Scudéry, Madeleine De (1607–1701)
SCUDÉRY, MADELEINE DE (1607–1701)
SCUDÉRY, MADELEINE DE (1607–1701), French novelist, philosopher, and moralist. One of five children born in Le Havre to a noble family of relatively modest means, Mlle de Scudéry was one of the most influential and popular novelists of the seventeenth century. She spent most of her youth in Rouen, where she received a better education than that of most girls of her social background and time. In 1637 she joined her brother Georges in Paris, and together they frequented the thriving literary salons of the Marais district. The two siblings worked together on works of fiction that enjoyed immediate success. In 1641 Madeleine published her first novel, Ibrahim ou l'illustre Bassa, under her brother's name. This practice of using the name of her brother as her pseudonymous signature was one that she continued for most of her prolific career as a writer, despite the fact that her own authorship was openly acknowledged in the gazettes, memoirs, and letters of the time. Although the precise nature of his contributions is uncertain, Georges did clearly collaborate to some extent with his sister in the writing of her novels, and he wrote the prefaces to several of her books.
Artamène, ou Le Grand Cyrus, Madeleine de Scudéry's second novel, published in ten volumes between 1649 and 1653, assured her celebrity both in France and abroad. It was translated into English, German, Italian, and Arabic. The French civil wars known as the Fronde were coming to a close during this same period, and Scudéry dedicated the novel to the duchess of Longueville, who had been a leader in the uprisings against the throne. Although its characters were drawn from historical sources and the setting was remote, Artamène, ou Le Grand Cyrus was a roman à clef in which most of the major characters could be identified with real people among Scudéry's contemporaries. She included a character sketch of herself as the Greek poet Sappho, expounding with her friends on platonic love and the life of the intellect. While she was writing the novel, Scudéry established her own literary coterie known as the samedi, named for the day of the week on which she received her guests, and modeled after the famous Rambouillet salon gatherings that Madeleine and her brother had frequented in the 1630s.
In her later works Scudéry focused increasingly on the philosophical discussions of salon society. The most famous episode in her third novel Clélie, histoire romaine, published between 1654 and 1660, concerns an allegorical map of the human heart, called the Carte du pays de Tendre (Map of the land of tenderness). The conversations generated by the map elaborate a theory of love that values reason over passion and discourages marriage. This led to Scudéry's novels being labeled as subversive by some, including the theorist of neoclassicism Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux, who published a harsh satire on novels in which Clélie and the Carte du pays de Tendre were targeted as fostering waywardness among women and contributing to the decline of marriage as a social institution.
In the 1660s Scudéry moved away from the heroic novel genre and turned to shorter narrative forms, publishing three novellas, Célinte, nouvelle première (1661), Mathilde d'Aguilar (1667), and La promenade de Versailles (1669). These works were more realistic than her novels and were situated in modern times, and their action took place in locations that would have been familiar to her readers. But Scudéry continued to portray characters who themselves were captivated by the epic plots of heroic novels, thus focusing on the strong influence of novels on the collective imagination of her own social world. The 1660s were difficult years for many of Scudéry's circle, following the disgrace of her protector and patron Nicolas Fouquet, the superintendent of finances (1615–1680). Madeleine and her friend the historian Paul Pellisson (1624–1693) were among the small number of authors who dared to write appeals to Louis XIV on behalf of Fouquet, and Pellisson was imprisoned from 1661 to 1666. Although in 1671 Scudéry received the first prize awarded to authors by the Académie Française, she ceased to publish for the next nine years, until the appearance of the first of her collections of conversations, Conversations sur divers sujets (1680).
The last phase of Scudéry's career as a writer was devoted to ten more volumes of collected conversations, many of them excerpted from her novels. These were regarded by her contemporaries as representing the best of her writing, and unlike her earlier works, they were published under her own name. They reflected the collective efforts of Scudéry's milieu to cultivate the art of talk and develop a new aesthetic and practice of conversation. Translated almost immediately into English, they contributed to a body of literature describing new "French" styles of living that were imitated by elite circles in England, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
See also Bossuet, Jacques-Bénigne ; French Literature and Language ; Fronde ; Salons .
