Marie J. du Barry
1746 – 1793 A.D.
Marie Jeanne, Countess du Barry. She was the daughter of a seamstress, and was employed in a milliner’s shop in Paris, where she led a dissolute life.
One of her lovers, Count Jean du Barry, brought her through his valet to the notice of Louis XV, who made her marry the count’s brother, after which she was introduced at court. By her beauty and wit she retained the king’s affection until his death.
She cost France over thirty-five million francs, out of which she provided for her relatives and friends, and also to some extent for charitable works. On the king’s death she was banished from court, but later was permitted to live near Paris.
In 1793 she was arrested as an enemy of the republic, sentenced to death, and guillotined in Paris.
Thomas Carlyle in his The French Resolution says:
She is gone; and her place knows her no more. Vanish, false sorceress; into Space! for thy day is done. Shut are the royal palace-gates for evermore. Thou unclean, yet unmalignant [sic], not unpitiable [sic] thing! What a course was thine: from that first truckebled [xic] (in Joan of Arc’s country) where thy mother bore thee, with tears, to an unnamed father; forward, through lowest subterranean depths, and over highest sunlit heights, of Harlotdom [sic] and Rascaldom [sic] – to teh guillotine-axe which sheers away thy vainly whimpering head! Rest there uncursed; only buried and abolished what else befitted thee?”
Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.