Skip to Content
Search Icon
Issue 16 – Easter 2023

Historia Ecclesiastica

A New Kind of Literary Patroness

On Marie de Vignerot, Cardinal Richelieu's heiress. 


Measured and wise beyond her years, Marie de Vignerot did not dignify the gossip about her with direct responses. But neither did she suffer it passively. She had access to Cardinal Richelieu’s deep and wide network, including his contacts in the exploding Parisian publishing sector of the time. And she took a cue from her uncle, who was utilizing the printed word to shape public perceptions as no French prime minister had ever done. She began to assert herself as the patroness of writers and artists who had things to say that she wished to see amplified across France.

Some of the works she patronized were about women and the ways they were underestimated by more than a few moralists and preachers of the time.

You must or subscribe to read the rest of the article.

About the author

Bronwen McShea

Bronwen McShea is a writing fellow at the Institute on Religion and Public Life and a visiting assistant professor for the Augustine Institute Graduate School in Denver. She is the author of La Duchesse: The Life of Marie de Vignerot, Cardinal Richelieu’s Forgotten Heiress Who Shaped the Fate of France.