In 1445, Margaret of Anjou was present at Nancy at the wedding of her sister, Yolande, to Ferry de Vaudemont. It was a grand occasion, marked by days of jousting, and King Charles VII himself showed up. But what image was on his shield, pray tell? None other than Melusine, the fairy that with a little help from Warwick the Kingmaker and Richard III launched dozens of historical novels claiming that Elizabeth Woodville and her mother practiced witchcraft.
Now, the naive might suppose that Charles VII bore Melusine on his shield because he thought it was a nice story, but this would violate the Two Chief Rules of Fifteenth-Century Revisionist History: (1) if an action has a sinister explanation and an innocent one, the sinister explanation must prevail, and (2) no historical figure can ever be given the benefit of the doubt about anything except for Richard III. We can safely assume, then, that Charles VII’s shield was a clear statement that the entire French court was no more than one giant witches’ coven. When we consider that the year before, Charles of Maine, uncle to Margaret of Anjou, married Isabella of Luxembourg, sister to the witchy Jacquetta Woodville, and that both the houses of Anjou and Luxembourg were knee-deep in Melusine, our case is closed. In fact, we can probably say that witchcraft, not diplomatic and military bungling, would eventually cost the English the territories that they had gained in France. (I’m proud of this theory, so if anyone tries to steal it, remember you heard it here first.)
What is truly amazing, though, is that long before Edward IV fatally entangled his house with the descendants of Melusine by marrying Elizabeth Woodville, his own father was attempting to match him with the French royal family! In 1445, Richard, Duke of York, tried to arrange a marriage between little Edward and one of Charles VII’s daughters. The marriage never took place, possibly because of rising tensions between England and France but more likely because a horrified Duke of York, having learned of Charles VII’s allegiance to Melusine and the Forces of Darkness in general, wisely drew back from the abyss yawning before his innocent son. Unfortunately, his fatherly concern could do nothing to save his son from the eventual fate that awaited him at the hands of the sinister Jacquetta and Elizabeth and their ancestress, Melusine.
Because I said so. And lots of Novocaine at the dentist’s office.
(But yes, Charles VII is recorded as wearing a shield with Melusine on it in 1445, and the Duke of York did indeed try to marry his son Edward to one of Charles’s daughters.)