Madame de Pompadour was the official mistress of Louis XV for 20 years, until her death at the age of 42. She had an enormous amount of influence on the politics of the country and this book goes into great deal about how she accomplished that. However, despite all of the detail about what she did, there is very little sense of why she did it. I only got a superficial sense of her, who she was, her relationship to the king, her family, her friends, her motivations. Well written, well researched but ultimately disappointing.