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Author photo. Madame Claire Elisabeth Jeanne de Rémusat / Photo © <a href="http://www.bildarchivaustria.at">ÖNB/Wien</a>

Madame Claire Elisabeth Jeanne de Rémusat / Photo © ÖNB/Wien

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Claire Élisabeth Jeanne Gravier de Vergennes, comtesse de Rémusat, was a French aristocrat and lady-in-waiting to the Empress Josephine, and the wife of a high official at court. She was thus ideally placed to observe the Emperor Napoleon firsthand and described him in her famous memoirs. Madame de Rémusat burned them during the chaos of the Hundred Days, and then wrote them anew from memory. She was renowned in her own day as an intelligent, sensitive, and observant woman. Her Essai sur l'éducation des femmes (Essay on the Education of Women, 1824) was published after her death at age 41, and received academic acclaim. However, her literary talent was not fully recognized until her grandson, Paul de Rémusat, published the Mémoires de Madame de Rémusat in 3 volumes (1879–1880), followed by her correspondence with her husband and her son Charles de Rémusat, the politician and writer.
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