Madame Guyon was one of the leading proponents of a movement known as Quietism. She was married at age 16 to a man who was 22 years older than her and of frail health. The marriage was not a happy one, and Madame Guyon felt a great sense of relief when she was widowed in 1676. Soon after, her fame began to rise as she enthusiastically laid out her beliefs in writing and in person.
Quietism was a controversial movement, and Madame Guyon spent time in jail for her beliefs several times, including 4 years in the Bastille. After that imprisonment, she retired from the public eye, though she maintained a wide correspondence until her death.
Madame Guyon's name is often used in conjunction with such authors as Francis de Sales
, Madame de Chantal
, Thomas a Kempis
and Miguel de Molinos