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Cardinal Richelieu July 28, 2014

Posted by anagasto in history.


François Leclerc du Tremblay by Jean-Léon Gérôme in public domain http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:G%C3%A9r%C3%B4me_Eminence_grise_1873.jpg.

Because of his fame, anyone would think that Richelieu is the man coming down the stairs in the center of the painting. This man reads a book or fakes reading one without looking at all those people or perhaps  trying not to see  so much shameless adulation.

In front of him they stoop and bow and behind him they crane their necks just to see him walking.

It isn’t Richelieu. It is his famous Grey Eminence, a simple friar, adviser or crony who helped Richelieu understand and control the world in the interest of the French State and against the interests of Spain.

In Europe the Cardinal was able to push back Catholicism by boosting Protestant powers abroad.


According to legend, on Richelieu’s death the Pope said: If there is a god, the Cardinal will have a lot to account for; and if there isn’t…. well, he will have led a successful life.”


Portrait by Philippe de Champaigne photographed by Ascándar in public domain according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cardinal_Richelieu_%28Champaigne%29.jpg

Armand-Jean du Plessis Duque and Cardinal of Richelieu, Duque of Fronsac, Pair de Francei and leading politician of France 1585 — 1642


Epilogue: The Cardinal’s Cats

The Cardinal had 14 cats and their names are known to historians: Ludoviska, Rubis sur l’Ongle, Serpolet, Pyrame, Thisbe, Racan, Perruque, Mounard le Fougueux, Soumise, Gazette, Ludovic le Cruel, Mimi-Paillon, Felimare, Lucifer.

In his will he left them a house and financial arrangements to cover the costs of their food and the salaries of two people to look after them.




1. Carl D'Agostino - March 10, 2012

The old movie about him was very well done. Unfortunately he represents all the political intrigue in which the Church has played a part over the centuries much to the displeasure of Jesus I am sure.

2. cantueso - March 11, 2012

I was told that Richelieu appears in the novel “The Three Musketeers” by A. Dumas, but I do not read novels and hadn’t even heard of this one, except its title.

There is a brilliant book about him written by Hilaire Belloc, but that is a history book. I tried, but could not get very far.

3. Mrs Greensleeves - March 15, 2012

This author that you mention above is known for his verse for children with lots of writings freely available online http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Belloc%2C%20Hilaire%2C%201870-1953
like The Bad Child’s Book of Beasts which I am (almost) sure you would enjoy.

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