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The Women of Versailles

Authors: Kate Brown

Published by Seren

ISBN: 9781781723777

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The Women of Versailles is the story of Adelaide, spirited tomboy daughter of Louis XV, and tells the story of her teenage upbringing in the extreme society of the Versailles court, at once licentious, excessive and bound by the dictates of society and fashion. A minor figure in history, Brown's Adelaide is at sea in the court of her royal family and hangers on including her father's bourgeoise mistress Madame de Pompadour, whom Adelaide at first idolises as part of her political and sexual awakening, with dangerous results. But as Madame stalks the Palace corridors alone forty-four years later, under the looming shadow of the revolution, what has happened to the hopes of a young girl and the doomed regime in which she grew up?

The narrative slips between the decadent world of Versailles during the reign of Louis XV in 1745, and the day, just before the French revolution in 1789, that Versailles is stormed by the women of Paris and Louis XV1 is forced to move the court to the Tuileries.

Readers of books such as Andrew Miller's Pure, Jess Burton's The Miniaturist and Hilary Mantel's A Place of Greater Safety will enjoy this novel and the parallels between society now, particularly its expectations of women in the public view, and French society before the revolution.
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