Comtesse de Genlis
French Writer and Educator
1746 – 1830 A.D.
Stéphanie, Comtesse de Genlis, a French writer and educator. She entered the Palais Royal in 1770 as lady-in-waiting to the Duchess of Chartres, and acted with such energy and zeal as governess to the daughters of the family, that in 1781 she was appointed governeur [sic] to the sons, among whom was the future King Louis Philippe. To carry out her ingenious theories of education, she wrote several works for their use, among them a collection of short comedies for young people. Saint-Beuve tells how she anticipated many modern methods of teaching. History was taught with the help of magical lantern slides and her pupils learnt [sic] botany fro a practical botanist during their walks. When the Revolution broke out, she fled to Switzerland, but later returned to Paris, and was given a pension by Napoleon.
During this period she wrote largely, and produced, in addition to some historical novels, her best romance, Mademoiselle de Clermont. In 1822 she published Baron d’Holbach’s Dinners, in which she set forth with much sarcastic cleverness the intolerance, fanaticism, and the eccentricities of the “Philosophes” of the eighteenth century. Mme. de Genlis survived until 1830, and saw her former pupil, Louise Phillippe, seated on the throne fo France.
Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.