While undertaking the research for Hostage Queen, I couldn’t resist paying a visit to Nérac, a beautiful little town in South West France. We saw the long gallery, all that is left of this once fine palace. Inside it was all stone walls and achingly cold, but then it was early in the year.
There’s a model of the palace as it was in Margot’s day, and portraits of Henry on the walls. Portraits of his various mistresses too, including la Belle Corisande, Gabrielle, and others. Something of a rake, he was nevertheless loved by the French people when he took the crown as Henry IV, and proved to be a good king.
We enjoyed exploring the streets, viewing his statue, and walking in the Queen’s garden, where Margot herself must have strolled. Perhaps she bathed in the river that runs beside it. There’s a small bath house, probably built after her day.