Memoirs (The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe) by Marie Mancini, Hortense Mancini, Sarah Nelson PDF

By Marie Mancini, Hortense Mancini, Sarah Nelson

The memoirs of Hortense (1646–1699) and of Marie (1639–1715) Mancini, nieces of the robust Cardinal Mazarin and contributors of the courtroom of Louis XIV, signify the earliest examples in France of memoirs released via girls below their very own names in the course of their lifetimes. either unhappily married—Marie had additionally fled the aftermath of her failed affair with the king—the sisters selected to depart their husbands for all times at the highway, a existence relatively infrequent for girls in their day.

Through their writings, the Mancinis sought to rehabilitate their reputations and reclaim the best to outline their public photos themselves, instead of go away the tales in their lives to the intrigues of the court—and to their disgruntled ex-husbands. First translated in 1676 and 1678 and credited principally to male redactors, the 2 memoirs reemerge the following in an obtainable English translation that chronicles the beginnings of women’s rights to private independence in the confines of an differently circumscribed early glossy aristocratic society.

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14 With their “honor” in this sorry state, then, both Hortense and Marie went further and took the outrageous step of publishing their life stories, under their own names and not only during their own lifetimes but while they were still quite young (they were twenty-nine and thirty-eight, respectively, at publication of their memoirs). This was unseemly in the extreme: noble women did not make their personal life-writing public, or if they did, that writing was of a devotional or edifying nature, and it was circulated among the elite in manuscript form.

I have followed the edition by Cholakian and Goldsmith, which conforms to the original edition in all respects—paragraph divisions, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. I have tried to remain as close as possible to the French text of each memoir. In general, I have maintained the authors’ syntax and their basic structure of principal and relative clauses, and I have kept the overall style of long, multiclause sentences; however, I have broken up some excessively long sentences in the interest of readability.

Biographie universelle, ou Dictionnaire historique des hommes qui se sont fait un nom par leur génie, leurs talens, leurs vertus, leurs erreurs ou leurs crimes. New ed. Ed. -X. de Feller and M. Pérennès. 13 vols. Paris: Méquignon Junior et J. Leroux; Gaume Frères, 1844. Biographie universelle ancienne et moderne, ou Histoire, par ordre alphabétique, de la vie publique et privée de tous les hommes qui se sont fait remarquer par leurs écrits, leurs actions, leurs talents, leurs vertus ou leurs crimes.

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