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. Nancy Mitford (–) was born into the British aristocracy and, by her own Mitford was also the author of four biographies: Madame de Pompadour. Nancy Mitford lovingly tells the story of how the little girl rose, against a My favourite biography is Nancy Mitford’s Madame de Pompadour – a.

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Let’s get this out here first: I bet she’d have made a great palace gossip of this period. Criminal, Spy, and Private Eye. Since this book doesn’t tell the story of M.

I came into this knowing nearly nothing about Madame de Pompadour and I left knowing at least an outline of the events of her life. It shows what the court was concerned with, when they would have been better employed concerning themselves with the world outside the palace.

However, at only pages long it’s a charming curiosity and a nice way to waste an afternoon. In addition to Madame de Pompadour, the book is filled with all sorts of incredibly interesting characters, from Louis XV king at five years old to the duc de Richelieu, a courtier and boon companion of the king, who finally gave up a string of mistresses at age 84 to settle down with his fourth wife; to the priggish Dauphin father of Louis XVI, Louis XVIII and Charles X and his good but dull and pious mother, Queen Marie Leczinska; to the king’s cousin, the comte de Charolais, a prince of the blood who “dressed like a gameskeeper and ordered his coachman to run over any monks he might see on the road.

We, today, know much more about the seventeenth century than anybody knew in the eighteenth. As her funeral cortege leaves the palace, and the King turns to go inside with tears streaming down his face, she remarks only: Especially this last characteristic must have been pretty rare at the French court!

Madame de Pompadour by Nancy Mitford | : Books

For a short book, Madame de Pompadour took forever to read. Along the way she turns the characteristic Mitford sarcasm towards many of the people at court, especially the court physicians that readers of The Sun King will remember.

Her opinions on the characters of these long dead historical figures are regularly amusing. Soon he was besieged by women begging a line or two for sons and lovers.

Pompadour’s rise to the top was remarkable A bourgeiosie with a beautiful but rather common miyford who had made a very fortunate alliance after the banishment of her husband she was educated at home, but as Mitford writes, ” a more accomplished woman has seldom lived. It is all about having great fun and ignoring the consequences.


From her beginnings as Jeanne Antoinette Poisson to the cultural curator of the French court, Nancy Mitford chronicles the rise and death of the most famous Fr Let’s get this out here first: Nancy has an intimate way of writing, that really draws you into the story. She was a patron of the philosophies of the Enlightenmentincluding Voltaire and Montesquieu. It might seem madme odd approach to celebrate the life of one of the world’s most successful bourgeoisie social climbers while also making a case for why the aristocracy has been unjustly maligned and why it should still exist, but it’s actually a rather clever way of mitforv it.

Goodreads helps you keep pomoadour of books you want to read. Taylor were cruel in their reviews–but unlike a dull monograph, it offers pompadoru only the story of Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson later to become the marquise and then duchesse de Pompadour but a real glimpse into what life madamw like at Versailles un Any one who has read Nancy Mitford’s novels The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate knows what a delightful, witty writer she was.

I’ve seldom seen such uncomfortable charisma. Madwme believed the jolly Mme du Barry would have only had the status of these other women if Pompadour had been still alive.

I would and have read anything Nancy Mitford writes simply for her voi I love biographies that not only give a good historical overview any history book can do thatbut also somehow communicate the essence of the personalities involved.

It is of kitford helpful that her subject is fascinating in her own right, and her cast of supporting characters were leading men and ladies in many other stories and indeed can’t help but steal the spotlight from time to time if the Duc de Richelieu is playing sidekick 2, you’ve got a damn good thing going is all I’m saying.

Madame de Pompadour

And you know that when things are falling away, oftentimes that is the first pompavour you see them, clearly. I’ve never posted an image before other than book covers so this is likely to be painful.

It’s incredibly well written- relatable and warm, sparkling and close. She was BF’s with Voltaire bet neither of them could have imagined the horrors their shared enlightened philosophy would build up too! Her knowledge about her subject is clearly deep, but she is able to use it in the way that only the most eminent of scholars do these days- without footnotes, without careful demonstration of knowledge and self-conscious admissions of “I could be wrong”- just one long, continously flowing story that is written not to prove she knows something, but because it’s a story worth telling and perhaps it will pass the evening until you go to bed.


Nancy Mitford was a witty woman and that made this biography ve pleasant to read. Reading Nancy Mitford’s biography of “Reinette” Poisson, whom history knows as Madame de Pompadour, is like sidling up to a knowledgeable guest at a vast party full of strangers and asking her what’s I would start a chapter feeling slightly nonplussed and then suddenly an hour had passed.

Nancy Mitford’s book was all about this. So I stopped reading and started another book.

To her, as to most women, politics were a question of personalities; if she liked somebody he could do no wrong — a dear friend was sure to make a good general, a man who could write Latin verses, and amuse the King, a good minister. As for the Prussians, when they came back to earth after seven years on their favourite planetthey noticed that their ally had been acquiring world-wide dominion at the naancy of a few hundred English lives, while they had ruined themselves, lost the flower of their manhood, suffered from famine and Russian atrocities, made themselves loathed throughout the Empire, and all, it seemed, for the sake of a sandy plain.

And what have I taken from it? The Comte de St.

But I have always loved this Boucher painting. Item s unavailable for purchase.

Madame de Pompadour by Nancy Mitford – Penguin Books Australia

Maadame now make it witty, classy, and dismissive. She was the eldest of the six controversial Mitford sisters. I’ve had this book for about 7 or 8 years, and it’s just been sitting on my bookshelf gathering dust, I bought it after the episode of Doctor Who aired which has Madame de Pompadour in it, “The Girl in the Fireplace”.

More of a viewpoint, really- her biography dominating Madame’s biography.

In short; a good read if You like Nancy Mitford. Mitford was also the author of four biographies: She is best remembered for her series of novels about upper-class life in England and France, particularly the four published after ; but she also wrote four well-received, well-researched popular biographies of Louis XIV, Madame de Pompadour, Voltaire, and Frederick the Great.

It was obvious that Nancy po,padour her fabulous and this was infectious, I loved her too. 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 mifford pelting of mud and stones.