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Fiction, fictions

Elizabeth Gaskell’s and George Eliot’s Common Interest in Two Literary Women of 17th-Century France: Madame de Sablé and Madame de Sévigné

L’intérêt d’Elizabeth Gaskell et de George Eliot pour deux femmes de lettres françaises du XVIIe siècle : Mme de Sablé et Mme de Sévigné
Alain Jumeau
p. 186-197


En 1854, Elizabeth Gaskell était déjà une romancière célèbre, mais George Eliot n’avait pas encore mis à l’épreuve ses talents de romancière. Elle n’en était qu’aux débuts de sa carrière littéraire. Marian Evans (comme elle s’appelait, avant d’adopter le nom de plume de George Eliot) était encore rédactrice de la Westminster Review. Par une coïncidence intéressante, les deux grandes romancières victoriennes rédigèrent toutes les deux, cette année-là, des articles sur Madame de Sablé, parlant aussi de Madame de Sévigné, deux femmes de lettres remarquables de la France du XVIIe siècle. L’article de Gaskell, « Company Manners », fut publié dans le magazine de Dickens, Household Words ; et celui d’Eliot, « Woman in France : Madame de Sablé », dans la Westminster Review. Le présent article tente d’expliquer l’intérêt de ces deux romancières anglaises pour ces femmes de lettres françaises, qui ont vécu deux siècles avant elles.

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1Elizabeth Gaskell was a great francophile and she enjoyed staying in Paris, when she could afford to spend a holiday in France. Although Philip Yarrow tells us that her French was “fluent but not, perhaps, always accurate” (18), we may suppose that she could speak the language tolerably well to get around, when she was in France. At least, in her works, she shows that she is familiar with colloquial expressions and that she has a good command of French vocabulary.

2She visited France on several occasions in the 1850s, in 1853, 1854, 1855, 1857, on her way to and from Italy, in 1858 on her way back from Germany, and again in the 1860s, in 1862 and 1865, the year of her death (Yarrow, 17-26). On several of those visits, she met or stayed with her friend Mme Mohl, née Mary Clarke, who lived in Paris in the Rue du Bac. Mme Mohl had married a German scholar who was a naturalized Frenchman, with the distinguished title of Professor of Persian at the Collège de France (Yarrow, 20-21).

3Mme Mohl knew Mme Récamier and her circle of admirers, particularly at the time of her liaison with the great French writer Chateaubriand, and through her Elizabeth Gaskell would have heard about the importance of literary salons in French culture. In 1862, Mme Mohl was to publish a book in English, Mme Récamier: with a sketch of the history of society in France, an account of Mme Récamier and her salon, but also of her predecessors, the ladies of the seventeenth century, Mme de Rambouillet, Mlle de Scudéry, Mme de Sablé and others (Yarrow, 21).

4Elizabeth Gaskell never met Mme Récamier, who died in 1849, i.e. before her first trip to France in 1853. She was more interested in French literary ladies of the 17th century, particularly Mme de Sablé and Mme de Sévigné, and she wrote about them, as we can see in her essays and letters.

Madame de Sablé

5Mme de Sablé (1599-1678) was one of the Précieuses. Because of Molière’s satire, we tend to think that those ladies were so affected and unnatural that they were simply ridiculous. But we have to bear in mind that their literary movement was first meant as a reaction against male boorishness and coarseness. In this way, they can be seen as early feminists, although the notion of feminism did not exist then. They wanted to refine manners and to improve the intellectual level of good society. In their salons, women could freely talk with men about literature, science, and philosophy.

6Mme de Sablé had beauty and wit and she started her career in Mme de Rambouillet’s salon. The death of her husband in 1640 gave her more independence, although she first had to cope with money troubles. She had the misfortune of losing her favourite son, who was killed in action at the siege of Dunkirk in 1646, which severely affected her. After the commotion of the Fronde, a civil war in which the nobility attempted to check the growing power of royal government, embodied by Mazarin, her salon in the Place Royale (now Place des Vosges) became very famous, particularly for its maxims — her own and La Rochefoucauld’s. She retired to Port-Royal, a monastery under the influence of Jansenism, a movement within the Roman Catholic Church, which insisted on the perverseness and inability for good of the natural human will. There, Mme de Sablé became a close friend of Pascal, the famous philosopher and scientist.

7Elizabeth Gaskell wrote an article on her, “Company Manners", which came out in 1854 in Dickens’s Household Words. She was prompted to this by her 1854 visit to Paris, when she read Madame de Sablé. Études sur les femmes illustres et la société du dix-septième siècle, by Victor Cousin, the French  philosopher and historian.

8The first two pages of Gaskell’s article deal with Victor Cousin’s interest in femmes d’esprit of the 17th century, particularly the Duchesse de Longueville, and then give us a summary of Mme de Sablé’s career, which shows that she has read Cousin’s book very closely:

This Madame de Sablé was, in her prime, an habitual guest at the Hôtel [de] Rambouillet, the superb habitation which was the centre of the witty and learned as well as the pompous and pedantic society of Paris, in the days of Louis the Thirteenth. When these gatherings had come to an end after Madame de Rambouillet’s death, and before Molière had turned the tradition thereof into exquisite ridicule, there were several attempts to form circles that should preserve some of the stately refinement of the Hôtel [de] Rambouillet. Mademoiselle de Scudéry had her Saturdays […]. Madame de Sablé, a gentlewoman by birth: intelligent enough doubtless from having been an associate of Ménage, Voiture, Madame de Sévigné, and others in the grand hotel (whose meetings must have been delightful enough at the time, though that wicked Molière has stepped between us and them, and we can only see them as he chooses us to do): Madame de Sablé, friend of the resplendent fair-haired Duchess de Longueville, had weekly meetings which M. Cousin ranks far above the more pretentious Saturdays of Mademoiselle de Scudéry. In short, the last page of his memoir of Madame de Sablé — where we matter-of-fact English people are apt to put in praise of the morals and religion of the person whose life we have been writing — is devoted to this acme of praise. Madame de Sablé had all the requisites which enabled her [to] tenir un salon with honour to herself and pleasure to her friends (“Company Manners”, 491-92).

9So far, so good. Of course, Gaskell tends to see the Précieuses through Molière’s distorting lens, but that seems to be inevitable, and she is aware of it. On the whole, she is fair to Mme de Sablé, although perhaps there is something slightly critical, or at least condescending, in her tone when she writes: “intelligent enough doubtless from having been an associate of Ménage, Voiture, Madame de Sévigné, and others”, as if her own intelligence were simply derived from others.

10But there is worse to come, for she goes on:

Apart from this crowning accomplishment, the good French lady seems to have been commonplace enough. She was well-born, well-bred, and the company she kept must have made her tolerably intelligent. She was married to a dull husband, and doubtless had her small flirtations after she early became a widow; M. Cousin hints at them, but they were never scandalous or prominently before the public. Past middle life, she took to the process of “making her salvation”, and inclined to the Port-Royalists. She was given to liking dainty things to eat, in spite of her Jansenism. She had a female friend that she quarrelled with, off and on, during her life. And (to wind up something like Lady O’Looney, of famous memory) she knew how [to] tenir un salon. M. Cousin tells us that she was remarkable in no one thing or quality, and attributes to that single, simple fact the success of her life (492-93).

11After this opening, which is rather critical, she goes on to explain the notion of “receiving company”, or, as she puts it, for want of a suitable expression in English perhaps, the art of “Sabléing” (493). The rest of the article (twenty pages or so) is then devoted to the “Company Manners” referred to in the title. This is indeed pleasant reading, confirming the idea that Gaskell herself, though not a Précieuse of the French 17th century, was extremely good company and knew how to entertain friends and visitors. In the general structure of the article, Victor Cousin’s study is just an excuse for introducing her own ideas on the art of “Sabléing”, which have nothing to do with scholarly research, but spring from her own mind: “And, now I think of it, Madame de Sablé must have...” (500), ”Speaking of wood fires reminds me of Madame de Sablé’s fires” (504), “I imagine” (505, 511), “I fancy” (505, 507), “I have a notion that” (506), “I am sure” (511), etc.

12This highly personal approach is all the more surprising as we can compare it to the more serious attitude of George Eliot, dealing with the same subject. Before she became famous as a novelist under the pen name of George Eliot, Marian Evans was the editor of a radical journal, The Westminster Review, in which she published her own review of Victor Cousin’s book, in 1854, the very same year. In her article, “Woman in France: Madame de Sablé”, the emphasis is clearly on the French literary lady, not on company manners. Jenny Uglow has already pointed out the difference between the two articles: “Where Eliot, writing in the intellectual avant-garde Westminster, is piercingly analytical, sweeping across the whole field of history and ideas, Gaskell, addressing the family readership of Household Words, is personal, free-spinning, anecdotal” (466-67).

