For Maintenon, the primary goal of education is the formation of the moral character of the pupil, interpreted according to the canons of Counter-reformational Catholicism. Your email address will not be published. The cultural triumph of the school, however, created educational problems. Her philosophy of virtues is a gendered one inasmuch as Maintenon attempted to redefine traditionally masculine virtues in terms of current female experience. Given her exclusively feminine public of students and faculty, Maintenon often transforms the nature of the virtues in order to accommodate the sex-specific experience of women of the period. Madame de Maintenon is the mistress of Louis XIV of France and his second (and secret) wife. Given the secret nature of her marriage, Maintenon’s influence on the court of Louis XIV remained a discreet one. The address On True Glory defines glory as a species of personal honor:  “I believe that true glory consists in loving one’s honor and in never performing any base action.”  Maintenonian glory is clearly gendered. In the nineteenth-century, Théophile Lavallée’s multi-volume edition of the works of Maintenon (1854-66) presented the breadth and complexity of Maintenon’s extensive writings. The Bonaparte Women – Marie Louise of Austria. Eventually Madame de Maintenon deposed her rival and became the dominant female force at Versailles, where she imposed a new sense of order and propriety. That is where we find true eminence.”  Paralleling her own controversial career in the French court, Maintenonian eminence subverts a social hierarchy of rank based on biological inheritance and exalts moral and social distinction acquired through tenacious personal endeavor. It can be used without an Internet connection. The first exhibition entirely devoted to the Marquise of Maintenon, on the tercentenary of her death on 15 April 1719, recounts the extraordinary life of Françoise d’Aubigné. Virtues typical of the aristocratic class, notably politeness and civility, are raised to the status of primary moral dispositions. Complementing the virtue of politeness, the virtue of civility entails a spirit of sacrificial service toward all those with whom one interacts. Teach your pupils to be extremely cautious in their reading. “There is much more nobility in living from one’s work and from one’s savings than in being a burden to one’s friends….I wouldn’t tell rich people to sell their needlework, but I would tell those who aren’t so rich to do so.”  Rather than being tied to distinguished public achievement, glory emerges as a simple preeminence in the practice of sacrificial virtues of service. In a word, I am the remedy to all forms of extremism.”  The primacy accorded temperance in the hierarchy of virtue parallels the emphasis accorded the values of discretion and good reputation in the education provided at Saint-Cyr. She was born in a prison yet went on to become the Sun King's wife in 1683. Disowned by his father Agrippa d’Aubigné, a prominent Huguenot military officer and poet, Constant d’Aubigné had married Jeanne de Cardhilac, daughter of Niort’s prison warden, in 1627. Maintenon repeatedly reminds her pupils that this posture of reverence includes one’s servants and social inferiors as well as one’s peers and social superiors. ], [This anthology of Maintenon’s texts is available online at, [Extensive contemporary anthology of Maintenon texts dealing with education. “Certainly courage is opposed to fear. Life at courtDe 1668 à 1719Règne de Louis XIV, Françoise d’Aubigné, Marquise de Maintenon, first appeared at Versailles in the 1670s. 1638-1715. After the death of his son, The Sun King became a shadow of his former self. Exercises of piety are to be commended only to the extent that they reflect the moderation and sobriety typical of the virtue of temperance. They should always prefer their needlework, housework, or their duties in their state of life to it. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories. For Maintenon, glory is a matter of personal integrity that could manifest itself as easily in domestic work as in military or political achievement. Françoise saw it as her duty to save the King’s soul, and her impact would be extensive. Of particular philosophical importance are the writings where Maintenon treats ethical issues, especially the nature of virtue and vice. ], [A sympathetic study of the political role of Maintenon. August 2, 2018 “I [prudence] regulate its [justice’s] operations, prevent it from precipitation, make it take its time.”  Similarly, fortitude strengthens justice when justice hesitates to execute proper punishment on a friend. The immediate posthumous reputation of Madame de Maintenon was a largely negative one. It puts everything into order. