Tag Archives: Louis XV of France

Madame de Pompadour


Madame de Pompadour

Madame de Pompadour became King Louis XV‘s mistress in 1745 and remained his confidante until her death. Of middle-class origin, she owed her success mainly to her intelligence and capabilities. She was a devoted patron of the arts and was a tastemaker in matters of art and culture. However, she was less astute in the political arena, as exemplified by her encouragement of the French alliance with Austria that involved her country in the disastrous Seven Years’ War. How did she die? More… Discuss

Advertisements

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: CHEVALIER D’ÉON (1728)


Chevalier d’Éon (1728)

The inspiration for the now-obsolete term “eonism,” describing the adoption of female dress and behavior by a male, the Chevalier d’Éon was a French noble, soldier, and spy who lived first as a male and then as a female. His cross-dressing appears to have begun as part of his covert activities, but by the 1770s, rumors reached France that the Chevalier was actually a woman masquerading as a man, and he was ordered to live as a woman thereafter. When was it proven that he was anatomically male? More… Discuss

 

Today’s Birthday: Madame du Barry (1743)


Madame du Barry (1743) Madame du Barry was the mistress of Louis XV. She was first the mistress of Jean du Barry, who introduced her into Parisian high society. Admired for her beauty, she joined Louis XV’s court in 1769 after a nominal marriage to Jean’s brother, a nobleman, qualified her to be Louis’s official royal mistress. Though she exercised little political influence, her unpopularity contributed to the decline of the prestige of the crown in the early 1770s. What happened to her during the French Revolution? More… Discuss