13Eliot sees that Mme de Sablé belongs to a remarkable French tradition, which has contributed much to the development of literature and culture:

And those delightful women of France, who, from the beginning of the seventeenth to the close of the eighteenth century, formed some of the brightest threads in the web of political and literary history, wrote under circumstances which left the feminine character of their minds uncramped by timidity, and unstrained by mistaken effort (Eliot, 9).

14The salons created a special atmosphere, which enabled women of great intellectual power to discuss serious subjects with men. Generally, these women “are known rather by what they stimulated men to write, than by what they wrote themselves” (Eliot, 10).

  • 1  A happy mixture of reason, wit, charm and kindness.

15Eliot fully agrees with Victor Cousin who describes Mme de Sablé as “un heureux mélange de raison, d’esprit, d’agrément, et de bonté1 (Eliot, 17), and she emphasizes her decisive influence on French literature. For instance, she believes that to her taste for the sententious style, “we owe, probably, some of the best Pensées of Pascal, and, certainly, the Maximes of La Rochefoucauld” (Eliot, 29-30). What Gaskell describes as an absence of qualities, Eliot sees as a rare gift, which allowed her to have a great influence:

Madame de Sablé’s forte was evidently not to write herself, but to stimulate others to write; to show that sympathy and appreciation which are as genial and encouraging as the morning sunbeams. She seconded a man’s wit with understanding — one of the best offices which womanly intellect has rendered to the advancement of culture; and the absence of originality made her all the more receptive towards the originality of others (Eliot, 30).

16By praising Mme de Sablé, Eliot also praises France in which women have played such an important part in the development of culture, implicitly suggesting that there is an example for England: “Women become superior in France by being admitted to a common fund of ideas, to common objects of interest with men; and this must ever be the essential condition at once of true womanly culture and of true social well-being” (Eliot, 36-37).

17Although George Eliot speaks of her subject with more enthusiasm, for the sake of promoting her feminist ideas, it cannot be denied that she shares with Gaskell the same interest in Mme Sablé and the French literary salons.

Madame de Sévigné

18Now, both Gaskell’s “Company Manners” and Eliot’s “Woman in France” mention Mme de Sévigné (1626-1696), another (and undoubtedly more famous) French literary lady of the 17th century.

19Marie de Rabutin-Chantal (as she was known by her maiden name) belonged to an old noble family from Burgundy. Being an orphan at the age of seven, she was brought up by her uncle Christophe de Coulanges who gave her such famous teachers as Chapelain and Ménage, who taught her Italian, Spanish and Latin. At the age of 18 she married a Breton gentleman, the Marquis de Sévigné, a womaniser who squandered her fortune before he was killed in a duel in 1651. Thus at the age of 25 she was a widow, with two children, Françoise-Marguerite and Charles. She first retired to Les Rochers, her country-house in Brittany, near Vitré, but eventually returned to the Paris salons where she was already famous. Because of her remarkable beauty, her charm and her pleasant conversation, she had been one of the chief attractions of the Hotel de Rambouillet. In 1669 her daughter married the Comte de Grignan, Lieutenant-General of Provence, and in early 1671 she moved to Provence. Separation from her daughter made Mme de Sévigné extremely miserable, in spite of her daughter’s visits to Paris and her own visits to Grignan, where she was to die at the age of seventy.

20Although she had good friends in Paris, like Mme de La Fayette and La Rochefoucauld, she now felt very lonely. Ever since she was a widow, she had written a number of letters to various correspondents, but after 1671 most of her letters were sent to her daughter, for whom she had a great passion. She probably wrote many letters to her son, too, but only two of those have survived. Her letters deal with general news (at a time when there were no newspapers), events in good society, but also everyday life — visits, friends, little incidents, mere gossip. This brilliant talker wrote as she spoke, with a good deal of humour. She had sense and sensibility, and she knew the art of storytelling like no one else.

21Elizabeth Gaskell seems to have come across Mme de Sévigné’s letters in her early life. Whether she was able to read them in French or in an English version (Yarrow, 17), she knew them before her marriage, for in a letter of 1831 to Harriet Carr she wrote:

I like the sound of your hair tied up on each side; it sounds a little bit like those portraits of Madame de Grignan, put as a frontispiece to the Second volume of Madame de Sévigné — eternal woman — how often I have begun both her and Sir Charles Grandison, and never finished either (Chapple, 395).