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. “I destroy gluttony and excess. France, The Royal Mistresses Series, The Royal Women Neither the mystic nor the activist represents Maintenon’s ideal of the moral agent who distinguishes herself through the modesty and emotional restraint with which she serves her neighbor. The beautiful and intelligent Françoise captivated Paul Scarron, and the two soon began exchanging letters. In 1683, Louis’ long-suffering wife, Queen Marie Therese died paving the way for Louis to marry Maintenon. This installation was made possible thanks to the restoration of these wall hangings by Tassinari et Chatel, the nation’s oldest silk manufacturer, founded in Lyon by Louis XIV. Mais Madame de Maintenon devance la favorite dans le cœur du roi et s’installe au château de But with me, Justice acquires a capacity for circumspection, Fortitude acquires suppleness, and Prudence continues to provide advice, but now without undue hesitation, without too much or too little haste. The daughter of an incarcerated Huguenot, Françoise had a relatively modest upbringing. 1 Related Pages 2 Personality 3 Biography 3.1 Early Life 3.2 Season Two 3.3 M A I N 3.4 O T H E R 4 Gallery Madame de Maintenon/Gallery Kingdom of France Castle of Villarceaux N/A N/A She is a long time childhood friend of Madame de Montespan, who was introduced to Versailles as her child's … Her former ally Montespan would eventually fall from favour after the notorious Affair of the Poisons in which she was a participant. Young Françoise was educated as a Protestant, despite being baptised in her mother’s Catholic faith. Françoise now had a choice; to either remain in France relying on the charity of her friends or to make a new life abroad. The tiny apartment of the Scarrons quickly became a salon for Parisian authors of a libertine bent. To maintain the moral atmosphere of the school, Maintenon insists on a strict regime of censorship. Not only am I opposed to all evil; I moderate all good. The artistic period achieved its culmination in the world premiere of Jean Racine’s Esther on January 26, 1689. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and join our 4,525 subscribers to stay up to date on History of Royal Women's articles! Among her charges, Françoise became extremely attached to Louis Auguste, the eldest of the children. Her influence has inspired this dedicated exhibition, now open to the public. Press "agree" if you are okay with this. But these anthologies presented an oddly areligious Maintenon, carefully denatured by the anti-clerical Third Republic. The Villette residence at Mursay with its extensive fairytale forests would become a paradise for young Françoise. The scenography returns the walls to their original colours at the time. May those of you who have been properly raised by your parents retain these manners and may the others soon acquire them.”  Maintenon details the components of noble comportment: refined language, upright posture, discreet gestures. After Madame de Montespan was excommunicated, Madame de Maintanon became King Louis' personal consort. In her addresses to the faculty of Saint-Cyr, Maintenon sketches her philosophy of education. Marriage to Scarron allowed Françoise freedom and some degree of comfort. Traditionally masculine virtues, such as courage, are redefined to serve as the ideal ethical traits of the industrious wife largely confined to the domestic sphere. For the following six years Madame Scarron would live in relatively comfortable circumstances with a generous pension provided by the Queen Mother. In later life, she would reflect on her time at Mursay with her aunt and cousins with great fondness.1 However, it became known by Françoise’s Godmother, Suzanne de Baudéan, that the Villette’s were intending to raise Françoise as a Protestant and not a Catholic – something which she, and her mother, could not accept. Take your favorite fandoms with you and never miss a beat. The address insists that glory is not a biological category, reposing on one’s familial descent; it is a type of integrity and self-reliance allied to hard work. [Still the standard edition of the major works of Maintenon composed for pupils at Saint-Cyr.]. The last great female presence in the life of Louis XIV, Madame de Maintenon was first brought to the king’s attention by Madame de Montespan. This must be our great rule, which does not rule out certain customs traditional in our native lands.”  Civility entails reciprocity, a recognition of the other persons one meets as one’s equal in dignity and in need. The Quietism promoted by Guyon stressed simplicity in prayer, confidence in God, and retirement from the world. Madame de Maintenon died at Saint-Cyr on April 17, 1719. After his marriage to Madame de Maintenon in 1683, Louis XIV instigated major work at the château. After the King’s death, Françoise retired to Saint-Cyr. The memoirs of the courtier Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon (1675-1755), and the letters of Charlotte-Elisabeth of Bavaria, duchesse d’ Orléans (1652-1722), depicted Maintenon as a schemer who manipulated Louis XIV’s emotions of grief to achiever her power and then used that power to intensify the anti-Protestant policies of the throne. “Civility involves freeing oneself in order to be busy about the needs of other people, in paying attention to what can help or hinder them, in order to do the former and to avoid the latter. The founder and director of the celebrated school for women at Saint-Cyr, Maintenon defended her theories of education for women in a series of addresses to the Saint-Cyr faculty. By this time