I'm about half way through Madame de Pompadour by Evelyne Lever and am so fascinated by the power and persuasion of this historical figure. The Pompadour used her beauty and charm to warm the heart of the King and eventually helped him rule France. She was scorned by most, as all the King's mistresses were, but more than usual due to her influence in government affairs. She was a great patron of the arts and performed in many plays, operas and ballets to entertain the King. When she built Chateau Bellevue, which was destroyed during the Revolution, she added a unique theatre designed to expand from an intimate gathering to a 500 seat auditorium. She was a lover of beauty and flowers and surrounded herself with sumptuous fabrics, oil paintings and architecture. Though her health was poor and she died young, her legacy of beauty lives on.