Charles II, Duke of Mantua and Montferrat

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Portrait of Duke Charles II

Charles Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua and Montferrat (October 31, 1629 – August 14, 1665) was the son of Charles of Gonzaga-Nevers (+ 1631) of Rethel, Nevers, Mantua and Montferrat, and Maria Gonzaga. He followed his grandfather Charles I, Duke of Mantua in 1637 as rulers of these lands, the first 10 years under regency of his mother Duchess Maria. Charles sold the Duchies of Nevers and Rethel in 1659 to Cardinal Jules Mazarin, the factual Regent of France, and they became part of France.

On November 7, 1649, Charles II married Isabella Clara of Austria (August 12, 1629 – February 24, 1665), a daughter of Leopold V, Archduke of Austria, and thus into the imperial family. The marriage was an act of diplomacy and they had only one child, his successor Ferdinand Charles, Duke of Mantua and Montferrat (1652–1708). The relationship between husband and wife effectively ended, and Charles continued a relationship with a noblewoman Margherita della Rovere, and also had affairs with men including the castrato Atto Melani.[1] In his book "The Last Medici" Harold Acton records that his death occurred in the midst of lascivious intercourse.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roger Freitas,The Eroticism of Emasculation: Confronting the Baroque Body of the Castrato, The Journal of Musicology, Vol. 20, No. 2. (Spring, 2003), pp. 196-249.
  2. ^ Acton, Harold. The Last Medici. p. 84.
Preceded by
Charles I
Duke of Mantua
1637–1665
Succeeded by
Ferdinand Charles
Duke of Montferrat
1637–1665