So for the hot month of August (where is the summer going?!?!) I will be focusing on Mistresses!
Odette de Champdivers (1390-1425) was the mistress of Charles VI of France.
Charles was married to Queen Isabeau of Bavaria. This was a tumultuous relationship to say the least- due to Charles’ (possible) Schizophrenia, Isabeau became the victim of terrible tirades and beatings. So much so, she allowed the King to take on a mistress. Odette was only 17 when she began an approved affair with the King.
The two had a very close relationship- he nicknamed her “La Petite Reine” or “the little queen”. They had one daughter and named her Marguerite (who was eventually provided for by her half-brother Charles VII of France).
It is said that Odette was sweet and patient to the very sick King (he suffered from paranoid delusions and once believed he was made of glass) and he showered her with lavish gifts and estates. To past the time during his episodes, Odette would entertain the King by playing cards (she is actually credited for introducing playing cards in France.)
After his death, Odette and Marguerite lost their royal pension and were reduced to poverty. She earned some money as a spy, but ultimately died with nothing.