The Poet's Princess

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DRAMATIS PERSONAE

BALZAC (Jean-Louis Guez, Seigneur de)
1595-1654
Writer. His LETTERS were received with enthusiasm at the Hôtel de Rambouillet. Their compendium, published in 1624, was highly successful throughout Europe. Appreciated by Richelieu, who nominated him one of the first members of the Académie Française, he retired to his estate and devoted his life to literature. He was considered “the most elegant man” of his time and was called “the elegant loner”.
Works:
THE PRINCE - 1631
THE CHRISTIAN SOCRATES - 1652
ARISTIPPE or THE COURT - posth, 1658

BENSERADE ( Isaac de)
1613 - 1691
Poet. He was received at the Hôtel de Rambouillet where he was much in vogue. His literary reputation is due to his librettos of ballets. His sonnet JOB made him the rival of Voiture.

BOISROBERT (François Le Metel, Seigneur de)
1592 -1662
Poet. Author of plays.

BOURBON (Anne Geneviève de Bourbon-Condé, Duchesse de Longueville)
1519-1679)
Sister of the Great Condé and of the Prince de Conti. She married Henri II, Duke de Longueville. She became one of the foremost protagonists of the Fronde. She finished her life in religious devotion at Port-Royal-des-Champs and in the Carmelite Order of Faubourg Saint-Jacques.

LA BRUYERE (Jean de)
1645-1696
Writer, lawyer, literary critic, member of the Académie Française, secretary to the Duke de Bourbon.
Works:
CHARACTERS - 1688

BUSSY-RABUTIN (Roger de Rabutin, Count de Bussy)
1618-1693
Writer. Important correspondence with the intellectuals of his time.
Works:
AMOROUS HISTORY OF THE GALLS
MEMOIRS (posth.)

CHAPELAIN (Jean)
1595-1674
Poet end critic. Habitué of Madeleine de Scudéry’s Saturdays. He applauded the creation of the Académie Française. He compiled the SENTIMENTS OF THE ACADEMY ABOUT THE CID.
Works:
THE VIRGIN- 1656

CHARLEVAL ( Jean-Louis, Faucon de Ris, Seigneur de)
1613-1693
Poet. Friend of Sarasin and Scarron. He lived among the noble society. Scarron notes that he interrupts his leisure to “amuse himself writing verses”. He appreciated refined food and beautiful women.

CHAVIGNY ( Leon Bouthillier, Count de)
16O8-1652
Minister. Devotee of Richelieu.

CONDES
One of Bourbon dynasties, originating from Louis I, Prince of Condé. Until 17O9, the Condés were the first Princes of Royal Blood

HENRI II DE BOURBON
1588- 1646
Married to the beautiful Charlotte de Montmorency. Father of Anne de Bourbon, the future Duchess de Longueville

CONDE ( Louis II de Bourbon, called the Great Condé)
1621-1686
Married to Richelieu’s niece at the age of twenty two years, thus becoming the Commander of the Northern Armies during the war against Spain. His fame is due to the victory of Rocroi (1643) and of many others. During the Fronde, he oscillated between the participants of the Fronde and Mazarin. Finally, he opted for the Fronde and was imprisoned at Vincennes. He escaped and became leader of the Princes’ Fronde. He was pardoned after the Pyrénées Peace Treaty. He finished his life at Chantilly, surrounded by writers.

CONRART (Valentin)
1603-1657
Writer and scientist. He and his friends founded the Académie Française, where he became its first secretary.
Works:
MEMOIRS
LETTERS

CONTI ( Armand de Bourbon, Prince de)
1629-1660
He took part in the Fronde and was subsequently jailed

COSNAC (Daniel de)
1633-?
Abbé, secretary to the Prince de Conti. Archbishop of Aix. King’s counsellor. Commander of the Order of Saint-Esprit
Works:
MEMOIRS 1652

COTIN (Charles)
16O4-1682
Poet, clergymen, member of the Académie Française. Appreciated at the Hôtel de Rambouillet. Ridiculed by Boileau and Molière for his mannerisms

DESCARTES (René)
165O- 1692
Philosopher and scientist. Lived the life of high society in Paris before retiring into the world of science
Works:
RULES FOR THE DIRECTION OF MIND - 1628
TREATISE OF THE METHOD - 1637
and others

GASSENDI (Pierre)
1592-1655
Philosopher, scientist, partisan of Copernicus’ system, admirer of Galileo Galileus
Works:
DE VITA AND MORIBUS EPICURI -1647
and others

GAMBERVILLE (Marie Le Roi)
16OO-1674
Writer
Works:
POLEXANDER - 1629-1632, his novel introduces exoticism into the French literature

GONDI (Paul de, Cardinal de Retz)
Descendent of a Florentine family of bankers. He came to Paris with Catherine de Medicis. The Coadjutor de Paris

MAZARIN (Giulio Mazarini)
16O2-1661
Cardinal, politician, main collaborator of Richelieu. Minister to Anne of Austria. Probably her husband. He defeated the Fronde and remained in power until his death. Protector of art and sciences.

