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The year 2002 became an unofficial Année Pompadour featuring a major international exhibition at the Château de Versailles and traveling on to Munich and ultimately to London in a reduced and entirely recast form. Over the past five years the literature on Madame de Pompadour has grown dramatically with several new biographies and scholarly studies. Ultimately, however, the exhibitions have contributed enormously to specialist knowledge but have been a missed opportunity to present a coherent and insightful characterization of the personality and historical place of Madame de Pompadour. On the opposite hand, biographers have done little or no new primary research toward dispelling the myths which surround her. Some innovative approaches by scholars show promise but a fundamentally new approach is needed to base studies of her on documented biographical fact and to publish a comprehensive and authoritative collection of her correspondence.