European history scholar Hilde van den Bergh hits another home run with the story of the marriage of King Charles VIII of France with Anne of Brittany, resulting in the union of France and Brittany. Follow her blog at hemmahoshilde.wordpress.com

hemmahoshilde (@Hilde's home)

Anne became engaged to the King in the vault of the Jacobins in Rennes on 17 November 1491. Then, escorted by her army (ostensibly to show that she had willingly consented to the marriage), Anne went to Langeais to be married. The official marriage between Anne and King Charles VIII of France was celebrated in the Great Hall of the Chateau de Langeais on 6 December 1491 at dawn despite diplomatic protests of Austria that the bride was unwilling already married and that the groom was already betrothed. They had to be quick and discrete because technically the marriage was illegal until the pope annulled the marriage between Anne of Brittany and Maximilian I and gave a dispensation needed for marrying Charles VIII because Anne of Brittany and Charles VIII were related in the forbidden 4th degree of consanguinity. The pope received substantial concessions for this. This was possible because the…

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Jenerated reviews awards five stars to Sense of Touch on Sept. 7, 2016. 


Rozsa Gaston - Author

SENSE of TOUCH received one of its most prestigious reviews today from award-winning British writer Duncan Whitehead, author of the  bestselling The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club. 

Duncan Whitehead review by RGFront cover FINAL Hi-Res

Review SENSE of TOUCH and post on Amazon and/or Goodreads and author Rozsa Gaston will be pleased to send you your choice of eBook editions of any of her other books.

Questions or comments? Contact her at rgaston@optonline.net.

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Rozsa Gaston - Author

The Historical Novel Society gives Sense of Touch a favorable review in its Aug. 1, 2016 review by Mary Turner. An honor.

Sense of Touch: Love and Duty at Anne of Brittany’s Court

By Rozsa Gaston

‘In July 1497 Anne of Brittany, Queen of France, gives birth to a son. Within hours the child joins the five dead siblings who came before him. In the mournful weeks that follow, fifteen-year-old Nicole St. Sylvain meets Philippe de Bois, a young horse trainer. The attraction between the two is immediate, but duty and honor bring their romance to an abrupt halt. They work together to heal the horse’s infected hoof, then part ways.’

Thus begins a romance and an interesting novel about a little-known French queen.

The story is of Anne’s struggle to produce a family, and her grief at losing her children, a grief shared by so…

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Hilde van den Bergh of Hemmahoshilde Blog gives us the story of what happened to Anne of Brittany’s jolted fiance, Maximilien I of Austria. Consensus? She did well to throw him over for Charles VIII of France.

hemmahoshilde (@Hilde's home)

Maybe it sounded a bit greedy that Mary of Burgundy demanded a golden wedding ring with a diamond of Maximilian I before even meeting her future husband in person, but she probably did the right thing considering the wedding gift he presented to his second wife Bianca Maria Sforza.

At first the idea sounds quite lovely. He renovated a building in Innsbruck so that they would have a royal box from which they could enjoy festivals, tournaments and other festivities. The most important improvement he made to the building was that he had the 2,738 copper tiles on the roof fire-gilded.

He added many different heraldry weapons but that’s fine, because at least he added his second wife’s family weapon as well.

They were all weapons that had to do with Maximilian I except for the last one the snake eating a child that was the family weapon of the…

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Hemmahoshilde’s research on Anne of Brittany, Queen of France is nothing short of remarkable. This blogger has done her homework. Here the 14- year- old Anne decides to accept Charles VIII’s marriage proposal. Brittany’s ruler a prisoner of the King of France? Certainly not. The King of France’s heart captured by Brittany’s ruler? Absolutely. Read on.

hemmahoshilde (@Hilde's home)

It’s ages ago I wrote about young Anne of Brittany. Her dad died in 1488 and Anne of Brittany fled Nantes to Rennes where she was crowned duchess of Brittany on 10 February 1489.

Anne enters the city of Dinan cheered on by the Bretons that love her. Anne enters the city of Dinan cheered on by the Bretons that love her.

She married Maximilian I of Austria by proxy in December 1490 when she was 14 years old. The french king was very angry at this because it violated the treaty of Sablé that her father had signed early that stated that the French king had to give his consent to her marriage and because it reintroduced an old enemy to France.

Unfortunately for Anne her new husband was busy fighting in Granada and he left her stranded in Rennes and did (too) little to fight the French that decided to siege the city. After 2 months without aid Rennes fell and Anne agreed…

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Rozsa Gaston - Author

Széchenyi Baths entrance, Budapest; the site of Kati and Jan's first kiss in Budapest Romance Széchenyi Baths entrance, Budapest; the site of Kati and Jan’s first kiss in Budapest Romance

Budapest Romance: a “thoughtful romance.”—Publishers Weekly

Budapest Romance: A “tasty smorgasbord of love and faith.”—AudioFile Magazine
Chapter Six of Budapest Romance is all about taking the plunge. As in plunge bath.  As in an experience you will never forget and should repeat whenever the opportunity presents itself. Why? You will prolong your life span. Your skin will sparkle and glow. Your state of mind will too. What’s it all about?

Contrast. Rather like the city of Budapest. Let’s not get into the hows and whys, as Hungary always manages to find itself historically in hot water. We will confine this discussion to the warm thermal waters of Budapest’s leading bath spas, the Széchenyi baths, Gellért Baths, and Rudyas Turkish Baths. Much more fun to dip into mineral-laden hot baths than into geopolitics … Taking the Plunge, Budapest Romance, chptr. six

Excerpt from

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