Simone de Beauvoir

Standard Name: Beauvoir, Simone de
Birth Name: Simone Lucie Ernestine Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir
Nickname: Castor
Frenchwoman SB has high standing as a philosopher of the twentieth-century existentialist school and is respected as a commentator on political and social issues (in effect, a contemporary historian), a novelist, and an autobiographer. She also published and had produced a play. But her outstanding (though lastingly controversial) achievement is her book on women, entitled in English The Second Sex, a foundational text for modern feminism.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Family and Intimate relationships Ann Oakley
Her first love-affair, technically unconsummated, began in January 1959 with a boy a little older than herself, and lasted three years. He gave her a copy of Simone de Beauvoir 's The Second Sex...
Fictionalization Lady Eleanor Butler
Among many less formal honours during the ladies' lifetimes, the most extraordinary was LEB 's award of a French, ancien régime, military medal: the Croix St Louis. It is shown in a famous portrait of...
Friends, Associates Iris Murdoch
IM received a fan letter from Eudora Welty in 1956. She wrote to Simone de Beauvoir , hoping to arrange a meeting, but de Beauvoir sais she would not be in Paris at the date...
Health Adrienne Rich
After her third delivery she decided to be sterilised, though she met with social disapproval even from nurses caring for her in hospital: Had yourself spayed, did you?
O’Mahoney, John. “Poet and Pioneer: Adrienne Rich”. The Guardian, pp. Review 20 - 3.
She later recalled her isolation during...
Intertextuality and Influence Deborah Levy
This book has four sections, each titled from a reason for writing, Political Purpose, Historical Impulse, Sheer Egoism, and Aesthetic Enthusiasm. The first and last describe a period of near-breakdown that...
Intertextuality and Influence Iris Murdoch
Her omnivorous reading during the last year of her degree included the major modern novelists, notably including Proust and Woolf (the darling dangerous woman who made her feel quite incapable of writing anything straight...
Intertextuality and Influence Ann Oakley
AO 's own contribution to this collection, A Brief History of Gender, invokes Simone de Beauvoir at its outset. Its thesis is that gender is indispensable to analysis of the way men and women...
Intertextuality and Influence Ann Oakley
AO uses epigraphs from Simone de Beauvoir 's The Second Sex for the book as a whole and for each chapter. The title of each chapter until the last (In the Year 2000)...
Intertextuality and Influence Anita Brookner
AB relishes all this. But she writes with tactful sympathy of Germaine de Staël and her younger, mostly unreciprocating lovers, and of Judith Gautier (daughter of Théophile ), who deserves to be remembered not only...
Intertextuality and Influence Adrienne Rich
The title poem had been jotted in fragments during children's naps, brief hours in a library or at three am after rising with a wakeful child.
O’Mahoney, John. “Poet and Pioneer: Adrienne Rich”. The Guardian, pp. Review 20 - 3.
The collection followed on intensive reading of such...
Intertextuality and Influence Margaret Drabble
The protagonist of this book, ageing Francesca Stubbs, is employed as an inspector of retirement homes. She and the other characters here, witnessing the ends' of friends' lives and approaching their own, make sense of...
Intertextuality and Influence Zoë Fairbairns
In the course of the novel all three daughters and their mother make some contact with the women's liberation movement. For Christine this happens when she finds a hidden copy of Simone de Beauvoir 's...
Leisure and Society Amabel Williams-Ellis
AWE made her formal entry into society as a debutante, a change of status . . . important then for the young females of our sub-tribe.
Williams-Ellis, Amabel. All Stracheys Are Cousins. Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
For herself and Edith Sitwell (debs at...
Literary responses Olive Schreiner
The book is a landmark text. In an introduction to an edition of 1968, Doris Lessing (who first read it when she was fourteen) identified it as one of the few rare books ....
Reception Hildegarde of Bingen
In recent times she has made a rapid transition from being unknown to being fashionable for her music and moderately well known for her writings. Her letters were edited in English translation in 1994 and...


1673: François Poulain (or Poullain) de la Barre...

Writing climate item


François Poulain (or Poullain) de la Barre published at Paris his Cartesian treatise on gender equality, De l'égalité des deux sexes, which was translated into English four years later.

1 January 1916: The British edition of Vogue (an American...

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1 January 1916

The British edition of Vogue (an American fashion magazine) began publishing from Condé Nast in Hanover Square, London.

1925: The Black US singer Josephine Baker, aged...

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The Black US singer Josephine Baker , aged nineteen, met with phenomenal success in Paris; she was seen as exemplifying the Jazz Age on one hand and a new racial consciousness on the other.

By July 1955: Françoise Sagan, aged eighteen, repeated...

Writing climate item

By July 1955

Françoise Sagan , aged eighteen, repeated in England the previous year's sensational success in France of her novelBonjour Tristesse: the English version was by Irene Ash .

28 November 1956: The film Et Dieu . . . créa la femme (And...

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28 November 1956

The film Et Dieu . . . créa la femme (And Woman . . . Was Created in the UK and And God Created Woman in the USA) had its French premiere. It starred...

By late 1963: The best-known novel by US author Mary McCarthy,...

Writing climate item

By late 1963

The best-known novel by US author Mary McCarthy , The Group, appeared in Britain. It traces the later lives of a number of graduates of Vassar , then an all-women's college.

January 2010: The Simone de Beauvoir prize for women's...

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January 2010

The Simone de Beauvoir prize for women's liberty was awarded jointly to two Chinese women, Guo Jianmei , a lawyer, and Ai Xiaoming , a film-maker and professor of comparative literature.
Kristeva, Julia. “Women’s rights falter in China”. Guardian Weekly, p. 24.


Beauvoir, Simone de. All Said and Done. Translator O’Brian, Patrick, André Deutsch; Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1974.
Beauvoir, Simone de. Le deuxième sexe. Gallimard, 1949.
Beauvoir, Simone de. Le sang des autres. Gallimard, 1945.
Beauvoir, Simone de. Les mandarins. Gallimard, 1954.
Beauvoir, Simone de. Mémoires d’une jeune fille rangée. Gallimard, 1958.
Beauvoir, Simone de. Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter. Translator Kirkup, James, Penguin, 2001.
Beauvoir, Simone de. The Second Sex. Translator Parshley, H. M., Jonathan Cape, 1953.
Beauvoir, Simone de. Tout compte fait. Gallimard, 1972.
Beauvoir, Simone de. “Translator’s Preface”. The Second Sex, translated by. H. M. Parshley, Jonathan Cape, 1953, pp. 7-11.