Against Marriage: The Correspondence of La Grande - download pdf or read online

By Anne-Marie-Louise D'Orleans Montpensier, Duchesse De Montpensier

In seventeenth-century France, aristocratic girls have been valued by means of their households as commodities to be married off in alternate for funds, 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 gigantic 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 girls in France on the time to were an complete author. within the bold letters provided during this bilingual variation, Montpensier condemns the alliance process of marriage, offering as an alternative to discovered a republic that she could govern, "a nook of the area within which . . . ladies are their very own mistresses," and the place marriage or even courtship will be outlawed. Her pastoral utopia would offer treatment and vocational education for the terrible, and the entire houses may have libraries and reports, in order that each one girl may have a "room of her personal" within which to put in writing books. Joan DeJean's vigorous advent and available translation of Montpensier's letters—four formerly unpublished—allow us extraordinary entry to the brave voice of this notable girl.

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Extra info for Against Marriage: The Correspondence of La Grande Mademoiselle (The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe)

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6. The various editions of Montpensier’s memoirs follow different manuscripts and not always reliably. ; Paris: G. ; Paris: Foucault) the next best. ; Paris: Libraire Fontaine, 1985). ”). I have slightly altered Montpensier’s vocabulary in the passage just cited because the words she uses as synonyms for “exile”—“retirement,” “retreat”—both have such different connotations today. In seventeenth-century French, these words—along with “repose” and “desert”—were used to mean political exile; they also signified, as is the case in the opening paragraph of Montpensier’s memoirs, all the positive aspects of life away from the agitation of court life.

It is a dark zone, full of constant storms. Those who live there . . are always ill from that contagious disease, ambition, which deprives them of peace and eats away at their heart. . This malady also inspires in them a disgust for all the best things in life . . 9 The chance encounter at Saint-Jean-de-Luz thus threw together two women all too ready to imagine that life away from “that [dark] country known as the court” could be an idyllic experience, a bucolic retreat sheltered from all the “maladies” of their age.

One finds there the leisure one needs to put things into writing. (C. 1:1–2, P. 40:367, B. 1:21) 6 When Montpensier was finally allowed to return to court in the summer of 1657, she was thus a very different person from the politically rebellious princess who had gone into exile with such trepidation. She quickly gave prising. It was only after Louis XIV’s death in 1715 that memoirs dealing with his reign began to appear; the 1720s and 1730s witnessed the initial publication of almost all the memoirs that have come down to us.

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