In 1764, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson
, Marquise de Pompadour, the highly influential mistress of France's King Louis XV, died at Versailles at age 42.
Madame de Pompadour (nee Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson
in 1721), the mistress of Louis XV from 1745 to 1764, materialized in the public eye last year abruptly but emphatically.
- otherwise known as Mme la Marquise de Pompadour - was born in Paris in 1720 and was an art lover, the mistress of Louis XV and, as the daughter of a Paris financier, a clever businesswoman.
The first chapter is concerned with this biography, especially facts such as the situation of her parentage (her probable father was a wealthy, noble tax farmer who was her mother's lover), establishing young Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson
as one of the newly privileged middle-class.