1745: Adélaïde, teenage daughter of Louis XV, doesn’t think much of the conventions of Versailles. She prefers fencing to fashion. When her father’s beautiful bourgeois mistress – hastily bestowed with the title Madame de Pompadour – moves into the palace, she can’t help but admire her. Then Adélaïde finds the banned ‘pornographic’ novel Le Portier des Chartreux and her world is thrown into confusion. The more rules Adélaïde breaks, the harder it becomes for her not to be swallowed up by the court that created her.
1789: Fear stalks the palace corridors as the women of Paris storm the gates and the court of Louis XVI must leave Versailles for good.
This is what people are saying about The Women of Versailles:
As a reader I am not usually drawn into ‘historical’ fiction, with the exception of novels such as Hannah Kent’s The Good People and Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent where the past sets the stage for human issues that are still pertinent today. Kate Brown has certainly pulled that off in The Women of Versailles. With black humour reminiscent of Hilary Mantel’s A Place of Greater Safety, the exploration of a teenage girl’s sexuality would be just as relevant in a contemporary setting.
Claire King, author of ‘The Night Rainbow’ and ‘Everything Love Is’
Kate Brown’s tale had me gripped from the very first page. I know next to nothing of the court of Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour, but this novel made me keen to learn more. A coming of age tale exploring the varied lives and expectations of the women of Versailles through the eyes of a young and spirited princess. Dark and rich, The Women of Versailles is filled with political intrigue, sexual awakening, and the roots of revolution.
Peggy Riley, author of ‘Amity and Sorrow’
Poignant, sexy and evocative – there is a timeless quality to Adélaïde’s reflections on the turmoil of adolescence and double standards in society.
Isabel Costello, The Literary Sofa
Kate’s novel is available from many bookshops.
Ask your local bookshop if they have it in stock. If they don’t have it, they can order it for you.