Sophie de Condorcet (1764, Meulan – 8 September 1822, Paris)
Sophie de Grouchy (Sophie de Condorcet) (1764 - 1822), French writer & wife of Nicolas de Condorc
As a hostess, Madame de Condorcet was popular for her kind heart, her beauty, and her indifference to class and social origins. Unlike her fellow-Girondist hostess Madame Roland, her salons always included other women, notably Olympe de Gouges. She was, however, also a writer and a translator in her own right, very well-educated for her day, and completely fluent in English and Italian. She produced influential translations of Thomas Paine and Adam Smith.
In 1786 Sophie de Grouchy, then 21 or 22, and an acknowledged beauty, married the famous mathematician and philosopher Marie-Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat, Marquis de Condorcet (17 September 1743-28–29 March 1794); he was then 42 and was Inspector-General of the Mint and a prominent French Academician. Although he was twenty years her senior, the two shared many intellectual interests, and had a strong and happy marriage.
After her marriage, she started a famous salon at l'Hotel des Monnaies[www.nuff.ox.ac.uk/Users/McLean/ddhc3.pdf], opposite the Louvre, while her husband was Inspector-General of the Mint, and later at the Rue de Lille, Paris, that was attended by, among many others, many foreign visitors including Thomas Jefferson, [] the British aristocrats Charles Stanhope, 3rd Earl Stanhope, David Murray, 2nd Earl of Mansfield and the 7th Viscount Stormont, the economist Adam Smith, the Marquis de Beccaria, Anne Turgot, the writer Pierre-Auguste Caron de Beaumarchais, the pamphleteer Olympe de Gouges, and the writer and hostess Madame de Stael, and also many French philosophers. This salon played an important role in the rise of the Girondin movement that stressed the rights of women.
Sophie de Condorcet allowed the Cercle Social ― an association with the goal of equal political and legal rights for women ― to meet at her house. Its members included women's rights advocate Olympe de Gouges who had published the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen. It has been argued that Sophie de Condorcet's own interest in women's rights were responsible for her husband's arguments for greater rights for women in the ten-pages-long essay Sur l’admission des femmes au droit de cité (3 July 1790). Unfortunately, this essay had little influence in its day, being overshadowed by the more passionate essays by British feminist Mary Wollstonecraft (who visited Paris from 1791 to 1793) and Olympe de Gouges; the latter certainly attended Madame de Condorcet's salons.The Condorcets had a daughter Louise Alexandrine de Condorcet, called Liza or Eliza, who was born in 1790. Eliza survived the French Revolution, along with her mother.