I am currently reading Sisters of Versailles via NetGalley and really enjoy it. I have a question about your research. With details such as the nicknames Bijoux and Twinkles, did you find that in primary sources written by others? I love Author Notes, maps, family trees, anything that enhances the story, that the publisher is willing to do.
Hi Elizabeth, Glad you’re enjoying the book! There’s relatively little written about the Mailly Nesle sisters so not all the details could be based on fact. Twinkles and Bijou – no – they would have had endearments for each other, but we don’t know what they were. Only the King’s nickname for Marie Anne is based on contemporary sources (there’s a lot more information about her than about the other sisters).
I tried wherever possible to work in those little details that were known, for example Tante really was doing renovations on her Paris house in the 1730s; someone really did call Pauline a green monkey; the King really did dress as a Bat (cute!) at a masked ball, etc, etc.
Family tree... I found a great PDF of a Mailly family tree that shows clearly the relationship between the sisters and Louise’s husband and Tante, etc. I’ll put a link on my website - thanks for the idea.