The First Bourbon
The founder of the Bourbon dynasty, Henry IV, who ruled France from 1589 to 1610, is the most romantic of French kings. Very different from his grandson Louis XIV, he was a hard-fighting, hard swearing Southerner, who fought over 200 battles and had 60 (recorded) mistresses* After surviving his predecessor's murderous court, he rebuilt a France ruined by thirty years of war between Catholics and Protestants, enabling her to become the most powerful country in Europe. A man of enormous charm and humanity, he was famous for promising that every French peasant was going to have a chicken in the pot in Sundays. Even Napoleon admired him, always keeping a statue of him nearby.
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