Louis had already secretly married to Madame de Maintenon. “I call profane all books that are not religious, even if they seem innocent, as soon as it is clear that they have no real usefulness. But there is more than one kind of fear. Madame de Maintenon bore much of the blame for this new state of affairs, which many courtiers resented. Madame Scarron patiently nursed a sickly husband who visibly esteemed his beautiful and intelligent young wife. I moderate the length of prayer, ascetical practices, recollection, silence, and good works. The adolescent study of Plutarch introduced her to the period’s vogue for Stoicism and cultivated her lifelong taste for the literature of moral edification. The bride’s modest social origins raised a problem, since Louis XIV had insisted on dynastic marriages for other members of his family. The publication of Maintenon’s alleged letters (1752) by the Huguenot writer Laurent Angliviel de La Beaumelle presented Maintenon as the hidden architect of Louis XIV’s Revocation of the Edict of Nantes and other persecutory measures. Madeleine Daniélou’s study of Maintenon’s educational theories and practices (1948) underscores her innovations as an educational philosopher and the theological foundations of that philosophy. You then more accurately teach them the differences between the good, the evil, and the morally indifferent.”  Maintenon’s insistence on a dialogical method of instruction reflects the value placed on refined conversation in the aristocratic circles of the period; it also expresses the conviction that the pedagogy of moral formation cannot succeed if the moral tutor has not gauged the actual moral temperament of the pupil as the tutor guides her to the school’s ideal of ethical maturity. Anne of Austria died in 1666, and the pension was suspended. The dramatic dialogue On Courage demonstrates how women as well as men are required to cultivate the virtue of courage. Without me, Justice would be intolerable to human weakness, Fortitude would drive us to despair, Prudence would often prevent us from taking the actions we should and make waste our time weighing every option. 2. Louis XIV, son of Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, was crowned King of France on 7 June 1654 in Reims.He married Maria Theresa of Austria on 9 June 1660. Françoise d’Aubigné was born on the 27th of November 1635 in France. He was the very symbol of absolutism, and with the help of his ministers he extended the kingdom and developed trade and industry. By the middle of the decade, Maintenon encouraged Louis XIV’s campaign against Quietism and the expulsion of faculty sympathetic to Quietism. When the Russian royal asked Françoise what illness she was suffering from, Françoise replied “great age and a weak constitution” 10. She clearly counseled her husband on religious matters, especially the appointment of bishops and abbots, but her role in the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes and the intensification of anti-Protestant measures by Louis XIV has been exaggerated by later critics. Maintenon’s approach to ethics is gendered inasmuch as she redefines the virtues and vices, originally defined in terms of male experience, in the framework of typical women’s experience. In the dialogue On the Cardinal Virtues, Maintenon defends this primacy of temperance in the ensemble of virtues. Through this estate. In 1674, a grateful Louis XIV granted the devoted governess the lands and title of the fief of Maintenon. In death, as in life, Madame de Maintenon could not formally be recognised as the wife of Louis XIV. Her approach is also class-conscious, since she attempts to redefine the virtues in the perspective of women who are simultaneously aristocratic and impoverished. Recent studies of Maintenon have attempted to present a more positive evaluation of Maintenon as a philosopher. Most notably the Duchess of Orléans, known to many as Liselotte, the wife of King Louis’ younger brother Philippe held a strong dislike for Maintenon. In the late nineteenth-century, educational officials of the French Third Republic attempted to foster public high school education for women through the new institution of the lycée. Her Conversations (dialogues) are brief morality plays that define and illustrate the major virtues the student must inculcate. Not interested? The controversies surrounding her social ascent have long obscured the contributions of Maintenon to educational and moral philosophy. John J. Conley Upon his death in 1660, Scarron left his wife with nothing more than his name and a mountain of debt. You can acquire an influence over them that will prove beneficial.”  