Catherine de' Medici's Corset


Catherine de' Medici




Attracts crowds the user becomes enthralled with


Negatively affects decision making


Being worn by someone of marital relation to royalty

Collected by








Date of Collection

May 9, 1745


Origin[edit | edit source]

Catherine de' Medici was an Italian noblewoman who was Queen of France from 1547 until 1559, as the wife of King Henry II. As the mother of three sons who became kings of France during her lifetime, she had extensive, if at times varying, influence in the political life of France. For a time, she ruled France as its regent.

Throughout his reign, Henry excluded Catherine from participating in state affairs and instead showered favors on his chief mistress, Diane de Poitiers, who wielded much influence over him. Henry's death thrust Catherine into the political arena as mother of the frail fifteen-year-old King Francis II. When he died in 1560, she became regent on behalf of her ten-year-old son King Charles IX and was granted sweeping powers. After Charles died in 1574, Catherine played a key role in the reign of her third son, Henry III. He dispensed with her advice only in the last months of her life.

The problems facing the monarchy were complex and daunting but Catherine was able to keep the monarchy and the state institutions functioning even at a minimum level. In practice, her authority was always limited by the effects of the civil wars. Her policies, therefore, may be seen as desperate measures to keep the Valois monarchy on the throne at all costs, and her patronage of the arts as an attempt to glorify a monarchy whose prestige was in steep decline. Without Catherine, it is unlikely that her sons would have remained in power.

Effects[edit | edit source]

Wearing the corset attracts people to the wearer, who becomes prone to join the crowd’s attitudes. Only people whose family tree can be traced back to royalty through marriage and consort can be affected. They will attempt to convince their closest friends and family into the fold, to various degrees of success. The user becomes deeply attached to the new sentiments and follows them even if incompatible with their highest values. From this discord, the user will many times make insensitive or half-informed decisions. Prolonged use causes the corset to become tighter and tighter and can only can taken off if it is neutralized.

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