actor. With advancing age she grew more concerned with taking care of herself, more preoccupied with getting her due and securing her future "lot," as she called it. The textbook, which had at first served as a diplomatic passport into the public sphere, became more of a commodity to be exploited for personal profit in an increasingly competitive market. The "good of humanity," as she defined her mission, was to save babies for France. But the Abrégé was also part of her worldly "goods." Her trick was to weave birthing and books into a meaningful, successful public and private business, a balancing act that challenged her and kept the nation's attention for nearly a quarter of a century.