Now in paperback, an award-winning look at French salons and the women who presided over them
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, between the reign of Louis XIII and the Revolution, French aristocratic society developed an art of living based on a refined code of good manners.
Conversation, which began as a way of passing time, eventually became the central ritual of social life. In the salons, freed from the rigidity of court life, it was women who dictated the rules and presided over exchanges among socialites, writers, theologians, and statesmen. They contributed decisively to the development of the modern French language, new literary forms, and debates over philosophical and scientific ideas.
With a cast of characters both famous and unknown, ranging from the Marquise de Rambouillet to Madame de Sta‘l, and including figures like Ninon de Lenclos, the Marquise de Sevigne, and Madame de Lafayette, as well as Pascal, La Rochefoucauld, Diderot, and Voltaire, Benedetta Craveri traces the history of this worldly society that carried the art of sociability to its supreme perfection–and ultimately helped bring on the Revolution that swept it all away.
|Publisher:||New York Review Books|
|Product dimensions:||6.04(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.08(d)|
About the Author
BENEDETTA CRAVERI is a professor of French literature at the University of Tuscia, Viterbo, and the Istituto Universitario Suor Orsola Benincasa, Naples. She regularly contributes to The New York Review of Books and to the cultural pages of the Italian newspaper La Republica. Her books include Madame du Deffand and Her World, La Vie privee du Marechal de Richelieu, and Amanti e regine: Il potere delle donne.
Teresa Waugh is the author of eight novels including The House. She has translated numerous books from both French and Italian, including Benedetta Craveri’s Madame du Duffand and Her World and Anka Muhlstein’s A Taste for Freedom: The Life of Astolphe Custine. She is the widow of Auberon Waugh, son of Evelyn Waugh, and lives in Somerset, England.