Victoire Léodile Béra

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André Léo

Victoire Léodile Béra (1824–1900) was a French novelist, journalist and feminist. She took the name of André Léo, her two twin sons' names.

She was born in Lusignan, Vienne, at Town Hall square, in 1824. She stayed there until 1830, when her father moved to Champagné Saint Hilaire, where he was a judge. She left the region in 1851, with her future husband, Gregoire Champseix, who fled from Napoleon III's police.

In 1866 a feminist group called the Société pour la Revendication du Droit des Femmes began to meet at the house of André Léo. Members included Paule Minck, Louise Michel, Eliska Vincent, Élie Reclus and his wife Néomie, Mme Jules Simon and Caroline de Barrau. Maria Deraismes also participated. Because of the broad range of opinions, the group decided to focus on the subject of improving girls' education.[1]

André Léo fought with the French Republicans, later during the Commune de Paris, and in the International Workers Association. Travelling in Europe, she studied and worked at improving the feminine condition of her times. She died in Paris in 1900, after achieving much work: numerous novels, tales and essays, articles and political texts. Her writings, especially on social and educational issues, express ideas which still remain highly topical.

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  1. ^ McMillan 2002, p. 130.

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