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Author photo. From a copy of her letters dated 1908

From a copy of her letters dated 1908

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Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, marquise de Sévigné, usually called Madame de Sévigné, is one of the most celebrated letter writers and chroniclers of 17th-century France. She was born in Paris to an old and distinguished Burgundian family. In 1644, she married Henri, marquis de Sévigné, with whom she had two children. Her husband was killed in a duel and thereafter Madame de Sévigné devoted herself to her family and her circle of friends. Most of her famous letters were written to her daughter Françoise-Marguerite, Madame de Grignan, to whom she was close all her life. In 1677, she moved into the Hôtel Carnavalet, now the Musée Carnavalet, dedicated to the history of the city of Paris. An unauthorized edition of 28 of Madame de Sévigné's letters was first published in 1725, some 30 years after her death. Her granddaughter Pauline de Simiane edited and published 614 of the letters in 1734-1737. Copies of more of the letters were found in an antique shop in Paris in 1873.
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