In the medieval world, dominated by men, Anne of Brittany spent her life fighting for her Duchy to retain it’s traditional independence.
Born in 1477, Anne was the daughter of Duke Francis of Brittany. Her older half-brother had died within weeks of birth, and her younger sister died aged twelve. As the eldest of the two girls with no brother following them, Anne was Francis’ heir.
Brittany was an independent Duchy, bordered by France but technically separate. As the French kings expanded their borders, Brittany came under threat. Duke Francis spent his life fighting to keep the Duchy independent, and must have hoped that sooner or later he would have a son who would continue that fight. He had Anne educated, she was his presumed heir after all, but he no doubt believed that he wouldn’t actually have to leave his Duchy to a girl, with all the political problems that would ensue.