Madeleine de Souvré

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Madeleine de Souvré

Madeleine de Souvré , Marquise de Sablé (* 1599 ; † 1678 , also called Madame de Sablé ) was a French noblewoman and salonnière .

Madeleine was one of six children and was raised at the French court. At the age of 15 she married Philippe Emmanuel de Laval (Marquis de Sablé) from the Montmorency family , with whom she had nine children. After the death of her husband in 1640, she found herself in precarious financial circumstances due to the lavish lifestyle of the deceased.

Initially a loyal visitor to the Marquise de Rambouillet's salon , after her death in 1655, Madame de Sablé opened her own salon in Port Royal des Champs , which soon became one of the most popular in Paris . Here, for example, François de La Rochefoucauld and Madame de La Fayette frequented .

In 1678, immediately after her death, Abbé d'Ailly published her volume of aphorisms, Maximes , with which she continued the genre created by La Rochefoucauld.

Madame de Sablé and Port-Royal

After the death of her husband in 1640 (and one of her sons in 1646), Madame de Sablé turned increasingly to religion, namely the Jansenist Cistercian convent Port-Royal des Champs , which had moved to Paris and where she withdrew several times for meditation. On April 16, 1656 she moved into the house built especially for her there with a passage to the monastery and entrance to the street (today: Boulevard Port-Royal), which allowed her to combine intensive religious practice with glamorous life in her salon. As part of the persecution of the monastery by Louis XIV, her private door to the monastery was walled up on August 1st, 1661. In the conflict between king and monastery, she tried unsuccessfully to mediate. When the Cistercian women were expelled in 1664 and replaced by nuns loyal to the king, she stayed at home and also maintained good relations with the new abbess, something that the expellees resented her. She died in Port Royal on January 16, 1678.


  • Pearl Bugnion-Secretan: Mère Agnès Arnauld 1593–1672. Abbesse de Port-Royal . Cerf, Paris 1996, pp. 121-127, 253, 255.

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Commons : Madeleine de Souvré  - Collection of images, videos and audio files