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By D. J. Peters (Auth.)

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Italian poisons, pastry cooks, architects and gardeners were imported into France, and Italianate castles, such as Amboise, and gardens like those at Langeais b e c a m e the fashion. Louis X I I ' s first action was to get rid o f his wife, Jeanne, w h o m he had been forced to marry b y Louis X I , and to marry Charles's w i d o w to keep Brittany still within the French realm. This done, he turned to Italian affairs, to enforce his claim to Milan. H e made his invasion safe b y negotiating terms with Philip o f Flanders, the Swiss, the Papacy and the Venetians ; and went on to take Milan in 1499.

His son, Louis X I , loved power and was an unscrupulous despot. His father had created the means for him to be one, although Louis had, for years, done nothing but oppose his father and wish for his early death. Louis was treacherous, and known as the Spider; but he was a successful king, original and gifted, and far more intelligent than his contemporaries. As Dauphin, he had been helped by Philip o f Burgundy. Immediately he became King, he made it clear that he regarded Burgundy only as an enemy.

From the French point o f view, all that had been gained since the time o f Philip Augustus had been lost. T h r o u g h unnecessary civil war and the insanity o f Charles V I , France had reached the depths o f degradation. T h e struggle to regain national pride was only to begin in the reign o f the next king, w h o was, at that moment, only the shamed soi-disant Dauphin. M a n y held that this o d d young man could not be his father's son. In her lighter moments, Isabella even alleged it herself.

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