Madame de Stael by Francine Gray

Madame de Stael Madame de Stael by Francine Gray

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Larger than life, Madame Germaine de Staël was a lightening rod figure in Swiss/French/German political, social, and literary circles. She stood her ground as she spread her opinions while holding court in her magnificent salons and publishing her work under threat from Napoleon. Men adored her, were challenged by her, and drawn to this woman of imposing intellect and strength. Her scope of influence extended well into the 20th century as a result of her mentoring at a time when women were not esteemed for their intellect and wit. Boldly taking many lovers who resided at her family estate in Coppet, Switzerland, Germaine secretly bore children, saw some die, spirited others elsewhere to be raised, and kept some in her household and at private schools. She met the physical challenges of being female with the strength and resilience that characterized her life in all spheres of endeavor.

This is an empowering read of a boldly modern woman and her role in shaping history. I read it in daily free email installments via and highly recommend this astounding nonfiction work.

A favorite line:
"With resentful dignity, Mme Necker retreated from her daughter’s life."
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

Romans 8:15–16

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