Audiobook: Madame de Staël

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Madame de Staël

1 - Ch. 1: The Mother

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Madame Germaine de Staël (1766-1817) was the daughter of the Swiss banker and statesman, Jacques Necker. Her mother hosted a popular Paris salon where intellectuals gathered, many of whom contributed to the education of the brilliant girl. After his fall from political power in 1781, her still-wealthy father was able to marry Germaine to Baron Erik Magnus Staël von Holstein, but the couple separated in 1797. A successful novelist, Madame de Staël was a fervent defender of J.J. Rousseau and of the ideals of the French Revolution. In 1792 she was forced to flee to England where she continued to socialize with such French luminaries as Charles Maurice de Talleyrand. After the death of Robespierre in 1794, she returned to Paris where she met and came to oppose Napoleon. (Pamela Nagami)

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