Life of Madame Necker
Suzanne Curchod Necker was one of the most influential women of her day: hostess to a brilliant literary salon, wife of Jacques Necker, the politically powerful pre-revolutionary French finance minister, and mother to the great Romantic writer Germaine de Stael. Madame Necker occupies a unique position in French social and cultural history, but, dwarfed by the posthumous legacies of her husband and daughter, the last biographical study of her was over sixty years ago. This study breaks new ground by examining the profoundly corporeal nature of Madame Necker's life - her debilitating, decades-long psychic and somatic suffering and subsequent premature death and curious burial. Interdisciplinary in scope, but unified by its emphasis on the body as cultural construct and lived experience, this archivally based work is informed by theoretical engagement with feminist theories of the body, performance studies and theories of auto/biography.
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