I have always been really into history, and Madame da Pompadour has always been of great historical importance, she was one of the best female political figures in pre-revolutionary France.
Let me get this straight: Jeanne Antoinette Poisson (Reinette aka ‘little queen’ to her friends) was dead brilliant. When it came to French social politics, and philosophy, which was not an easy feat for a woman in the 1700s, she was an absolute genius. Her salon which she ran was attended by great minds of the day, reportedly Voltaire and Emile du Chatelet. She manipulated and charmed her way to the top, and was chief mistress for Louis XV from the year he met him. Unlike most mistresses, she also maintained a friendship with the queen, who once said that if her husband has to be unfaithful, at least it was to Pompadour. And there’s a reason why she’s so popular. While her 'job’ as chief mistress did revolve around entertaining the king, she was a deep participant in French politics, which is a great feat, considering she was a woman in pre-revolutionary France , And in a time where even daughters of nobles and clergy weren’t allowed to have a say in their marriage , Poisson acted as the 'uncrowned queen of France’. She focused much of her efforts on political affairs and philosophy. Her salon which she ran was attended by the most influential minds of the day, she didn’t just serve sexual purposes. She heavily participated in French politics, promoting people and using her influence and manipulation skills to run France from the background, hence the nickname, 'The uncrowned queen of France’. Also, unlike a typical 'mistress’, she charmed the king by debating with him, going on hunting trips, comforting him and staying away from him when he needed space. She was a mistress popular for her intellect, political and social skills, ability in the arts than her 'skills’ as a mistress.
And THAT is exactly where the episode 'The Girl in The Fireplace’ comes to play. Moffat’s interpretation of the character is not only completely inaccurate, it is just plain sickening. To characterize the 'uncrowned queen of france’ as a little girl obsessed with the 'fireplace man’, having her entire life revolve around this man, is just plain wrong. It degrades and reduces her character to nothing more than a woman famous for being a 'mistress’. After all, her whole function , is sex , so her life must revolve around flirting and falling in love with a dude.
The main problem is that Reinette is more famous for her brain than her 'skills.’ The interpretation of her falling in love with a man who she barely knows in is completely inaccurate to her character, but Moffat is famous for his sexism and reducing woman to just 'sexy.’ If she loved him because she had seen his pain while reading his mind (which grossed me out, it is basically mind-rape. Why is her reading his mind without his permission 'romantic’? ) I could somewhat begin to understand, but in historical context, considering her personality, she wouldn’t have been sexually attracted to the Doctor, and probably wouldn’t have snogged a man she barely knew. Also, the Doctor’s glee at being 'snogged by Madame da Pompadour’ also makes no sense, because Reinette wasn’t a great sex figure (well, at the time, yes for being Louis XV’s mistress, but historically, no), and the Doctor would have been much happier debating politics with her instead.
Steven Moffat did not do Madame da Pompadour justice, she wouldn’t have 'waited’ for a man all her life, she was strong and independent and would have handled the situation herself, to the best of her abilities. Historically, Madame Da Pompadour was a brilliant woman, and does not deserve the image Moffat painted for her, and neither does she deserve to being ragged because she did something the real person wouldn’t have.
Madame de Pompadour was her own greatest creation. It was Louis XV who turned Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson into ‘Madame la marquise de Pompadour’; but it was Jeanne Poisson who made Madame de Pompadour the dazzling personage known to history. She was, after all, an actress, and she assumed the role of mistress to the king with aplomb, as she did its subsequent evolutions. Whatever the heartache and disillusionment, the exhaustion and disgust, she stayed in character. She died convinced of the purity of her intentions, with a clear conscience, and with a control of iron over her life’s last act.
Madame de Pompadour: Mistress of France // Christine Pevitt Algrant
Jeanne is a young Parisian girl,who dreams to become a great fashion designer.She has an aesthetic sense and huge amount of charm.Despite the fact she is just a normal girl,unknown to the great fashion designers of the day,Jeanne’s resoluteness helps her to achieve her goals and find the love of her life.
