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Legend has it that Jeanne-Louise-Henriette Genet-Campan (1752–1822) first encountered Marie Antoinette at a pianoforte in the Versailles royal apartments, where Madame Campan accompanied the future queen as she sang opéra comique tunes.1 Around 1774, Campan entered Marie Antoinette’s service as a lady-in-waiting and ascended to the position of first lady-in-waiting on July 13, 1786, a role she held as late as 1792.2 After the queen’s execution in 1793, Campan weathered a tumultuous political landscape. Under the revolutionary government she founded a school for girls, becoming a renowned educator. Napoléon himself took note, and by 1807 he had appointed her director of the school for daughters of Legion of Honor recipients.3 At both schools Campan educated a cohort of young [End Page 72] women who became princesses and queens across nineteenth-century Europe.4 In 1822, during the Bourbon Restoration, Campan published her Mémoires sur la vie privée de Marie-Antoinette, reine de France et de Navarre (Memoirs on the private life of Marie Antoinette, queen of France and of Navarre), which appeared shortly after her own death.5 Throughout these memoirs, musical and social performances prove inextricably intertwined, revealing a public perception of Marie Antoinette’s musical tastes and entertainments as imbued with politics.

A robust body of scholarly literature treats music and politics during the French Revolution.6 During the revolutionary decade, the political and the performative merged, as pastiche stage genres that included music came to be judged through an aesthetic that blurred distinctions between fiction and reality—a phenomenon Mark Darlow has termed “meta-theatricality.”7 Laura Mason has shown how judgments about the virtue or immorality of female musicians during the French Revolution tended to be formed on a case-by-case basis rather than on clearly defined ideologies about music and femininity.8 Yet most scholarship on women musicians in Enlightenment and revolutionary France has focused on [End Page 73]

Table 1. A timeline of major events during the French Revolution and Napoleonic empire with key dates from Madame Campan’s life in bold
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Table 1.

A timeline of major events during the French Revolution and Napoleonic empire with key dates from Madame Campan’s life in bold

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composition, leaving aside nonprofessional musiciennes.9 By focusing on how two women negotiated musical practice and political meaning during the Old Regime, Revolution, and Napoleonic empire, I elucidate the tangible consequences of music in women’s lives during a watershed political moment.

Written after the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in 1814, Campan’s memoirs are presumably an attempt to endear herself to the reinstated royal family. This has led to questions regarding the work’s veracity, with an assault on Campan’s credibility as historical witness beginning as early as the Revolution itself. She battled two fronts after the Terror ended in July 1794: one believed she had been unfaithful to the queen during the Revolution by secretly aiding in the revolutionary agenda, while the other accused her of royalism. Immediately following the queen’s death in October 1793, critics also claimed that Campan was never as close to Marie Antoinette as she would later assert.10 Nonetheless, archival evidence corroborates the positions that Campan claims to have held in the queen’s household, and Campan’s father-in-law, sister, and niece also served the royal family.11 Regardless of this proof of proximity, the intimacy of Campan’s relationship with Marie Antoinette is less important to my argument than how Campan chose to address music, suggesting that Marie Antoinette failed to manage the public discourse that developed around her musical tastes and entertainments.12 Whether or not the text was written to gain favor with the Restoration government, the memoirs work toward political ends: asserting the innocence of Marie Antoinette’s musical choices and challenging past assaults on her character.

Long before Marie Antoinette arrived in Paris, the French court and Parisian polite society had established the political implications of music. Although sometimes mere entertainment, music served as a foil for political sparring in an Old Regime society where politesse prevented outright disagreement. Hints of subversion toward the monarchy could already be found in the incorporation of Italianate music into tragédie lyrique during the reign of Louis XIV.13 By the mid-eighteenth century, songs supplied a convenient medium for circulating court gossip from Versailles to the streets of Paris and for performing political discontent.14 [End Page 75] Although the Querelle des Bouffons from 1752 to 1754 ostensibly debated the merits of French and Italian opera, the exchange masked a serious argument regarding monarchical authority and religious freedom; and the operatic debates of eighteenth-century Paris always included an undercurrent of anxiety about foreignness.15

In midcentury Vienna, Marie Antoinette had enjoyed music as part of her education. Upon her arrival in Paris, she failed to recognize the quite different political context into which she brought her musical practices. Campan’s memoirs recount widespread derision toward Marie Antoinette’s musical activities. The queen’s interactions with men at concerts and balls aroused suspicions, while her favorite male composers earned access to her intimate private circle. Moreover, her enthusiasm for music was not properly balanced by the other pleasurable arts considered suitable for a noble lady, such as painting, needlework, literature, reading, and grammar.16 Worst of all, Marie Antoinette had been accused of poor musicianship, performing as a result of her own vanity rather than with cultivated skill for the virtuous pleasure of others. Campan’s account goes beyond critiques commonly raised against women who performed: the queen’s musical tastes bred bad politics because they underscored her foreignness, created a sense of alienation through exclusivity, and flaunted luxury during a period of economic strife.

