Jeanne Françoise Julie Adélaïde Récamier

Today is the anniversary of the death in 1849 of the famous French socialite Jeanne Françoise Julie Adélaïde Récamier. Madame Récamier presided over a salon during the French Revolution and afterwards. It was a mark of the times where every woman who operated one, was her own queen. In the film "The Duelists" Lt d'Hubert seeks out Lt Feraud in the salon of a Mme. de Lionne in Strasbourg. Mme. de Lionne is found sitting amongst adoring soldiers, while listening to a castradi sing. Thus one may see what a salon looked like. It was not a brothel.

Enough of that, Elena-Maria published a short article in her blog Tea at Trianon several years ago, (Can it be that long ago?) which I briefly here...

...Mme. Récamier represents better than any woman of her time the peculiar talents that distinguished the leaders of some of the most famous salons. She had tact, grace, intelligence, appreciation, and the gift of inspiring others. The cleverest men and women of the age were to be met in her drawing room. One found there genius, beauty, esprit, elegance, courtesy, and the brilliant conversation which is the Gallic heritage.

Madame Récamier would feed her guests well, then preside over the discussions while reclining on a sofa, usually wrapped in a yellow shawl. In her youth during Napoleon's reign, she became famous for the "shawl dance" which she would perform with her hair trailing down, and she had many admirers. For Juliette Récamier (1777-1849) was one of the greatest beauties of the era, and yet she also had a reputation for virtue. Many nobles and princes tried to seduce her but without success; she remained faithful to her husband...

During our time a reclining couch is called a récamier in her honour.

Thaks and a tip of the beret to Elena-Maria Vidal and her blog Tea at Trianon.

Dieu le Roy!
Note: My sources noted Mdme Récamier's death in 1848, and Elena-Maria listed 1849, I have therefore conformed my article to Elena-Maria's date of 1849, I trust her research.

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