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Memoirs of the Comtesse Du Barry; with intimate details of her entire career as favorite of Louis XV   By: (1786-1864)

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In "Memoirs of the Comtesse Du Barry; with intimate details of her entire career as favorite of Louis XV," Etienne-Léon Lamothe-Langon unveils a fascinating and scandalous account of one of history's most enigmatic characters. The Comtesse Du Barry, notorious for her role as the favorite mistress of King Louis XV, takes center stage in this memoir, providing readers with a captivating glimpse into the glamour, power, and corruption that defined the French court.

Lamothe-Langon's writing successfully transports us back to the 18th-century Versailles, where political alliances were forged through secret gestures and seduction paved the way for influence. The author skillfully weaves together historical facts and anecdotes, painting a vivid portrait of the Comtesse's rise from humble beginnings to her remarkable ascent as one of the most powerful women in France. Through this, Lamothe-Langon sheds light on the intricacies of courtly life, where beauty, wit, and manipulation were essential tools for survival.

Perhaps the greatest strength of this memoir lies in its unabashed honesty. Lamothe-Langon courageously reveals the darker side of the Comtesse's personality, exposing her ruthless ambition and insatiable desire for wealth and status. He doesn't shy away from detailing her scandalous affairs and the lengths she went to maintain her hold on the aging king's affections. In doing so, Lamothe-Langon offers readers a nuanced perspective of the Comtesse, neither glorifying nor condemning her, but simply presenting the truth as he sees it.

The author's meticulous research is evident throughout the book, as he delves into the political machinations of the French court, exploring the complex relationships between the nobility, the Church, and the monarchy. Lamothe-Langon provides valuable insights into the Comtesse's interactions with other influential figures, such as Madame de Pompadour, and highlights the wider implications these connections had on the fate of the monarchy itself. This attention to detail ensures that readers not only gain an understanding of the Comtesse's personal journey but also the broader historical context in which it unfolded.

While the narrative occasionally loses its momentum, meandering through lesser-known episodes or indulging in superficial embellishments, Lamothe-Langon's overall prose remains engaging and accessible. His vivid descriptions transport readers into the opulent world of Versailles, allowing us to experience the lavish balls, sumptuous banquets, and clandestine affairs as if we were present.

In conclusion, "Memoirs of the Comtesse Du Barry; with intimate details of her entire career as favorite of Louis XV" is a captivating account of one woman's meteoric rise to power and the complex webs of intrigue that ensnared her. Etienne-Léon Lamothe-Langon's meticulous research, honest depiction of the Comtesse's character, and his ability to contextualize her story within the broader historical landscape make this book a must-read for anyone intrigued by the scandalous lives led behind the gilded façade of the French court.

First Page:

Memoirs of the Comtesse du Barry With Minute Details of Her Entire Career as Favorite of Louis XV

"Written by Herself"

by Baron Etienne Leon Lamothe Langon

with a special introduction by Robert Arnot, M.A.

Gutenberg Editor's note: This delightful (piquant, the comtesse would say) pseudonymous work was in fact written not "by herself" but by Baron Etienne Leon Lamothe Langon (1786 1864). The persona created is that of a woman who always tells the truth as she sees it, but it is made clear to the reader that what the narrator sees is very seldom exactly the objective truth. The author ends as well as begins (in the middle of the action), thus creating an illusion of a slice of a journal but simultaneously giving the reader the uneasy feeling that the first and last chapters seem to be missing.

The French style quotation marks have, for ease in typesetting and use, been changed to American style quotation marks, and the dot after the name of Louis XV has been removed to conform to American punctuation. Italics are indicated by placing <> around the word or phrase italicized. Captions of illustrations are omitted because the illustrations themselves cannot be inserted. A few minor editing errors have been silently corrected. No other changes have been made; the irregularity in italicizing or not italicizing, in translating or not translating French words, and in punctuating quotations of letters, is in the text itself... Continue reading book >>

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