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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 November 2013


This paper examines female libertinism in eighteenth-century France, highlighting the hybrid identity of actress, courtesan and prostitute of female performers at the Paris Opéra. The main focus is on the celebrated singer, Sophie Arnould. She and others like her achieved celebrity by moving seamlessly between these three facets of their identity. Their celebrity also allowed them to circulate within the highest social circles. Feminists of the 1790s such as Olympe de Gouges and Théroigne de Méricourt had pre-Revolutionary careers that were very similar to those of Arnould. It is suggested that understanding this kind of individual in Ancien Régime France can help us to identify a neglected libertine strand within Enlightenment culture, that merged into proto-feminism in the French Revolution. The paper offers a new approach to some of the origins of modern French feminism.

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Copyright © Royal Historical Society 2013 

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1 Charles-Germain de Saint-Aubin, Livre de caricatures tant bonnes que mauvaises, fo. 304. See (call-mark 675.304) (last accessed 3 June 2013). For the work generally, see Jones, Colin, ‘French Crossings. II. Laughing over Boundaries’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 21 (2011), 138CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed.

2 Piton, Camille, Paris sous Louis XV: rapports des inspecteurs de police au Roi (5 vols. in 3, Paris, 1910–14)Google Scholar, v, 132–5.

3 For scatology in the Livre de caricatures, see esp. Jones, ‘French Crossings. II’, esp. 29ff.

4 Waddesdon call-mark 675.192. Much about Deschamps's life can be gleaned from the police inspector reports in Piton, Paris sous Louis XV, and (for the early 1760s) in Journal des inspecteurs de M. de Sartines, 1e série, 1761–4 (Paris, 1863). There is a good biographical sketch drawing on these and other primary source materials in Bénabou, Erica-Marie, La prostitution et la police des moeurs au XVIIIe siècle (Paris, 1987), 369–77Google Scholar (see ibid., 209, for La Bouexière's residence). See too the older Capon, G. and Yve-Plessis, R., Fille d'Opéra, vendeuse d'amour. Histoire de Mademoiselle Deschamps (1730–64) (Paris, 1906)Google Scholar.

5 Capon and Yve-Plessis, Fille d'Opéra, 137, 141–2.

6 Capon, G. and Yve-Plessis, R., La vie privée du prince de Conty, Louis-François de Bourbon (1717–76) (Paris, 1907), 87Google Scholar. The account of her life given here draws on the sources cited above, n. 4. The other princes of blood besides Conti and Clermont were Orléans, La Marche and Charolais. For Villemur, see Piton, Paris sous Louis XV, v, 98, 390 and passim; and for ‘retail’, ibid., v, 106. For the argot of Parisian prostitution, see Bénabou, La prostitution et la police des moeurs, 212–14, 331ff.

7 Capon and Yve-Plessis, Fille d'Opéra, 179 (Messalina); Cheverny, Dufort de, Mémoires, ed. Guicciardi, J. P. (Paris, 1990), 278Google Scholar (ugly lovers); and Piton, Paris sous Louis XV, v, 135–6 and passim (lesbianism).

8 The outline of the narrative can be followed in police reports in Journal des inspecteurs de M. de Sartines, and in Favart, Charles-Simon, Mémoires et correspondance littéraire, dramatique et anecdotique (3 vols., Paris, 1808), ii, 1318Google Scholar, inc. footnotes. For the early 1760s as hard times for prostitutes, see Bénabou, La prostitution et la police des moeurs, 341, 349.

9 [Edmond-Jean-François Barbier], Chronique de la Régence et du règne de Louis XV, ou Journal de Barbier (8 vols., Paris, 1857–66), vii, 246–7; [Grimm], Correspondance littéraire, philosophique et critique de Grimm, Diderot, Raynal, Meister, etc, ed. Maurice Tourneux (16 vols., Paris, 1877–82), xii, 312 (Sept. 1779). For another backward glance on her memory, see Manuel, Pierre, La police de Paris dévoilée (2 vols., Paris, Year II = 1794)Google Scholar, i, 124, ii, 169.

