The real Madame de Pompadour
King Louis XV was a lonely, melancholic character, who sought pleasure and comfort in the company of other women besides the queen.
He was introduced to Pompadour at a ball in 1745. She was dressed as a coquettish shepherdess - the King, bizarrely enough, had come as a tree. That night, her carriage was spotted outside his apartments.
Few at court thought that the King's relationship would be more than fleeting, but within weeks he had moved Pompadour into a suite of rooms in the palace of Versailles.
The King felt guilty about having a mistress. He appreciated the qualities of his wife, Queen Marie Leszczynska. However, Pompadour offered a seemingly never-ending series of intoxicating diversions to keep him focused on her. She put on plays, taking the starring role in light-hearted stories of nymphs and shepherdesses in love with gods, which the king found very flattering.
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