Mathilde (1820–1904)

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Mathilde (1820–1904)

Princess of Westphalia. Name variations: Mathilde Bonaparte. Born Mathilde Laetitia Wilhelmine Bonaparte on May 27, 1820; died in 1904; daughter of Jerome Bonaparte (1784–1860), king of Westphalia (youngest brother of Napoleon), and Catherine of Wurttemberg (1783–1835); sister of Prince Napoleon (Plon-Plon) and niece of Napoleon I, emperor of France; married Count Demidoff, a Russian count (separated 1845).

Princess Mathilde was extremely influential during the Second Empire because of her close friendship with her cousin Napoleon III. (She was one of the many who opposed his marriage to Empress Eugénie .) Mathilde held a salon at her country house in Saint-Gratien as well as in Paris which was frequented by writers and artists, including Flaubert, Gautier, Edmond de Goncourt, and Sainte-Beuve.