Scudéry's works were translated in the seventeenth century, but few of her works are available in English today. Two new translations are The Story of Sapho, edited and translated by Karen Newman, Chicago, 2003; and Selected Letters, Orations and Rhetorical Dialogues, edited and translated by Jane Donawerth and Julie Strongson, Chicago, 2003.
Aronson, Nicole. Mademoiselle de Scudéry. Translated by Stuart Aronson. Boston, 1978.
Munro, James S. Mademoiselle de Scudéry and the Carte de Tendre. Durham, U.K., 1986.
Elizabeth C. Goldsmith
"Scudéry, Madeleine De (1607–1701)." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 17, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/scudery-madeleine-de-1607-1701
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Scudéry, Madeleine de
Madeleine de Scudéry (mädəlĕn´ də sküdārē´), 1607?–1701, French novelist. Prominent at the Rambouillet salon, she later had one of the chief literary salons of Paris. Her two principal works, Artamène; ou, Le Grand Cyrus (1649–53) and Clélie (1654–60), are long pseudohistorical novels, full of fashionable sentiment and preciosity. They were extremely popular and all were translated into English. On the title pages appeared only the name of her brother, Georges de Scudéry (zhôrzh), 1601–67, who was probably only a secondary collaborator. Georges wrote plays and other works and actively attacked Corneille's Cid.
"Scudéry, Madeleine de." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 17, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/scudery-madeleine-de
"Scudéry, Madeleine de." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 17, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/scudery-madeleine-de
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Scudéry, Madeleine de (1607–1701)
Scudéry, Madeleine de (1607–1701)
French novelist and poet. Name variations: Madeleine de Scudery or Scuderi. Born Nov 15, 1607, in Le Hâvre, France; died June 2, 1701, in Paris; dau. of Georges de Scudéry (army captain) and Madeleine de Martel de Goutimesnil; sister of Georges de Scudéry (soldier and playwright who m. Marie-Madeleine du Moncel de Montinvall de Scudéry); never married; no children.
Perhaps the most widely read novelist of 17th-century France, who was renowned for her classical learning and sharp wit, even though her works were usually published under her brother's name, was orphaned (1613); became a member of Hôtel de Rambouillet (1637); had 1st novel published, Ibrahim, ou l'Illustre Bassa (Ibrahim, or the Illustrious Bassa, 1641), which was an immediate success with the French reading public, as all of her novels would be; wrote 1st nonfiction piece, Les Femmes illustres ou les harangues héroiques (Illustrious Women or Heroic Speeches, 1642), her longest contribution to the ongoing intellectual debates on the nature and proper roles of women; published 1st vol. of her masterpiece, the bestseller Artamène, ou Le Grand Cyrus (Artamenes, or the Grand Cyrus, 1649), while the remaining 9 vols. appeared between 1650 and 1653; began Samedi salon (1653); as one of the leading hostesses of the French salons, was a founding member of the aristocratic movement known as preciosity; counted among her friends members of Europe's highest elite, including Louis XIV of France, his prime minister Cardinal Mazarin, and Queen Christina of Sweden; published 1st of 10 vols. of her most feminist novel, Clélie, Histoire romaine (Clelia, a Romance, 1654); suffered onset of deafness (1666); awarded prize by Académie Française (1671) for her Discours de la Gloire (Discourse on Glory); elected to Academy of the Ricovrati of Padua, Italy (1684); had last work published, Entretiens de Morale (Treatise on Morality, 1692).
See also Nicole Aronson, Mademoiselle de Scudéry (trans. by Stuart R. Aronson, Twayne, 1978); Dorothy McDougall, Madeleine de Scudéry, Her Romantic Life and Death (Methuen, 1938); and Women in World History.
