The Rise and Fall of the French Royal Mistress

I love this kind of history.

Age of Revolutions

By Christine Adams and Tracy Adams

When Louis XV of France elevated Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, later the Marquise de Pompadour, to the position of royal mistress in 1745, courtiers were shocked; the Duke of Luynes wrote that she could only be agalanterie(fling), not a mistress. It was inconceivable that a woman from a bourgeois background, “whose mother is named Mme Poisson” (French for fish) could be the nextmaîtresse déclaréeof the king.[1]But while the tradition of choosing the royal mistress from among aristocratic ladies of the court came to an end with Pompadour’s elevation, she stepped into a position that had, by the eighteenth century, a long genealogy. Rulers throughout the world had always had extra-conjugal sexual partners; history is replete with stories of powerful mistresses and concubines.[2]But only in early modern France did the royal mistress become a tradition, a quasi-institutionalized political position…

View original post 1,826 more words

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: