Rebecca Ford, University of Nottingham, REF 2014 submission

Marie Julie de Fumeron de La Berlière and Monique Amélie Guillebon Le Pesant de Boisguilbert write initially to Bernardin de Saint-Pierre because of their reading of his Études de la nature (1784) — no letters from Bernardin to these correspondents appear to have survived.

As well as shedding light on the reception of Saint-Pierre’s text, these forty-eight letters from two female correspondents (with one additional letter from Marie Julie’s husband) provide insight into the lives of wealthy provincial upper-class families in the period just preceding the Revolution. They include fascinating details of their daily rituals, their estates and gardens, their troubles and their health and sickness. They also reveal surprising intimacy between the writers and the recipient even though it seems that Bernardin, in spite of many invitations, never actually visited the women on their estates.

For the REF submission the letters are grouped below by familial authorship. Edited as part of the Bernardin de Saint-Pierre Project, these letters can also be read in the wider correspondence network of the complete Bernardin de Saint-Pierre edition.

Fumeron de La Berlière letters

Le Pesant de Boisguilbert letters

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