The Enemies of Versailles

The Enemies of Versailles

A Novel

Book - 2017
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"In the final installment of Sally Christie's "tantalizing" (New York Daily News) Mistresses of Versailles trilogy, Jeanne Becu, a woman of astounding beauty but humble birth, works her way from the grimy back streets of Paris to the palace of Versailles, where the aging King Louis XV has become a jaded and bitter old philanderer. Jeanne bursts into his life and, as the Comtesse du Barry, quickly becomes his official mistress. "That beastly bourgeois Pompadour was one thing; a common prostitute is quite another kettle of fish." After decades of suffering the King's endless stream of Royal Favorites, the princesses of the Court have reached a breaking point. Horrified that he would bring the lowborn Comtesse du Barry into the hallowed halls of Versailles, Louis XV's daughters, led by the indomitable Madame Adelaide, vow eternal enmity and enlist the young dauphiness Marie Antoinette in their fight against the new mistress. But as tensions rise and the French Revolution draws closer, a prostitute in the palace soon becomes the least of the nobility's concerns. Told in Christie's witty and engaging style, the final book in The Mistresses of Versailles trilogy will delight and entrance fans as it once again brings to life the sumptuous and cruel world of eighteenth century Versailles, and France as it approaches irrevocable change"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Atria Paperback, 2017.
Edition: First Atria paperback edition.
ISBN: 9781501103025
Branch Call Number: Fic Chri
Characteristics: 399 pages : genealogical tables ; 21 cm.


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Aug 30, 2018

The story is told through the eyes of Jeanne du Barry and Madame Adelaide.

For a good chunk of the book, I found Jeanne to be extremely flighty and pleasure seeking, only very rare moments do we see the goodness and kindness in her. It wasn't until that "triumph" with Marie Antoinette, did we slowly start to see her mature slightly as the years roll by. I am sure she was a good person in her own right, who wanted to be pampered and loved like the "pet" she was molded into at such a young age. Maybe she was a little empty headed but at least she was loyal and tried to do what was best, she wasn't all that vain as time went on that is for sure.

Same with Adelaide, I wasn't very sympathetic towards her for a good chunk of the book. She was too firm and fierce over her status as a daughter of France, but after reading the book, I cannot blame her. After all this was a world that she was born and raised into, how could she know otherwise until the bitter end? Still, her being royalty was constantly shoved down our throats, I get it! I wish more time was spent on allowing us to connect with them on an emotional level, like we did in the last third of the book.

It was interesting to see the world through the eyes of two women who had a front row seat during the edge of the French revolution. The coming of the revolution, the demolition of the monarchy and nobility and the not so unexpected storms were fairly well written by the author and presented. It was a troublesome time but there was still glimmers of hope (that the nobility would be restored once Louis agreed to everything the National Assembly wanted).... until the bitter end, when a number of people met their end on the guillotine.

samdog123 Jun 12, 2017

This is the last book in a wonderful trilogy about Louis XV. The excesses and wastefulness of the aristocracy eventually brought down everything. The first book, 'Sisters of Versailles,' is about the king's affairs with the de Mailly sisters. The second book, 'The Rivals of Versailles,' is about his affair and relationship with Pompadour, herself a brilliant stateswoman. And the last is 'The Enemies of Versailles,' and is about his affair with du Barry, a prostitute turned into a courtesan. A fascinating look at court life, relationships, politics of the time. The last book captures the inevitability of the revolution through the eyes of the characters. Recommended if you enjoy reading books about this time in history.

May 15, 2017

In this final volume of her The Mistresses of Versailles trilogy, Christie explores the life and times of Madame du Barry, the last mistress of Louis XV. As we follow her rise from low-born prostitute to royal mistress, we all learn about the final decades leading to the French Revolution. Along the way she battles with Louis' daughters, tries to befriend a very young Marie Antoinette, and amasses a fortune in her own right through gifts of jewelry and property. Neither her fortune nor her head survives revolution fever. Only Adelaide, Louis' third daughter, survives the revolution until her death in 1800 while living in Italy.


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