By Anne-Marie-Louise D'Orleans Montpensier, Duchesse De Montpensier
In the bold letters provided during this bilingual version, Montpensier condemns the alliance process of marriage, featuring as a substitute to chanced on a republic that she might 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 negative, and all of the houses may have libraries and stories, in order that each one lady might have a "room of her personal" during which to write down books.
Joan DeJean's vigorous advent and obtainable translation of Montpensier's letters—four formerly unpublished—allow us remarkable entry to the brave voice of this impressive woman.
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Extra resources for Against marriage : the correspondence of la Grande Mademoiselle
It marked an important moment in the development of the modern novel: the emphasis on interiority and character development that characterizes these portraits soon became the trademark of the new French prose ﬁction. In addition, the volume can be seen as a collective statement, for it—along with two subsequent, more extensive collections, which had wider circulation—launched a number of literary careers. Divers portraits contains, for example, the ﬁrst published work of the woman destined to compose La Princesse de Clèves, known as the ﬁrst modern novel: Lafayette.
Only the Condé princes had greater wealth (266). La Grande Mademoiselle wealthy, independent woman’s dreams of how she might improve her existence and that of other women if she were to refuse to allow herself to be exchanged as a marital commodity. It can be thought of as a feminist counterpart to Thomas More’s celebrated political essay Utopia (1516): Montpensier imagines the ideal government as one under female control and the ideal state as one perfectly responsive to women’s concerns. 2 Beginning with her birth at the Louvre, on May 29, 1627, her entire existence was played out as public spectacle.
Very much an “other” voice, it is a unique example from the early modern period of a 1. Vincent Pitts reviews Montpensier’s total income and its sources in La Grande Mademoiselle at the Court of France, 1627–1693 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000), 263– 68. He estimates that the complete value of her assets was about 11 million livres, whereas the average fortune of a royal prince of the day was only 3 million livres. Only the Condé princes had greater wealth (266). La Grande Mademoiselle wealthy, independent woman’s dreams of how she might improve her existence and that of other women if she were to refuse to allow herself to be exchanged as a marital commodity.