Madame de Pompadour was her own greatest creation. It was Louis XV who turned Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson into madame la marquise de Pompadour; but it was Jeanne Poisson who made Madame de Pompadour the dazzling personage known to history. She was, after all, an actress, and she assumed the role of mistress to the king with aplomb, as she did its subsequent evolutions. Whatever the heartache and disillusionment, the exhaustion and disgust, she stayed in character. She died convinced of the purity of her intentions, with a clear conscience, and with a control of iron over her life’s last act.
Christine Pevitt Algrant, Madame de Pompadour: Mistress of France
Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour (December
29, 1721 – April 15, 1764) was the official cheif mistress of Louis XV
from 1745 until her death. She claimed that at the age of nine, she was
taken by her mother to a fortune teller and told that she would someday
reign over the heart of a king. Apparently, her mother believed the
prophecy and accordingly nicknamed her “Reinette” (meaning “little
queen”). At adolescence, her mother took personal charge of her
education at home by hiring tutors who taught her to recite entire plays
by heart, play the clavicord, dance, sing, paint and engrave. She
became an accomplished actress and singer, and also attended Paris’s
famous Club de l'Entresol. The marquise had many enemies among the royal
courtiers who felt it a disgrace that the king would thus compromise
himself with a commoner. She was very sensitive to the unending libels called poissonnades, a pun on her family name, Poisson, which means “fish” in French. The Marquise de Pompadour was an incredibly
intelligent and accomplished woman. She was responsible for the
development of the manufactory of Sèvres, which became one of the most
famous porcelain manufacturers in Europe and which provided skilled jobs
to the region. Reinette had an eye for architecture and
design, planning buildings such as the Place de la Concorde and the
Petit Trianon. She had a keen interest in literature and was a close
friend of philosophes of the Lights, like Voltaire throughout her life. Her influence over Louis
increased markedly through the 1750s, to the point where he allowed her
considerable leeway in the determination of policy over a whole range of
issues, from military matters to foreign affairs. Ther reasons for the Marquise’s influence over Louis were many: she decidedly established a cordial relationship with Marie Leszczyńska, the King’s wife ; she also put all of her effort into bringing fun into the King’s melancholy life ; she threw dinner parties for him and put on plays that exalted him and of course, she was a woman of verve and intelligence with whom the King sensed an intellectual equal. In her later years, although they had ceased being lovers, the King and Jeanne remained very close friends, and Louis was devoted to her until her death from tuberculosis in 1764 at the age of forty-two. Even some her enemies admired her courage during the final painful weeks. Voltaire wrote: “I am very sad at the death of Madame de Pompadour. I was indebted to her and I mourn her out of gratitude. It seems absurd that while an ancient pen-pusher, hardly able to walk, should still be alive, a beautiful woman, in the midst of a splendid career, should die at the age of forty two." (source of the text)
“Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, known to her friends as Reinette. One of
the most accomplished women who ever lived.”
“So, that Doctor, eh?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Well. Madame de Pompadour. Sarah Jane Smith. Cleopatra.”
“Cleopatra. He mentioned her once.”
“Yeah, but he called her Cleo.”
“Are you okay?”
“No, I’m very afraid. But you and I both know, don’t we, Rose, the
Doctor is worth the monsters.”
“We can’t fly the Tardis without him. How’s he going to get back?”
“Are you alright?”
“I’m always alright.”
Rose woke with a start and
blinked tears out of her eyes, the Doctor’s heartbroken posture and expression
still swimming in her vision, the very picture of loss. After a few seconds, though, her sympathy
started being drowned out by an intense rage at everything that happened in the
dream before that, leading to that.
He’d left her and Mickey in a
stupid abandoned spaceship for some french bird who had called Rose a child! Of all the stupid…always had to show off,
Rose knew that about him, but he left! And just after saying that wouldn’t happen to
her, too, the bloody liar. Yeah,
alright, maybe she wasn’t “one of the most accomplished women who ever lived”,
but she bloody well deserved better than that!
A tiny voice in her head told
her she was being ridiculous, that it was just a dream, but she ignored it as
she shoved her covers aside and stomped out into the hall. She’d had a niggling worry about the firmness
of her relationship with the Doctor since the school, no matter how good of
terms she’d ended on with Sarah Jane, and it felt good to be angry instead of
just nervous and uncertain. For the
moment, anyway, she was fully willing to embrace that, no matter how ludicrous
and unfounded it was.