By Anne-Marie-Louise D'Orleans Montpensier, Duchesse De Montpensier
In seventeenth-century France, aristocratic girls 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 among only a few exceptions, because of the monstrous wealth she inherited from her mom, who died presently after Montpensier was once born. She was once additionally one of many few politically strong ladies in France on the time to were an entire author. within the bold letters offered during this bilingual variation, Montpensier condemns the alliance approach of marriage, featuring as a substitute to chanced on a republic that she may govern, "a nook of the realm within which . . . girls are their very own mistresses," and the place marriage or even courtship will be outlawed. Her pastoral utopia would supply remedy and vocational education for the negative, and all of the houses could have libraries and reports, in order that every one girl could have a "room of her personal" during which to jot down books. Joan DeJean's full of life creation and available translation of Montpensier's letters—four formerly unpublished—allow us unheard of entry to the brave voice of this remarkable girl.
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Additional info for Against Marriage: The Correspondence of La Grande Mademoiselle (The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe)
This corresponds to the time frame of the eight letters found in the Bibliothèque nationale’s manuscript, which were written over a period of some ﬁfteen months, and which, unlike the ﬁrst four letters that end in medias res, form a complete unit. While the manuscript followed here is not an autograph manuscript, it is in a late-seventeenth-century hand. We know that Montpensier had copies made of her works—her Mémoires, in particular—that she presented to her friends. It is not unlikely that the Bibliothèque nationale’s manuscript is one such copy, that it therefore gives us our ﬁrst access ever to the correspondence as it was written.
Pierre Bourguignon. Versailles, Musée national du Château et des Trianons. Photo: Réunion des Musées Nationaux /Art Resource, NY. ter of the universe were hardly wasted: she developed new interests, architecture in particular, when she had the dilapidated château remodeled to her speciﬁcations. She surrounded herself with a true miniature court: she had the latest plays staged for her followers; she organized all the activities typical of contemporary court life—from dancing to hunting. Most important of all, by the time her exile had ended, she had discovered a literary talent, 9 10 La Grande Mademoiselle one she might never have explored had she continued to live in the midst of all-consuming court intrigue.
The years she spent in compulsory isolation from the place those of her rank considered the cen- La Grande Mademoiselle Fig. 2. Portrait of Anne-Marie-Louise d’Orléans, duchesse de Montpensier, holding the portrait of her father (1672). Pierre Bourguignon. Versailles, Musée national du Château et des Trianons. Photo: Réunion des Musées Nationaux /Art Resource, NY. ter of the universe were hardly wasted: she developed new interests, architecture in particular, when she had the dilapidated château remodeled to her speciﬁcations.
Against Marriage: The Correspondence of La Grande Mademoiselle (The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe) by Anne-Marie-Louise D'Orleans Montpensier, Duchesse De Montpensier