Appendix: Blois
I was grateful for the Internet, as I sharpened my aging recollections of this marvelous site, with its souvenirs of Anne de Bretagne, Catherine de’ Medicis, Pierre Ronsard, and so much else, particularly of the sixteenth century.

I’d retained the dramatic image of Henri, Duc De Guise, approaching his reigning but rather ineffectual cousin Henri III (seated at an intersection of long corridors) and encountering the king’s assassins, several rooms away. Our guide (you see him, below) told us Henri rose from his seat, kicked his cousin’s corpse, and remarked that he was taller dead than alive.

My rudimentary study of Rabelais and Ronsard at Stanford was then fairly fresh; it hadn’t sunk in that they were not only contemporaries but drinking buddies. Their joint rôle in inventing modern French remains an amazement.
The inspiration for many
spiral parking-lot ramps?
Our guide. I forget the significance
of the fine woodwork.
The arms of Louis XII and
Queen Anne de Bretagne
Louis and Anne, again; they owned Blois early and built some of the château.

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