|de Scudéry, Madeleine
|Le Havre (France)
Madeleine de Scudéry was born into a minor Norman aristocratic family of relatively modest means. At the age of six, she was orphaned and entered the care of her uncle, who provided her with an unusually extensive education for a woman. In 1637, Madeleine de Scudéry came to live with her brother Georges, a successful playwright, who introduced her to the Rambouillet salon, one of the most significant literary salons of Paris at the time, in which they both actively participated. In 1653, Scudéry formed her own salon, the Samedis, or the Saturday club. She was connected to the prominent intellectuals who frequented her salon, including Françoise d’Aubigné (Madame de Maintenon), Paul Pellisson, Jean-François Sarasin, and Antoine Gombaud, chevalier de Méré. Though Scudéry was most famous for being a novelist, her works are in a variety of genres, including novels, novellas, dialogues, letters and orations. The rhetorical oration was a genre invented by Scudéry, and it is characterized by a use of a fictitious diatribe by a powerful woman in a moment of crisis. Though Scudéry’s authorship was openly acknowledged, most of her works were published under the name of Georges or anonymously. Madeleine was buried in the Parisian church of Saint-Nicolas-des-Champs.