Germaine de Staël


1766 - 1817

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Madame Germaine de Staël (née Necker) (1766-1817) was the daughter of the last Controller-General of France before the Revolution and was famous for her novels, social analysis, and history writing. She played an active role in French politics during the 1790s until she ran afoul of Napoleon. Her salon at the family estate on Lake Geneva, “Coppet”, was a center for liberal opposition to Napoleon and included Benjamin Constant. She wrote one of the first histories of the French Revolution, defending the principles of 1789 and limited constitutional government.