The musical-political mistakes raised in Campan’s memoirs are corroborated by historical research that identifies the queen’s three “major [political] transgressions” in the eyes of the prerevolutionary public: Austrian loyalty, fiscal irresponsibility, and influence over ministerial positions.17 Scholars have debated the intensity of public derision toward Marie Antoinette before the Revolution, and many myths about her unpopularity during the 1770s and 1780s have been incorporated into scholarship as if they were fact.18 Outside of the court circles that thrived upon gossip, the extent to which “bad talk” about the queen permeated public opinion remains speculative. What is certain is that before 1789 (when the French Revolution began), the public was primarily concerned with matters that directly affected them, including the queen’s influence on policy, especially international relations, fiscal spending, and distribution of positions within the vast [End Page 76] Old Regime bureaucracy.19 The title of Campan’s memoirs emphasizes the private life of Marie Antoinette, and indeed the former lady-in-waiting details the queen’s inability to manage how public narratives usurped her private musical practices for political ends. In 1802 Campan cautioned one of her students to avoid Marie Antoinette’s detrimental “political” mistake, warning that “one of the great faults of the queen was to serve only music.”20 The lives of Madame Campan and Marie Antoinette offer a tale of two women’s political negotiation of music, one who enjoyed success and the other who suffered deadly defeat. Unlike Marie Antoinette, Campan crafted her own narratives around her musical practices, ultimately rebuilding a post-Terror livelihood from the deceased queen’s musical ruins.

Foreign Taste

When Marie Antoinette arrived in France in 1770, some French subjects held high hopes for her positive influence on government affairs. One faction of the French court, however, targeted the dauphine as a symbol of their discontent with a 1756 treaty between Louis XV and Austria’s Maria Teresa.21 One of Campan’s students recalled a song that circulated in Paris when Louis XVI married Marie Antoinette, repeated by the headmistress during soirées with her favorite students:

Petite reine de vingt ans, Little queen of twenty years,
vous qui traitez si mal les gens, You who treat people so poorly,
Vous repasserez la frontière, Go back across the border,
Laire, laire, lan laire, laire lanla. Laire, laire, lan laire, laire lanla.22

The imperative to “go back” where she came from reveals the song’s underlying assumption: nothing good could possibly come from Austria. Historian Thomas Kaiser has shown how public perceptions of Marie Antoinette were affected by her cultivation of foreign, specifically Austrian, tastes.23 It seems that music figured among these controversial preferences. An intriguing passage penned by Jean-Baptiste Leclerc in the late 1790s and often cited in the historiography of music and the French Revolution demonstrates how Marie Antoinette’s foreign tastes eventually became entangled with rhetoric about music and politics: “Yielding to national [End Page 77] pride, Antoinette attracted to France the famous German [Gluck] who created dramatic music for us; in this she was unwise. It is not an error to say that the revolution accomplished in music would have shaken the government. . . . [T]he throne was shattered. And now the friends of liberty have used music in their turn.”24 At face value, Leclerc constellates Marie Antoinette’s “unwise” foreign taste, the aesthetic “revolution” of Christoph Willibald Gluck’s (1714–87) reform operas, and the political upheaval of the French Revolution.25 Though contemporaries (including Campan) exaggerated the queen’s role in Gluck’s arrival in Paris in 1774, Marie Antoinette welcomed him into the intimate circle of her toilette and championed the composer at the Opéra.26 Campan wrote, “Within a few years [of Gluck’s arrival] this art achieved a perfection that it had never had in France.”27

Darlow has recently elaborated how the import of foreign taste came to be seen as the cause of abrupt changes in Parisian fashion.28 On the surface, the queen imported a foreign musical style that abruptly changed Parisian taste and, ultimately, the French musical tradition. It was well known at court that she neither appreciated nor enjoyed the tragédie lyrique of Jean-Baptiste Lully and Jean-Philippe Rameau, whose mantle was taken up by none other than the Austrian favorite, Gluck.29 Moreover, as circles formed around Gluck and his purported rival, Italian composer Niccolò Piccinni (1728–1800), personal court vendettas between Marie Antoinette and the king’s mistress, Madame du Barry, raised the political stakes of choosing a side in this querelle.30 Contemporary accounts that correlate musical and political revolution with Marie Antoinette’s patronage of Gluck expose the complicated relationship among court politics, public opinion, and music. [End Page 78]

