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Henri IV - An unfinished reign

The Nérac court: "A little Louvre"

During his travels, Henri officially returned to Calvinism on 13 June 1576, at Niort. The restoration of peace made his journey easier; he travelled to Agen and then Nérac, where he arrived in April 1577.

Over the next ten years, Nérac would become the seat of Henri's government and court, as well as the place of his political apprenticeship. It sat in the centre of his lands and of the "Protestant crescent". In her memoirs, Marguerite de Valois Marguerite de Valois described Nérac as "a little Louvre", a miniature French court where, "[…] spending most of that time at Nérac, where our court was so beautiful and pleasant that we were not envious in the least of the court of France." Shakespeare himself drew inspiration from the courtly and rural nature of the court for Love's Labour's Lost.

Related multimedia

Title: Henri IV's château at Nérac

Henri IV's château at Nérac
© BnF
View of Henri IV's château at Nérac, engraving, 1817. Département des estampes et de la photographie de la BnF, VA-47-FOL

Title: Château of Henri IV.

Château of Henri IV at Nérac
Photo: Musée du château Henri IV, Nérac
Château of Henri IV.

Title: Henri's IV château in Nérac

Henri's IV château in Nérac
Photo : Musée du château Henri IV, Nérac
Château Henri IV.

Title: William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare
© RMN / Gérard Blot
William Shakespeare (1564–1616) depicted here at age 34, painting by Louis Coblitz, 1847. Musée des châteaux de Versailles et Trianon, MV3353
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