"Scudéry, Madeleine de (1607–1701)." Dictionary of Women Worldwide: 25,000 Women Through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 17, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/women/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/scudery-madeleine-de-1607-1701
"Scudéry, Madeleine de (1607–1701)." Dictionary of Women Worldwide: 25,000 Women Through the Ages. . Retrieved April 17, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/women/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/scudery-madeleine-de-1607-1701
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
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Scudéry, Madeleine de (1607–1701)
Scudéry, Madeleine de (1607–1701)
French novelist and poet. Name variations: Madeleine de Scudery or Scuderi. Born on November 15, 1607, in Le Hâvre, France; died on June 2, 1701, in Paris; daughter of Georges de Scudéry (an army captain) and Madeleine de Martel de Goutimesnil; never married; no children.
Orphaned (1613); was a member of Hôtel de Rambouillet (1637); had first novel published (1641); began Samedi salon (1653); suffered onset of deafness (1666); awarded prize by Académie Française (1671); had last work published (1692).
Ibrahim, ou l'Illustre Bassa (Ibrahim, or the Illustrious Bassa, 1641); Les Femmes illustres ou Les Harangues héroiques (Illustrious Women or Heroic Speeches, 1642); Artamène ou Le Grand Cyrus (Artamenes or the Grand Cyrus, 1649); Clélie, Histoire romaine (Clelia, a Romance, 1654); Celinte (1661); Mathilde d'Aguilar (1667); La Promenade de Versailles (1669); Discours de la Gloire (Discourse on Glory, 1671); Conversations sur divers sujets (Conversations on Diverse Subjects, 1680); Conversations nouvelles sur divers sujets (New Conversations on Diverse Subjects, 1684); Conversations morales (Moral Conversations, 1686); Nouvelles conversations de morale (New Moral Conversations, 1688); Entretiens de Morale (Treatise on Morality, 1692).
Although she is no longer well known, the French writer Madeleine de Scudéry was perhaps the most widely read novelist of 17th-century France. Her writings, admired and imitated in her time, appeared in numerous editions and foreign language translations across Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. She was renowned for her classical learning and sharp wit, even though her works were usually published under her brother's name. Scudéry counted among her friends and supporters members of Europe's highest elite, including King Louis XIV of France, his prime minister Cardinal Mazarin, and Queen Christina of Sweden . For years, Scudéry was one of the leading hostesses of the French salons, and was a founding member of the aristocratic movement known as preciosity.
Yet Madeleine de Scudéry was not born into an aristocratic family, which makes her later renown even more remarkable. She was the daughter of Georges de Scudéry, a soldier from Provence, and Madeleine de Martel de Goutimesnil , who came from a lower-middle-class family of Le Hâvre. Born on November 15, 1607, in the port town of Le Hâvre on the western coast of France, Madeleine de Scudéry was one of five children, but only she and her older brother Georges survived infancy.
One can call Mademoiselle de Scudéry the Muse of our Century.
—Abbé de Pure
Her father served as captain of the port of Le Hâvre, a poorly paid position which apparently led him to turn to piracy to make ends meet. He was arrested and imprisoned for a short while and did not survive long after his release. He died in 1613, still a young man, leaving his family little to live on. But this was not the only tragedy Madeleine and Georges had to face as children; later that same year, their mother died as well. The Scudéry children—Georges age twelve, Madeleine only six—were left orphaned and penniless.
The story of Georges and Madeleine de Scudéry might have ended there; poor orphans in 17th-century Europe had few options, and usually turned to begging or prostitution to survive. But the young Scudérys were much more fortunate: an uncle took them in and raised them as his own in his country manor near Rouen. He was a French courtier with a comfortable living who gave both children an exceptional education, providing the foundation for their later literary careers. Madeleine was especially drawn to her studies. She had an insatiable curiosity about the world, which led her to pursue not only the skills considered proper for a girl—singing, writing, drawing, dancing, and painting—but also the areas of knowledge usually reserved for boys. With her uncle's encouragement, Madeleine studied literature, poetry, and modern languages, including Spanish and Italian. She also spent time on the sciences of agriculture, gardening, cooking, and medicine, and played the lute. Her vast reading in contemporary novels, world history, and art would be put to use later when she wrote her popular historical romances.
