Margaret of Scotland's encounter with Alain Chartier was perfect fodder for the Romantic imagination. It was said that Margaret, daughter of James I of Scotland and eventual wife to Louis XI, chanced upon the poet sleeping in her palace, and bestowed a kiss upon his lips to honour this 'Author of so many beautiful things'. Chartier, christened 'the father of French eloquence', combined his role as man of letters and orator with those diplomatic duties he bore as secretary to Charles VII, arch-deacon to Notre Dame and envoy (from 1428) to the Scottish court. As the author of La Belle Dame sans Merci, the allegorical poem that inspired both Chaucer and Keats, Chartier is well-placed in a tale of such symbolic resonance. The story is apocryphal however; Margaret was only twelve when she married in 1436 and it is now believed that Chartier died a few years previously.