1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Montesson, Charlotte Jeanne Béraud de la Haye de Riou, Marquise de

1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 18
Montesson, Charlotte Jeanne Béraud de la Haye de Riou, Marquise de

MONTESSON, CHARLOTTE JEANNE BÉRAUD DE LA HAYE DE RIOU, Marquise de (1737–1805), was born in Paris of an old Breton family. About 1754 she married Jean Baptiste, marquis de Montesson, who died in 1769. Her beauty and intelligence attracted the attention of Louis Philippe, duke of Orleans, whom she secretly married in 1773 with the authorization of the king. For her husband's amusement she set up a little theatre and wrote several plays, in the acting of which she herself took part. She was imprisoned for some time during the Terror, but was released after the fall of Robespierre, became the friend of the empress Josephine, and was a prominent figure at the beginning of the empire.

The best edition of her works appeared under the title of Œuvres anonymes in 1782–1785. See Charles Collé, Journal (1868); the Memoirs of St Simon, Madame de Genlis, the duchesse d'Abrantès and Mme de Levis; G. Strenger, “La Société de la marquise de Montesson,” in the Nouvelle revue (1902); J. Turquan, Madame de Montesson douairière d'Orléans (Paris, 1904); and G. Capon and R. Ive-Plessis, Les Théâtres clandestins du xviiie siècle (1904).