Jeanne Poisson, the headstrong, ambitious, witty and erudite, catches the eye and heart of French King Louis XV at a costumed ball. She masters the art of seduction well enough to become accepted even by the Queen, corpulent mother of ten. As a sensibly chosen Royal 'favorite' mistress she is soon ennobled Marquise of Pompadour to facilitate her introduction at court. The immature dauphin (crown prince) proves a bitter and unrelenting enemy, joined by his imposed Saxon bride, and his sister at her deathbed. Although friends at court help Pompadour return, her health gives way.