Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Sevigne, MARIE DE RABUTIN-CHANTAL, MARQUISE DE (1626-96), the most fascinating of letter-writers, was the daughter of Celse Benigne de Rabutin, Baron de Chantal, the representative of an ancient Burgundian family. She lost her parents in early childhood, and was brought up by her mother's brother, the Abbe de Coulanges. In her 19th year she married Henri, Marquis de Sevigne, a gentleman of Brittany, to whom, in spite of his debhaucheries, she seems to have been sincerely attached. In 1651 he was killed in a duel occasioned by one of his amours, and henceforward she devoted herself tot he care of her little son and daughter and the cultivation of her numerous friendships. Her time was divied between her husband's country seat of Les Rochers, near Vitre, and the gay world of Paris, with occasional visits to her frineds' chateaux after the marriage of her daughter (Francoise Marguerite) in 1669, to Francois Adhemar, Comte de Grignan, the Lieutenant-General of Provence. Excepting during the intervals when they were together either at Paris or in Provence, mother and daughter kept up a constant correspondence for 25 years, and the letters written by Mme. de Sevigne have ever been treasured by lovers of literature, not only for their graceful style, but for the picture they present of a noble, pure, and tender-hearted woman. The whole of Mme. de Sevigne's correspondence throws much valuable light on the history and social condition of the time.