Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Diane de Poitiers: The mistress of France's 16th century King Henry II was a swimmer!

More evidence to validate the Mike Freshley Maxim: "Show me a runner who is 70 and he looks 90. Show me a swimmer who is 70 and he looks like 50!"

Diane de Poitiers at 66-years-old looked as youthful as those in their 30's circa 1600. Keep in mind the average life expectancy in the 1600s was 35-years-old and 67% worked outside all day long on a farm.

From the Telegraph UK:

Experts say she was up to 20 years older than the king but her appearance made them look the same age. One courtier said she was "as fresh and lovable" in her final years as when aged 30 and had skin "of great whiteness".

She was unusually athletic for the time, keeping in shape by horse riding, hunting and going on daily swims in the river next to the chateau d'Anet, in northern France where she lived.


Internal gold poisoning killed her; a self inflicted death over time. Amazing what a woman or man can be talked into drinking or taking if it means a youthful appearance or otherwise.


John Craig said...

Another way it would have made de Poitiers more appealing was that her daily swim would have cleaned her. Back in those days in Europe baths were infrequent affairs, even for the upper classes, so a woman who swam would have been much less piquant.

Tony Austin said...

Look at you: Fast swimmer, smart brain!

I looked it up: Holidays or weekends is when the peasants bathed. The palace of Versailles, built in 1661, had absolutely no bathing facilities (or toilets).

Leave it to the French and Americans to bring it back in the 1700's

John Craig said...

Thank you Tony.

I've always wondered how they managed sex back in those days. It would have been like making love to a homeless person. I think my attitude would have been yecch, forget it, I'm becoming a monk.

Especially the French, who, as the English used to put it disdainfully, "make love with their faces."

(I understand if you don't publish this comment.)