Voltaire Residence

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

Image from: Louis XV's Army ( I ) Cavalry & Dragoons copyright 1996 text by René Chartrand and color plates by Eugène Lelièpvre
Marquis Florent-Claude du Châtelet

Emilie's husband came from a distinguished family of the Duchy of Lorraine. Florent-Claude was a Colonel at the time he married Emilie in 1725, and by 1744 he held the high rank of Lieutenant General of France. Marriages were arranged for the purpose of improving one's status or finances, and to establish an heir. It was standard for both the man and woman to take a lover.

Florent-Claude was a heavyset man with a loud voice and a great love of good food and drink. His passions were wars and serving wenches, whom he took with him into the field as his mistresses. Needless to say, he and Emilie had absolutely nothing in common.

Florent-Claude was away at war most of the time and he and Emilie lead separate lives. In the 1700's, when a man took a mistress, he assumed responsibility for her financially.

Florent-Claude approved of the relationship between Voltaire and Emilie, possibly because Voltaire paid for the extravagant spending and lifestyle that Emilie insisted upon.

In the picture, the officer's long coat is typical of this era, though it may not be the color worn by Florent-Claude's regiment.

Return to People in Emilie's Life