Montesson, Charlotte Jeanne Béraud de la Haye de Riou, Marquise de (1737–1805)
Montesson, Charlotte Jeanne Béraud de la Haye de Riou, marquise de (1737–1805)
Duchess of Orléans. Name variations: Charlotte de la Haye. Born in Paris of an old Breton family in 1737 (some sources cite 1736); died on February 8, 1805 (some sources cite 1806); daughter of Johann Béraud de la Haye; married Jean Baptiste, marquis de Montesson, around 1754 (d. 1769); secretly married Louis Philippe (1725–1785), 4th duke of Orléans (r. 1752–1785), on July 29, 1773. Louis Philippe's first wife was Louisa Henrietta de Conti (1726–1759).
Charlotte Jeanne Béraud de la Haye de Riou, marquise de Montesson, was born in 1737 in Paris of an old Breton family. About 1754, at age 17, she married Jean Baptiste, marquis de Montesson, who died in 1769. Montesson's intelligence and beauty attracted the attention of Louis Philippe, duke of Orléans, whom she secretly married in 1773 with the authorization of the king, Louis XV. For her husband's amusement, she set up a little theater and wrote and acted in several plays, including Mme de Chazelle. Montesson, who was imprisoned for some time during the Terror but was released after the fall of Robespierre, became a close friend of the empress Josephine and was a prominent figure at the beginning of the empire. Her poetry was published as Mélanges de poésie in 1782, and the French government gave her a pension. The best edition of her plays appeared in seven volumes under the title of Oeuvres anonymes in 1782–1785, although only 12 copies were printed.
Capon, G., and R. Ive-Plessis. Les Théâtres clandestins du XVIIIesiècle (1904).
Strenger, G. "La Société de la marquise de Montesson," in Nouvelle revue. 1902.