But to claim that Marie Antoinette’s musical patronage “would have shaken the government,” as Leclerc suggests, is a much more drastic charge than mere attempts to influence court politics. After all, Leclerc attributes her choice of Gluck to “national”—that is, Austro-Germanic—“vanity.” Such rhetoric originated among Old Regime court circles in response to the 1756 treaty and continued to circulate widely in popular revolutionary publications against the queen some forty years later.31 Gluck’s arrival in Paris coincided with the death of Louis XV and thus the ascension of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette to the throne; the ascension resulted in a purge of court ministers and a widespread belief that Marie Antoinette was intervening in policy decisions for Austria’s benefit.32 French foreign ministry documents from the Revolution claim that Austria’s influence in France, particularly the wars that it provoked throughout the eighteenth century, had “often shaken France to its foundations.”33 Such language resonates strikingly with Leclerc. Though largely untrue, a revolutionary “Austrian plot” was vigorously pursued and invoked to prosecute citizens during the Terror from September 1793 until July 1794.34 Foreign ministry documents about the plot portray Marie Antoinette as following in the footsteps of her mother, Maria Theresa, and manipulating her husband in order to facilitate Vienna’s influence in France.35 The popular publications that fueled French Austrophobia characterized Austrian aggression as particularly feminine. Although lacking military power, the Habsburgs were believed to maintain dominance in eighteenth-century Europe based on “corruption, ruse, oaths, gifts, promises, intrigue, caresses, and of course, the marriage of daughters to foreign princes.”36 The fabled Austrian aggression that “shook” France came to a head in 1790 with rumors of an Austrian committee alleged to convene nightly in the Bois de Boulogne in order to conspire against the revolutionary agenda.37 The group’s purported leader was none other than Marie Antoinette herself.

By correlating Marie Antoinette’s musical imports with political revolution, Leclerc roots Marie Antoinette’s patronage in former accusations that she had attempted to promote Austrian influence and undermine the French government. During the Revolution, supporters of the Opéra claimed the institution as a central component of French national heritage and as a means of public instruction.38 The triumph of a German, Gluck, as heir to Lully and Rameau’s institution, facilitated by an Autrichienne, symbolized nothing less than French political impotence. [End Page 79] Relating patronage and influence provided Leclerc with a convenient rhetorical strategy to argue that music was a matter of national concern, furthering his own campaign to obtain government funding for a system of national music education. Some musicians affiliated with the newly formed Paris Conservatory shared Leclerc’s resolve to eradicate foreign influence from French music. In a letter to his colleague Honoré Langlé, composer Jean-François Lesueur asserted, “Foreign genius should not be found in [the French] Conservatoire but for surpassing.”39 Leclerc likely chose this approach because the French had already adopted a view of Marie Antoinette as a conduit for Viennese control via “feminine” political strategies—such as musical patronage. Campan’s memoirs uncover the path by which Marie Antoinette’s musical tastes and entertainments became intertwined with politics in the prerevolutionary Parisian imagination.


During her pregnancy in 1778, Marie Antoinette began taking evening walks to enjoy the fresh air after long days spent indoors. This activity complied with eighteenth-century French literature suggesting that women connect to the outdoors and to a simple country life in order to recapture virtue and become healthy mothers. In an economic publication about the deterioration of agriculture in France, the marquis de Mirabeau described the ill effects of city life on women, particularly venues for music such as theaters and salons, where the stuffy air of enclosed urban spaces served as bastions for sickly female bodies, incapable of reproduction.40 Marie Antoinette could spare no precaution in such matters, since eight long years of marriage had passed before she succeeded in conceiving. Yet her bold embodiment of a Rousseauean maternal comportment conflicted with the behavior expected of a queen.41

