Madame de Pompadour et le théâtre des Cabinets du Roi

Work published with the scientific support of the CRCV.

Philippe Hourcade, Madame de Pompadour et le théâtre des Cabinets du Roi, Éditions Michel de Maule, November 2014, 15 × 21 cm, 208 p., €20 (ISBN: 9782876235717).


The desire to perform in a show, to play a part and perhaps be applauded was wide spread amongst many of the idle rich of 18th century France, and in Europe too. Voltaire and his beloved Madame du Châtelet were amongst the most renowned figures in this widespread obsession for the theatre. Similarly, Madame d’Étiolles, a contemporary of theirs, made a name for herself in the aristocratic theatre society around Paris. And once she became Louis XV’s official mistress and Marquise de Pompadour, she did not lose interest, and went on to hold performances in the Petits Appartements, the King’s private apartments, at Versailles., A royal theatre reserved for the fortunate chosen few operated for four seasons, which continued on at the Château de Bellevue until 1753. Our knowledge of how it was organised, operated and of its repertoire, although incomplete, provides enough for an interesting book on the life of the court and the history of French theatre.

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