Who are the Sisters of Versailles?
Louise Julie de Mailly-Nesle, was Comtesse de Mailly, the eldest of the de Nesle sisters, first to become the mistress of King Louis XV of France. She comes across as a very passive person, accepting of her life in the background and watching her sisters become mistresses after her. I was not really crazy about her character as I thought she should have taken a stand against Pauline.
Pauline Felicite de Mailly, was marquise de Vintimille, the second sister to become mistress to King Loius XV, pushing Louise out of the way. Pauline was very manipulative and was determined to be mistress. She begged her sister Louise to invite her to court. Louise did not at first do this but after a while she relented, much to her dismay, King Louis fell in love with her and made her his mistress. Pauline became pregnant, was the child the King's? There was a supposed strong resemblance to him and he was called demi Louis. Her reign as mistress was cut short as she died in childbirth.
Diane Adelaide de Mailly was the third eldest of the de Nesle sisters also known as Duchesse de Lauraguais. Diane was a very happy and plump person, loved food and loved life at times called simple. She also became mistress to the King but was happy to not be involved in court intrigue. I liked this sister the most I think, the only one of the sisters that was not vain and not out to work her way up the ranks in court.
Hortense Felicite de Mailly, marquise de Flavacourt. Hortense was the only sister who was not mistress to King Louis. She lived a long time, dying at the age of 84, outliving all of her sisters.
Marie Anne de Mailly, Duchesse de Chartaeuroux, the most political of all the sister's and the last to be his mistress, and after her death she was succeeded by Madame Pompadour. Of all of the sisters, she had the most sway with King Louis.
The Sisters of Versailles is a very historical, because it tells the story of not only King Louis but of all the women in his life, his queen Marie Leszcynska, of Polish descent. She spoke broken English and was often ridiculed by the women in the court, but she managed to give birth to numerous children by King Louis and was very virtuous.
This novel is very well researched and depicts life in France during King Louis XV's reign which was filled with court intrigue, religious feuds, lost wars, but he reigned from 1715 until his death in 1774. A very long time indeed. Before reading this novel I had not read anything about the de Nesle sisters and I found this book to be very enjoyable and look forward to the next in the trilogy, The Rivals of Versaille and after that The Enemies of Versailles.