Through this estate. In the case of Saint-Cyr, it is the development of the skills and the moral habits of the pupil who faces the future as a member of the impoverished, provincial nobility. Your data will be shared with Google and other ad vendors. Maintenon insisted that dialogue rather than lecture was to be the primary means of education in the Saint-Cyr classroom. Maintenon’s addresses and dialogues seemed perfectly suited for an adolescent female public cultivating the virtues necessary for citizenship. But Maintenon politeness does not limit itself to a code of external conduct; it is ultimately an interior disposition of respect toward all persons whom the mature aristocrat encounters: “Whatever you say or do, be careful to avoid giving offense or embarrassment to anyone.”  The purpose of external polite conduct is to express sensitivity toward the feelings and dignity of others. It knows how to condemn its friends and to honor the rights of its enemies. Françoise’s father would temporarily leave the family behind. Maintenon personally supervised the direction of the school, designed to serve two hundred and fifty students. “There are different types of nobility. Madame de Maintenon was buried at the school for young girls she founded in Saint-Cyr, which was subsequently converted into a military academy by Napoleon. It is difficult to determine, nonetheless, how much of a role she played in the monarch’s political decisions. Le 9 octobre 1683, en la Chapelle royale de Versailles, Louis XIV, roi de France et de Navarre, épouse en secondes noces Françoise d’Aubigné, marquise de Maintenon. In 1684 Maintenon began her life’s work: the construction of a school for the education of daughters of the impoverished nobility. Maintenon and Montespan Maintenon and Delphine Madame de Maintenon is the mistress of Louis XIV of France and his second (and secret) wife. Addressing Saint-Cyr’s student body of aristocratic girls and women, Maintenon devoted particular attention to the virtues of civility essential for polite society. 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. In her faculty addresses, Maintenon criticizes the tendency of teachers to use lectures and to overvalue the cultivation of the memory of their pupils. Françoise was not popular with everyone at court. Fortunately, during her period as a widow, Madame Scarron met and befriended a noblewoman named Madame de Montespan. Following the disgrace of the Marquise de Montespan in a poisoning scandal and the death of Queen Maria Theresa of Austria, she married the king in secret in 1683. If character formation is the central goal of education, the teacher must engage in regular dialogue with her pupils. To clarify the nature of authentic civility, Maintenon appeals to the evangelical golden rule. 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. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Virtues typical of the aristocratic class, notably politeness and civility, are raised to the status of primary moral dispositions. Of the Education of Young Ladies specifies how this practical reasonableness differs from erudition or aesthetic achievement: “You [the teachers] should concern yourself less with furnishing their mind than with forming their reason. Teach your pupils to be extremely cautious in their reading. 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 teacher can function as an accurate spiritual director only if the pupil discloses her actual moral struggles and achievements: “Sometimes you [the teachers] should let them express their will so that you may understand their basic dispositions. In 1683, Louis’ long-suffering wife, Queen Marie Therese died paving the way for Louis to marry Maintenon. He died in Versailles in 1715 at the age of 77. To assist in the perfection of moral character, the schoolmistress should regularly engage in conversation with her pupils. “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. Your email address will not be published. “Since God has made you ladies by birth, have a lady’s manners. Of the Education of Ladies argues that teacher-pupil dialogue should occur outside as well as inside the classroom: “On occasion you [the teachers] should be ready to chat informally with your pupils. During these salon sessions Madame Scarron also read and debated the works of Descartes. This exhibition is made in media partnership with : 21-23 March 2019This international symposium has been an opportunity to take a fresh look at this multifaceted historical figure, reviewing the biographical aspects of the Marquise, as well as her correspondence and the literary and iconographic legend surrounding her. The app includes the audioguide tour of the Palace and an interactive map of the Estate. Revise your French history with help from the artworks of the Palace of Versailles! Françoise d'Aubigné (27 November 1635 – 15 April 1719), known first as Madame Scarron and subsequently as Madame de Maintenon (French: [madam də mɛ̃t(ə)nɔ̃] (listen)), was a French noblewoman who secretly married King Louis XIV. They would flood you with pamphlets containing the maxims, phrases, and songs which they sell for practically nothing.”  Theoretical instruction in the demands of virtue is insufficient for the actual cultivation of it. 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. 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. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. 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. Paul de Noailles et Alicia Rochechouart Mortemart, The site of the Departmental Council of Eure et Loir. 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. “I [temperance] must temper a religious zeal that is too busy, too emotional, and indiscreet. Louis XIV, son of Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, was crowned King of France on 7 June 1654 in Reims. You can now listen the audio records of the symposium on its official page. The marriage appears to have been a happy one, leaving Françoise much grieved by the death of her husband just eight years later in 1660. But there is more than one kind of fear. The beautiful and intelligent Françoise captivated Paul Scarron, and the two soon began exchanging letters. You can acquire an influence over them that will prove beneficial.”  The pupil is not to remain passive in this dialogue. It imposes itself as the central virtue inasmuch as it prevents the other virtues from deteriorating into their customary excesses. The marriage was never publicly announced, although the court quickly perceived that Madame de Maintenon had assumed the role and duties of Louis XIV’s legitimate wife. 