Sophie Lalive de Bellegarde


Sophie Lalive de Bellegarde

Elisabeth Françoise Sophie de Lalive de Bellegarde, by marriage Countess of Houdetot (December 18, 1730–January 28, 1813) was a French noblewoman and writer. She was also known as a famous courtesan, the paramour of famed poet and academic Jean François de Saint-Lambert.

Life

Daughter of Ferme Générale Louis Denis Lalive de Bellegarde and his wife Marie Thérèse Josèphe Prouveu, "Mimi" (as she was known in childhood) married Claude Constant César, Compte d' Houdetot, an army brigadier at the Saint-Roch church in Paris on February 28, 1748; their son, César Louis Marie François Ange d' Houdetot, would become an army brigadier himself, as well as governor of Martinique during the French Revolution and later governor of Santo Domingo (now Haiti). Though often compared to her sister-in-law, the famed writer and courtesan Louise d'Epinay, Lalive de Bellegarde was believed to be the sharper and more spiritual, with a taste for poetry, and a kindness which earned her much praise. "One can hardly praise Madame d' Houdentot further...I would not say so much the kindness as the benevolence."Fact|date=February 2007 However, according to another account, that of the Baron de Frénilly, she was particularly plain, with coarse features, a raucous voice and "treacherous eyes which always looked at you from the side."Fact|date=February 2007 However, de Frénilly also admitted that she led a "merry, spiritual life, fertile in fine thoughts and happy words."Fact|date=February 2007

In 1752, she would start an affair with Saint-Lambert that would last until his death in 1803. The love triangle between Lalive de Bellegarde, Saint-Lambert and d' Houdentot, scandalous in its times, was described in Louis Mathieu, comte Molé's memoirs:

"...a large, handsome old man with a fresh complexion, his head covered with a white nightcap, swaddled in a vast dressing gown of the same silk as his ribbon [... ] It was the count d' Houdetot. [... ] a crooked old woman, with a black mantilla over her shoulders, walking in the company of a small old man dressed in a hideous cotton dressing gown with a pattern of blue stripes and red bouquets, a straw hat on his head and a rattan walking stick with a golden knob, as high as he was, to support his faltering steps; a small dog with a bell on its collar, too stout to run, followed the pair, its tail between its legs. These were Mrs. d' Houdetot, Saint-Lambert and Lord."Ref|SPT

François Rene de Chateaubriand states caustically in his work "The Memories of Autumn" that the love triangle "...was the jaded 18th century married to its manners. It is enough to embrace hedonism in life so that illegitimacies become legitimacies. One feels an infinite regard for immorality because it did not cease, but rather that time decorated it with wrinkles."Ref|SPT

Lalive de Bellegarde is especially known for her appearance in Jean-Jacques Rousseau's "Confessions" in which Rousseau painstakingly declares his love for her. However, d' Epinay gives a different account in her memoirs: Rousseau had met Lalive de Bellegarde along with d' Epinay at Chevrette. Thereafter, the two met on several occasions at the Hermitage, but only in January 1757 did Rousseau draft his love letters to her. It was said that Lalive de Bellegarde was initially lenient to the philosopher, finding him "madly interesting", but grew distant in January 1758 and ceased letter exchanges altogether in 1760, writing a final note of "We were drunk on each other's love, each for their love, me for you."Fact|date=February 2007

Author G. Legentil summarized Lalive de Bellegarde's relationships with Rousseau and Saint-Lambert as "She was lenient and generous for the weakness of the philosopher of Geneva and was admirable of devotion to the elderly poet."Fact|date=February 2007

After the French revolution, Lalive de Bellegarde moved to Sannois, to join the company of the remaining intellectuals of the pre-revolutionary time, a group calling themselves the Century of the Lights: author Florian , Morellet abbot, Suard - and of young people like Chateaubriant. She remained there until her death in 1813.

Quotes

*"One is accustomed to one's infirmities, it is more difficult to accustom the others to them."

ee also

*Lalive family

External references

Note|SPTcite book | last = Molé | first = Louis Mathieu | editor = Jacques-Alain de Sédouy | title = Memories of Youth | language = French | pages = 44-45 | chapter = II
*cite book | first=Hippolyte | last=Buffenoir | year=1905 | title=The Countess of Houdetot, Her Family, Her Friends | language = French |publisher=Henri Leclerc


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  • Sophie lalive de bellegarde — Élisabeth Sophie Françoise, dite « Mimi », Lalive de Bellegarde, par son mariage comtesse d’Houdetot née le 18 décembre 1730 à Paris où elle est morte le 28 janvier 1813, est une salonnière française. Sommaire 1 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sophie Lalive de Bellegarde — Élisabeth Sophie Françoise, dite « Mimi », Lalive de Bellegarde, par son mariage, comtesse d’Houdetot née le 18 décembre 1730 à Paris où elle est morte le 28 janvier 1813, dans sa maison au 12 rue de Tournon, Paris,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sophie Lalive de Bellegarde — Elisabeth Françoise Sophie de Lalive de Bellegarde (* 18. Dezember 1730; † 28. Januar 1813), durch Heirat mit dem General d’Houdetot 1748 Gräfin von Houdetot (sprich: udetoh), war eine geistreiche Französin. Sophie Lalive de Bellegarde Sie… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Louis Denis Lalive De Bellegarde — Louis Denis Joseph Lalive de Bellegarde, seigneur de Bellegarde, Épinay (1741), Deuil la Barre, La Chevrette (lieu dit à Deuil la Barre), Brunoy, Jully, La Briche (hameau entre Épinay et Saint Denis), Daude, Saint Piton (Saint Python), Preux, etc …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Louis denis lalive de bellegarde — Louis Denis Joseph Lalive de Bellegarde, seigneur de Bellegarde, Épinay (1741), Deuil la Barre, La Chevrette (lieu dit à Deuil la Barre), Brunoy, Jully, La Briche (hameau entre Épinay et Saint Denis), Daude, Saint Piton (Saint Python), Preux, etc …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Louis Denis Lalive de Bellegarde — Louis Denis Joseph Lalive de Bellegarde, seigneur de Bellegarde, Épinay (1741), Deuil la Barre, La Chevrette (lieu dit à Deuil la Barre), Brunoy, Jully, La Briche (hameau entre Épinay et Saint Denis), Daude, Saint Piton (Saint Python), Preux, etc …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sophie d'Houdetot — Sophie Lalive de Bellegarde Élisabeth Sophie Françoise, dite « Mimi », Lalive de Bellegarde, par son mariage comtesse d’Houdetot née le 18 décembre 1730 à Paris où elle est morte le 28 janvier 1813, est une… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bellegarde — ist der Name folgender Orte und Kantone: Bellegarde (Gard), Département Gard Bellegarde (Gers), Département Gers Bellegarde (Loiret), Département Loiret Bellegarde (Tarn), Département Tarn Bellegarde (Saskatchewan), Kanada Mit Namenszusatz:… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bellegarde — may refer to:In communes in France:* Bellegarde, Gard * Bellegarde, Gers, in the Gers département * Bellegarde, Loiret, in the Loiret département * Bellegarde, Tarn, in the Tarn département * Bellegarde du Razès, in the Aude département *… …   Wikipedia

  • Bellegarde — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Sommaire 1 Géographie 2 Patronyme 3 …   Wikipédia en Français


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