1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Longueville, Anne Genevieve, Duchesse de

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LONGUEVILLE, ANNE GENEVIÈVE, Duchesse de (1619–1679), was the only daughter of Henri de Bourbon, Prince de Condé, and his wife Charlotte Marguerite de Montmorency, and the sister of Louis, the great Condé. She was born on the 28th of August 1619, in the prison of Vincennes, into which her father and mother had been thrown for opposition to Marshal D’Ancre, the favourite of Marie de’ Medici, who was then regent in the minority of Louis XIII. She was educated with great strictness in the convent of the Carmelites in the Rue St Jacques at Paris. Her early years were clouded by the execution of the duc de Montmorency, her mother’s only brother, for intriguing against Richelieu in 1631, and that of her mother’s cousin the comte de Montmorency-Boutteville for duelling in 1635; but her parents made their peace with Richelieu, and being introduced into society in 1635 she soon became one of the stars of the Hôtel Rambouillet, at that time the centre of all that was learned, witty and gay in France. In 1642 she was married to the duc de Longueville, governor of Normandy, a widower twice her age. The marriage was not happy. After Richelieu’s death her father became chief of the council of regency during the minority of Louis XIV., her brother Louis won the great victory of Rocroy in 1643 (see Condé), and the duchess became of political importance. In 1646 she accompanied her husband to Münster, where he was sent by Mazarin as chief envoy, and where she charmed the German diplomatists who were making the treaty of Westphalia, and was addressed as the “goddess of peace and concord.” On her return she fell in love with the duc de la Rochefoucauld, the author of the Maxims, who made use of her love to obtain influence over her brother, and thus win honours for himself. She was the guiding spirit of the first Fronde, when she brought over Armand, Prince de Conti, her second brother, and her husband to the malcontents, but she failed to attract Condé himself, whose loyalty to the court overthrew the first Fronde. It was during the first Fronde that she lived at the Hôtel de Ville and took the city of Paris as god-mother for the child born to her there. The peace did not satisfy her, although La Rochefoucauld won the titles he desired. The second Fronde was largely her work, and in it she played the most prominent part in attracting to the rebels first Condé and later Turenne. In the last year of the war she was accompanied into Guienne by the duc de Nemours, her intimacy with whom gave La Rochefoucauld an excuse for abandoning her, and who himself immediately returned to his old mistress the duchesse de Chevreuse. Thus abandoned, and in disgrace at court, the duchess betook herself to religion. She accompanied her husband to his government at Rouen, and devoted herself to good works. She took for her director M. Singlin, famous in the history of Port Royal. She chiefly lived in Normandy till 1663, when her husband died, and she came to Paris. There she became more and more Jansenist in opinion, and her piety and the remembrance of her influence during the disastrous days of the Fronde, and above all the love her brother, the great Condé, bore her, made her conspicuous. The king pardoned her and in every way showed respect for her. She became the great protectress of the Jansenists; it was in her house that Arnauld, Nicole and De Lane were protected; and to her influence must be in great part attributed the release of Lemaistre De Sacy from the Bastille, the introduction of Pomponne into the ministry and of Arnauld to the king. Her famous letters to the pope are part of the history of Port Royal (q.v.), and as long as she lived the nuns of Port Royal des Champs were left in safety. Her elder son resigned his title and estates, and became a Jesuit under the name of the Abbé d’Orléans, while the younger, after leading a debauched life, was killed leading the attack in the passage of the Rhine in 1673. As her health failed she hardly ever left the convent of the Carmelites in which she had been educated. On her death in 1679 she was buried with great splendour by her brother Condé, and her heart, as she had directed, was sent to the nuns of the Port Royal des Champs.

The chief authority for Madame de Longueville’s life is a little book in two volumes by Villefore the Jansenist, published in 1738. Victor Cousin has devoted four volumes to her, which, though immensely diffuse, give a vivid picture of her time. See also Sainte-Beuve, Portraits des femmes (1840). Her connexion with Port Royal should be studied in Arnauld’s Memoirs, and in the different histories of that institution.