His private life is revealed in the letters of Madame de Maintenon and in those of Madame, Duchesse d'Orleans.
The queen's death opened the way to yet greater advancement; in 1684 Mme de Maintenon was made first lady in waiting to the dauphiness, and in the winter of 1685-1686 she was privately married to the king by Harlay, archbishop of Paris, in the presence, it is believed, of Pere la Chaise, the king's confessor, the marquis de Montchevreuil, the chevalier de Forbin, and Bontemps.
The confessor united his influence with that of Madame de Maintenon to induce the king to abandon his liaison with Madame de Montespan.
Mme de Maintenon was a born teacher; she had so won the hearts of her first pupils that they preferred her to their own mother, and was similarly successful later with the young and impetuous duchess of Burgundy, and she had always wished to establish a home for poor girls of good family placed in such straits as she herself had experienced.
In the interval he wrote Madame de Maintenon d'apres sa correspondance authentique (2 vols., 1887), in which he displayed his penetrating critical faculty in discriminating between authentic documents and the additions and corrections of arrangers like La Beaumelle and Lavallee.
Pegency will delegated all the power of the government to a (1715 council on which the duke of Maine, his legitimated son, had the first, but Madame de Maintenon and the Jesuits the predominant place.
At Maintenon Charles took leave of the bulk of his troops, and proceeding with an escort of some 1200 men to Cherbourg, took ship there for England on the 16th of August.
On the 15th of April 1719 she died, and was buried in the choir at St Cyr, bequeathing her estate at Maintenon to her niece, the only daughter of her brother Charles and wife of the marechal de Noailles, to whose family it still belongs.
Geffroy, Madame de Maintenon d'apres sa correspondance authentique (Paris, 2 vols., 1887); P. de Noailles, Histoire de Madame de Maintenon et des principaux evenements du regne de Louis XIV.
Turenne, Moliere, Bossuet, Maintenon (Louvre), La Valliere, Sevigne, Montespan, Descartes (Castle Howard), all the beauties and celebrities of his day, sat to him.