Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir (sēmôn´ də bōvwär´), 1908–86, French author. A leading exponent of existentialism, she is closely associated with Jean-Paul Sartre, with whom she had a life-long relationship. Beauvoir taught philosophy at several colleges until 1943, after which she devoted herself to writing. Her novels All Men Are Mortal (1946, tr. 1955), The Blood of Others (1946, tr. 1948), and The Mandarins (1955, tr. 1956) are interpretations of the existential dilemma. Among her most celebrated works is the profound analysis of the status of women, The Second Sex (1949–50, tr. 1953). This pivotal text was cut by some 15 percent when first translated; an unabridged English translation was finally published in 2010. Beauvoir's study The Marquis de Sade (tr. 1953) is a brilliant, perceptive portrait. Her monumental treatise The Coming of Age (1970, tr. 1972) is an exhaustive historical consideration of the social treatment of the aged in many cultures. Beauvoir's autobiographical writings include Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter (1958, tr. 1959), The Prime of Life (tr. 1962), Force of Circumstance (1963, tr. 1964), A Very Easy Death (1964, tr. 1966), and All Said and Done (tr. 1974). She also edited Sartre's letters to her (tr. 1994).

See biography by D. Bair (1990); S. de Beauvoir, ed., Quiet Moments in a War: The Letters of Jean-Paul Sartre to Simone de Beauvoir, 1940–1963 (1994); studies by E. Marks (1973), L. Appignanesi (1988), R. Winegarten (1988), K. and E. Fullbrook (1994), and H. Rowley (2005).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Simone de Beauvoir: Selected full-text books and articles

The Cambridge Companion to Simone de Beauvoir By Claudia Card Cambridge University Press, 2003
Simone de Beauvoir, Philosophy & and Feminism By Nancy Bauer Columbia University Press, 2001
The Legacy of Simone de Beauvoir By Emily R. Grosholz Clarendon, 2004
New French Feminisms: An Anthology By Elaine Marks; Isabelle De Courtivron University of Massachusetts Press, 1980
Librarian’s tip: "Simone de Beauvoir" begins on p. 233
Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter By Simone de Beauvoir; James Kirkup World, 1959
The Myth of the Heroine: The Female Bildungsroman in the Twentieth Century: Dorothy Richardson, Simone de Beauvoir, Doris Lessing, Christa Wolf By Esther Kleinbord Labovitz Peter Lang, 1988 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Simone de Beauvoir: Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter"
Simone de Beauvoir: Gender and Testimony By Ursula Tidd Cambridge University Press, 1999
Perspectives on Feminist Political Thought in European History: From the Middle Ages to the Present By Tjitske Akkerman; Siep Stuurman Routledge, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 12 "Beauvoir's Philosophy as the Hidden Paradigm of Contemporary Feminism"
The Marquis de Sade: An Essay, with Selections from His Writings By Simone de Beauvoir; Marquis de Sade Grove Press, 1953
The Prime of Life By Simone de Beauvoir; Peter Green World Publishing, 1962
The Long March By Simone De Beauvoir; Austryn Wainhouse World Pub. Co., 1958
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator
Author Advanced search


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.