March 7, 2022 – Best-selling author Eva Stachniak joins us to discuss her latest novel, The School of Mirrors. “During the reign of Louis XV, impoverished but lovely teenage girls from all over France are sent to a discreet villa in the town of Versailles. Overseen by the King’s favorite mistress, Madame de Pompadour, they will be trained as potential courtesans for the King. … The students at this ‘School of Mirrors’ rarely ask questions, and when Louis tires of them, they are married off to minor aristocrats or allowed to retire to one of the more luxurious nunneries.”
It’s a rich and enjoyable story, focusing not just on the ribald details, but on the relationship between a mother and her daughter, who succeeds despite the many obstacles to women at the time, but longs to know the truth about her father’s identity.
Eva Stachniak was born in Wrocław, Poland, moved to Canada in 1981, and has worked for Radio Canada International and Sheridan College, where she taught English and Humanities. She is the bestselling author of The Winter Palace, Empress of the Night, Necessary Lies, and Garden of Venus, in addition to The Chosen Maiden.
You can find our interview on The Chosen Maiden in our archives. I was also honored that Eva asked me to MC an event and Q&A at the Kosciuszko Center in Manhattan some years back. You should absolutely check them out if you’re interested in preserving the history of this dual American and Polish hero.