RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 24429089 LA English T1 Madame Du Barry : the wages of beauty A1 Haslip, Joan,, PB Grove Weidenfeld PP New York YR 1992 SN 0802112560 9780802112569 AB The life of Jeanne, Comtesse du Barry (1743-1793), incomparably beautiful grisette and courtesan, official mistress of an elderly and besotted king of France, can be regarded as a story of glamour, luxury, ardor, and loyalty, culminating in high tragedy, or as a cautionary tale of greed, arrogance, and endless pursuit of exquisite pleasures, inevitably ending in blood-drenched dust--depending on the eye of the beholder. In either case (or some of both), Joan Haslip has. given us a wonderfully compelling and full-bodied view of her legendary subject. Born in a small town on the borders of Lorraine, the illegitimate daughter of a seamstress and a monk, Jeanne Becu rose from the demimonde to become for four years the uncrowned queen of France. The last of the French royal favorites, she was loved by Louis XV until his death in 1774. Although most courtiers and members of the royal family repudiated her, on certain occasions she was capable. of great heroism and of intense loyalty to the same aristocracy who initially spurned her. Her charity to women in need was widely known. For all her humble origins she was a woman of refined taste--patroness of Greuze and Fragonard, Vernet and Vigee-Lebrun. Her jewels were among the most famous in Europe and ultimately became a cause of her tragic downfall. The story Joan Haslip has to tell vividly recaptures the charm, flavor, and decadence of the ancien regime and all. the drama and horrors of the Revolution and the Terror.