Madame de Pompadour: Mistress of France

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9780007166091: Madame de Pompadour: Mistress of France

A compelling new biography of the legendary mistress of King Louis XV of France with dramatic insights into the life of one of the most enchanting, powerful and feared women to grace the world’s stage.

From her modest beginnings in early 18th-century Paris to her reign as the undisputed mistress of Versailles, this is the story of a truly remarkable woman whose astonishing rise confounded the most experienced and the most sophisticated of her contemporaries.

Algrant weaves her richly textured narrative with tremendous authority, detailing the transformations that marked the life of Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson from her early grooming to assume the role of a rich man’s wife, her half-hearted marriage to a Parisian tax collector, her involvement with the financial elite of France and her eventual role as the mistress of the king.

Although accustomed to the king’s extra-marital liaisons, the court was shocked at the sudden ascension of the low-born Madame Poisson. The newcomer, however, wasted no time in establishing herself as the king’s sole confidante and, ultimately, his indispensable partner in affairs of state.

Algrant takes the reader into the farthest and most exclusive chambers at Versailles, allowing us to glimpse the resourcefulness and the determination with which Madame de Pompadour deftly manipulated the factions at the court. She also illuminates her influence across the artistic and political spectrum of the day, including her relationships with the leaders of the French Enlightenment: Voltaire, Rousseau and Diderot. Evocative and insightful, this is a seductive portrait of one of the most fascinating and influential women of the age.

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Product Description:

Madame de Pompadour This biography of the legendary mistress of King Louis XV offers dramatic insight into the life of one of the most enchanting, powerful, and feared women to grace the world's stage. Groomed from an early age to assume the role of a rich man's mistress, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson underwent several transformations before she caught the heart of the king himself. Although accustomed to the king's extr Full description

Review:

‘More than just a fine portrait, Algrant’s “Madame de Pompadour” makes you hear the rattle of the tumbrels, just thirty years down the road.’ Alistair Horne

‘Historical drama related with great flair and knowing affection for the colourful characters’ all-too-human foibles.’ Kirkus Review

‘[A] riveting new biography.’ Antonia Fraser, Mail on Sunday

‘Mordantly witty.’ Emily Eakin, New York Times Book Review

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