Françoise Bertaut was born in Paris, a daughter of Pierre Bertaut, a member of the household of King Louis XIII of France. Her mother served Louis's queen, Anne of Austria, and Françoise entered the queen's service at the age of 7. Cardinal Richelieu got her fired and she was sent to Normandy to be raised by relatives. She was married to an elderly aristocrat, Nicolas Langlois, seigneur de Motteville, who died two years later. In 1642, Queen Anne was able to bring Madame de Motteville back to court, where she wrote her patron's biography and other works. Some of her letters have been preserved, especially a correspondence with Anne-Marie-Louise d'Orléans, duchesse de Montpensier. Madame de Motteville was a close friend of Madame de Sévigné and Madame de La Fayette. She wrote a detailed memoir of her life at court.