Customer Review

2.0 out of 5 stars Very dry history book., 21 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Madame de Pompadour: Mistress of France (Paperback)
As written on the back cover of this edition, Madame de Pompadour was one of the most fascinating and influential women of 18th century France.
The all-powerful mistress of a depressive, moody and lazy Louis xv, the Marquise has always been a familiar name to French schoolchildren like myself.
A patron of the Arts she also acted as an unofficial Prime Minister for many years.
Unfortunately this book by Pevitt Algrant leaves much to be desired.
Undoubtedly well-researched, it is a pretty boring account of the lady's life. The author's decision to follow a chronological order from her birth in 1721 to her death in 1764 is very disappointing. I would have preferred a better structure, a selection of themes. Furthermore it is never as captivating or engrossing as it should be. Too few anecdotes, too little humour, the past never really comes alive. Why for instance write so little about her sex life ? She was after all a scheming beauty who used her looks to get to the sex-mad king's bed !
It is sad to report that in my view the best part of this 300 page long book lies in the very final chapter and especially in the 5 page long Afterword. What a waste !
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