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Constance de Salm, Her Influence and Her Circle in the Aftermath of the French Revolution

«A Mind of No Common Order»


Ellen McNiven Hine

Largely forgotten during the second half of the nineteenth century and throughout most of the twentieth century, Constance de Salm (Constance-Marie de Théis, Mme Pipelet de Leury, later Princess de Salm-Reifferscheid-Dyck,) finally attracted the attention of such scholars as Elizabeth Colwill, Geneviève Fraisse, Huguette Krief, and Christine Planté in the early twenty-first century. However, there has to date been no comprehensive study of her published works, her vast correspondence, and the importance of her cultural exchanges. In this book, Ellen McNiven Hine contributes to the recent upsurge of interest in the literature of this particularly turbulent period in French history. This book considers not only her literary aspirations and claim to fame but also such topics as her contribution to the scientific culture of the period, the extent of the political involvement of a «non-activist» woman, her challenge to what she saw as inequitable provisions in the Civil Code, her championing of women’s progress in literature and the arts, and the role that networking and patronage played in her personal and professional life. Moreover, the study highlights the similarities and differences between her life, writing, and influence and those of other postrevolutionary women such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Germaine de Staël, Margaret Somerville, and Louise Colet.
Constance de Salm uses a variety of genres to address issues of particular importance to women, such as equal access to educational opportunities, the cost to women’s health of reproduction, and lack of economic resources for single and widowed women. She displays a surprising modernity in her awareness of the difficulty of resolving relationship, career, and motherhood problems that continue to plague women in the twenty-first century and points to a future in which women will have access to educational and employment opportunities.


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Index 247


Absolute power, 155–156 Académie des sciences, 119 Académie française, 119 activities, 116 Académie Royale des belles lettres, sciences et arts, 118 Adelson, Robert, 30 Advancement, basis, 17 Aelders, Etta Palm, 13 injustice, laws, 141–142 Aesthetic tendencies, 37 Ahistoricism, trap, 221 Algarotti, Francesco, 68, 70, 90 Ambition, term (usage), 201 A mes amis (de Salm), 115 A mes amis, au moment de quitter la campagne (de Salm), 127 Ancien Régime (excesses), 133–134 Applewhite, Harriet, 151 Artamène; ou Le grand Cyrus (de Scudéry), 26 Astronomers, gender comparison, 71–72 Astronomical computers, collaboration, 71 Astronomie des dames (de Lalande), 70–71, 79, 81 Astronomy, de Lalande comments, 84–85 Athénéé, prizes, 106 A un auteur d’élégies qui blâmait la sévérite de mes épîtres (de Salm), 198, 223–224 A un critique méchant (de Salm), 223 Aux Belles qui veulent devenir poètes (Ecouchard-Lebrun), 16 Aux Jurés qui admettent trop facilement les cir- constances atténuantes (de Salm), 220 Babbage, Charles, 87 Babois, Victoire, 169 Bailly, Jean-Sylvain, 82 Balayé, Simone, 40 Balzac, Honore, 113 Barbier, Louis, 109 Barras, Paul, 143–144 Bélanger, Charles, 107–108 Biot, Jean-Baptiste, 88–89 INDEX Hine 7 thru end_T3.qxd 11/28/2011 1:25 PM Page 247 Bonaparte, Napoleon authoritarianism, 185–186 conquering hero, 144 de Salm ambivalence, 188 de Salm complaint, 142 empire, de Staël empire (comparison), 39 First Consul, elevation, 150 greatness/ambition, awareness, 183 misery, 188 Pipelet...

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