This essay explores the complex literary and personal relationship between the writers Marie de Mirabeau and her daughter, known as Gyp. The rarity of such mother-daughter couples in the male-dominated literary field of nineteenth-century France raises questions about mothers, and women, as literary mentors during this period. To what extent did the literary relations between Marie de Mirabeau and Gyp conform to, or stray from, the codified behavior expected of them in society? Given that both women were breaking with class and gender codes in pursuing a remunerative profession, what types of compensatory strategies did each develop to avoid further social and sexual marginalization? In furnishing a 'maternal' example to her daughter in the professional realm, did Marie supply her with certain advantages that men could not? How important, finally, was Marie's influence on her daughter's success? These questions are addressed through a comparison of the literary itineraries of these two "bas-bleus."


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pp. 138-153
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