Georges was likewise an apt pupil, but he was more interested in pursuing a military career. He spent ten years as a soldier, gaining some renown and a comfortable living, and then abandoned the military and turned to literary pursuits. Around 1630, he was in Paris, heart of the French social and intellectual world. His literary talents and the excellent education he had received in Rouen, combined with his claims that the Scudérys were a noble family, eased his entrance into elite circles. In 1635, his first play, Le Prince Deguisé (The Disguised Prince) opened and met with immediate success, which he followed with several more equally acclaimed plays.
Madeleine remained in Rouen until their uncle's death in 1637; she then moved to Paris to live with Georges. By this time he was an established literary figure in Paris, and his celebrity paved the way for his sister's introduction into Parisian society. Madeleine found herself at home in the cultivated environment of 17th-century French salon life, where aristocratic writers and poets would meet in the home of a noblewoman to discuss philosophy, art, and literature. (See Salonnières.) Much has been written about the French salons of this time, in which the hostess and guests refined the rules of proper behavior, elegant manners, and sophistication in the art of conversation. In this atmosphere Madeleine flourished, meeting some of the period's most important writers and developing numerous lifelong friendships. In particular, she is associated with the most famous salon of the period, Marquise Catherine de Rambouillet 's Hôtel Rambouillet.
Descriptions of the Hôtel and its members reveal a world of luxury, where Catherine, Madeleine, Georges, and others spent hours in conversation, games, dinners, and other amusements. Enjoying oneself and others was the primary purpose of the Hôtel; to be accepted as a member, one had to be well educated, witty, imaginative, and entertaining, whether through writing verses or extemporizing on a philosophical topic. Each member of the Hôtel used a name chosen from ancient literature instead of their given name; Madeleine was known as Sappho , after the Greek poet. Even years after the Hôtel's salon ended, its members referred to themselves and others by these names.
It was while she was a member of the Hôtel that Madeleine's first novel, Ibrahim ou l'Illustre Bassa (Ibrahim, or the Illustrious Bassa), was published in 1641. Although it was signed by her brother Georges, Madeleine's authorship was openly known, at least among her acquaintances. This was true for most of her later works as well; her books were published under her brother's name or anonymously. Nevertheless, she became widely respected as a writer.
Madeleine's reasons for not using her own name can only be guessed at, as she does not reveal her motivations directly in her correspondence. Several factors probably played a role. First, her brother was a respected writer while she was unknown beyond her circle, so perhaps using his name early in her career was a simple means of finding an already established audience. After she had achieved renown on her own, she had other, more personal reasons for her anonymity. Throughout her life, Madeleine believed that she came from an old, noble family which had suffered a terrible downfall. This was not the case; the Scudéry name was indeed several centuries old, but it was not aristocratic. But Madeleine believed it was, and as one of her friends remarked, she always spoke of the misfortunes of her family as if she were speaking of the fall of the Roman Empire. She consistently referred to herself in her correspondence as a noblewoman and tried to mold her public image around this pretension. While it was necessary for a lady to be well educated and witty, it was considered improper for her to publish books, since she would be thought of only as a "woman of letters" rather than a lady of rank.
Lastly, Madeleine's works show that she was keenly aware of the widespread prejudice against women venturing into male terrain, such as writing. Perhaps using Georges' name was a practical way to let her work be read and interpreted by the general public more objectively than it would be if readers knew the author was female.
Four volumes long, Ibrahim is typical of Scudéry's work and typical of the historical romances so popular among French readers in the 17th century. It is set in 16th-century Constantinople, and relates the life of its protagonist Ibrahim, also called Bassa, a young Italian soldier of great renown. He is in love with a beautiful woman, but their parents will not allow them to marry. The novel follows Ibrahim on a lengthy series of adventures and winding subplots, in which his actions are usually motivated by his desire to be with his lover again. The story ends happily when they overcome all barriers and are reunited at last.
