Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Marie Leprince de Beaumont
Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont.jpg
Born (1711-04-26)26 April 1711
Rouen, France
Died 8 September 1780(1780-09-08) (aged 69)
Savoy, France
Occupation Novelist

Marie Leprince de Beaumont (nee Vaimboult; 26 April 1711 – 8 September 1780) was a French author who wrote the best known version of Beauty and the Beast. She had a relationship with the spy for the British Thomas Pichon (1757–1760).


She was born in Rouen 1711 as the daughter of Jean-Baptiste Le Prince and died in 1780. She lost her mother Marie-Barbe Plantart when she was only eleven but wrote that she did not mourn her death. The family was very poor and several of her siblings had to be sent away for adoption. She wrote that her mother had suffered terribly at not being able to maintain contact with her children or to establish what had become of them. She therefore felt intuitively that her mother's death was a blessing.[1]

From 1725 - 1735, she taught small children in Ernemont, about ten miles from Rouen. Subsequently, she obtained a prestigious position as a singing teacher to the children at the Court of the Duke of Lorraine, Stanisław Leszczyński, at Lunéville.[2]

Her first marriage, in 1743, was disastrous and was annulled after two years. The Duke of Lorraine had personally paid her dowry, a huge sum, so that she could marry well, but her husband used the dowry to pay off his debts, then used the rest to buy a hotel. There, he held wild parties and entertained disreputable characters. After her husband contracted a communicable disease as a result of his lifestyle, she was able to obtain an annulment but she retained her husband's name.[2]

In 1746, she left France to become a governess in London.[3] She wrote Beauty and the Beast and Other Classic French Fairy Tales, and after a successful publishing career in England, remarried, bore many children, and left England to live the rest of her life in Savoy.

Her first work, the moralistic novel The Triumph of Truth (Le Triomphe de la vérité), was published in 1748. She continued her literary career by publishing many schoolbooks. She then began to publish collections she called "magazines" of educational and moral stories and poems for children. She was one of the first to write fairy tales for children.[4] She also wrote other works, based on traditional fairy tales.

Because of her relationship in London with the French spy Thomas Pichon (1700-1781), she is a character in a novel entitled Crossings, A Thomas Pichon Novel, by Canadian writer A. J. B. Johnston. However, in that fictional appearance the dates for her relationship with Pichon are not accurate.[5]



  1. ^ Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont (1764) in Magasin des Jeunes Dames.
  2. ^ a b Letter from the second chaplain of King Stanislas to his nephew, a student at the University of Pont-à-Mousson, in the summer of 1743, in Mme. Leprince de Beaumont, 171Jeanne was a wonderful, bi, author1-1780, p.127, by A. Reynaud
  3. ^ Sonya Stephens (2000). A history of women's writing in France. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-58844-7. 
  4. ^ J., The Great Fairy Tale Tradition: From Straparola and Basile to the Brothers Grimm.
  5. ^ *Johnston, A.J.B. (2015). Crossings, A Thomas Pichon Novel. Sydney: Cape Breton University Press. ISBN 978-1-77206-020-1.  EPUB 978-1-77206-022-5, Kindle 978-1-77206-023-2, Web pdf 978-1-77206-021-8

External links[edit]