The pupil is not to remain passive in this dialogue. It can be used without an Internet connection. A few days before the death of Louis XIV in 1715, his powerful secret bride retired to Saint-Cyr, the school for girls which she had persuaded the king to found. Palacefrom 9:00 am to 5:30 pmclosed on Mondays, Estate of Trianonfrom 12:00 pm to 5:30 pmclosed on Mondays, Coach Galleryfrom 12:30 pm to 5:30 pmclosed on Mondays, + 33 1 30 83 78 00price of a call to France, Musical Fountains Shows and Musical Gardens, Research centre of the Palace of Versailles. On the tercentenary of her death, Madame de Maintenon, Louis XIV’s secret wife, will return to her apartments in the Palace of Versailles for an exhibition in her honour, from 16 April to 21 July 2019. the exhibition. Alexandre Maral, Head Curator for Heritage and Director of the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles, Mathieu da Vinha, Scientific Director of the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles. Despite this, Françoise would be a great comfort to the King as those closest to him died. Maintenon would then correct and revise the transcriptions. The couple secretly married on a disputed date in either late 1683 or early 1684 with few witnesses. Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter and join our 4,525 subscribers to stay up to date on History of Royal Women's articles! ], [A biography focusing on the role of Maintenon in the court politics at Versailles. Dazzled by the applause of the court, students began to neglect their studies; class time began to shrink in favor of rehearsals for the elaborate school performances. “You [justice] need me [fortitude] because your sense of affection makes you find it difficult to inflict any pain on a friend.”  While justice can determine where to assign just dessert, the execution of this determination requires the conjugated virtues of prudence and fortitude to avoid the distortions of severity or pusillanimity. By August 1715, Louis was nearing death. jconley1@loyola.edu Learn how your comment data is processed. The household established by Françoise was a comfortable and loving one in which she played a key maternal role. Madame de Maintenon. Louis’ younger brother Philippe died in 1701 shortly after a furious quarrel with the King. The Dames collected these various texts of Madame de Maintenon into a series of manuscript collections, the last and largest of which date from 1740. Dernière grande figure féminine du règne de Louis XIV, Madame de Maintenon, recommandée par Madame de Montespan, a d’abord assumé le rôle de gouvernante des enfants bâtards du souverain avant de devenir l’épouse secrète du roi. By 1670, Françoise had accepted a role raising the illegitimate children of the French King Louis XIV and his mistress, Françoise’s close friend, Madame de Montespan. In 1669 she accepted a delicate mission: to serve as the governess for the illegitimate children of Louis XIV and her fellow salonnière, Madame de Montespan. The different stages of her life are shown in around 60 works from the collections of Versailles and other museums, including paintings, drawings, engravings, books, sculptures, medals, and so on. Maintenon then conquered court society as the governess of the illegitimate children of King Louis XIV and finally as the wife of the widowed King. 7 In 1711, Louis would suffer another profound loss, the death of his only legitimate son, The Grand Dauphin. 0. Life at Saint-Cyr would be one of quiet happiness and reflection. Louis’ first impression of her, it appears, was that she was “unbearable.”. Eventually Madame de Maintenon deposed her rival and became the dominant female force at To assist in the perfection of moral character, the schoolmistress should regularly engage in conversation with her pupils. From April 4th to November 1st 2020, enjoy the Musical Fountains Shows and the Musical Gardens in the Gardens and the groves open for the occasion. In 1688, the King gave the estate of Maintenon the title of marquisat-pairie. In the dialogue On Eminence, Maintenon redefines the aristocratic virtue of eminence to include the experience of impoverished but industrious women. The address On Politeness insists on the central value of good manners to be cultivated by the pupils at Saint-Cyr. The ends of education are traditional: the formation of moral character for a Catholic member of the provincial aristocracy. This friendship would transform her future. But the dialogical methods of pedagogy championed by Maintenon exhibit a distinctive modernity. References to God, religion, and piety were often censored out of her texts; only the more secular virtues survived. In several works Maintenon analyzes the four cardinal virtues: justice, fortitude, prudence, and temperance. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Her dramatic dialogues and addresses to students developed her distinctive moral philosophy, based on detailed analysis of the moral virtues to be cultivated by the pupils. 8 On the 30th of August, shortly after five o’clock, Madame de Maintenon departed Versailles after being assured by her confessor that her dying husband no longer needed her. [A collection of letters and addresses dealing with issues of education. The Dames of Saint-Louis carefully transcribed the many addresses Maintenon delivered to the faculty and student body. 9 Louis XIV, King of France, died on the 1st of September 1715, leaving Françoise a widow once again. 1638-1715. My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. Maintenon and Montespan Maintenon and Delphine Your data will be shared with Google and other ad vendors. Simply click 'close' in the top right corner to continue reading! In the winter of 1651-52 Scarron proposed marriage. You inspire in them the love and practices of all virtues proper to them now and in the future.”  