Residence of Voltaire France


Voltaire and Mme Denis, from a drawing by Nicolas Cochin in the New York Historical Society Voltaire and Madame Denis
Marie Louise Mignot (1712-1790)
married name - Denis

Madame Denis was the daughter of Voltaire's sister. In 1737, Voltaire assisted in arranging the marriage of his niece, and assumed financial responsibility for her upon the premature death of her husband in 1744.

After Emilie's death in 1749, Voltaire went to Paris and then accepted an invitation to live in Prussia with Frederick the Great. He stayed at Frederick's court for several years and Madame Denis refused to join him there.




Voltaire left Prussia and purchased a home near Geneva, Switzerland. Madame Denis joined him there and the couple remained together until Voltaire's death.

Voltaire was in love with his niece, and though they did not marry, they lived as a married couple. Marie Louise was hostess to the many people who visited Voltaire's chateau at Ferney. Upon Voltaire's death In 1778, Madame Denis inherited the bulk of his estate. Preferring the society of Paris, she sold the chateau and returned to Paris.

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