Valentine de Lamartine Letter
Scope and Contents
- Lamartine, Valentine de (Person)
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Biographical or Historical Information
After leaving the College des Peres in 1808, Lamartine incurred serious gambling debts and fathered several illegitimate children. In and out of public service and the military because of his poor health, Lamartine went to Aix-les-Bains in Savoy in October 1816 to "take a cure." There he met Julie Charles, the wife of a prominent physicist. The two began an affair that continued in Paris, until Charles' sudden death in December 1817.
After Charles' death, Lamartine began to think about marriage in order to establish some order in his life, and his friends introduced him to various young women, but their families demurred because of his financial difficulties. He finally married Marianne Eliza Birch, an Englishwoman from a wealthy family, in June 1820.
A prolific and popular poet, Lamartine also pursued a political career that culminated in his fall from power after Napoleon Bonaparte's coup d'etat in 1851. Debt continued to burden Lamartine in spite of his prolific writing; in March 1860 he had to sell much of his property and move into a modest apartment in a less fashionable quarter of Paris.
After the death of his wife in 1863, Lamartine continued to write, and grudgingly accepted a pension proposed by Louis Napoleon. Lamartine died a sick and bitter man, in the company of a few friends and his niece, Valentine de Cessiat, whom he may have secretly married in September 1867.
0.01 Linear Feet (1 folder)
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