Book review: Madame de Pompadour by Nancy Mitford


Her real name was Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour: she was the official mistress of the French King Louis XV.


Madame de Pompadour by François-Hubert Drouais (between 1763 and 1764), National Gallery.

It was quite interesting to learn that she a major patron of architecture – École Militaire and such decorative arts as porcelain – Manufacture national de Sèvres. She was the direct responsible by the purchase of the well-known Élysée Palace.

She was a patron of the philosophies of the Enlightenment , including Voltaire and Montesquieu.

The author wrote a magnificent portrait of this important historical character who played a positive influence under the Louis XV realty.

Page 232:
Voltaire wrote: “I am very sad at the death of Madame de Pompadour. I was indebted to her and I mourn her out of gratitude. …’Born sincere, she loved the King for himself; elle avait de la justesse dans l’esprit de la justice dans le coeur, all this is not to be met with every day.’ “We shall miss her as long as we live.’ ‘In the end of a dream.’

Diderot: ‘Madame de Pompadour is dead. 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? The Treaty of Versailles which will last as long as it lasts; Bouchardon’s Amour, which 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.’

3* Love in a Cold Climate
2* The Pursuit of Love
3* The Pursuit of Love & Love in a Cold Climate
4* Madame de Pompadour
TR Voltaire in Love
TR Wigs on the Green
TR Frederick the Great
TR Christmas Pudding and Pigeon Pie
TR The Sun King : Louis Fourteenth at Versailles

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