Madame de Pompadour

Madame de Pompadour

2.7 4
by Nancy Mitford
     
 

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When Madame de Pompadour became the mistress of Louis XV, no one expected her to retain his affections for long. A member of the bourgeoisie rather than an aristocrat, she was physically too cold for the carnal Bourbon king, and had so many enemies that she could not travel publicly without risking a pelting of mud and stones. History has loved her little better.

Overview

When Madame de Pompadour became the mistress of Louis XV, no one expected her to retain his affections for long. A member of the bourgeoisie rather than an aristocrat, she was physically too cold for the carnal Bourbon king, and had so many enemies that she could not travel publicly without risking a pelting of mud and stones. History has loved her little better. Nancy Mitford’s delightfully candid biography re-creates the spirit of eighteenth-century Versailles with its love of pleasure and treachery. We learn that the Queen was a “bore,” the Dauphin a “prig,” and see France increasingly overcome with class conflict. With a fiction writer’s felicity, Mitford restores the royal mistress and celebrates her as a survivor, unsurpassed in “the art of living,” who reigned as the most powerful woman in France for nearly twenty years.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590175309
Publisher:
New York Review Books
Publication date:
05/09/2012
Series:
New York Review Books Classics Series
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
296
Sales rank:
235,093
File size:
491 KB

Meet the Author

Nancy Mitford (1904–1973) was born into the British aristocracy and, by her own account, brought up without an education, except in riding and French. She managed a London bookshop during the Second World War, then moved to Paris, where she began to write her celebrated and successful novels, among them The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate, about the foibles of the English upper class. Mitford was also the author of four biographies: Madame de Pompadour (1954), Voltaire in Love (1957), The Sun King (1966), and Frederick the Great (1970)—all available as NYRB classics. In 1967 Mitford moved from Paris to Versailles, where she lived until her death from Hodgkin’s disease.

Amanda Foreman was born in London in 1968 and educated at Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University, and Oxford University, where she received a Ph.D. in history. She is the author of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, and A World on Fire; her new study, The World Made by Women: A History of Womankind from the Age of Cleopatra to the Era of Hillary Clinton, is forthcoming in 2016.

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Madame de Pompadour 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I looked forward to reading this book with great interest. Not only was I interested in the subject, but the author as well. I found the book to be extremely intelligent, insightful, witty and sympathetic to the subject and her circumstances. I have read many books on on this and related subjects, and there is something particularly charming and graceful about this book. It is,consequently,one of my favorites on this subject.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although I can agree with the publisher's view that no 'historian writing in English' can give a better 'pen-picture of Versailles', this statement must be referring to Ms. Mitford's study of Louis XIV in her 'The Sun King'. No way does her Madame de Pompadour compare. It was very disappointing and my interest was lost quite quickly. Except for naming every name under the sun that ever had anything to do with Madame, there isn't substance. Madame's personality is not clearly defined, the descriptions of her relationship with Louis XV makes me wonder why he ever bothered with her, and there was no sense of the grandeur of Versailles and the court life at all. For a truly excellent read on that time period, PLEASE enjoy 'The Sun King'.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a good balance between the world of treasure in which she lived, the rules she had to live by, and the life she made for herself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago