One of the best European history blogs, @hemmahoshilde, weighs in on the mysterious Magritte.

hemmahoshilde (@Hilde's home)

To pick the second artist was almost more difficult than the first, because I challenged myself to not only come up with 26 artist but roughly half of them should be modern ones. I don’t actually like modern art that much so this was a lot more difficult than the classic ones. The one I picked is a surrealist called Rene Magritte. Normally I’m not a fan of surrealism because it has a tendency to be quite dark and creepy and mysterious in kinda an attention seeking way but Magritte’s work tends to be lighthearted or at least witty. He even signed a manifesto written by his friends called surrealism in full sunshine.

You probably think you don’t know who this Magritte is but there is a good chance you know one of his most famous works where he painted a pipe and under it it says this is not…

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Alphonse Mucha – one of my favorite 19th century artists.

hemmahoshilde (@Hilde's home)

I have been in doubt about which artists too include in my project about sun & art but I finally picked the first one! Alphonse Mucha a Czech artist that got famous for his beuatiful art nouveau designs.

Mucha came from a big family and they struggled to pay for his school fees, but thanks to his talent he eventually got the support of a count who took him under his wings and let him study art in Paris. There he got the support of a famous actress at the time Sarah Bernardt for whom he made many posters to promote her plays.


His style is now synonymous with art nouveau but at the time it was actually known as le style mucha, Mucha’s style because it was so individual. Mucha did a lot of commercial work  when he lived in Paris, in particular the 1890’s,  but the public got…

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Kirkus review blurb


Passion and Politics in Late Medieval France: The Story of Anne of Brittany’s Marriage to Charles VIII

Book One of the Anne of Brittany Series

by Rozsa Gaston

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2018
Publisher: Renaissance Editions
357 pps.
eBook, paperback, audiobook by Tantor Media coming spring 2018

A historically sharp and dramatically stirring love story. — Kirkus Reviews

A historical dramatization of the 15th-century marriage between Anne of Brittany and Charles VIII of France.

Upon the death of Anne’s father, Duke Francis II, she becomes the ruler of Brittany at the tender age of 11. Determined not to have her authority usurped by meddling advisers or foreign powers, she searches for a suitable husband whose allegiance will bring peace and security to Brittany. She’s offered protection—as well as condolences—by King Charles VIII of France, but she rejects his offer as an imperialist scheme to gain dominion over Brittany’s lands. In response to what he perceives as defiance, he attempts to impose French rule by force. Meanwhile, Charles has problems of his own. When his own detestable father died, he was too young to ascend to the throne, and so he labors under the officious rule of his sister, Anne de Beaujeu, the Duchess of Bourbon, who serves as regent until he reaches the age of majority. Charles eventually offers Anne a path to peace. If she marries him, he’ll immediately end his siege of Brittany. She’s filled with resentment, though, over his harsh treatment of Brittany and suspicious of any brokered compromise that surrenders her authority or ensures the future of Brittany will be in submission to a foreign ruler. Also, there’s the thorny problem of her marriage to Maximilian, the Archduke of Austria, who will one day become the Holy Roman Emperor, and an arrangement for Charles to marry his daughter, Marguerite. Gaston’s (Sense of Touch: Love and Duty at Anne of Brittany’s Court, 2016, etc.) research is admirably thorough—she artfully brings to life 15th-century Europe. Also, while the court politics of the day were knottily complex, she disentangles it all with laudable clarity. Gaston’s writing is elegant and historically authentic but also accessible. She doesn’t burden the reader with an endless train of linguistic anachronisms in order to achieve historical accuracy. Further, the romance between Anne and Charles is touchingly presented, one that traveled from suspicion and resentment through sober pragmatism to genuine love.

A historically sharp and dramatically stirring love story.

Anne and Charles-EBOOK with both blurbs


What’s Anne and Charles about?

Charles VIII of France is king, but he doesn’t feel like one. When he marries Anne of Brittany in a political alliance, he acquires a wife who already feels like a queen and who guides her husband to thinking like the king he already is. The brimming self-confidence of Brittany’s ruler inspires his own, and fans the flames of their attraction into a lasting love. But can they achieve their one most important goal together?


