Anne of Brittany was Duchess of Brittany from 1488 until her death, and queen consort of France from 1491 to 1498 and from 1499 to her death. She is the woman to have been queen consort of France twice. During the Italian Wars, Anne also became queen consort of Naples, from 1501 to 1504, Anne was raised in Nantes during a series of conflicts in which the king of France sought to assert his suzerainty over Brittany. Her father, Francis II, Duke of Brittany, was the last male of the House of Montfort, upon his death in 1488, Anne became duchess regnant of Brittany, countess of Nantes, Montfort, and Richmond, and viscountess of Limoges. She was only 12 at that time, but she was already a coveted heiress because of Brittanys strategic position. The next year, she married Maximilian I of Austria by proxy and he started a military campaign which eventually forced the duchess to renounce her marriage. Anne eventually married Charles VIII in 1491, none of their children survived early childhood, and when the king died in 1498, the throne went to his cousin, Louis XII. Following an agreement made to secure the annexation of Brittany, Anne had to marry the new king, Louis XII was deeply in love with his wife and Anne had many opportunities to reassert the independence of her duchy. They had two daughters together and, although neither could succeed to the French throne due to the Salic Law, the eldest was proclaimed the heiress of Brittany. Anne managed to have her eldest daughter engaged to the future Charles V of Austria, grandchild of Maximilian I and this marriage later led to the formal union between France and Brittany. Anne is highly regarded in Brittany as a ruler who defended the duchy against France. In the Romantic period, she became a figure of Breton patriotism and she was honoured with many memorials and her artistic legacy is important in the Loire Valley, where she spent most of her life. She was notably responsible, with her husbands, for projects in the châteaux of Blois. Four years later, her parents had a daughter, Isabelle. Her mother died when she was little, while her father died when Anne was eleven years old and it is likely that she learned to read and write in French, and perhaps a little Latin. Contrary to what is claimed, it was unlikely that she learned Greek or Hebrew. She was raised by a governess, Françoise de Dinan, Lady of Chateaubriant, in addition, she had several tutors, including her butler and court poet, Jean Meschinot, who is thought to have taught her dancing, singing and music. The Treaty of Guérande in 1365, however, stated that in the absence of an heir from the House of Montfort
Image: BNF Latin 9474 Jean Bourdichon Grandes Heures d'Anne de Bretagne f. 3r Anne de Bretagne entre trois saintes (détail)
Treaty made signed on Anne's behalf with the Kingdom of England on 15 February 1490. The signing is autograph and also contains the personal seal of the Duchess. Archives nationales, France, AE/II/525.
Medal of Queen Anne made in celebration of her stay at Lyon in 1499.