Against marriage : the correspondence of la Grande by Anne-Marie-Louise D'Orleans Montpensier, Duchesse De PDF

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

ISBN-10: 0226534901

ISBN-13: 9780226534909

ISBN-10: 0226534928

ISBN-13: 9780226534923

ISBN-10: 0226534936

ISBN-13: 9780226534930

In seventeenth-century France, aristocratic ladies have been valued by way of 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 among only a few exceptions, due to the immense 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 robust girls in France on the time to were an complete writer.

In the bold letters provided during this bilingual variation, Montpensier condemns the alliance method of marriage, offering in its place to stumbled on a republic that she could govern, "a nook of the realm during which . . . ladies are their very own mistresses," and the place marriage or even courtship will be outlawed. Her pastoral utopia would offer remedy and vocational education for the terrible, and all of the houses might have libraries and reviews, in order that each one girl might have a "room of her personal" during which to jot down books.

Joan DeJean's full of life creation and obtainable translation of Montpensier's letters—four formerly unpublished—allow us unparalleled entry to the brave voice of this impressive woman.

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Extra info for Against marriage : the correspondence of la Grande Mademoiselle

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19 20 La Grande Mademoiselle To reinforce her point that this is no longer the immediate post-Fronde era, Montpensier carefully dates two key letters, a decision that no longer seems noteworthy today but was just that in her day. The vast majority of the letters that have survived from the first half of the seventeenth century are not dated; the years in which Montpensier began her correspondence mark the moment when dating letters began to be standard practice. That custom was part of a major shift in epistolary practice, away from what are known as public letters—missives intended from the start for publication, as part of letter manuals, as rhetorical exercises, or as contributions to a polemic (many political tracts printed during the Fronde took the form of letters, for example)—in the direction of the more private circulation of letters that we now take for granted.

16 In the end, both realized that spatial independence, the possibility of a place where “women are their own mistresses,” was of the essence if women were to leave a permanent legacy. When she reflected on this correspondence in her memoirs, Montpensier concluded that “if both sides of the correspondence were gathered together, there would be enough to fill a small volume” (C. 3:453, P. 42:490, B. 2:147). Nearly three and a half centuries later, this thinly veiled request to make fully public her dreams for all that women might accomplish if they were allowed to rule over “a corner of the world” is at last being answered.

This time lag is in no way sur- La Grande Mademoiselle By the end of her four years of political exile, Montpensier had become the woman we find in her correspondence with Françoise Bertaut de Motteville: someone who had thought a great deal about whether it was essential to live at her society’s political and cultural nerve center, someone who had come to understand that it was important to her own sense of self not only to witness the unfolding of history, but also to bear witness to this process in writing.

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Against marriage : the correspondence of la Grande Mademoiselle by Anne-Marie-Louise D'Orleans Montpensier, Duchesse De Montpensier


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