More Praise for Anne and Charles

“The highlights of the reign of King Charles VIII of France are covered in detail as well as his loving marriage to Anne, Duchess of Brittany. A delightful read with sparkling dialogue, Gaston puts a human face on these captivating historical personalities from the French Renaissance.”—Susan Abernethy, The Freelance History Writer

“A true story that reads like a fairytale, Anne and Charles is an evocative portrayal of Anne of Brittany, a feminist avant la lettre, who uses her intelligence and charm to protect the people of Brittany as their prudent ruler. This irresistible read will make you feel like you’re one of Anne of Brittany’s privileged ladies-in-waiting. A marvelous story about a marriage that would change the course of European history.”—Hilde van den Bergh, Hemmahoshilde Blog

“Francophiles, feminists and fans of history and romance alike will delight in Anne and Charles. Gaston returns readers to a world poised to shed one skin, the confines of medieval duchies and kingdoms, and embrace another, one in which France would lead the rest of Western Europe through the Renaissance. This fictionalized account of how Anne of Brittany finds her way and her love amidst this world offers modern readers unexpected lessons on female power and the possibilities that await those who follow their heart.”—Dominique Padurano, Ph.D., Professor of History, City University of New York, Crimson Coaching LLC

“Ms. Gaston masterfully conveys the passion, heartbreak, and determination of this royal couple.”—InD’tale Magazine

  “An engrossing depiction of the meeting and marriage between Anne of Brittany and Charles VIII of France. As in her previous work, Sense of Touch, Gaston paints a colorful and interesting picture of court life in 15th century France. This book excels in humanizing one of the most misunderstood of French kings—his love and admiration for his strong wife and his self-deprecating view of his limitations and weaknesses. This fictionalized account of their complementary relationship is well worth the read.”—RT Review Source


For foreign and film rights inquiries: please contact Linda Migalti at the Susan Schulman Agency: linda@schulmanagency.com

Audio rights: Audio rights for the Anne of Brittany series have been sold to Tantor Media. Look for Anne and Charles audio edition in early 2018.

Start 2018 right with a dose of history spiced with romance.

Find Anne and Charles here.

Susan Abernethy’s rich post on the history of Chateau de Langeais, site of Anne of Brittany’s wedding to Charles VIII on Dec. 6, 1491.

The Freelance History Writer

The Château of Langeais (Photo copyright of The Freelance History Writer) The Château of Langeais (Photo copyright of The Freelance History Writer)

There are many beautiful and historic château in the Loire Valley of France and I was lucky enough to visit a few of them on my recent trip. Each of them has an interesting history and their own unique attraction. Let’s take a look at the history of the Château of Langeais.

Langeais has a history that spans over one thousand years and can be separated into two phases. Towards the end of the tenth century, two powerful men, Foulques III Nerra (the Black), Count of Anjou and Eudes I, Count of Blois fought over the Touraine region of France. Foulques managed to conquer the area known as Langeais which was situated between Tours and Saumur. On a promontory overlooking the Loire River, he initially built a wooden structure in the motte-and-bailey form.

The land where the castle stood…

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A Bohemian wedding

Anne of Brittany was Europe’s most sought after matchmaker at the start of the 16th century. Ready why in European history scholar Hilde van den Bergh’s Hemmahoshilde blog. http://lrd.to/SENSEOFTOUCH

hemmahoshilde (@Hilde's home)

A while back I wrote about Ferdinand of Aragon who married his grandniece Germaine of Foix in 1505. Anne of Brittany had a hand in that as my friend Rozsa Gaston rightfully pointed out, but that wasn’t the only one she helped match a young sophisticated lady in her care to a much older but powerful man. Before Anne of Brittany helped Germaine of Foix she had already successfully matched Germaine’s niece Anne of Foix-Candace to the much older childless king Vladislas II of Hungary and Bohemia. They got married on 29 september 1502 and Anne of Foix-Candale was crowned Queen of Hungary the same day. Despite the enormous age difference 28 (!) years between them the marriage was regarded a success. Anne was 18 when she married and Vladislas II 46. Vladislas II reportedly saw her as a friend, assistant and trusted advisor. Vladislas II gave her many…

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Friends, readers, and Anne of Brittany fans,

Medieval historical romance Sense of Touch has been nominated for a prestigious RONE Award, with voting open for two days more only. If you would vote for my book, it’s FREE and you will help my tale of Anne of Brittany become discovered. When you register to vote, go to the Historical: Ancient 16th Century category and scroll down to Sense of Touch – Rozsa Gaston, 9th down on list. Click on link below to vote and thank you.


Indtale Magazine review of SOT

Anne of Brittany and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts and hope that spring will unfold for you with extra beauty this year for the moment you took to vote for Sense of Touch. May the best book win!

Author Rozsa Gaston




50 Reviews for Sense of Touch 4-6-17

Find Sense of Touch here.

50 Reviews for Sense of Touch 2

Find all 50 Sense of Touch reviews here.



Post a review of Sense of Touch on Amazon or Goodreads.com and receive one of any of Rozsa Gaston’s other books free.


Thank you, dear reader, for helping me put the story of the fascinating and little-known Anne of Brittany on the map. Her dates? 1477-1514. Ruler of Brittany at age eleven, she married the King of France at age fourteen. Anne of Brittany was the only woman in history to be twice crowned Queen of France. Discover her story in Sense of Touch.