Jacquette and Brantôme, the impossible love story
Rats et chestnuts
Jacquette de Montbron raised the New Castle in 1589: you’ll recognize it, it’s the Renaissance building with the flat roof! She was André de Bourdeille’s widow.
She refit out her castle. Aaaah, she wished one thing: to host queen Catherine of Medici (she was her lady-in-waiting), one day! So she fit out a bedroom in her honour: but the queen never came…
The legend says Catherine snubbed Aaaah. She even said: “I would never go in Périgord, where people eat rats and chestnuts”!
Noooo… in fact, the queen didn’t come for one good reason: she died in 1589. At that time the New castle wasn’t finished…
A brother-in-law in love
Jacquette’s brother-in-law was the famous French writer, Brantôme, also known as Pierre de Bourdeilles.
He wrote about his sister-in-law: “She wrote nice poetries. She loved geometry and architecture. She was pretty in her springtime, pretty in her summer, pretty in her autumn…”
He added: “I think in Guyenne, where she came from, there was no other lady like her, so pretty and witty.”
She was very rich, attacked by suitors! But she always stayed faithful to André’s memory, her husband…
Her brother-in-law looked after her and protected her from those vultures… he was in love with her! He wanted to marry her…
But he couldn’t, and moaned to his close friend poet Ronsard: “Alas! I’m in love, but in love with a parent! What’s the stupid law saying that a brother couldn’t marry his sister-in-law?”
Despite Brantôme’s insistence, Jacquette always refused… meanwhile, Jacquette took care of her castle and managed her husband’s heritage very well.
Brantôme said she was “wise, careful with her money: because her husband was heavily in debt. She died with no debts at all…”