The people wanted to see their Louis free of doddering ministers, as King in his own right, bringing back glory to France and prosperity to the people. But Louis cared only for the thrills of hunting and gambling, the excitement of war, until even these paled before the sensual delights from a succession of ladies – from beautiful waiting women to the celebrated Pompadour. Here is the glittering ancient regime of the early years of Louis XV – and the women who ruled him.