Going Public: Women and Publishing in Early Modern France

By Dena Goodman; Elizabeth C. Goldsmith | Go to book overview
Save to active project

2
Publishing the Lives of
Hortense and Marie Mancini

ELIZABETH C. GOLDSMITH

There are probably no women from the reign of Louis XIV whose private lives were more consistently on public view than were those of Hortense and Marie Mancini, nieces of Cardinal Mazarin. Hortense became her uncle's principal heiress in 1660, when, at the age of fifteen, she agreed to the marriage he had arranged for her to the devout Armand de la Meilleraye. Although most observers viewed the choice as ridiculous ( Madame de Sévigné and her friends, for example, would later amuse themselves by describing the spectacle of Cardinal Mazarin playing Orgon to Meilleraye's Tartuffe), initially Mazarin must have believed in Meilleraye's integrity, for he inserted in the marriage contract the unusual stipulation that both Hortense and her husband would assume the family name Mazarin. The new duc de Mazarin was further given sole control of his wife's dowry, a significant share of the cardinal's large fortune. For the next thirty years the public was treated to accounts of this disastrous union through letters, gazette notices, published court proceedings, real and false memoirs, and character portraits.

Hortense ran away from her husband in 1668 to live for a time in Rome with her sister. Marie's own exposure to publicity had begun with her affair with the young Louis XIV in 1660, just prior to his marriage to the Spanish Infanta, and continued after she left Rome to embark on a series of voyages with Hortense, in search of provincial or foreign courts where they would be permitted to live apart from their husbands. Hortense settled at the court of the duke of Savoy in 1672, then moved in 1675 to London, where for twenty-four years she was prominently engaged in court society and politics. Marie's itinerant life-style ended only with the death of her husband, Laurent Colonna, in 1689.

Just how outrageous their behavior was may be gauged in part by the commentary it received, but also by the two husbands' persistent efforts to

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Going Public: Women and Publishing in Early Modern France
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 249

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?