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. Simply click 'close' in the top right corner to continue reading! ], [A biography focusing on the role of Maintenon in the court politics at Versailles. “I destroy gluttony and excess. I moderate the length of prayer, ascetical practices, recollection, silence, and good works. In 1688, the King gave the estate of Maintenon the title of marquisat-pairie. The King took an interest in Maintenon and in 1676 sent his gardener, Le Nôtre, to draw up plans for the grounds. Madame de Maintenon bore much of the blame for this new state of affairs, which many courtiers resented. Maintenon transforms the nature of moral virtue according to the demands of gender and social class. Madame Scarron patiently nursed a sickly husband who visibly esteemed his beautiful and intelligent young wife. We use cookies to ensure a personalised experience on our website. Moniek Born in 1635 in the prison at Niort, where her father was imprisoned for debt, she was orphaned in 1647 and in 1652 married the poet Paul Scarron, who was renowned as a master of the burlesque. Obviously, this approach provides less occasion for the knowledge and skill of the schoolmistress to sparkle. Even the virtues of religion must subordinate themselves to the empire of temperance. August 2, 2018 (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); This article was written by Holly Sennett. ], [Contemporary English translation of Maintenon’s major educational texts, accompanied by philosophical commentary. By the end of August, it became clear that any day could be the King’s last. 3 At the age of fifteen Françoise first met the talented poet Paul Scarron, over 20 years her senior and terribly crippled. At the beginning of the dialogue, Faustine insists that courage is not proper for women. After the sudden death of Queen Marie-Thérèse on July 9, 1683, the king drew closer to 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. By the middle of the decade, Maintenon encouraged Louis XIV’s campaign against Quietism and the expulsion of faculty sympathetic to Quietism. 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. The ends of education are traditional: the formation of moral character for a Catholic member of the provincial aristocracy. Not only am I opposed to all evil; I moderate all good. Françoise was buried inside the chapel at Saint-Cyr with no members of the court present at her funeral. Although she was never considered queen of France, she was one of the King's closest advisers and the royal children's governess. Maintenon grew disenchanted with a piety that seemed to undercut the acquisition of virtue and ardor in one’s studies and future work. Similarly, glory is redefined away from its traditionally masculine framework of military prowess or political preeminence. The daughter of an incarcerated Huguenot, Françoise had a relatively modest upbringing. Théophile Lavallée’s multi-volume edition of Maintenon’s writings (1854-66) remains the most thorough print edition of Maintenon, but we remain far from a complete – let alone a critical – edition of her works. I shorten a sermon, a spiritual dialogue, or an examination of conscience.”  Echoing Méré’s portrait of the honnête homme, Maintenon’s moral ideal of the student is the woman who subjects all thought and action to the moderating influence of temperance. ], [A sympathetic study of the political role of Maintenon. Sophisticated concerts, plays, debates, and liturgical services soon attracted a prestigious Parisian public. 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. Situated in 1686 at Saint-Cyr, the Institute of Saint Louis was generously subsidized by Louis XIV. Her father Constant d’Aubigné was a career criminal who had received jail terms for murder, kidnapping, treason, and debt. It consists in sharing the destiny of the unfortunate and in never holding them in contempt.”  In this fusion of neo-Stoic and Christian theories of virtue, eminence denotes both volitional equilibrium and sacrificial love of the suffering neighbor. Strikingly, whereas most philosophers would name justice as the most important virtue, Maintenon prizes temperance as the central virtue in a moral character. Things quickly unraveled once Louis XIV of France learned Scarron once whored herself at Villarceaux. Life at Saint-Cyr would be one of quiet happiness and reflection. It puts everything into order. 9 Louis XIV, King of France, died on the 1st of September 1715, leaving Françoise a widow once again. ], [A critical treatment of Maintenon’s work as antifeminist. He married Maria Theresa of Austria on 9 June 1660. Throughout her childhood and formative years, Françoise’s aunt, Madame de Villette, played a crucial role in the education and upbringing of her niece. “Certainly courage is opposed to fear. They love work, they want to please their teachers, and they want to do even more than one asks of them.”  Saint-Cyr alumnae express this gendered courage by enduring the constraints of the impoverished life of the provincial aristocracy. Other commentators, however, notably Carolyn Lougee (1976) and Carlo François (1987), lament that Maintenon’s educational experiments and theories still confined women to the spheres of the household and of the convent. 0. We have to see ourselves as we are. When the affair between Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan collapsed, Maintenon encouraged the king to reconcile with his estranged wife, Marie-Thérèse of Austria. In 1675, again acting on the advice of the Marquise de Montespan, Louis XIV granted her two royal donations which enabled her to purchase the estate of Maintenon and take on the title which came with it. In her account of the cardinal virtues, temperance holds pride of place. At the beginning of the dialogue, Justice presents its traditional claim as the preeminent virtue: “There is nothing as beautiful as Justice. The tiny apartment of the Scarrons quickly became a salon for Parisian authors of a libertine bent. Despite its unpromising origins, the marriage proved a reasonable success. It not only includes the refusal of any major sin; it encompasses the refusal of typical female indiscretions, such as flirtation, receiving gifts from men, or accepting letters from men unknown to the addressee. The secondary goal is vocational formation. 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. In the corridors of power. The odd match became an object of ridicule in the Parisian salons. She was especially influenced by George Brossin, chevalier de Méré, the essayist who argued that the honnête homme, the temperate person who exercised restraint in arriving at judgments, should be the moral ideal of an age exhausted by religious fanaticism. Of particular philosophical importance are the writings where Maintenon treats ethical issues, especially the nature of virtue and vice. Eventually, in 1691 Montespan would retire to a convent. Versailles Wiki is a FANDOM TV Community. The cultural triumph of the school, however, created educational problems. Françoise d’Aubigné, Madame de Maintenon died on the 15th April 1719. Exercises of piety are to be commended only to the extent that they reflect the moderation and sobriety typical of the virtue of temperance.
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