What struck me is that this would be a fine 2-week period in which to set a novel — there are a million dramas going on at this time:
Queen was expected to die: she begged the King to forsake his mistress, Louise de la Vallière.
Prayers and processions were ordered.
Meanwhile, former Minister Fouquet‘s trial was heating up. Fouquet’s wife provided the Queen with a secret remedy that in fact cured her — but does not, nonetheless, save Fouquet.
Fouquet is sentenced on December 20, but only condemned to perpetual banishment, which infuriates the King, who changes it to life imprisonment in Pignerol.
Meanwhile, a comet streaks across the night sky.
The Queen-mother collapses from breast cancer.
On December 26, the Queen’s “monster” baby dies at one month, and is buried at Saint Denis. The King is terribly grieved.
The offending (and suspected) dwarf Nabo, much beloved by the Queen, disappears — into the Bastille, some claim, to emerge as the Man in the Iron Mask.
I love this last flight of fancy, but it is impossible, of course. If the Man in the Iron Mask were an African dwarf, we would have known.