MENAGE (Gilles)
1613-1692
Writer and scholar. A society man, author of gallant poetry
Works:
ORIGINS OF THE FRENCH LANGUAGE -165O
OBSERVATIONS ON THE FRENCH LANGUAGE

MONTBASON (Marie de Bretagne, Duchesse de)
1612-1657
A society lady, known for her numerous love-affairs. The Duke de Longueville figured among her lovers

MOTTEVILLE (Françoise Bertaut de)
1621-1689
Lady in waiting to Anne of Austria and her confidant. She married eighteen years old the octogenarian Monsieur de Motteville
Works:
MEMORIES OF SERVING ANNE OF AUSTRIA

PAULET (Angélique)
The most famous and the most compromised singer of the era of Henri IV. Since 1652, an assiduous visitor to the Hôtel de Rambouillet

PELLISSON (Paul)
1624-1693
Lawyer, writer
Works:
HISTORY OF THE FRENCH ACADEMY
THREE DISCOURSES

PERRAULT (Charles)
1628-17O3
Writer. Known for his parodies and gallant literature
Works:
CENTURY OF LOUIS THE GREAT -1687
PARALLELS OF THE ANCIENTS AND THE MODERNS-1688

PURE ( Michel abbé de)
162O-168O
Writer, historian. Visitor at the salon of Madame de La Suze who introduced him to the world of the Précieux
Works:
THE PRECIEUSE OR THE MYSTERY OF THE RUELLES -1656-1658

RAMBOUILLET (Catherine Vivonne, Marchioness de)
1588-1655
“The incomparable Arthénice”. Received the best of society in her Blue Room at the Hôtel de Rambouillet from 162O until her death. Educated, spiritual and kind.

LA ROCHEFOUCAULD (François, Duke de, Prince de Marsillac)
1613-168O
Writer. Moralist.
Works:
SENTENCES AND MORAL MAXIMS 1665

SAINT-AMANT (Marc Antoine Girard, Seigneur de)
Poet. Regular visitor to the Hôtel de Rambouillet
Works:
MOSES RESCUED FROM THE WATERS 1653
Poems

SARASIN (Jean-François)
1614-1654
Poet, writerSecretary to the Cardinal Paul de Gondi and to the Prince de Conti
Works:
Poetry and prose works

SCARRON (Paul)
161O-166O
Writer, author of popular comedies. Husband of Françoise d’ Aubigné, the future Madame de Maintenon, morganatic wife of Louis XIV
Works:
JODELET
COMIC NOVEL

SCUDERY (Georges de)
16O1-1667
Writer. Co-authored novels with his sister Madeleine de Scudéry. Dramatic author, theatre critic

SCUDERY (Madeleine de)
16O7-17O1
Novelist. Regular visitor to the Hôtel de Rambouillet. Her own literary salon was the centre of the Précieux society. Her “romans-à-clef” were extremely successful
Works:
THE GREAT CYRUS 1648-1653
CLELIE 1654-1661
MORAL CONVERSATIONS 1686-1688

SEVIGNE (Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, Marchioness de)
1626-1661
Well educated, spiritual, talented. Widow at twenty two, she built up her life on culture and self-education
Works:
LETTERS 1726, posth.

SOMAIZE (Antoine Baudeau de)
Writer
Works:
DICTIONARY OF THE PRECIEUSES OR THE KEY TO THE LANGUAGE OF THE RUELLES 166O
THE GREAT DICTIONARY OF THE PRECIEUSES 1661

TALLEMANT DES REAUX (Gédéon)
1619-1692
Writer. Habitué of the salons of Madame de Rambouillet and Madeleine de Scudéry
Works:
HISTORIETTES 1657

VOITURE (Vincent)
1597-1648
Poet. Habitué of the Hôtel de Rambouillet
Works:
POETRY 165O, posth.
LETTERS, posth.

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