Campan claims that it was the queen’s request for musical accompaniment in the gardens that eventually led to public derision: “These walks at first caused no sensation; but we had the idea to enjoy, during these beautiful summer nights, the effect of wind music. The chapel musicians were ordered to perform pieces of this genre on a terrace which was constructed in the middle of the parterre.”42 She [End Page 80] identifies the “princesses and [queen’s] brothers” as the culprits who initially “had the idea” to request the wind music; the king remained conspicuously absent, refusing to alter his strict bedtime.43 In letters to the queen’s mother, Maria Theresa, in Vienna, the comte de Mercy-Argenteau expressed concerns about the walks and Marie Antoinette’s reputation. He particularly blamed the king’s brother, the comte d’Artois, for instigating the musical entertainments.44 Campan confirms the dire effects of the wind music that both she and Mercy-Argenteau had feared: “Soon Paris, France, and even Europe were occupied with Marie Antoinette’s character in the most insulting manner . . . [because] all the inhabitants of Versailles wanted to enjoy these serenades, and soon there was a crowd from eleven in the evening until two and three in the morning.”45

Because the wind music attracted a crowd of listeners, the lively atmosphere and suspicious attendees proved unbecoming, particularly during the queen’s pregnancy.46 Campan cites two specific evening walks that fueled false rumors. While believing herself incognito, the queen spoke with a gentleman during one of the serenades about the “pleasurable effect of the music.”47 On another evening, a bodyguard approached the queen to beseech her kindness, which he claimed to have solicited at court as well.48 Though maintaining Marie Antoinette’s innocent behavior, Campan blames these two encounters for subsequent slanderous publications: “The most scandalous stories were created and circulated in the libels of the time about these two very insignificant events.”49 Indeed, pornographic pamphlets against the queen began to proliferate in 1778.50 Campan mentions two critics by name: Monsieur Champcenetz de Ricquebourg composed and circulated [End Page 81] insulting couplets about Marie Antoinette and her ladies in reaction to the serenades, and Jean-Louis Giraud Soulavie, in his Mémoires historiques et politiques du règne de Louis XVI depuis son mariage jusqu’à sa mort (Historical and political memoirs of the reign of Louis XVI from his marriage until his death, 1801), criticized the walks as antithetical to the sovereignty that a queen should have projected.51 Campan cited Soulavie repeatedly in an attempt to discredit his unflattering depiction of Marie Antoinette, and she bemoaned his work’s ubiquity across respectable European libraries.52 Elsewhere in his hefty six-volume work, Soulavie highlights the queen’s encouragement and protection of musicians.53

Marie Antoinette attempted to mitigate the damage brought on by the wind concerts by admitting people to the performances by invitation and ticket only. Although this tactic may have prevented unwelcome guests from tarnishing her reputation, the exclusive atmosphere incited even more retaliation.54 Campan describes the results of the first private performance as “disastrous,” because “the curious crowd, kept away by the sentries who guarded the center of the colonnade, left very unhappy, and the most revolting calumnies about this particular concert circulated.”55 Marie Antoinette’s public promenades alone may have raised eyebrows, but Campan emphasizes wind music as the tipping point toward negative public perception of the queen. Later the clandestine concerts alienated French subjects who thrived on physical access to the monarchy. Campan shows that Marie Antoinette failed to realize the extent to which her musical choices concerned the public and gravely misjudged how privatizing such performances would be perceived as a political statement.


Campan claims that Marie Antoinette decided to reserve her artistic influence for matters concerning composers rather than librettists, since music was her favorite [End Page 82] art.56 The queen loved both French and Italian opera, particularly opéra comique and the music of André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry (1741–1813).57 She was even godmother to the composer’s youngest daughter. While her love of Italian opera figures into the memoirs’ depiction of her deteriorating musical politics because that love revealed foreign tastes, the French genres that Marie Antoinette continued to patronize required increasingly exorbitant funding. From 1775 through 1781, during stays at the Château de Choisy, Marie Antoinette sometimes attended two spectacles per day, grand opéra among them, “and at eleven in the evening would retreat into the salle des spectacles to assist with the performance of parodies where the leading actors from the Opéra displayed themselves in dresses and under the most bizarre costumes.”58 During the winter months of this period, Marie Antoinette disguised herself for masked balls and ballet-pantomimes at the Opéra, thinking she went unrecognized, while in fact everyone knew her true identity. A particularly

Fig. 1. A rendering of Marie Antoinette’s inappropriate interactions with men at a ball. Unattributed print, L’attouchement de Dilon à Marie Antoinette au bal (1789). Courtesy of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
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Fig. 1.

A rendering of Marie Antoinette’s inappropriate interactions with men at a ball. Unattributed print, L’attouchement de Dilon à Marie Antoinette au bal (1789). Courtesy of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

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scandalous moment was published in one of the many libelles penned against the queen during these years (fig. 1). Even when the queen’s entertainments at court did not favor the foreign, Italian style, they still inevitably required excessive staging and costuming and encouraged indulgent behavior.

