In 1814 Mme de Staël published a curious second preface to her Lettres sur les ouvrages et le caractère de J.-J. Rousseau (1788), her first important published work. In this new preface she shuns all discussion of Rousseau and simply restates her own ideas concerning woman. In her youthful work, despite occasional differences with Rousseau on other matters, Mme de Staël had espoused his idea of woman, abandoning all claims to feminine achievement for a Rousseauist enchantment with love. Her conception of woman, basically conservative, derived from a deep need not to diverge from the prejudices of her beloved father, whose notions paralleled Rousseau's. Mme de Staël's life departed radically from the conservative mold, however, and she experienced great difficulty in evolving a personal stand that could reconcile her confidence in her own gifts, emphasized in a passage from De la littérature, and her ideal of marital love, most explicitly stated in a chapter of De l'Allemagne. The second preface recapitulates these conflicts, but as an oblique reply to Rousseau's strictures on the woman of letters it is both an apologia for having lived the literary life and an understated espousal of the principle that the use of one's faculties is a positive good for all women.