10 Bénabou, La prostitution et la police des mœurs, 376; Capon and Yve-Plessis, Fille d'Opéra, 193.

11 Chevrier, De, Le Colporteur (Paris, 1762), 97Google Scholar (prodigy); Bénabou, La prostitution et la police des mœurs, 334 (citing La Morandière: seven wonders); Fonvizine, Denis, Lettres de France (1777–8) (reprint edn, Oxford, 1995), 127Google Scholar (Sodom).

12 Mercier, Louis-Sébastien, Le tableau de Paris, ed. Bonnet, Jean-Claude (Paris, 1994)Google Scholar, ii, 17. For Mercier's father, see Piton, Paris sous Louis XV, 117. The premises were on the Rue Bellefonds.

13 There has been a revival of interest on libertinage in recent years, most of it highlighting aristocratic men. See, for example, Lasowski, Patrick Wald, L'ardeur et la galanterie (Paris, 1986)Google Scholar; Delon, Michel, Le savoir-vivre libertin (Paris, 2000)Google Scholar; Foucault, Didier, Histoire du libertinage des goliards au marquis de Sade (Paris, 2007)Google Scholar; and Blanc, Olivier, L'amour à Paris au temps de Louis XVI (Paris, 2002)Google Scholar. A more open approach is offered in Libertine Enlightenment. Sex, Liberty and Licence in the Eighteenth Century, ed. Peter Cryle and Lisa O'Connell (2004). For women, see also Blanc, Olivier, Les Libertines: plaisir et liberté au temps des Lumières (Paris, 1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar, and Femmes et libertinages au XVIIIe siècle: ou les caprices de Cythère, ed. Anne Richardot (Rennes, 2003). A recent return to the history of prostitution is Prostitution in the Eighteenth Century: Sex, Commerce and Morality, ed. Markman Ellis and Ann Lewis (2012). See esp. Ann Lewis, ‘Classifying the Prostitute in Eighteenth-Century France’, in ibid., 17ff, for a thorough review of the range of practice in this domain.

14 Jones, Colin, ‘Prostitution and the Ruling Class in Eighteenth-Century Montpellier’, History Workshop, 6 (1978), 728CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

15 Representative of this moment in the feminist history of women were works with titles like Rowbotham, Sheila, Hidden from History: 300 Years of Female Oppression (1974)Google Scholar, and Becoming Visible: Women in European History, ed. Renate Bridenthal and Claudia Koonz (Boston, MA, 1977). Fundamental, in terms of the French Revolution, was Hufton, Olwen, ‘Women in Revolution, 1789–96’, Past and Present, 53 (1971), 90108CrossRefGoogle Scholar. For an overview of Hufton's feminist history, see Colin Jones, ‘Olwen Hufton's “Poor”, Richard Cobb's “People” and Notions of the Longue Durée in French Revolutionary Historiography’, in The Art of Survival: Gender and History in Europe, 1450–2000, ed. Ruth Harris and Lyndal Roper, Past and Present Supplement 1 (Oxford, 2006), 78–103. Another work of this earlier generation is Women in Revolutionary Paris, 1789–95, ed. Darleen G. Levy, Harriet B. Applewhite and Mary D. Johnson (Urbana, 1979).

16 Blanc, Olivier, Marie-Olympe de Gouges, une humaniste à la fin du XVIIIe siècle (Paris, 2003)Google Scholar; Scott, Joan W., Only Paradoxes to Offer. French Feminists and the Rights of Man (1996)Google Scholar, focused on Olympe de Gouges; Olivier Blanc, ‘Etta-Lubina-Johana d'Aëlders, Mme Palm’, in idem, Les libertines; Roudinesco, Elisabeth, Théroigne de Méricourt. Une femme mélancolique sous la Révolution française (Paris, 1989)Google Scholar; and Godineau, Dominique, Citoyennes tricoteuses. Les femmes du peuple à Paris pendant la Révolution française (Paris, 1988)Google Scholar. The literature on women and the French Revolution over the last quarter-century is too long to be listed here.

17 Landes, Joan, Women and the Public Sphere in the Age of Democratic Revolution (Ithaca, 1988)Google Scholar; Robaye, René, ‘Code, droit et société bourgeoise en 1804’, in Vers un ordre bourgeois? Révolution française et changement social, ed. Jessenne, Jean-Pierre (Rennes, 2007)Google Scholar.