Ibrahim was an immediate success with the French reading public, as all of her novels would be. It remained in print continuously for over 80 years and was translated into several languages. Readers responded to Scudéry's imaginative plots, psychological insights into characters, and vivid descriptions of foreign places. But Ibrahim is as much a representation of Scudéry's own culture and her salon friends as it is a historical tale set in an exotic locale. As in her later novels, Scudéry's fashionable friends appear only thinly disguised as her characters. Readers familiar with the salons easily recognized themselves and other contemporary figures in Scudéry's work in both flattering and unflattering depictions. This link to their own time generated so much interest in Scudéry's readers that catalogs identifying the characters with living people appeared after each of her novels was published.
Her first nonfiction piece, Les Femmes illustres ou les harangues héroiques (Illustrious Women or Heroic Speeches), appeared in 1642. This is Scudéry's most feminist work, her longest contribution to the ongoing intellectual debates on the nature and proper roles of women which continued throughout the 17th century. The book is constructed as a series of speeches by famous women on the natural equality between the sexes. Some scholars believe that Georges contributed to the work as well, but its subject matter, style, and feminist tone clearly reflect Madeleine's lifelong interest in advocating women's equality.
Although Madeleine was happy living in Paris and enjoyed her new status as one of its leading intellectuals, she moved to Marseille in 1644 with Georges, who had accepted the post of governor of the fortress there. She continued her voluminous correspondence with her Parisian friends during her three years' separation from them. Her letters, in which she refers to her "exile" to Marseille, reveal her boredom away from the excitement of the salons and her
longing to see her friends again. She was over-joyed when Georges resigned his position, and they returned to Paris in 1647. Perhaps to establish her financial independence from her brother, Madeleine tried to obtain a position as governess to the nieces of the king's prime minister Cardinal Jules Mazarin, but she was unsuccessful and continued living with Georges.
In 1649, Madeleine published the first volume of her masterpiece, another heroic adventure tale, Artamène, ou Le Grand Cyrus (Artamenes, or the Grand Cyrus). The remaining nine volumes appeared between 1650 and 1653. Artamène became a bestseller, and its admirers included some of France's greatest literary figures, such as Blaise Pascal, Honoré de Balzac, and Pierre Corneille. By 1653, Madeleine had resumed her former place in the fashionable salons of Paris. At that time, the city became the center of the civil turmoil of the early 1650s known as the Fronde, in which nobles allied to wrest power for themselves from the young king and his regents. Although some of her friends and her brother were among the rebels, Madeleine remained loyal to King Louis XIV during the months of the Fronde. Louis recognized her loyalty, and one day he in turn would show his support for her writings with pensions and other royal favors. Georges de Scudéry was not so politically astute, and his support for the rebels would soon haunt him.
Madeleine progressed from participating in a salon to hosting her own in 1653, a sign of the great esteem the French aristocracy had for her. A group of prominent writers and poets began to meet at her home in an elegant section of the city every Saturday, which gave the salon its name, the Samedi (Saturday). The Samedi became a particularly fashionable salon, in large part due to Madeleine's reputation for her novels, learning, and artful conversation, and its members met regularly until 1659. Among the Samedis was the cultured aristocrat Paul Pellisson, a member of the French Academy. Madeleine formed a particularly intimate lifelong friendship with Pellisson, with whom she exchanged poems and affectionate letters almost daily for over three decades.