22That is not really warm praise! With great frankness, the young Elizabeth confesses that in spite of her admiration for a great female figure, an “eternal woman”, she could not find the courage to get through the Sévigné volumes. Even if she read Sévigné’s Letters in an English translation, one can easily imagine why she had not read them all at the age of 21. In a modern French edition, produced by Gallimard for the Bibliothèque de La Pléiade, they amount to three bulky volumes.

23Much later in life, in February 1862, when she was herself a famous writer, Gaskell spoke of Sévigné with more warmth and even enthusiasm:

So as I said, I began to write some articles which I intended to send to ‘All the Year Round’ as pictures of French Society in Paris and the provinces in the 19th century. [I think what gave me the start was the meeting with a supposed-to-be well-educated young lady who knew nothing about Madame de Sévigné, who had been like a well-known friend to me all my life] (Chapple and Pollard, 675).

24In the same letter, she explains that she is planning a book on Mme de Sévigné:

My book is rather Memoirs elucidatory of the Life and Times of Madame de Sévigné. The sort of subjects are, ‘Who was Madame de Sévigné?’, ‘Her friends in Paris and the Hotel [de] Rambouillet’, ‘Her Two Cousins, (Bussy-Rabutin and Emmanuel de Coulanges) […]’, ‘Her widowed life and her children’, ‘Her old age, — debts, and death’ (676).

25She seems to have started writing a few pages on the subject, for in March 1862, she reported to George Smith, her publisher: “I have not a scrap of anything written by me but the beginning /first chapter/ of a sort of Memoir of Mme de Sévigné and her Times” (Chapple and Pollard, 679). Thus her trip to Paris with her daughter Meta in 1862 took on a new interest. She had an interview with the French publisher Hachette, who was about to publish a new edition of Sévigné’s letters, and was very helpful, as she remembered in a letter of July 1862:

I however laid a good foundation for future work at Mme de Sévigné, saw M. Hachette about it, got all manner of introductions to / the private part of / public collections of MSS, books, portraits &c; went to every old house in Paris that she lived in, & got a list of books ‘pour servir’, & a splendid collection of all the portraits of herself, family & contemporaries (Chapple and Pollard, 925).

26In the same letter, she describes her visit to Sévigné’s shrine in Brittany — an episode which she mentions briefly in her article on “French Life” (1864), but deals with at some length here:

Sunday afternoon we went on to Vitré, just in Brittany the town near which les Rochers is. It is a most picturesque half-inhabited town; we went to the Hotel de Sévigné, her old town house, which in her days was called La Tour de Sévigné, — an immense barrack of an old half-fortified house; only half furnished, & never cleaned since her days; a more filthy place I never saw; but the people were very civil, & the town extremely sketchable, with old walls covered with snap dragon, valerian, wall-flowers &c, — with wooden colonnades supporting the first floors of the houses; and tourelles here, there & everywhere. Monday we took a little market cart, & drove, shaking & laughing to Les Rochers. No one has ever said half enough of its beauty — you go up rising ground, through grassy high hedged lanes, — suddenly turn to yr left into a sort of park-like field, up thro’ a field very like a Silverdale field near Arnside Tower, with little rocks cropping out, & all sorts of delicate flowers carpeting the ground, see a vast picturesque pile before you with 13, (that I counted) towers, of all sorts of sizes & shapes, a great walled in garden, — walled, & pillared and balled with grey stone, whh is half tumbling down, showing old avenues, & heaps of roses, and sparkling fountains within, — a long range of grey, rich-coloured farm buildings at a little distance from the house with a space like a village green between, with cocks & hens, & donkeys, and turkeys &c all flourishing about, and here and there a blazing peacock, cows in the farm yard beyond, — opposite (you have the house itself at the farthest part of the left hand, the old garden coming from it towards you, — the farm-buildings on yr right [&] the green right before you & opposite,) a great grove of high dark-coloured old trees — older than Mme de S. by a great deal, — then we dismissed our market cart to the stables & turned round & lo & behold we were high up on a plateau of ground with 30 miles of sunny champaign country lying below us [here a sketch is inserted] that sort of way, only not such a steep descent. It was a most charming day (Chapple and Pollard, 925-26).

