Nancy Mitford

Madame de Pompadour's Staircase

Nancy Mitford describes how Louis XV never talked politics out of the Council Chamber. Hunting was his only distraction until Madame de Pompadour introduced him to “plans and designs ... bibelots and stuffs ... gaiety and lightness.”

Madame de Pompadour’s Theatre

‘If ever a house radiated cheerfulness, that house is Versailles.’ Nancy Mitford on the royal palace in the middle years of Louis XV.

A Visit to Voltaire, 1783

Nancy Mitford takes a perceptive and ironic look at the reaction of 18th-century French 'society' to the Enlightenment's great philosophe.