THE CARDINAL DE BERNIS by Marcus Cheke

THE CARDINAL DE BERNIS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A minor but wholly appealing figure, the Cardinal of Bernis served as courtier, diplomat and confidante at the Court of Louis the XV. Of a delicate and pleasing aspect, he inspired great fondness on the part of the court ladies, but, the author would have it, failed to move them with great passion. It was this harmless charm of his which rendered him so delightful to the great women of his day and particularly to the cold, beautiful mistress of the King, Madame de Pompadour. Unable to resist beauty, he dallied with the beauties of Europe, and several references to him occur in the works of Casanova, one of his famous friends and contemporaries. His fate at the ruthless hands of Madame de Pompadour was uneven and he rose to great favor only to be banished the next moment. Ultimately he assumed the role of a celebrated clergyman and was sent to Rome as Frances' representative to the papacy. A refined, congenial biography of one man and the soft, but treacherous world in which he lived. Not a great man, nor a great biography, but an impeccable portrait of primary interest to those who are captivated by the excesses of the eighteenth century French aristocracy.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1959
Publisher: Norton