27In this account, one can feel Gaskell’s elation when she saw Les Rochers, when she realized that Mme de Sévigné had seen some of the old trees there, that the scene had much in common with familiar places in England, when she admired the flowers and the colours which strangely appealed to her. In a sense, the visit was “most charming” because she could share something of Sévigné’s attachment to the place.

28This experience is extremely significant. It reveals a great natural affinity between Gaskell and Sévigné. In fact, although the two writers belonged to two different periods, to two different countries, to two different cultural traditions, they had much in common, as Philip Yarrow has argued:

Both were well-read, well-bred, intelligent, and sensible women; both were sociable, sprightly, and interested in the world about them, the natural world as well as the world of men and women; both were pious in an unorthodox way — Mme de Sévigné had Jansenist leanings, and Mrs Gaskell was a Unitarian; both had been brought up by affectionate aunts and uncles; both were devoted mothers, and both were great letter-writers (25).

29Indeed, one may wonder what was essential in this affinity: was it that they had both been orphaned? that they were both devoted mothers? The fact remains that Yarrow’s description fits the two writers perfectly, for they were, so to speak, twin souls.

  • 2  Do you know what haymaking is? I shall have to explain it to you: haymaking is the most charming t (...)

30He might even have added one important feature they had in common: a genuine concern for humble people. Careless readers might think that the Marquise de Sévigné had little respect for common people and failed to realize how hard their condition could be. For example, there is a much-quoted letter of hers, dated July 22, 1671, in which she asked her cousin Coulanges whether he knew what “haymaking“ was: “Savez-vous ce que c’est que faner ? il faut que je vous l’explique.  Faner est la plus jolie chose du monde, c’est retourner du foin en batifolant dans une prairie2 (Sévigné I, 304).

31Of course, such style does not show that she realized how her peasants had to toil when they were haymaking. One can guess that Gaskell would never have used such a phrase to describe the hard work of humble people. Yet, appearances can be deceptive, and it may perhaps be taken with a little pinch of salt, as happens sometimes in Sévigné’s letters.

  • 3  I take part in the sadness and desolation of the whole province […]. I am turned Breton, indeed, a (...)
  • 4  Well, you may think that Brittany no longer exists; and that is very sad.

32On the other hand, when the Bretons rebelled against the authority of the king in 1675 and were severely repressed, Sévigné was shocked by the brutality of the armed forces, by the number of public executions and she wrote to her daughter, on October 20: “je prends part à la tristesse et à la désolation de toute la province. […] Me voilà bien Bretonne, comme vous voyez. Mais vous comprenez bien que cela tient à l’air que l’on respire, et aussi à quelque chose de plus, car, de l’un à l’autre, toute la province est affligée3 (II, 136-37).  To her again, she wrote a few days later, on October 30: “Enfin vous pouvez compter qu’il n’y a plus de Bretagne ; c’est dommage (II, 147).4 “ Some critics have argued that she could not say more because, in those troubled times, her letters might be intercepted by the censors. Yet there was definitely more meaning in her understatements than in outbursts of anger (Cordelier, 103-05). In her letters, these comments are rare, for she is generally concerned with people who belong to the higher classes of society, but they show that occasionally she could feel for the underdogs. And Gaskell could not but react to such letters.

33We have seen that she was not the only English female novelist to be interested in Sévigné. George Eliot was, too, for in her own article, we can feel her admiration for the greatest letter-writer of France: “And to this day, Madame de Sévigné remains the single instance of a woman who is supreme in a class of literature which has engaged the ambition of men” (Eliot, 10).

34And closer to us we can mention Virginia Woolf who devoted a remarkable essay to her, beginning thus:

This great lady, this robust and fertile letter writer, who in our age would probably have been one of the great novelists, takes up presumably as much space in the consciousness of living readers as any figure of her vanished age. But it is more difficult to fix that figure within an outline than to sum up many of her contemporaries. That is partly because she created her being, not in plays or poems, but in letters — touch by touch, with repetitions, amassing daily trifles, writing down what came into her head as if she were talking (48).

35There is probably much truth in Virginia Woolf’s hypothesis, and we may speculate that Gaskell too was more or less aware that Sévigné had all the gifts of a novelist. This might have been another reason for the affinity between them.

36However, despite her great interest in her, her research in France, her pilgrimage to Les Rochers, her Memoir on Mme de Sévigné never materialized. In September 1863, she confessed to George Smith: “I have ever so many things begun. ‘Life and Times of Madame de Sévigné’ more in my head than out of it; but I think it will be good” (Chapple and Pollard, 712). What kind of book did she have in mind? Another biography like The Life of Charlotte Brontë, which would have been easier to write, because of the time-distance, because no living witness could have hampered her? Throughout her life, Mme de Sévigné remained “a well-known friend”.