18 See Jones, Colin, ‘French Crossings I. Tales of Two Cities’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 20 (2010), 126CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

19 For France, see Goodman, Dena, The Republic of Letters. A Cultural History of the French Enlightenment (Ithaca, 1994)Google Scholar; and for England, Eger, Elizabeth, Bluestockings. Women of Reason from the Enlightenment to Romanticism (Basingstoke, 2010)Google Scholar.

20 Besides works cited above, nn. 15 and 17, see esp. Taylor, Barbara, Mary Wollstonecraft and the Feminist Imagination (Cambridge, 2003)Google Scholar; Women, Gender and Enlightenment, ed. Sarah Knott and Barbara Taylor (2005), see, though, the essay by Felicia Gordon, cited below, n. 89; and O'Brien, Karen, Women and Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Cambridge, 2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

21 This is in fact the approach taken in Cheek, Pamela, Sexual Antipodes. Enlightenment Globalisation and the Placing of Sex (Stanford, 2003)Google Scholar, see esp. 214 n. 99.

22 The excellent biographical treatment of Arnould by the Goncourt brothers is surprisingly short on detail on her theatrical and wider social life while she was at the height of her fame. Edmond and de Goncourt, Jules, Les actrices du XVIIIe siècle. Sophie Arnould, d'après sa correspondance et ses mémoires inédits (Paris, 1893)Google Scholar, see 13 for the quotation. There is also a very well-researched recent popular biography by Trouilleux, Rodolf, N'oubliez pas Iphigénie: biographie de la cantatrice et épistolière Sophie Arnould, 1740–1802 (Grenoble, 1999)Google Scholar. Unfortunately, although an impressive list of sources is given there are no footnotes, making it very difficult to align data and sources. The source-list has, however, provided some good leads, notably in the Archives Nationales (AN). Much the same problem applies to the also otherwise rich popular biography by Billy, André, La vie amoureuse de Sophie Arnould (Paris, 1929)Google Scholar. Sophie Arnould was a sufficiently high-profile figure to have left much information and many anecdotes about her. She and her lover Lauraguais are among the most heavily cited individuals in contemporary journalism: Le règne de la critique. L'imaginaire culturel des ‘Mémoires secrets’, ed. C. Cave (Paris, 2010). Cf. Mémoires secrets, dits de Bachaumont, ed. Christophe Cave and Suzanne Cornand (36 vols. in 5, Paris, 2009). Besides these sources, I have drawn on her ‘dossier d'artiste’ in the Archives de l'Opéra (AOp.). The latter also include a series of letters, mainly from the 1770s (LAS Arnould/1–31), and what seems to be the early parts of an autobiography which in some (but far from all) details corresponds to that cited by the Goncourts (LAS Arnould 32: inc. ‘Morceaux détachés ou supplément à la partie des mémoires de mademoiselle Arnould écrits par elle-même’). The ‘doyenne of catins’ phrase comes from verse cited in Marquis de Bombelles, Journal, i:1780–4 (Geneva, 1978), 62.

23 Diderot, Denis, Paradoxe sur le comédien, ed. Dupuy, Ernest (Paris, 1902)Google Scholar, 147. Rousseau's views are trenchantly put in his ‘Lettre à M. d'Alembert sur les spectacles’. This came out in 1758, the very year that Sophie Arnould began her career. Cf. Landes, Women and the Public Sphere, esp. 74–6. ‘Vestalité miraculeuse’ was a term used by police inspectors: Bénabou, La prostitution et la police des moeurs, 109.

24 Capon and Yve-Plessis, Fille d'Opéra, 20. Figures 4 and 6 are drawn from a compendious set of drawings of costumes in the Paris Opéra by Louis-René Boquet, the Opéra's costume designer. There are a number of Sophie Arnould, but none of the parts in plays that we know Deschamps played in. Figure 4 is thus only typical of the genre.

25 Arnould's early life can be followed in Goncourt, Sophie Arnould, 14ff, and AOp., LAS Arnould 32. Both accounts, as Goncourt notes, are full of stories, many no doubt apocryphal.

26 Journal et mémoires de Charles Collé, ed. Honoré Bonhomme (3 vols., 1868), ii, 147; David Garrick is cited in Goncourt, Sophie Arnould, 39.

27 Arnould's performance is commented on in [Grimm], Correspondance littéraire, iii, 477. See the list of Deschamps's performances in Capon and Yve-Plessis, Fille d'Opéra, 211ff. Both women feature in songs and ditties featured in the Chansonnier Maurepas: see Recueil Clairambault-Maurepas, Chansonnier historique du XVIIIe siècle, ed. E. Raunié (10 vols., Paris 1879–84), vii–ix, passim.

28 See Poulet, Anne, Jean-Antoine Houdon, Sculptor of the Enlightenment (Chicago, 2003), 96103Google Scholar. Olivier Blanc has stated that the original was by Leclercq not de la Tour: Blanc, Olivier, Portraits de femmes. Artistes et modèles à l’époque de Marie-Antoinette (Paris, 2006), 297Google Scholar. For Sophie Arnould's success of the role in Iphigénie, see Goncourt, Sophie Arnould, 92–3.

29 Galerie théâtrale. Collection de 144 portraits des principaux acteurs et actrices qui ont illustré la scène française depuis 1552 à nos jours (2 vols., Paris, 1873), i, 3. I have preferred this to the slightly less colourful version of the incident given in Goncourt, Sophie Arnould, 155. See too [Fayolle], Esprit de Sophie Arnould (Paris, 1813), 14.

30 Arnoldiana ou Sophie Arnould et ses contemporains (Paris 1813); and cf. [Fayolle], Esprit de Sophie Arnould.

31 The failure of humour to travel is considered in Jones, ‘French Crossings. II’.

32 For the underwear story, Marie José Kerhoas, ‘Les dessins de costumes de scène de 1750 à 1790 dans les collections patrimoniales françaises’ (doctoral thesis, Université de Tours, 2007), 18; cf. Mercier, Tableau de Paris.

33 ‘Ah, mes amis, nous sommes foutues’, Anecdotes échappées à l'Observateur anglais et aux Mémoires secrets en forme de correspondance (2 vols., 1788), i, 23–4. Another coarse shaft of wit may be found at Mémoires secrets, i, 209.

34 Fromageot, Paul, ‘Les fantaisies littéraires, galantes, politiques et autres d'un grand seigneur: le comte de Lauraguais (1733–1824)’, Revue des études historiques, 79 (1914), 1456Google Scholar, provides a summary overview. See too Goncourt, Sophie Arnould, esp. 32–40, 46–7, 54ff. For Arnould's life as a mother, see Dumoulin, Maurice, Sophie Arnould, mère de famille (Paris, 1911)Google Scholar. There is a good account of the relationship in Blanc, L'amour à Paris, ch. 12, 182–90.

35 Goncourt, Sophie Arnould 46 (kisses); Chef-d'oeuvres politiques et littéraires de la fin du XVIIIe siècle (3 vols., Paris, 1788), iii, 133 (good old days).

36 Goncourt, Sophie Arnould, 48–9n, gives the transcription, which is widely available elsewhere.

37 Diderot, Oeuvres: Correspondance, ed. L. Versini (Paris, 1997), 362, 365, 371.

38 The generosity of Lauraguais's wife as regards the children emerges from documents concerning the separation of the Lauraguais couple. AN Y14811 (5 Feb. 1763) and Y14812 (24 Mar. 1763). The couple's servants testified about Lauraguais's sobbing. See too the favourable comment on Mme de Lauraguais in Morellet, André, Lettres. Tome 1 (1759–85) (Oxford, 1991), 181Google Scholar.

39 Goncourt, Sophie Arnould, 83; Mémoires de la baronne d'Oberkirch sur la cour de Louis XVI et la société française avant 1789, ed. Suzanne Burkard (Paris, 1989), 183. For the Abbé Galiani's comments on the incident, see Fernando Galiani and Louise d’Épinay, Correspondance (5 vols., Paris, 1992–7), ii, 116.

40 AOp., LAS Arnould 32, fo. 3: autobiographical fragment. For the meaning of ‘belong[ing] to the king’, see below.

41 See above, p. 21.

42 For the Arnould salon, see e.g. Goncourt, Sophie Arnould, 121–2.

43 For Rousseau's involvement, see his Correspondance, ed. R. A. Leigh (52 vols., Oxford, 1981–98), xxviii, 322.

44 For the Bélanger relationship, see Stern, Jean, François-Joseph Bélanger, architecte des Menus-Plaisirs, premier architecte du comte d'Artois (Paris, 1930)Google Scholar, and Wahl, Roger, La folie de Saint-James, notamment d'après les ‘secrets’ de Bachaumont (Paris 1955)Google Scholar. For de Ligne, see de Ligne, Prince Charles-Joseph, Fragments de l'histoire de ma vie, ed. Vercruysse, Jérôme (2 vols., Paris, 2000)Google Scholar, i, 194, 291n.

45 The Wallace Collection owns what is often adjudged to be a portrait by Greuze of Sophie Arnould (call-mark P403). This is shown here, Figure 3. However, the painting is classified currently as ‘Portrait of a Lady’. Another portrait by Greuze (P413) is adjudged to be of Sophie Arnould.

46 Cited in Trouilleux, N'oubliez pas Iphigénie, 84; Goncourt, Sophie Arnould, 122n.

47 For the visit, Voltaire, Lettres historiques, politiques et critiques sur les événemens qui se sont passés depuis 1778 jusqu’à présent (18 vols., Paris, 1788–94Google Scholar), i, 48–9; and Goncourt, Sophie Arnould, 123n.

48 Gabriel de Saint-Aubin, 1724–80, ed. Colin B. Bailey (New York), 280–1.

49 For the sale inventory, see Dacier, Emile, Catalogues de ventes et livrets de salons illustrés par Gabriel de Saint-Aubin (11 vols., Paris, 1909–21)Google Scholar, viii:Natoire et Arnould (1778).

50 The system is well described in Bénabou, La prostitution et la police des moeurs, 109ff (‘Les “demoiselles de spectacle”’ (Mercier is cited at 110). See too Maugras, Gaston, Les comediens hors la loi (Paris, 1887)Google Scholar, inc. 216ff, specifically on Arnould; and ‘Mémoires de J. C. P. Lenoir’ (1790), in Milliot, Vincent, Un policier des Lumières (Paris, 2011), 505Google Scholar.

51 This was the architect and designer Blanchard who launched a suit against her for unpaid bills in 1760. See Capon and Yve-Plessis, Fille d'Opéra, 162–5.

52 For an overview of the king's sex-life and his illegitimate offspring, see M. Antoine, Louis XV (Paris, 1989), 484ff, 507ff, 842ff; and for Mme du Barry, 886ff. For the public scandals aroused by tales of the private lives of king and courtiers, see Maza, Sarah, Private Lives and Public Affairs. The Causes Célèbres of Pre-Revolutionary France (Berkeley, 1993)Google Scholar; and Dictionnaires des vies privées (1722–1842), ed. Olivier Ferret et al. (Oxford, 2012).

53 Of Lany's claims on Madame Deschamps, police spies noted that paying the droit d'entrée ‘cost her little, for she was already well broken in’: Piton, Paris sous Louis XV, v, 98. See too ibid., v, 122. This could have been true of others: see for example the police comment on the possibility of a potential mistress at the Opéra being a virgin: ‘la chose n'est pas impossible; elle n'est pas française’(!): ibid., iii, 190. On the whole sexual ecology of the Opéra, see Muchembled, Robert, Les ripoux des Lumières. Corruption policière et révolution (Paris, 2011)Google Scholar, esp. 279ff, and Berlanstein, Lennard R., Daughters of Eve: A Cultural History of French Theatre Women from the Old Regime to the Fin de Siècle (2001)Google Scholar, esp. ch. 2, 33ff.

54 Boureau, Alain, Le droit de cuissage. La fabrication d'un mythe, XIIIe–XXe siècles (Paris, 1995)Google Scholar.

55 In this, they were following the example of pimps generally: see ‘Instructions pour un homme qui veut devenir . . . maquereau’, in Correspondance de Mme Gourdan, dite la Comtesse (orig. 1783), ed. Jean Hervez (Paris, 1967), 185: ‘il ne faut pas oublier qu'on a droit de cuissage’.

56 Cf. Lever, Maurice, Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (3 vols., Paris, 1997)Google Scholar, i, 34, 293, etc. For Beaumarchais and Deschamps the younger, see Piton, Paris sous Louis XV, iii, 201. Beaumarchais comes up frequently in the biographies of Arnould and in the Arnoldiana.

57 [F. A. Chevrier], Les ridicules du siècle (1752), 65.

58 Le Vol plus haut, ou l'espion des principaux théâtres de la capitale (Memphis, 1784), 21 (sanctuary); de la Morandière, D. L. Turmeau, Représentations à M. le Lieutenant Général de Police de Paris sur les courtisanes à la mode et les demoiselles du bon ton (Paris, 1760), 11Google Scholar.

59 Bénabou, La prostitution et la police des moeurs, 110.

60 For this incident, whose telling was much replicated, see Piton, Paris sous Louis XV, v, 120.

61 Bénabou, La prostitution et la police des moeurs, 371 (Deschamps), 339 (general salary levels). The comparison with a lawyer is from Berlanstein, Daughters of Eve, 30. Cf. Goncourt, Sophie Arnould, 116–19. For the Opéra incident, see Piton, Paris sous Louis XV, v, 96.

62 Louis XV was probably moved this way by the disruptive political influence caused by Louis XIV's decision to legitimize his illegitimate children. See above, n. 52.

63 The argot among courtesans: Bénabou, La prostitution et la police des moeurs, 331.

64 Piton, Paris sous Louis XV, is absolutely full of examples of love's follies.

65 Bénabou, La prostitution et la police des moeurs, 332ff, and Muchembled, Les ripoux des Lumières, 281, 289, for such arrangements. For the example of Sophie Arnould and the prince d'Hénin, see Goncourt, Sophie Arnould, 68n; and Berlanstein, Daughters of Eve, 51. See too examples in Piton, Paris sous Louis XV, iii, 282, v, 111, etc.

66 Maugras, Les comédiens hors la loi, 186ff; for Bossuet, see Friedland, Paul, Political Actors. Representation, Bodies and Theatricality in the Age of the French Revolution (Ithaca, 2002)Google Scholar, 18. For Rousseau, see above, p. 13.

67 David Geggus, private communication.

68 Maugras, Les comediens hors la loi, 211. For the voyeurism, see Piton, Paris sous Louis XV, v, 310–11. See above, p. 5.

69 The La Salpetrière episode is recorded in Mémoires secrets, ii, 1242. Cf. Goncourt, Sophie Arnould, 73–4; and Maugras, Les comédiens hors la loi, 222ff. For the Hôpital Général as punishment, see Bénabou, La prostitution et la police des mœurs, 414ff. For Arnould's concerns about her end, AOp., LAS Arnould, 3: [if she does not receive aid], ‘il me faudra aller mourir à l'Hôpital, et je n'ai pourtant pas une grande estime pour ce château’.

70 The range of punishments is detailed in Bénabou, La prostitution et la police des moeurs: see esp. 19ff (ch. 1, ‘La répression’), 63–5, 79ff, 85ff. See too Mercier, Tableau de Paris, ii, 15–19.

71 In 1778, la tonte (head-shaving) was reimposed: Bénabou, La prostitution et la police des moeurs, 62–3. Restif de la Bretonne guessed 20,000 prostitutes in the 1780s, and Bénabou endorses this approximate figure (p. 323). For magdalen shelters, ibid., 89ff; and for the dangers of venereal disease, ibid., esp. ch. 8 (‘Le “danger vénérien”: un mythe collectif?’), 407ff.

72 [Grimm], Correspondance littéraire, ix, 16 (May 1770: asthma). On the decline of her career, Goncourt, Sophie Arnould, 98–9; de Saint-Aubin, C. Pougin, Correspondance littéraire de Karlsruhe (1766–8), ed. Schlobach, J. (Paris, 1995), 16 Sept. 1766Google Scholar; La Harpe, Jean-François, Correspondance littéraire (4 vols., Paris, 1801), i, 418Google Scholar; Mémoires secrets, i, 480 (16 June 1765), ii, 636 (4 Dec. 1766), ii, 839 (1 Jan. 1768), ii, 1073 (5 Feb. 1769), etc.

73 For the whole Raucourt farrago, see the very outdated but still useful de Reuilly, Jean, La Raucourt et ses amies. Étude historiques des moeurs saphiques au XVIIIe siècle (Paris, 1909)Google Scholar. For primary sources, consult Le vol plus haut, 45ff; Anecdotes échappées, 185; [Grimm], Correspondance littéraire, vi, 159; and Mémoires secrets, v, 35–7. And cf. Goncourt, Sophie Arnould, 82–4.

74 Arnoldiana, 137.

75 She alleged she was being convoked to Versailles down to 1788: Goncourt, Sophie Arnould, 95. For her retirement arrangements, ibid., 99–100, 111–12, 116.

76 The correspondence at AOp., LAS Arnould, 1–28, shows her struggling to cope with reduced income and lavish expenditure in the 1770s. The last 150 pages of Goncourt, Sophie Arnould, are composed of letters mainly from and sometimes to Arnould from 1789 to her death showing real distress.

77 Goncourt, Sophie Arnould, 194 (sons at Jacobin Club). For one son, see Chuquet, A., ‘Constant de Brancas, le fils de Sophie Arnould’, in idem, Études d'histoire. 4e série. Roture et noblesse dans l'armée royale (Paris, 1911)Google Scholar. The other was arrested in early 1794 but soon released and he became a clerk of the Committee of Public Safety: AN F7 4615.

78 Blanc, L'amour à Paris, 185 (Hénin); Goncourt, Sophie Arnould, 143.

79 For her pension, see AN O1 404 (Arnould); Goncourt, Sophie Arnould, 179–80. The award letter from Neuchâteau is mentioned in her inventory: AN MC ET VII 561.

80 Goncourt, Sophie Arnould, 238 (skirts), 174 (spider), 251 (monkey, tortoise), 206 (church mouse, springtime), 204 (too young to die).

81 AN MC ET VII 561 (8 Nov. 1802). Curiously, an abortive inventory had been started but not completed on the same day: AN MC ET IV 938.

82 Goncourt, Sophie Arnould, 155; for Mercier, see above, p. 12.

83 Notably in her ‘Women in Revolution’ and in Women and the Limits of Citizenship in the French Revolution (Toronto, 1992).

84 Blanc, Les libertines, does recognise the strand of libertinism. But he does not link it to proto-feminism as here.

85 See the list of works at n. 15.

86 See above, p. 28.

87 The name of Sophie Arnould is often evoked in Balzac's novels in fact as a token of a lost Ancien Régime world of wit and elegance. References to her in Sarrasine, La Cousine Bette, Scènes de la vie pariseienne and Physiologie du mariage may be recovered through Frantext/ARTFL.

88 See esp. Libertine Enlightenment, ed. Cryle and O'Connell, 2ff.

89 Felicia Gordon, ‘Filles Publiques or Public Women: The Actress as Citizen’, in Women, Gender and Enlightenment, ed. Knott and Taylor, stands out from the collection by highlighting the link between acting, libertinism and politics.

90 Besides the works cited above, see T. Furniss, ‘Mary Wollstonecraft's French Revolution’, in Cambridge Companion to Mary Wollstonecraft, ed. C. L. Johnson (Cambridge, 2002).

91 Ibid., 70; Taylor, Mary Wollstonecraft, esp. 198ff, for a discussion of libertinism.

92 Bénabou, La prostitution et la police des moeurs, 502ff. See too the works by Susan P. Conner: ‘Politics, Prostitution and the Pox in Revolutionary Paris, 1789–99’, Journal of Social History, 22 (1988), 221–40; ‘Public Virtue and Public Women: Prostitution in Revolutionary Paris’, Eighteenth-Century Studies, 28 (1994); ‘Napoleon's Courtesans, Citoyennes and Cantinières’, Members’ Bulletin of the Napoleonic Society of America, 73 (2003), 21–5.

93 Bénabou, La prostitution et la police des moeurs, 428.

94 Maslan, S., Revolutionary Acts: Theatre, Democracy, and the French Revolution (Baltimore, 2005), 15Google Scholar. Also on Revolutionary theatre, see Kennedy, E., A Cultural History of the French Revolution (New Haven, 1989)Google Scholar; and Hemmings, F. W. J., Theatre and State in France, 1760–1905 (Cambridge, 1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Cf. Friedland, Political Actors.

95 Carlson, M., The Theatre of the French Revolution (Ithaca, 1966), 80Google Scholar.

96 Maximilien Robespierre, Oeuvres complètes (11 vols., Paris, 1910–2007), x, 101. My thanks to Jeremy Jennings for locating this reference.

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