The English edition has it ""TIMES"" rather than ""COURT"" and that is the more accurate and definitive title. ""Chocolate-box-pretty-pretties, sighs and languors, mincing abbes, billet-doux, boudoir depravities! Empty heads and shallow hearts! No, the age was a greater one than that. It was an age of husbandry, of men of affairs, of iron founders, of dealers on Change, of ships and shipbuilders and slave traders. There was vice, but vice without hypocrisy. Men and women knew the art of living, and they practised it."" This paragraph from the book sums up the essence of it. The years 1715-1774 brought France to high estate internationally, industrially, socially, economically. Louis is shown as having more intellectual and executive power than the world today credits him with. His favorites played their parts, but did not dominate the stage. The Pompadour developed the intellectual aspects of the court, and gave her patronage to Voltaire, Rousseau and others. Science took stronger hold. Finance suggests strangely the orgy of speculation and its aftermath in our own days. A serious book, with brief sidelights on the leading characters of the day, but primarily a study of the period rather than the court and its puppets. Good reading for the student of French history, and for anyone interested in pre-Revolutionary data.