Femme of the Week: Jeanette Du Barry | Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: Femme of the Week: Jeanette Du Barry

May 22, 2008

Femme of the Week: Jeanette Du Barry

"After all, the world is but an amusing theatre, and I see no reason why a pretty woman shoud not play a pretty part in it."

First tart, we are going with the inevitable Jeanette Du Barry (Jeanette Vaubernier). Mistress to Louis XV, she walked into the court knowing nothing of the strict etiquette it upheld (or at least pretended to uphold).

It was said, her first visit to court as she dinned with Louis XV, that if she held her self in the manners of the ladies at Versailles, Louis would have been bored with her at an instance and dismissed her after the dinner. She did not know how to act 'properly' at court so she acted in her typical bubbly, talkative manner. She knew how to tell a story and keep her listeners attention. Sheer affability and wit, and a charming smile was so unusual behavior that Louis was captivated. Before long she lived in the Petite Cabinets above the chambre of the king.

Pre-Louis however, she was a shop girl who worked at the milliner's shop of Madame Labille, which was situated on the corner of the rue Neuf-des-Petits-Champs in Paris. Easy going and light hearted, she attracted attention from many boys that passed by. And as far as I know her first love was a baker!


  1. Marie Jeanne's first love was not a baker (she isn't recorded to have known any in an intimate manner!)...it was actually a young handsome youth, slightly older than her, known as Lametz, her mother's sister's mistress's hairdresser ;-)

  2. Oh now that is just plain good gossip! mother's sister's mistress's hairdresser! I suppose the baker story is then all just rumors!
    Thanks for the great information!!