By Anne-Marie-Louise D'Orleans Montpensier, Duchesse De Montpensier
In seventeenth-century France, aristocratic ladies have been valued through their households as commodities to be married off in trade for cash, social virtue, or army alliance. as soon as married, they grew to become legally subservient to their husbands. The duchesse de Montpensier—a first cousin of Louis XIV—was one in all only a few exceptions, due to the great wealth she inherited from her mom, who died presently after Montpensier used to be born. She used to be additionally one of many few politically strong ladies in France on the time to were an complete author. within the bold letters offered during this bilingual variation, Montpensier condemns the alliance procedure of marriage, providing as an alternative to came across a republic that she might govern, "a nook of the area during which . . . girls are their very own mistresses," and the place marriage or even courtship will be outlawed. Her pastoral utopia would supply therapy and vocational education for the bad, and the entire houses might have libraries and reviews, in order that every one lady may have a "room of her personal" during which to jot down books. Joan DeJean's energetic creation and obtainable translation of Montpensier's letters—four formerly unpublished—allow us remarkable entry to the brave voice of this amazing girl.
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Extra info for Against Marriage: The Correspondence of La Grande Mademoiselle (The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe)
Scudéry was widely translated in the seventeenth century, but these translations are not readily available today. The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe series recently published Sapho, edited and translated by Karen Newman, which contains this feminocentric utopia. 12. ; Geneva: Editions Slatkine, 1973). This particular tradition of utopian speculation did not end with Montpensier’s project. ” Lettres de Mesdames de Scudéry, de Salvan de Saliez, et de Mlle Descartes (Paris: Léopold Collin, 1806), 190, 203.
According to every rule of the contemporary marriage game, the man she ﬁnally decided on was hardly her equal. Antonin Nompar de Caumont, marquis de Puyguilhem, was the third son of the comte de Lauzun, a title he had inherited upon his father’s death in 1668. By birth Lauzun was therefore in no way worthy of a member of the royal family; in addition, he was virtually penniless. Had Montpensier’s strange choice turned into a great love match, their union could be celebrated today as the most striking example of a phenomenon documented by historian Carolyn Lougee.
Petitot cites it in his introduction (36:312–13). 17 18 La Grande Mademoiselle throne and that was often invoked in France to explain cases in which female heirs were pushed aside in favor of their male counterparts. In her memoirs —signiﬁcantly, in the paragraph immediately following her account of her project for a utopian community—Montpensier comments succinctly on the sphere of women’s political inﬂuence under French law: “daughters are good for nothing in France” (C. 3:454, P. 42:491, B. 2:147).