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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Lists with This Book. 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: This is not the most scholarly biography you will read, but it is immense fun. There are some great anecdotes here and a few This book was so frustrating I wanted to throw it across the room near the end.

The book comes alive when she discusses the world of Versailles, with the power struggles, etiquette, jealousies and rivalries which obviously interest her far more than the world of pompadou or battles. When I came back to this I enjoyed it for awhile – then felt bogged down again but just forged through to the finish.

The pronouns of address in modern standard French Catherine A.

Madame de Pompadour – Nancy Mitford – Google Books

In telling the story of Madame de Pompadour, she lets us know when she feels the lady has gone wrong, when she’s been clever, pompadoir what she could have done better- the same judgement and really the same understanding is applied to the other characters in the story. The book has an almost gossipy style that is well-suited for a mistress of a king.

She was the eldest of the six controversial Mitford sisters. The Treaty of Versailles which will last as long as it lasts; Bouchardon’s Amourwhich will be admired for ever; a few stones engraved by Guay which will amaze the antiquaries of the future; a nice little picture by van Loo which people will look at sometimes, and a handful of dust. Edit; the image worked! I must confess that I was sometimes getting a bit bored by the abundance of noble names and affairs, but not bored enough to stop reading.


She is best remembered for her series of mxdame 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. The case of the Duc de Richelieu illustrates the fact that once a man has been convicted of treachery, he is better dead; the traitor will always betray Her knowledge about her subject maxame 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.

Madame de Pompadour

Apr 04, Simon added it. Marie-Therese, Child of Terror. Probably due to my ignorance and also my habit of skim reading, I found the lack of background confusing.

Criminal, Spy, and Private Eye. And what have I taken from it? This book was so frustrating I wanted to throw it across the room near the end. Theatres were built for to act houses for her to decorate, gardens to create. The important thing is that Nancy is interested and I enjoy reading her books. You submitted the following rating and review. Don’t get me wrong — Mitford could write, and Reinette is a worthy subject. Feb 15, Margaret rated it it was amazing Shelves: View all 9 comments.

It was obvious that Nancy found her fabulous and this was infectious, I loved her too.

Mitford was also the author of four biographies: This is not a bad book, but I took very little pleasure in reading it. In other words, it’s a shame that NYRB Classics neglected to include a family tree or, better still, a dramatis personae, for the casual reader unfamiliar with the late Ancien Regime of Pompadour’s lover, King Louis XV’s France will likely be lost in a sea of unfamiliar names, political issues, and fe Versailles ettiquitte.

Mitford’s style is plush, she has a keen eye for a telling vignette, though less care about strict chronology or, heaven forfend, dates! Jan 01, Maggie pompaodur it really liked it.


An unusual and cute biography that I don’t think you could get away with publishing today. Especially this last characteristic must have been pretty rare at the French court!

She was one of the noted Mitford sisters and the first to publicise the extraordinary family life of her very English and very eccentric family, giving rise to a “Mitford industry” which continues.

I think that it is of questionable use as history, but it does provide a fascinating glimpse of Mitford’s mind and she would not like people saying that. So what remains of this woman who cost us so much in men and money, left us without honor and without energy, and who overthrew the whole political system of Europe? Despite being married with a young daughter, she saw her future as the mistress of the King of France and set about making herself the most influential woman at Court for many years.

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I felt like there was padding with characters and incidents that didn’t need to be examined so closely. In short; a good read if You like Nancy Mitford. I’ve wanted to read a biography about Madame du Pompadour ever since I saw her on a Doctor Who episode. Still, her warm and informal style certainly paved the way masame many modern history books, aimed more at the casual reader than scholarly works which were the norm at that time.

I think Mitford tends to idealise her. This is a wonderfully enjoyable read; although even when it was first published it was seen more as entertainment than a serious work of history. And now make it witty, classy, and dismissive. I am not very interested in Madame de Pompadour or Versailles court intrigues, so the fact that this biography of her is opinionated, unreferenced and probably neither ce or accurate does not matter one bit.

One could picture her as a good hostess handing these out to her guests to busy them at a house party rather than gossiping to them herself all night long since she has a cold in her throat.

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