The Countess of Carlisle

Milady de Winter… the real one.

Cryssa Bazos

This article was originally posted on the English Historical Fiction Authors (EHFA) site on May 4th, 2017. For more in-depth articles on British history, visit the EHFA. You won’t be disappointed.


6848901536_4b3eb5a2ac_z Photo credit: xelaba via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

One of the most intriguing characters in historical fiction is Milady de Winter of the Three Musketeers. Alexandre Dumas depicted her as a lethal spy whose loyalties were sold to the highest bidder, notably the Cardinal Richelieu.

The inspiration for Milady was a socialite and renowned beauty of her day, Lucy Hay, Countess of Carlisle. Though Lucy was not an agent of Cardinal Richelieu, she held court at a time of social upheaval when men were drawing battle lines against King Charles I. The real woman was even more fascinating than the fictional one.

Lucy_Percy_van_Dyck_2-3 Lucy Percy, by Anthony van Deck [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons Lucy Hay was born Lucy…

View original post 1,676 more words