Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Intimate Account of the Intrigues of
    the French Court

    Marguerite de Valois, Queen Consort of King Henry IV of France. The Grand Cabinet-Counsels Unlocked; Or, The most faithful Transaction of the Court-Affairs, and Growth and Continuation of the Civil Wars in France, betwixt the Huguenots and the Papists during the Raign of Charls the Last, Henry the Third, and Henry the Fourth, commonly called Henry the Great. Most excellently written in the French tongue by Margaret de Valois, Sister to the two first Kings of France, and wife unto the last. London: R. M., 1656. Octavo. A4, B=P8, Q4[Q4, blank] [8], 229, [1] pages. Title page in decorative border, decorated initials, typographic head-pieces. Contemporary citron morocco richly gilt to all-over pattern of ornamental tools on covers, rebacked in morocco with old spine fragments laid-on and restored, all edges gilt. Boards rubbed, lacks ties, some marginal notes and "pointing fingers" in old hand, else a very good copy. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
    Please visit for an extended description of this lot.

    More Information:

    "Marguerite de Valois (1553-1615), ...daughter of Henry II by Catherine de' Medici. She was born on the 14th of May 1553. When very young she became famous for her beauty, her learning, and the looseness of her conduct. She was married, after a liaison with the duke of Guise, to Henry of Navarre, afterwards Henry IV, on the eve of St Bartholomew's Day. Both husband and wife were extreme examples of the licentious manners of the time, but they not unfrequently lived together for considerable periods, and nearly always on good terms. Later, however, Marguerite was established in the castle of Usson in Auvergne, and after the accession of Henry the marriage was dissolved by the pope. But Henry and Marguerite still continued friends; she still bore the title of queen; she visited Marie de' Medici on equal terms; and the king frequently consulted her on important affairs, though his somewhat parsimonious spirit was grieved by her extravagance. Marguerite exhibited during the rest of her life, which was not a short one, the strange Valois mixture of licentiousness, pious exercises, and the cultivation of art and letters, and died in Paris on the 27th of March 1615. She left letters and memoirs the latter of which are admirably written, and rank among the best of the 16th century. She was the idol of Pierre de Bourdeille Brantome, and is the "Reine Margot" of anecdotic history and romance." [EB 11th ed.]

    Robert Codrington, translator and writer. "His The Memorialls of Margaret de Valoys, the first edition of which was published in 1641 with a dedication to Surrey gentleman Sir Anthony Vincent, was presented as the queen of Navarre's own account of courtly intrigue during the French wars of religion; new editions with almost identically worded dedications to (respectively) John Cecil, earl of Exeter, and George Meryfield appeared in 1647 and 1650. [Our edition is dedicated to Richard Blackwell.]" [Oxford DNB]

    Wing M593bA.ESTC r227785 [only one copy recorded in US -- Wm A. Clark Library].

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    5th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 680

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 October 27 Lovell House Real Estate Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
    Howard Ballou,
    Brandon, MS
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search