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 Marquise de Pompadour... 
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Post Re: Marquise de Pompadour...
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it destroyed the Monarchy root and branch


Well, the root maybe. Two branches became king after Napoleon.

It's a very caricatural idea of the Revolution that presents it as wiping out all the aristocrats. For one thing, that wasn't its purpose (if in fact the many different projects collectively known as the Revolution can be said to have a purpose). At most, some wanted to destroy the system, which is somewhat different. But as a practical matter too, far more commoners were killed than aristocrats, and the more the Revolution went on, the more it seemed to be about one group getting the drop on another.

It doesn't help that "aristocrat" became a catchall term for anyone thought of as counter-revolutionary. I believe it's Schama who describes the paradoxes which resulted from this - commoners accused of being "aristocrats" and titled individuals treated as Revolutionaries.

Before the Revolution, people didn't talk about "aristocrats" - they talked about 'nobility".

As for what the whole mess accomplished, personally, I don't think much, though that's hugely debated in scholarly circles. It doesn't help that some people treat the whole event as sacrosanct and regard any real attempt at discussion as a reactionary enterprise. One can point to scattered accomplishments. One advantage of executing anyone who contradicted the current (and usually ephemeral) regime was that it was at last possible to impose uniform weights and measures on all of France. The Old Regime hodgepodge was really breathtaking in its variety and inconsistency. Slavery was also abolished - only to be re-established by Napoleon.

It can be argued that the back of absolute monarchy was broken, and so even in it s revived state lacked the teeth it had once had. Unfortunately it wasn't aristocrats so much as commoners who paid the price of this bit of extreme chiropracty.

If you're ever read Charles Lamb's essay on how roast pig was invented - a man tasted a pig after his house burned down, he and others loved it, and kept burning down houses until someone figured out they could just roast the pig - the Revolution seems to me to have been a similar approach to establishing democracy. But my own guess - all anyone can do is guess - is that it would have evolved naturally and much earlier without the mess made in its name.

None of which, as I've said elsewhere here, means the French people were wrong to overthrow the exising regime. It was, for many reasons, time for democracy to arrive.

If only it had...

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Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:10 pm
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Post Re: Marquise de Pompadour...
Madame de Pompadour became Louis 15th lover in 1745 when she was age 24
They were only lovers for 5 short years..................
Not very long for a Kings mistress............ perhaps the King easily became bored ?
Perhaps the bevy of attractive young women who swarmed around him at Versailles were
just too much to much to resist ?
However Mme de Pompadour remained a close friend and confidente to the King for the rest
of her short life.......... she died age 42
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Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:43 pm
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Post Re: Marquise de Pompadour...
It depends on what you call "mistress", really.

The general opinion seems to be that she stopped being his sexual partner early on, but may have helped find him other women later. The important thing historically is that until the end of her life she wielded very real power, and did whatever it took to retain it.

One of the king's later mistresses, a Miss Murphy, made the mistake of trying to dislodge her with a nudging remark to Louis: "So where are things with your old woman?" She found herself quickly married off and exiled to the provinces.

Mme de Pompadour never really stopped being the mistress en titre. Louis' valet portrays him watching from afar as her coffin was borne away - "This is all I can do for her," he said, tears streaming down his face.

I doubt he would have done the same for his queen.

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Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:11 pm
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Post Re: Marquise de Pompadour...
He did love Maria.....I think she would of got a magnificent state funeral, whether it was with the same feeling for La Pompadour.

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Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:24 am
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Post Re: Marquise de Pompadour...
She does indeed become a kind of private secretary to the King, and influential in all his decisions, especially regarding resistance to the increasingly rebellious pariiament. Mme de Pompadour was for the hard line. Casanova for example, when he comes to Versailles, has an audience with Mme de Pompadour as a primary court figure, through whom one has the ear of the King. As for Louis XV's somewhat debauched relations, she tolerated these and sometimes facilitated them. She herself was tired of sexual matters, a bit like Mme de Maintenon before her with Louis XIV, and was not really too affected by Louis' behaviour, although no doubt she continued to love him. She recognized this need in this basically depressive sovereign, like some form of escape from reality. What most deeply affected Mme de Pompadour was without doubt the premature death of her daughter.

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Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:21 am
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Post Re: Marquise de Pompadour...
Mme du Pompadour seems to be most closely associated with the
artist ... Boucher..... and what an incredible artist he was.
go here
http://www.bestfreeforums.com/forums/fr ... eaven.html

Indeed was nt the period of Louis 15ths reign the high point in
French art .... paintings... furniture... porcelain... etc are nt many of these
works of art some of the most highly prized in the world today ?
It was a golden age for the monarchy, for the aristocracy for artists and artisans
....... there was magic in the air.........

Alas, by the time Marie Antoinette arrived in the mid 1970s.... things were
on the slide..........
she entered a magic kingdom... her life ... for a time... was a dream
of elegance and beauty........... but all too soon it became a nightmare !


Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:44 pm
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Post Re: Marquise de Pompadour...
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Indeed was nt the period of Louis 15ths reign the high point in French art .... paintings... furniture... porcelain... etc are nt many of these
works of art some of the most highly prized in the world today ?

In fact, Mme. de Pompadour (whom the public at large probably viewed as one of Louis' "somewhat debauched relations") gets much of the credit for all this.

The hard fact is that at the time sex was about the only tool a woman had to reach the heights she did. Whatever she felt about the act itself, or the particular partner, ultimately it was a tool and in the aesthetic world, at least, one whose benefits she wielded to enduring effect. (Her similar power on the political stage might be viewed less kindly - but then Francis I didn't do great on that side, either, even as he hosted Da Vinci.)

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Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:01 am
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Post Re: Marquise de Pompadour...
The foundation was laid during the magnificent reign of the Sun King....
but maybe everything reached its peak of perfection during Mme du Pompadours time
at Versailles with her patronage of the arts and her role in developing the ceramics industry etc.

Marie Antoinette came on the scene when things and attitudes were changeing.
Boucher died in 1770.. although Fragonard was still alive.
Surely the young, ravishing Marie would have been the perfect model and subject for one
of Fragonard's magical paintings.... but did they ever meet up ?
Marie arrived at Versailles in 1770... surely she must have met the famous painter in all that
time ........( he died in 1806.)
go here
http://www.bestfreeforums.com/forums/fr ... eaven.html

But maybe because Fragonard was associated with Mme du Barry......
perhaps thats why they never got together ?


Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:04 pm
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Post Re: Marquise de Pompadour...
baron de batz wrote:
although no doubt she continued to love him.


Baron, how did you get the impression that she ever really loved him?

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Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:37 pm
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Post Re: Marquise de Pompadour...
jimcheval wrote:
One of the king's later mistresses, a Miss Murphy, made the mistake of trying to dislodge her with a nudging remark to Louis: "So where are things with your old woman?" She found herself quickly married off and exiled to the provinces.


I read that she asked, being wrongly advised by some woman from the court, whether he does the same with his wife Maria Leszinska. The king still had some respect towards his wife, or guilt, so that was the end of her serving the king after a year of two.

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Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:46 pm
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