The entertainments at Choisy inspired Marie Antoinette in 1777 to request a personal theater, which was built under the direction of architect Richard Mique in the Petit Trianon, her small château on the grounds of Versailles.59 Mercy-Argenteau reported to the empress Maria Theresa in August 1780, “The [Trianon] performances will put an end to the evening walks.”60 The performances at Trianon only occurred during brief periods: in August and September 1780, during the summers of 1782 and 1783, and then for a few weeks in August 1785. According to Adolphe Jullien, the presence of female peers, the comtesses de Provence and d’Artois, encouraged Marie Antoinette to enjoy music more socially: “Love of music brought the queen to love theater, which became the greatest pleasure for Marie Antoinette and her mind’s dearest distraction.”61 Here, music acts as a gateway to the more immoral activity—acting. Additionally, the change of venue from the gardens to the Trianon, even further removed from the eyes and ears of the court, exacerbated the jealousy that had begun to develop around the exclusivity of the queen’s evening musical entertainments. Only an intimate group attended and performed in productions at the Trianon. Campan claims to have warned Marie Antoinette about the potential treachery of this choice, and Mercy-Argenteau complained in his letters that Marie Antoinette’s actions bred a sense of “alienation.”62 The empress agreed that the secret performances must stop. Marie Antoinette promised Mercy-Argenteau that she would solve the problem by inviting more guests to make the performances less exclusive. The balance between private and public performance shifted once again, and increased attendance only fed gossip, which “spread from the court to town.” The public ultimately opined that although the comte d’Artois was admittedly quite talented, the queen had absolutely no theatrical abilities, and her acting was “royally bad.”63

As early as 1780, the king attempted to cut the queen’s household budget for music and entertainment.64 During her pregnancies in subsequent years, the [End Page 84]

Fig. 2. Jean Marie Mixelle, engraver, print, Harpie femelle, monstre amphibie (Chez Mixelle, Paris, 1784). Courtesy of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
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Fig. 2.

Jean Marie Mixelle, engraver, print, Harpie femelle, monstre amphibie (Chez Mixelle, Paris, 1784). Courtesy of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

queen receded from her brief role as actrice, as Adolphe Jullien interprets, to become a spectatrice.65 This change coincided with her continued efforts to appear more maternal.66 As she spent increasing amounts of time at the royal residence in Saint-Cloud, the productions at Trianon ended, and Marie Antoinette channeled her energy toward directing productions—from the choice of repertoire, to details of scenery, to special effects. Thus, her responsibility for the cost and content of performances became even more pronounced. Soon, Marie Antoinette’s lavish spending on luxurious musical productions riled not only nobles who felt they were the target of her private antics (she notoriously supported Pierre Beaumarchais’s Le mariage de Figaro, even when Louis XVI banned the play during the early 1780s because he believed that the plot mocked the aristocracy) but also Parisians who feared famine and poverty. During the 1780s, France found itself in a fiscal and [End Page 85] monetary crisis, the result of a century of spending on wars, of tax exemption for the First and Second Estates, and of excessive expenditures to keep up the royal residences and expanding court. This crisis served as the main incentive for the king to call the Estates General to Paris at the end of the decade, which snowballed into the French Revolution.67 The effort to reign in the queen’s consumption coincided with the publication of satires depicting her as a Harpy, the mythological female monster that stole food from the hungry (fig. 2).

On the brink of Revolution, a pornographic pamphlet featuring Marie Antoinette and the comte d’Artois appeared in Paris. L’Autrichienne en goguettes, ou L’orgie royale (The Austrian out for a good time, or The royal orgy, 1789), labeled an “opera proverb” on its title page, synthesized the musical critiques of Marie Antoinette that Campan notes throughout the memoirs. The first footnote of the opera reads:

The queen, student of the late Sacchini and protector of any ultramontane composer, has the firm belief that she is a good musician because she mangles a few sonatas on her harpsichord, and she sings out of tune in the concerts that she gives in secret, where she takes care to admit only vile adulterers. As for Louis XVI, we might get an idea of his taste for harmony in learning that the discordant and insupportable sounds of smooth silver candlesticks scraping with force against a marble table has an appeal to his antimusical ears.68

