This article examines the role that three noblewomen from the PhÈlypeaux de Pontchartrain family-Marie de Maupeou, Suzanne PhÈlypeaux de Pontchartrain, and ElÈonore de La Rochefoucauld-Roye-played in the clan’s political patron-client networks during the last decades of LouisÝXIV’s reign. The Pontchartrain women acted as crucial players in a family-based economy of informal political power at court, in Paris, and in the provinces. By collaborating closely with their husbands, brothers, and other male relatives, they furthered the interests of their family. They acted as mediators for their husbands, served as bridges linking their husbands’ families to their birth families, provided new “clients” for the Pontchartrain patron-client network, collected information for the family, and acted as close advisers to their husbands and male relatives as they executed the duties of their royal offices.


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Print ISSN
pp. 11-35
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Archived 2004
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