In this first part of the Angélique cycle, set in Mid-17th century France under the young Sun King Louis XIV, still struggling for his throne, while beggars and brigands roam the country, Angélique de Sancé de Monteloup, fifth child of an impoverished country nobleman in the Poitou marshlands, expected to struggle for a meager subsistence, educated in a nunnery, is betrothed at 17 to Joffrey de Peyrac, the 12 years older rich but cripple Comte de (count of) Peyrac de Morens and seigneur (Lord) of Toulouse, scarred in the face and said to be a sorcerer, in fact practicing oriental mining techniques which make his vast fortune. For the sake of her family, Angélique reluctantly agrees to the match but refuses the advances of her husband, who does not enforce his conjugal rights, wishing only to win her heart. As Angelique gradually discovers virtuous Peyrac's remarkable talents as scientist, musician and philosopher, she falls passionately in love with him. Joffrey's unusual way of life ... Written by
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Followed by Angelique and the Sultan