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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Charles VIII of France

At the end of the 15th century, mens’ shoes had a square tip, like a duck's beak. The fashion was promoted by Charles VIII of France (1470– 1498) to hide the fact that one of his feet had six toes.

In December 1491, in an elaborate ceremony at the Château de Langeais, Charles married Anne of Brittany. The 14-year-old Duchess Anne, not happy with the arranged marriage, and she arrived for her wedding with her entourage carrying two beds.

According to Zaccaria Contarini, Charles was "...small and ill-formed in person, with an ugly face, large lusterless eyes which seem to be short-sighted, an enormous aquiline nose, and thick lips which are continuously parted. He stutters and has a nervous twitching of the hands which is unpleasant to watch. In my opinion... he is not of much account either physically or mentally."

Charles died in 1498 as the result of an accident. While on his way to watch a game of real tennis in Amboise, the king struck his head on the lintel of a door. He fell into a sudden coma, and died nine hours later.

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