37There is absolutely no evidence, in her letters or journals, that George Eliot ever came to consider Mme de Sévigné as a personal friend, but she honoured this French letter-writer as a great literary lady of the past and a remarkable example for her.

38In order to account for the closer kinship, and even affinity, between Gaskell and Sévigné, two writers who seem to be so different at first sight, I would like to suggest a link, which seems to have been overlooked by critics so far. This has to do with the birth of their vocations. Gaskell is supposed to have started her career as a novelist after the death of her baby son. Her own grief developed her sympathy for the suffering of the poor and she wrote Mary Barton (1848) to give utterance to their agonies. Mme de Sévigné’s experience was quite different, but she also felt that she had lost her daughter, in a way. Devoted letter writing was her own response to her experience of deprivation.

39However, it is important to bear in mind also, in the case of Gaskell and Sévigné, that writing was not simply a form of therapy, an attempt to overcome the miseries of life, to tame the haunting fear of death, and to control the flight of time. It was first of all an attempt to create another self — not the ordinary self of everyday life, but an artistic self, transcending time, a self that can still talk to us and move us today.

40Although, for her part, George Eliot had no direct experience of motherhood, and of the pains of motherhood, she could also share in this literary experience of the creation of an artistic self, and this may explain why she too was interested in the figure of Mme de Sévigné. She considered her with great respect because she had done so much, in France, two centuries before her, to assert the worth and dignity of female writing.

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Chapple J. A. V. & Arthur Pollard (eds.), The Letters of Mrs Gaskell, Manchester: Mandolin, [1966] 1997.

Chapple John, Elizabeth Gaskell: The Early Years, Manchester: Manchester UP, 1997.

Cordelier Jean, Madame de Sévigné par elle-même, Paris: Seuil, 1967.

Eliot George, “Woman in France: Madame de Sablé”, Westminster Review, October 1854, 448-73, in A. S. Byatt& Nicholas Warren (eds.), Selected Essays, Poems and Other Writings, with an introduction by A. S. Byatt, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1990, 8-37.

Gaskell Elizabeth, “Company Manners”, [1854], The Works of Mrs Gaskell, 8 vols., Knutsford Edition, London: Smith, Elder, 1906, III, 491-513.

SévignÉ Madame de, Correspondance, Roger Duchêne (ed.), Bibliothèque de La Pléiade, 3 volumes, Paris: Gallimard, 1972-78.

Uglow Jenny, Elizabeth Gaskell: A Habit of Stories, London: Faber, 1993.

Woolf Virginia, “Madame de Sévigné“, [1942], The Death of the Moth and Other Essays, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1961, 48-53.

Yarrow Philip, “Mrs Gaskell and France”, The Gaskell Society Journal, (1993): 16-36.

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1  A happy mixture of reason, wit, charm and kindness.

2  Do you know what haymaking is? I shall have to explain it to you: haymaking is the most charming thing in the world, it’s turning hay while romping about in a field.

3  I take part in the sadness and desolation of the whole province […]. I am turned Breton, indeed, as you can see. But you realize this has to do with the air we breathe and also with something else, for altogether, the whole province is sadly afflicted.

4  Well, you may think that Brittany no longer exists; and that is very sad.

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Alain Jumeau, « Elizabeth Gaskell’s and George Eliot’s Common Interest in Two Literary Women of 17th-Century France: Madame de Sablé and Madame de Sévigné », Revue LISA/LISA e-journal, Vol. VII – n°3 | 2009, 186-197.

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Alain Jumeau, « Elizabeth Gaskell’s and George Eliot’s Common Interest in Two Literary Women of 17th-Century France: Madame de Sablé and Madame de Sévigné », Revue LISA/LISA e-journal [En ligne], Vol. VII – n°3 | 2009, mis en ligne le 19 mai 2009, consulté le 27 septembre 2020. URL : ; DOI :

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Alain Jumeau

Professor, (Paris, France)
Alain Jumeau is Professor Emeritus at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, and a Victorianist. He has published widely on George Eliot and other Victorian novelists. He has translated into French several works of fiction by T. De Quincey, A. Conan Doyle, G. Eliot, W. Scott, R. L. Stevenson, A. Trollope…

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