Marie-Catherine de Villedieu

Standard Name: Villedieu, Marie-Catherine de
Birth Name: Marie-Catherine Desjardins de Villedieu
Indexed Name: Mademoiselle Desjardins
Self-constructed Name: Madame de Villedieu
Indexed Name: des Jardins
MCV was one of the very few women to earn her living by her pen in France as early as the seventeenth century. She was productive in many genres, held a significant place in the development of the novel (epistolary, historical, scandalous, and pseudo-autobiographical, as well as various non-novelistic forms of fiction), and was the first Frenchwoman to have a dramatic work produced by a professional theatre company. Her canon, however, is still disputed, with the authorship of several works in doubt.
Kuizenga, Donna. “Madame de Villeneuve”. Seventeenth-Century French Writers, edited by Françoise Jaouen, Gale, 2003.
Head-and-shoulders oval engraving of Marie-Catherine de Villedieu by Charles Devrits, published in "Poètes normands" by Louis Henri Baratte, 1845. She is wearing a dark dress , jewelled brooch, and string of huge pearls. Her hair is smooth on top, in ringlets below.
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Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Textual Production Eliza Haywood
EH 's original may have been Mme de Villedieu , but was more likely Jean de Préchac . Her dedication is notable for vindicating the choice of middle-class people as heroes and heroines, since many...
Theme or Topic Treated in Text Ann Thicknesse
Richard Graves may have been disappointed, for the introduction and early lives are substantially the same as in the 1778 version which he had already read (though Hester Mulso Chapone has been added to the...


Pierre-Joseph Boudier de Villemert published, allegedly at Hamburg, a book called L'Ami des femmes, which remarked on the number and excellence of women writers in French.