Maintenon insists that the virtue to be cultivated and the means used to achieve this ethical culture must always be “reasonable,” but this reasonableness is of a practical rather than speculative nature. You can now listen the audio records of the symposium on its official page. Palacefrom 9:00 am to 5:30 pmclosed on Mondays, Estate of Trianonfrom 12:00 pm to 5:30 pmclosed on Mondays, Coach Galleryfrom 12:30 pm to 5:30 pmclosed on Mondays, + 33 1 30 83 78 00price of a call to France, Musical Fountains Shows and Musical Gardens, Restoration of the King's Private Chamber, Research centre of the Palace of Versailles. After a while, Françoise caught the King’s attention and his constant visits to Françoise, and his illegitimate children away from court caused his mistress, Madame de Montespan, to become desperate and suspicious. This will help the pupils to love and trust you. Maintenon and Liselotte Copyright © 2020 | WordPress Theme by MH Themes. To clarify the nature of authentic civility, Maintenon appeals to the evangelical golden rule. Madame de Maintenon held a great influence over Louis XIV, who visited her every day in her apartments overlooking the palace’s royal courtyard. Courage within the school manifests itself in the diligence with which one executes the duties of the school day. Take part in the history of the palace of Versailles by supporting a project that suits you: adopt a linden tree, contribute to the missions of the Palace or participate in the refurnishing of the royal apartments. The dialogue also insists that authentic eminence must be acquired through personal merit and struggle, not conferred by family descent or inherited wealth. Maintenon grew disenchanted with a piety that seemed to undercut the acquisition of virtue and ardor in one’s studies and future work. 3 At the age of fifteen Françoise first met the talented poet Paul Scarron, over 20 years her senior and terribly crippled. While in France Peter paid a visit to the ageing and weary Madame de Maintenon. Similarly, glory is redefined away from its traditionally masculine framework of military prowess or political preeminence. Standing above prudence and fortitude is the virtue of temperance. It also expresses the mature Maintenon’s disillusionment with the aesthetic and mystical ideals that had earlier served as the educational end of Saint-Cyr. This type of achievement is not for our sex.”  Victoria counters that, although women are not called to cultivate the martial courage proper to men, there are other types of courage necessary to women. Things soon changed. Her remains were rediscovered during the Second World War amid the ruins of the bombed academy and were transferred to the royal chapel at the Palace of Versailles, before being returned to Saint-Cyr in 1969. sister-in-law of Louis XIV, memoir writer, memoir writer who lived during the reign of Louis XIV, Master of the King's Music under Louis XIV. Even the virtues of religion must subordinate themselves to the empire of temperance. It is not necessary for us to cultivate the courage that makes someone go to war or be willing to risk his life.”  It is precisely the pupils and alumnae of Saint-Cyr who illustrate the type of courage proper to women. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Paul de Noailles et Alicia Rochechouart Mortemart, The site of the Departmental Council of Eure et Loir. During her salon years, she studied the philosophical currents of the period, notably libertinism and Cartesianism. John Conley’s English translation of and commentary on Maintenon (2004) describes the complexity of her moral psychology, especially in her account of virtue and freedom. He worked here, held meetings with his ministers, and enjoyed moments of tranquillity in the company of his secret wife. Take part in the history of the palace of Versailles by supporting a project that suits you: adopt a linden tree, contribute to the missions of the Palace or participate in the refurnishing of the royal apartments. Civility entails not talking about oneself, not making others listen too long to oneself, listening carefully to others, avoiding making conversation focus on oneself and one’s tastes, and permitting the conversation to move naturally toward the accommodation of other people’s interests.”  Although civility includes the salon art of refined conversation, Maintenon presents the virtue as a refined species of humility, in which the concerns of others trump one’s own. If the Jansenists and the Quietists knew this weakness, they would immediately find the secret in order to spread their errors. Her body was exhumed by revolutionaries in 1793. In her pedagogical philosophy, practical moral formation rather than intellectual cultivation emerges as the primary goal of schooling. During the 42 years she spent at Versailles, Marie Leszczyńska had a profound impact on both the layout of the Palace and artistic life at the time. The anthologies of Maintenon’s texts assembled by Cadet (1885), Faguet (1885), Geoffroy (1887), and Jacquinet (1888) were textbooks designed for the new lycée.