Henriette Louise de Waldner de Freundstein

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Baronne Oberkirch.jpg

Henriette Louise de Waldner de Freundstein (or Waldner de Freunstein), Baronne d'Oberkirch (5 June 1754 at Schweighouse-Près-Thann, in Alsace – 10 June 1803) is known for having written her Mémoires, which end in 1789.

Her parents were François Louis Waldner de Freundstein, Baron and later Count de Waldner and Wilhelmine Auguste Berckheim de Ribeauvillé. She married Baron Charles Frédéric Siegfried d'Oberkirch. They had a daughter, Marie-Philippine Frédérique Dorothée (1777–1827), who married in 1798 Count Louis Simon de Bernard de Montbrison. Their grandson edited and published the Mémoires in English in 1852 and in French in 1854.

The Baronness lived in and wrote about court society in her native Alsace, in Montbéliard, Stuttgart and (most importantly) in Paris and Versailles; her trips to the court of Louis XVI occurred in 1782, 1784, and 1786. She was a childhood friend of the Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna, (Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg), later the Empress of Russia, and of Goethe. The writer Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz fell in love with her in 1776 and wrote several works inspired by this love.

She offers insight into high society during the end of the ancien régime.

References[edit]

  • Memoirs of the Baroness d'Oberkirch, Countess de Montbrison. Written by herself, and edited by her grandson, The Count de Montbrison (3 volumes). London: Colburn and Co., 1852. Google Books: Vol. 1; Vol. 2 (c1, c2); Vol. 3 (c1, c2).
  • Mémoires de la Baronne d'Oberkirch (2 volumes, edited by her grandson):
    • Paris: Charpentier, Libraire-Éditeur, 1853. Google Books: Vol. 1 (c1, c2); Vol. 2.
    • Paris: Charpentier, Libraire-Éditeur, 1869. Google Books: Vol. 1, Vol. 2 (c1, c2).
    • Paris: Charpentier, Libraire-Éditeur, no date [1880]. Google Books: Vol. 1, Vol. 2,
    • Brussels: Meline, Cans et Compagnie, 1854. Google Books: Vol. 1; Vol. 2; Vols. 1&2.
    • Brussels: Comptoir des Éditeurs, 1854. Google Books: Vol. 1.
  • Mémoires de la baronne d'Oberkirch, empreinte d'une belle âme (1754-1789), condensed French edition prepared by François Vigneron, Montbéliard, 2015. Project page
  • Memoiren der Baronin von Oberkirch, Abdruck einer schönen Seele (1754-1789), translated to German by Andrea Wurth, published by François Vigneron, Kehl, 2015. Project page