Their relationship—platonic, built on friendship and mutual esteem—represents the kind of affiliation idealized by the intellectual movement known as preciosity which Scudéry and Pellisson helped to found. Preciosity was a cultural trend among elites across Europe in the late 17th century, and grew directly out of salon life. It emphasized overly refined manners and careful cultivation of the art of conversation. It also stressed the superiority of freedom and spiritual love over passionate love, valuing tenderness and friendship over the rewards of marriage. Although few of the précieux who subscribed to its principles while in their elegant salon meetings treated it seriously enough to remain unmarried, some, like Madeleine, chose to follow its precepts closely. She once wrote that she had been offered three proposals of marriage, including one from Paul Pellisson, but each time she had chosen freedom and "loving friendship" (amitié tendre) instead.
Préciosité was not without its critics. Numerous 17th-century French writers mocked its exaggeration of sentimentality and morality. The playwright Molière's Les Précieuses ridicules (The Ridiculous Précieuses, 1659) has been seen by some scholars as an attack on Scudéry and her friends because he mentions Le Grand Cyrus in it, but it is more likely that he was mocking the excesses of préciosité in general, rather than her specific salon. In fact, Molière actually borrowed material from Scudéry's novels, and was friends with Paul Pellisson, Nicolas Fouquet, and others in her salon.
In 1654, Georges had to flee Paris when Louis XIV and his prime minister Cardinal Mazarin regained control of the country and ended the Fronde. Georges married Marie-Madeleine du Moncel de Montinvall de Scudéry during his exile and did not return to Paris until he had regained favor with the crown in 1660. He then wanted to move in with Madeleine again, but she refused to allow it. Her relationship with her brother was always strained, although they lived together continuously before 1654 and collaborated on numerous writing projects before that year. Her depictions of him in her novels show that although she saw some good qualities in him, he was also at times dishonest, selfish, and careless with money. In addition, friends of the two noted that he often prevented her from receiving callers or going out as she wished.
When she began to find fame for herself as a writer and salonnière, Madeleine sought independence from her brother's control. Georges' name disappears from her letters after she started living on her own, and he is not mentioned by her again even after his death in 1667. Although they both resided in Paris, it is not clear how often brother and sister visited one another after 1660. It is notable that after that year she chose to publish her works anonymously rather than use Georges' name as the author.
The year 1654 also saw the publication of the first of ten volumes of Madeleine's third novel, Clélie, Histoire romaine (Clelia, a Romance). Her most feminist novel, Clélie was widely acclaimed but faced criticism from other writers for its sentimentality and views on women's equality. In keeping with her aristocratic self-image, Madeleine was usually silent about her critics' views; but in response to the writer Gilles Boileau's condemnation of Clélie, she showed unusual pride and defensiveness about her work. She dismissed his ridicule by remarking that a book which had been translated into Italian, English, and German could do without the praises of a writer like him.
At the height of her fame, Scudéry was granted a lifelong pension in 1657 by her friend, royal finance minister Nicolas Fouquet; he also made Paul Pellisson his business secretary. Pellisson established a literary and artistic court for Fouquet, and brought Madeleine and the members of the Samedi to Fouquet's luxurious palaces. Thus the Samedi salon at the home of Madeleine de Scudéry ended in 1659, but only because the group had discovered a pleasanter meeting place. In 1661, Madeleine published anonymously a new novel, Celinte, which, following the changing trends of popular literature, was much shorter than her previous works but was still a sentimental adventure story.
That same year brought misfortune for her as well. She was deeply grieved to learn in November that Fouquet had lost favor at court and had been imprisoned along with Pellisson by order of the king. She corresponded with both men during their long years in prison, and tried to obtain better living conditions for them. Fouquet would die in prison in 1680. Pellisson was released in 1666 and was able to regain royal favor, even becoming one of King Louis' secretaries. Around the same time, Madeleine, who had never fallen from Louis' favor, was rewarded by him for her loyalty with a large pension.
Although she remained in excellent health, Madeleine, now past 60, began to suffer hearing loss which eventually would force her to communicate only in writing. She still kept up a remarkably active social life, as she would well into her 80s and 90s, although the golden age of her salon life had ended with the arrest of Fouquet and Pellisson.
