The Rivals of Versailles (The Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy #2) by Sally ChristiePublication Date: April 5, 2016 Atria Books eBook & Paperback; 448 Pages Genre: Historical Fiction
And you thought sisters were a thing to fear! In this compelling follow-up to Sally Christie’s clever and absorbing debut, we meet none other than the Marquise de Pompadour, one of the greatest beauties of her generation and the first bourgeois mistress ever to grace the hallowed halls of Versailles. The year is 1745 and Louis XV’s bed is once again empty. Enter Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, a beautiful girl from the middle classes. As a child, a fortune teller had mapped out Jeanne’s destiny: she would become the lover of a king and the most powerful woman in the land. Eventually connections, luck, and a little scheming pave her way to Versailles and into the King’s arms. All too soon, conniving politicians and hopeful beauties seek to replace the bourgeoise interloper with a more suitable mistress. As Jeanne, now the Marquise de Pompadour, takes on her many rivals—including a lustful lady-in-waiting, a precocious 14-year-old prostitute, and even a cousin of the notorious Nesle sisters—she helps the king give himself over to a life of luxury and depravity. Around them, war rages, discontent grows, and France inches ever closer to the Revolution. Enigmatic beauty, social climber, actress, trendsetter, patron of the arts, spendthrift, whoremonger, friend, lover, foe: history books say many things about the famous Marquise de Pompadour. Alongside Catherine the Great of Russia and Maria Theresa of Austria, she is considered one of the three most powerful women of the 18th century, and one of the most influential royal mistresses of all time. In The Rivals of Versailles, Christie gets to the heart of Pompadour’s legendary relationship with Louis XV, France’s most “well-beloved” king. Pompadour was not only his mistress, but his confidante and influential political adviser for close to twenty years. Full of historical insight, decadence, wit and scandal, The Rivals of Versailles is about one woman’s trials and triumphs, her love for a king, and her role in shaping a nation.
The Mistresses of Versailles Series
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Charming trip through France during the reign of Louis XV. (I'll be honest,
I always get the Louis' mixed up).
In part one of this series, we met the Nesle sisters, former mistresses of Louis,
in this book, we meet Madame de Pompadour. Jeanne Poisson.
In her youth, a gypsy woman predicts that Jeanne will win the heart
of a king. She takes this to heart and with the help of her mother and
some powerful allies, she becomes mistress to the King of France.
We witness a young, innocent girl change into an older, wiser woman.
One who deals with the court machinations on a daily basis, and
emerges as the winner!
Jeanne is not loved at court. The snobby nobility looks down upon
her because of her lack of noble breeding. They all consider her
beneath them. Well, she has the last laugh, as one by one each of
her enemies is banished from court.
She is charming and delightful. Louis, however, was a spoiled
rotten brat who needed a mother more than a mistress. I spent a
great deal of time hoping someone would just slap him.
We watch as Jeanne becomes less of a lover, and more of a dear
friend to a man-child who needs all the friends he can get. She was
able to get through to him in a manner others could only admire. The
only thing I found annoying was her lack of confidence in her
perception of his love for her.
Sally Christie has done a wonderful job of showing us court life
at Versailles. She masterfully tells a story. I was enthralled and
couldn't put this book down!
I can't wait for the conclusion of this trilogy.