The Rivals of Versailles: A Novel : Mistresses of Versailles

  • by Sally Christie
  • Narrated by Elizabeth Wiley
  • Series: Mistresses of Versailles
  • 15 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The year is 1745, and King Louis XV's bed is once again empty. Enter Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, a beautiful girl from the middle classes. As a child, a fortune-teller had told young Jeanne's destiny: She would become the lover of a king and the most powerful woman in the land. Eventually connections, luck, and a little scheming pave her way to Versailles and into the king's arms.
All too soon, conniving politicians and hopeful beauties seek to replace the bourgeois interloper with a more suitable mistress. As Jeanne, now the Marquise de Pompadour, takes on her many rivals - including a lustful lady-in-waiting, a precocious 14-year-old prostitute, and even a cousin of the notorious Nesle sisters - she helps the king give himself over to a life of luxury and depravity. Around them war rages, discontent grows, and France inches ever closer to the Revolution.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

HOODWINKED! BAMBOOZLED! LED ASTRAY!!

I was very disappointed. This book is a fictional account of Versailles "side chicks" and includes way more sexual events than historic ones. But the narrator sounded like she was reading "Alice In Wonderland" rather than a racy sexually explicit romance novel! Listening to sex acts being presented as if this was a children's story is just creepy. Plus this is a story that takes place in 18th century FRANCE! Why is it being read by an American with a whiny midwestern voice?

Enough about the narrator...... The author seemed to forget that this is a period piece. The story and dialogue includes terms and vernacular of the 20th and, even 21st, centuries. I was waiting for one of the mistresses to tell us how she just met Justin Timberlake at his VIDEO SHOOT!

Finally, at 15.5 hours, this book is way too long to contain so little actual history. "Baby Mama Drama" is no substitute for a reasonable inclusion of actual historical data about fashion, food, religion, art, music, customs, transportation, classes other than the nobility, and a sense of local color. None of the palace mistresses were given any character development, making them vapid and unlikeable. Even the magnificent "Madame de Pompadour" - Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour, chief mistress and longtime friend of Louis XV, comes off as a silly golddigging airhead, instead of the dynamic and brilliant patron of the arts that she was. I never got a real sense in this book of her considerable contribution to French history, other than her oral "skills" in the boudoir with Louis and just about every male in his court.

I bought this book based on the Ratings and Reviews of Audible.com members. However, I don't know WHAT they listened to but I felt "hoodwinked, bamboozled and led astray" by their assessments. Not worth "the price of admission". 😡
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- Linda Lou "OCD over books, listening to 1 a day; ANY genre, fact & fiction. Influenced by Audible reviewers so I keep mine unbiased - FRONT to BLACK!"

good historical fiction

I love historical fiction and learned a lot about Versailles listening to this book. Narration was well done.
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- Robin Johnson "gigligirl"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-05-2016
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio