Voltaire Residence

This page shows people who were in the life of Emilie du Châtelet.



Madame de Graffigny by F.-B. Lépicié
Madame de Graffigny
Françoise d'Issembourg-d'Happencourt de Graffigny (1695-1758)

Madame de Graffigny was a guest at the Chateau de Cirey for nine weeks. What we know today about Voltaire and Emilie while they lived at the chateau is greatly due to the letters that this woman wrote to her friends who were at the Court of Stanislaw in Lunéville.

Madame de Graffigny often wrote several letters a day and told about everything that was happening at the chateau. She described Voltaire's rooms and Emilie's bedroom, the clothes and jewelry they wore, their furniture, their conversations, their habits, their quarrels, their virtues, vices, and their private papers.

In the 18th century it was common for people to correspond with many friends. If a letter was interesting, it was likely to be shared with others. Sometimes letters found their way to a printer and were sold to the general public. Madame de Graffigny was an entertaining writer and a gossip. Today she might be hired to write for a "tell-all" magazine. The information that she sent to her friends about daily life at the Chateau de Cirey was quickly passed along to others.

Emilie was pleased when she left Cirey.


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