Ségur, Sophie Rostopchine, Comtesse de (1799–1874)

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Ségur, Sophie Rostopchine, Comtesse de (1799–1874)

Russian-born French children's writer. Name variations: Countess of Segur or Comtesse de Segur; Sophie Rostopchine. Born Sophie Rostopchin or Rostopchine, Aug 1, 1799, in St. Petersburg, Russia, of Mongolian heritage; died Feb 9, 1874, in Paris, France; dau. of General Rostopchine (who ordered Moscow to be set ablaze after the battle of Borodine in 1812, causing Napoleon to retreat); m. Eugène Comte de Ségur (nephew of Philippe Paul de Ségur, officer and writer), July 14, 1819; children: 8.

With family, lived in exile in Poland (1814), then Germany and Italy, then moved to France (1817); contributed a number of stories to Bibliothèque Rose, a collection of short novels for young people, including Nouveaux Contes de fées (1856), Les vacances (1858), Un bon petit diable (1865), Le mauvais génie (1867), Pauve Blaise and Les malheurs de Sophie; writings, which give insight into the lives of various social classes in France during the Second Empire, remained popular with children for several generations.