She also continued to publish new books every few years. A second short novel, Mathilde d'Aguilar, appeared in 1667, and a collection of short stories dedicated to King Louis XIV, La Promenade de Versailles, was published in 1669. In 1671, Madeleine won first prize with her Discours de la Gloire (Discourse on Glory) in an essay contest sponsored by the French Academy in memory of the Academician and author Honoré de Balzac. Between 1680 and 1694, the continuing demand for Madeleine's work led her to edit and publish—though still anonymously—four volumes of conversations taken from her earlier novels, in a sense condensing her works for new readers. Her international reputation was demonstrated in 1684 when, at age 77, Madeleine was elected to the Academy of the Ricovrati of Padua, Italy.
She published six more volumes of conversations in 1686, 1688, and 1692, all dedicated to Louis XIV. Many of the fictionalized conversations on philosophical topics such as love, esteem, friendship, and morality were new, indicating that she was still actively writing in her 80s. Despite her age and deafness, Madeleine continued to receive many visitors in her Paris home and kept up a prodigious correspondence with friends across France and Europe.
Scudéry, Marie-Madeleine du Moncel de Montinvall de (1627–1711)
French writer. Name variations: Marie-Madeleine de Scudéry. Born in 1627; died in 1711; married Georges de Scudéry (brother of Madeleine de Scudéry), in 1654.
Marie-Madeleine du Moncel de Montinvall de Scudéry married Georges de Scudéry, a writer, in 1654, after he had hastily left Paris to avoid the wrath of the king for his support of the failed Fronde. Georges' sister Madeleine de Scudéry published her hugely popular novels under his name, and it appears that Marie-Madeleine may have thought these were actually written by him when their marriage took place. After their move to Paris in 1660, she became one of the précieux, and assisted Georges with the novel Almahide, ou l'esclave reine (Almahida, or The Slave Queen, 1661–63). Now considered a better writer than her husband, Marie-Madeleine is known primarily for her letters, many of which extolled friendship.
In 1693, she lost her dearest friend when Paul Pellisson died after a long illness. His death brought out his critics, who spread rumors that Pellisson, a convert to Catholicism, had not been sincere in his conversion. This criticism stung Madeleine, a devout Catholic, and led her to campaign vigorously and successfully against his critics to silence the rumors. But Pellisson was not the only one of Madeleine's lifelong friends to precede her in death. She eulogized each of her friends as she learned of their passing. Although she had new friends and was by no means forgotten as a writer, she had fewer and fewer companions from her days as a leading hostess of Parisian society. By the time she died, on June 2, 1701, at the advanced age of 94, Madeleine de Scudéry was the only surviving member of the Samedi salon which had helped shape French intellectual and cultural life for years, even after its closing.
Aronson, Nicole. Mademoiselle de Scudéry. Trans. by Stuart R. Aronson. Boston, MA: Twayne, 1978.
McDougall, Dorothy. Madeleine de Scudéry, Her Romantic Life and Death. London: Methuen, 1938.
Mongrédien, Georges. Madeleine de Scudéry et son salon. Paris: Éditions Tallandier, 1946.
Backer, Dorothy. Precious Women. NY: Basic Books, 1974.
Hoffmann, E.T.A. "Mademoiselle de Scuderi," in Tales. Ed. by Victor Lange. NY: Continuum, 1982.
Mason, Amelia Gere. The Women of the French Salons. NY: Century, 1891.
Molière. The Pretentious Young Ladies (Les Précieuses Ridicules). Trans. by Herma Briffault. Woodbury, NY: Barron's Educational Series, 1959.
Scudéry, Madeleine de. Artamenes; or, The Grand Cyrus. Trans. by F.G. Gent. London: n.p., 1655.
Laura York , M.A. in History, University of California, Riverside, California
"Scudéry, Madeleine de (1607–1701)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 17, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/women/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/scudery-madeleine-de-1607-1701
"Scudéry, Madeleine de (1607–1701)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . Retrieved April 17, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/women/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/scudery-madeleine-de-1607-1701