Originally posted on A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life.
Louise-Marie de France (Versailles, France, 15th July 1737 – Saint-Denis, Paris, France, 23rd December 1787)
Whether you knew her as Madame Septième, Madame Dernière, or Madame Louise, the tenth child of King Louis XV and Queen Maria Leszczyńska was born into a world of great privilege and it would be one that she ultimately rejected, choosing instead to forge a path of her own making.
Born into the splendour of Versailles, Louise was sent as an infant to be raised at the Abbey of Fontevraud with three of her sisters. The impact of this early decision was to have a profound impact on Louise’s life. From birth, a good marriage and respectable society life lay in store for the girl but she wanted to serve only her religion, with all efforts to arrange a marriage ending in failure.
At the age of thirteen Louise returned to Versailles in 1750 and remained there through twenty tumultuous years, witnessing births, scandals and deaths. After two decades at court and with Louis enjoying the company of Jeanne Bécu, Madame du Barry, Louise went to her father and begged leave to return to the convent as a Carmelite nun. Tormented by the king’s apparently low morals, she intended to give her life to God by way of…