Nostalgia in the letters of Elisabeth Charlotte, the second Madame
Brooks, William, "Nostalgia in the letters of Elisabeth Charlotte, the second Madame", dans Cahiers du XVIIe siècle, 2006, vol. X, 2.
When in 1671 the nineteen-year-old Elisabeth Charlotte arrived in France to marry Monsieur, the King’s widowed brother, she began to write copiously to her German relatives. Her fifty-one years at court was the longest time spent there by any adult member of the French royal family excepting only Catherine de’ Medici and Louis XIV; and a reliable estimate of her output counts 40,000 letters in German, many of twenty or thirty pages. She wrote some 20,000 in French as well. (Mme de Sévigné wrote less than one twentieth of Elisabeth Charlotte’s total, and hers are shorter.) Unless I specify, the present article relates to her German letters to German correspondents, and I use my translations or published translations, several of which are drawn from an important article by Philip Yarrow in which he discusses her sense of being an alien in France.
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