The Coppet group (Groupe de Coppet), also known as the Coppet circle, was an informal intellectual and literary gathering centered on Germaine de Staël during the time period between the French Revolution and the Bourbon Restoration at Coppet Castle.The group had a considerable influence on the development of nineteenth century liberalism and romanticism. Stendhal referred to it as "the Estates General of European opinion."
Around the core group which consisted of the hosts at Coppet Castle, the Necker family, that is Jacques Necker and his daughter, Germaine de Staël and her long time lover, Benjamin Constant, with her cousin by marriage, Albertine Necker de Saussure, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Jean de Sismondi, Charles Victor de Bonstetten, Prosper de Barante, Mathieu de Montmorency and August Wilhelm Schlegel, there was a stream of international men and women visitors of influence.These included:
Jacques Necker was a banker of Genevan origin who became a finance minister for Louis XVI and a French statesman. Necker played a key role in French history before and during the first period of the French Revolution.
Henri-Benjamin Constant de Rebecque, or simply Benjamin Constant, was a Swiss French political activist and writer on political theory and religion.
Claude Charles Fauriel was a French historian, philologist and critic.
Anne Louise Germaine de Staël-Holstein, commonly known as Madame de Staël, was a French woman of letters and political theorist of Genevan origin who in her lifetime witnessed at first-hand the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era up to the French Restoration. She was present at the Estates General of 1789 and at the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. Her intellectual collaboration with Benjamin Constant between 1794 and 1810 made them one of the most celebrated intellectual couples of their time. They discovered sooner than others the tyrannical character and designs of Napoleon. For many years she lived as an exile under the Reign of Terror and under personal persecution by Napoleon.
Mathieu Jean Felicité de Montmorency, duc de Montmorency-Laval was a prominent French statesman during the French Revolution and Bourbon Restoration. He was elected as the youngest member of the National Assembly in 1789. He is also known for his military expertise and his relation with Mme de Staël. When France became a republic Montmorency turned into an ultra-royalist. Napoleon regarded him as a member of the catholic opposition. During the restoration he became Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Jeanne Françoise Jullie Adélaïde Récamier, known as Juliette, was a French socialite, whose salon drew Parisians from the leading literary and political circles of the early 19th century. As an icon of neoclassicism, Récamier cultivated a public persona of herself as a great beauty and her fame quickly spread across Europe. She befriended many intellectuals, sat for the finest artists of the age, and spurned an offer of marriage from Prince Augustus of Prussia.
Albert Jean Michel de Rocca was a French lieutenant during the Napoleonic Wars. He was also the second husband of Anne Louise Germaine de Staël.
Baron Erik Magnus Staël von Holstein,. Erik Magnus was Chamberlain to Queen Sophia Magdalena. In 1783 he was appointed chargé d'affaires to the Court of France, and in 1785 he was named Ambassador to France. On 21 January 1786 he married the daughter of the French Minister of Finance Jacques Necker, mademoiselle Anne Louise Germaine Necker, who was to achieve fame as "Madame de Staël".
Suzanne Curchod was a French-Swiss salonist and writer. She hosted one of the most celebrated salons of the Ancien Régime. She also led the development of the Hospice de Charité, a model small hospital in Paris that still exists today as the Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital. She was the wife of French finance minister Jacques Necker, and is often referenced in historical documents as Madame Necker.
Albertine Adrienne Necker de Saussure was a Genevan and then Swiss writer and educationalist, and an early advocate of education for women.
Chaumont-sur-Loire is a commune in the Loir-et-Cher department in central France known for its historical defensive walls and its castle.
Marie-Charlotte Hippolyte de Campet de Saujon, by marriage Countess of Boufflers, was a French femme de lettres and salon hostess. Nicknamed "l'idole" by Madame du Deffand, she was a lady in waiting to the Duchesse de Chartres and a mistress of Chartres' brother, the Prince de Conti.
Belle van Zuylen – Madame de Charrière is a 1993 Dutch historical film, directed by Digna Sinke.
Charles François Dominique de Villers was a French philosopher. He was mainly responsible for translating the philosophy of Immanuel Kant into the French language.
Louise de Broglie, Countess d'Haussonville was a French essayist and biographer, and a member of the House of Broglie, a distinguished French family. A granddaughter of the novelist Germaine de Staël, she was considered independent, liberal, and outspoken. Her 1845 portrait by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, which took three years to complete, has been exhibited in the Frick Collection in New York City since the 1930s.
Rosalie de Constant, was a Swiss illustrator and naturalist.
Claude Hochet was a French journalist, author and civil servant who was secretary-general of the Conseil d'État from 1816 to 1839. He is best known as a friend of Madame de Staël, Benjamin Constant, Abel-François Villemain and Prosper de Barante. Their letters to him have been preserved, and are a valuable record of the intellectual life of the First French Empire.
Julie Talma, born Louise-Julie Careau, was a French dancer at the Paris Opera who became a courtesan in the years before the French Revolution. She had three sons by three different fathers. She used the gifts from her protectors to make a small fortune in real estate speculation. She married the well-known tragic actor François-Joseph Talma a few days before giving birth to twin sons. Her husband was unfaithful and ruined her. They separated and eventually divorced. Julie Talma was charming, intelligent, strong-willed, rational and a firm republican. She held an influential salon before and during the revolution and at the start of Napoleon's rise to power, and became a close friend of Benjamin Constant. Their lengthy correspondence has been preserved.
Amélie Suard was a French writer and salonnière. Her letters provide a valuable source of information on life in France before the French Revolution of 1789. The Suards remained loyal to the Bourbon regime and experienced difficulty during the revolutionary years, but resumed their salons in 1800 under Napoleon.
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