Sophie Bawr

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Alexandrine-Sophie de Bawr, 1810, by Louis-Léopold Boilly

Baroness Sophie de Bawr (8 October 1773 – 31 December 1860), born Alexandrine-Sophie Goury de Champgrand, was a French writer, playwright and composer, also known as "Comtesse de Saint-Simon", "Baronne de Bawr", and "M. François".


She was born in Paris, the illegitimate daughter of Marquis Charles-Jean de Champgrand and opera singer Madeline-Virginie Vian. She was raised by her father, and studied music with André Grétry, Nicolas Roze and Adrien Boieldieu and singing with Pierre Garat and Jean Elleviou.[1]

She secretly married a young man during the Terror who was executed soon after on the scaffold. Her son from this marriage died in infancy. After surviving the French Revolution, she supported herself by writing books, music and plays. In 1801 she married Claude-Henri de Saint-Simon. After a divorce, she married the Russian Baron de Bawr who died in an accident, leaving her again without financial support. However, she eventually received a pension from the French government. Her Suite d'un bal masque was highly successful and received 246 performances between 1813 and 1869. She died in Paris.[2][3]

For her first three comedies, she used the pseudonym M. François.

Selected works[edit]

Alexandrine-Sophie de Bawr wrote plays, musical theater, songs, several novels, educational texts and her own memoirs. Her nonfiction texts provide important historical information.[1] Selected works include:

  • La Suite d'un bal masque, 1813
  • Un quart d'heure de depit, opera comique, 1813 (unperformed)
  • Melodrames Les chevaliers du lion, melodrama, 1804
  • Leon, ou le chateau de Montaldi, melodrama, 1811
  • La meprise, play, 1815
  • Charlotte Brown, play, 1835


  • Historie de musique
  • Encyclopedie des dames, 1823
  • Soirees des juenes personnes, 1852
  • Souvenirs, 1853


  1. ^ a b Letzter, Jacqueline; Adelson, Robert; Letzter, Jacqueline (2001). Women writing opera: creativity and controversy in the age of the. 
  2. ^ Busby, Keith (1992). Correspondances. (Digitized online by GoogleBooks). University of Oklahoma. 
  3. ^ Sadie, Julie Anne; Samuel, Rhian (1994). The Norton/Grove dictionary of women composers (Digitized online by GoogleBooks). Retrieved 20 January 2011.