"Enchanting châteaux famously dot France's Loire Valley and beckon visitors with their charm and history. The northernmost is the Château du Lude-a medieval fortress set between crenelated towers. But Le Lude's glorious history did not come to a halt in the Middle Ages; five centuries have shaped this castle, forging it as a symbol of the power of its occupants and the grandeur of France. Passed clown through successive generations of devoted owners, the Château du Lude is one of the few French châteaux still inhabited by its historie family today. The splendid estate welcomes visitors and reveals the numerous treasures held within its venerable walls: from vestiges of the medieval moats and an exquisite Renaissance studiolo, to the Duke de Bouillon's library and portraits by the great nineteenth-century masters. In Le Lude's sumptuous gardens, the passage of Lime is marked by the fruit and vegetable harvests, the seasonal flowering of the parterres, and the annual garden festival and Pierre-Joseph Redouté literary prize. Barbara de Nicolay's family has maintained ownership of the château for more than two 'hundred years, and in this volume-richly illustrated with newly commissioned photography by Eric Sander-she recounts the history, legacy, and a very French art of living at the Château du Lude."-- Book jacket.