An eclectic, affectionate biography of Louis XV's most famous and enduring mistress.
When Jeanne-Antoinette was nine, she was told by a fortune teller that she would one day become the mistress of the handsome young Louix XV - from that day she was groomed to become 'a morsel fit for a King'. Nancy Mitford lovingly tells the story of how the little girl rose, against a backdrop of savage social-climbing, intrigue, excess and high drama, to become the most powerful women of the eighteenth century French court, Le Pompadour.
About The Author
Nancy Mitford was born in London on November 28 1904, daughter of the second Baron Redesdale, and the eldest of six girls. Her sisters included Lady Diana Mosley; Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire and Jessica, who immortalised the Mitford family in her autobiography Hons and Rebels. The Mitford sisters came of age during the Roaring Twenties and wartime in London, and were well known for their beauty, upper-class bohemianism or political allegiances. Nancy contributed columns to The Lady and the Sunday Times, as well as writing a series of popular novels including The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate, which detailed the high-society affairs of the six Radlett sisters. While working in London during the Blitz, Nancy met and fell in love with Gaston Palewski, General de Gaulle's chief of staff, and eventually moved to Paris to be near him. In the 1950s she began writing historical biographies - her life of Louis XIV, The Sun King, became an international bestseller. Nancy completed her last book, Frederick the Great, before she died of Hodgkin's disease on 30 June 1973.
"My favourite biography is Nancy Mitford's Madame de Pompadour - a famous 18th-century French beauty who became Louis XV's mistress. The secret of a good biography is not just to tell the person's story but to create the world in which they lived." -- Julian Fellowes Daily Express "Mitford brings warmth to everything she touches, and her biography of Madame de Pompadour is testimony to that" -- Justine Picardie Sunday Telegraph "Reads as if an enchantingly clever woman was pouring out the story to me on the telephone" -- Raymond Mortimer "Nancy Mitford excels in depicting both the brilliant romantic showcase and the recessed world of power... No historian writing in English has given a better pen-picture of Versailles in its heyday" Time "Incontestably her best book, Madame de Pompadour is beautifully written in a rapid, nervous, gay and enthusiastic manner which carries the reader through from first page to last" -- Cyril Connolly Sunday Times
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 6th October 2011
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9 x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.19
Edition Number: 1