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roleplaying:versailles:versaillesdubarry [2014/03/20 21:41] (current)
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|+||======Comtesse du Barry ======|
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|+||Comtesse du (countess of) Barry, (Marie-) Jeanne B+¬cu, last of the mistresses of the French king Louis XV (reigned 1715-74). Although she exercised little political influence at the French court, her unpopularity contributed to the decline of the prestige of the crown in the early 1770s.|
|+||She was born Marie-Jeanne B+¬cu, the illegitimate daughter of lower-class parents. After a convent education, she was a shop assistant, under the name Jeanne Vaubernier, in a fashion house in Paris. While there she became the mistress of Jean du Barry, a Gascon nobleman who had made a fortune as a war contractor. He introduced her into Parisian high society, and her beauty captivated a succession of nobly born lovers before she attracted Louis XV's attention in 1768. She could not qualify as official royal mistress (ma+«tresse en titre), a position vacant since the death of Madame de Pompadour in 1764, unless she was married to a noble. Hence, du Barry arranged a nominal marriage between Jeanne and his brother, Guillaume du Barry; in April 1769 she joined Louis XV's court.|
|+||The comtesse immediately joined the faction that brought about the downfall of Louis XV's powerful minister of foreign affairs, the Duke de Choiseul, in December 1770; and she then supported the drastic judicial reforms instituted by her friend the chancellor Ren+¬-Nicolas de Maupeou, in 1771. She spent much of her time on the estates that Louis had given her near Louveciennes,|