Louise-Françoise de Bourbon  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Louise-Françoise de Bourbon, Duchess of Bourbon, Princess of Condé (1 June 1673– 16 June 1743), was the eldest surviving legitimised daughter (fille légitimée de France) of Louis XIV of France and his maîtresse-en-titre, Madame de Montespan. She was said to have been named after her godmother, Louise de La Vallière, the woman that her mother had replaced as the king's mistress. Prior to her marriage, she was known at court as Mademoiselle de Nantes. Later in life, she built the Palais Bourbon in Paris, the present seat of the National Assembly of France. Having inherited her parents passion for music and dance, Louise-Françoise became a good dancer. She also inherited her mother's sharp and caustic wit, the famous Mortemart esprit, which made her popular with some but not with others. Saint-Simon later said of the future Princess of Condé:

her face was formed by the most tender loves and her nature made to dally with them. She possessed the art of placing everyone at their ease; there was nothing about her which did not tend naturally to please, with a grace unparalleled, even in her slightest actions. She made captive even those who had the most cause to fear her, and those who had the best of reasons to hate her required often to recall the fact to resist her charms. Sportive, gay, and merry, she passed her youth in frivolity and in pleasures of all kinds, and, whenever the opportunity presented itself, they extended even to debauchery.--History of the Love Affairs of the Condé family

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