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Family of Italian sisters, noblewomen noted for their great beauty. Nieces of Jules Cardinal Mazarin, they moved to France at an early age. Laure Mancini, duchess de Mercoeur (1636–57), married Louis de Vendôme, duke de Mercoeur and grandson of King Henry IV. Olympe Mancini, countess de Soissons (1639–1708), was a mistress of Louis XIV. She was involved with her sister, Marie Anne, in the notorious Affair of the Poisons and was also accused of poisoning her husband; she was the mother of Prince Eugene of Savoy. Marie Mancini, princess de Colonna (1640–1715), was also a mistress of Louis XIV; Mazarin intrigued to prevent their marriage, and she spent most of her life in Spain. Hortense Mancini, duchess de Mazarin (1646–99), married Armand Charles de la Porté, who assumed the Mazarin title. After leaving her husband, she became a famous beauty at the English court of Charles II. Marie Anne Mancini, duchess de Bouillon (1649–1714), was known for her literary salon but was banished in 1680 for the alleged poisoning of the sorceress La Voisin (Catherine Monvoisin).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Mancini family, visit Britannica.com.
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