanizing Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother, a fictionalized version of himself in the Harold...

    (1999)

Sources

  • Hanawalt, Barbara, The Middle Ages: An Illustrated History
  • Taylor, Aline, Isabel of Burgundy