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

Stael Holstein

Stael-Holstein, ANNE LOUISE GERMAINE, BARONESS DE (1766-1817), the eminent French writer, was the daughter of Necker, the great Finance Minister of Louis XVI. She was given a first-class education, and the society she met at her father's honse helped largely to develop her genius. Her highly-strung and nervous temperament found a congenial attraction in the writings of Jean Jacques Rousseau, and her first work was a series of letters on them, published in 1788. In 1786 she married the Baron de Stael-Holstein, Swedish ambassador at Paris, and, as was often the case in such mariages de convenance, had not expressed any affection for bim, he being much older than herself. but socially a desirable husband. For some years they lived at Paris, and she took a very active part in the events which occurred during the early period of the Revolution, sustaining the royal family by her sympathy, and doing a great deal to mitigate their troubles. In 1793 she published a very powerful appeal in behalf of the Queen, and shortly after left Paris, in time to escape the Reign of Terror. Returning in 1795, her salon became the centre of much literary and political activity, and, after the rise of Napoleon, viewed his actions with great suspicion. She detested him cordially, and the dislike was mutual. In every possible way she opposed his will, and finally enraged him so much that in 1801 she was ordered to quit Paris in twenty-four hours - a coup which cruelly wounded her, as it broke up her salon and lost her some adherents. Her husband died in 1802, and she went to Germany, where she became the friend of Goethe, Schiller, Wieland, and others. In the year mentioned she published one of her chief works, Delphine, a romance which attracted many readers by its passionate, poetical style. After travelling about a great deal, she once more entered France; but in 1807, on the publication of her best-known work, Corinne, she was again-compelled to leave it. Her next great work was the book on Germany - L'Allemagne - which had a tremendous effect on French literature, as it first introduced to her countrymen the leading German writers, and proved to be one of the germs of the romantic movement in France. L'Allemagne was seized by the censors and destroyed, and Madame de Stael, who had again settled in France, left that country for the last time and settled in Switzerland, where she died. Her Considerations sur la Revolution Francaise and her Dix Annees d' Exil were her latest works of consequence. The latter was published after her death, and is a record of her persecution by Napoleon. Beyond doubt Madame de Stael exercised more influence with her contemporaries than any other woman of modern times.