Suzanne Necker

  Female      French      Writer

About Author

Suzanne Curchod (1737 – 6 May 1794) was a French-Swiss salonist and writer. She hosted one of the most celebrated salons of the Ancien Régime. She was the wife of French finance minister Jacques Necker, and is often referenced in historical documents as Madame Necker.

Born in May 1737, Churchod was the daughter of Louis Antoine Curchod, Protestant pastor of the Swiss village of Crassier near Lausanne, and Magdelaine d'Albert de Nasse. The family was of modest means, but Suzanne was well educated (largely by her father), becoming fluent in Latin and showing aptitude for mathematics and science.[2] Her first salon was a literary group called the Académie des Eaux comprising a circle of Lausanne-based students with Churchod as president.

In 1757 Churchod met the historian Edward Gibbon, who fell in love with her, writing in a later recollection of their courtship that he "found her learned without pedantry, lively in conversation, pure in sentiment, and elegant in manners." He wished to marry her, but paternal disapproval on both sides, Gibbon's own wavering, and Suzanne's refusal to leave Switzerland for England thwarted their plans. Gibbon broke off the engagement in 1762, an event that fell in between the deaths of Churchod's parents in 1760 and 1763...

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