Maria Versfelt

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Maria Versfelt (Ida Saint-Elme).

Maria Johanna Elselina Versfelt (27 September 1776 – 19 May 1845), also known as Ida Saint-Elme, Elzelina av Aylde Jonghe, and by her pseudonym La Contemporaine, was a Dutch writer and stage actress, known for her adventurous life.

Versfelt was born in Lith. Her parents were the vicar Gerrit Versfelt (1735–1781) and Alida de Jongh (1738–1828), and she was married around 1792–1796 to merchant Ringeling Claasz (1768–1801). She was known for her love affairs: in 1795–1799, she had an affair with French General Jean Victor Marie Moreau (1763–1813).

She left the Netherlands after the French conquest in 1795 and followed her lovers on their military campaigns over Europe. From 1801, she worked as an actress in traveling theatres in France and Italy. In 1827, she published her memoirs Mémoires d'une Contemporaine (8 parts, 1827–1828), which made her famous. She died, aged 68, in Brussels.


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