Apologies for a short post but I'm deadline! The books on my to be read pile are The Joy Brigade by Martin Limon, Thief Artist by Tim Hallinan - congrats Tim on your starred PW review - and now I'm reading Madame de Pompadour by Nancy Mitford. It's a library book published in the 50's and full of illustrations which makes me appreciate this heavy book even though it fell on my face last when I nodded out. It's full of portraits of all these personages who lived in Madame de Pompadour's time, conducted intrigues, collected taxes, along with the chateaux, the battle scenes, the buildings, her ivory keepsakes which flesh out that world. Versailles and it's court intrigues, the excesses are painted with a sympathetic nod by Nancy Mitford who I think later became a Communist. But it's kind of amazing to see how Madame de Pompadour remained the King's favorite for years, a person who he trusted and consulted, and gives new meaning to a Royal mistress. She stayed on top despite the Cardinals and powerful Church who ostracized her for immorality. She dictated policy, remained the Queen's friend, ran circles around the Royalty and gave Richilieu his marching order in the Seven Years War. The King cried as her funeral cortege left for Paris and as Mitford writes 'a great dullness settled on Versailles.'
Cara - Tuesday