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There are many cases throughout history where one courtesan would attempt (sometimes successfully) to supplant the mistress to a king or emperor.
This was typically preceded by her discrediting the ruler's companion, often by divulging secrets that could lead to her rival being cast aside and replaced by her.
It actually seems that the figure of the chevalier servant (French, literally "serving cavalier", lady's escort) of a married lady was quite common in Europe up to the 18th century.
The courtesans of East Asia, particularly those of the Japanese empire, held a different social role than that of their European counterparts.
In the other was the cortigiana di lume, a lower class of courtesan.Publicly and socially, affairs of this sort were common during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, as well as the early 20th century, and were generally accepted in wealthy circles.Very often, courtesans would betray one another in acts of political intrigue in attempts to climb into higher positions of power within royal courts.They were more respected by their extramarital companions, both placing one another's family obligations ahead of the relationship and planning their own liaisons or social engagements around the lovers' marital obligations.Affairs of this sort would often be short-lived, ending when either the courtesan or the courtesan's spouse received the status or political position desired, or when the benefactor chose the company of another courtesan, and compensated the former companion financially.
In Renaissance Europe, courtiers played an extremely important role in upper-class society.