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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Bertha of France

Flourished circa 800, France

Bertha was the daughter of Charlemagne, king of the Franks (ruled 768–814). None of Charlemagne’s daughters married, perhaps because he hoped to avoid political competition from husbands. In any case, Bertha focused on scholarly pursuits. Her well-known affair with Angilbert, an official in her father’s court, produced two children. When the children were discovered, Bertha was exiled to a convent.