Marie Antoinette’s protection of composers from beyond the Alps, her poor musicianship, and her exclusive performances had become not just a metaphor for but proof of a bad character and bad politics.69 Even the king becomes implicated in her musical debauchery: his appreciation for the noise of material wealth represents both his attachment to finery and the deaf ear he turned toward his wife’s decadent lifestyle. By 1789 Marie Antoinette’s love of music, which began as innocent private performances in the apartments of Versailles, had become a public spectacle of immorality. Campan’s memoirs remind the reader, however, that it was not music alone that politically tarnished Marie Antoinette but her failure to gauge its reception. [End Page 86]

Reality and Revolution

L’Autrichienne en goguettes was prescient. During the Revolution, Marie Antoinette no longer had the freedom to willfully participate in fanciful musical performances of her choice but was instead required to attend performances in order to demonstrate her compliance with the new power structure. In an important sense, the fictive world of stage performance and the reality of revolutionary politics merged, although scholars have debated the precise process by which this amalgamation took place. Paul Friedland asserts that a revolutionary, antitheatrical aesthetic was the realization of Diderot’s concept of absorption: an illusion by which spectators suspend their grounding in the “real world” to immerse themselves in the world of a performance.70 Thus Friedland views audiences as abstracted from the performance. Susan Maslan, on the other hand, considers the revolutionary theatrical aesthetic as an embodied practice that responded to the “print-centered Haberma-sian public sphere” of Old Regime political life by involving the spectator within the performance.71 Central to both interpretations, as Darlow has recently pointed out, is an ideology of transparency.72 Darlow argues that transparency constituted a meta-theatricality that blurred the boundaries between the fiction of the diegesis and the reality of the outside world, particularly through musical pastiche.73 The expectation for transparency contrasted sharply with the alienation engendered by Marie Antoinette’s musical performances during the 1770s and 1780s. In her memoirs, Campan foregrounds revolutionary performances in which Marie Antoinette herself became the protagonist of conflated fictional plotlines and political realities. Two anecdotes are particularly illuminating: the 1789 Flanders Regiment banquet at Versailles and a 1791 performance of Grétry’s Les événemens imprévus (1779) at the Théâtre Italien. Campan attempts to reframe the narrative of both performances in favor of the musically immoral queen.

Once Louis XVI realized that his guards had permitted the storming of the Bastille, he decided to recruit more dependable protection, summoning to Paris the Flanders Regiment of the royal army. A banquet to welcome the new troops to Versailles on October 1, 1789, became legendary for its rowdy royalist behavior and for its unexpected guests: Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and the dauphin. Contemporaneous accounts claimed that after rousing rounds of toasts and singing, the banquet guests accompanied the royal family back to their apartments, and as alcohol and joy mingled together, soldiers danced below the king’s windows into the early morning hours. One unfortunate soldier, enthusiastic from the evening’s professions of loyalty, committed suicide out of guilt for his previous revolutionary sympathies.74 In the memoirs, Campan claims that in the hope of avoiding [End Page 87] public ridicule, Marie Antoinette had not planned to attend the festivities and requested that Campan attend and report back.75 Her memoirs place the banquet in the Royal Opéra at Versailles, with “loges filled with spectators.”76 Although a few sources place it in the Salon d’Hercule, iconographic renderings and testimonies of other attendees corroborate Campan’s report.77 Numerous images placed the royal family at the center of the debauchery—chairs overturned, tricolored cockades thrown to the floor, and baskets filled with (presumably empty) wine bottles, often with Marie Antoinette foregrounded. For example, in figure 3, she is slightly larger than other figures in the picture, and shading places her in a spotlight cast from the right of the scene; the bodies of the king and the dauphin are turned toward her. The Versailles banquet exemplifies the revolutionary meta-theatricality identified by Darlow. As fact mingled with fiction, reality with diegesis, historical actors became implicated in events that held profound political consequences. Thissong-and-dance-filled banquet would go down in history as the “Orgy of the Flanders Regiment.”78

Fig. 3. A depiction of the royal family entering the banquet. Unattributed print, Repas des gardes du corps (1789–95). Courtesy of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
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Fig. 3.

A depiction of the royal family entering the banquet. Unattributed print, Repas des gardes du corps (1789–95). Courtesy of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

Contemporaneous accounts of the banquet specifically mythologize the performance of “Ô Richard, ô mon roi,” an aria from Grétry’s opéra comique Richard, [End Page 88] Cœur de Lion (1784).79 In the diegesis of Richard, the king’s faithful servant Blondel sings:

Ô Richard, ô mon roi, O Richard, O my King!
L’univers t’abandonne, The universe abandons you,
Sur la terre il n’est donc que moi, On earth, it is only me
Qui s’interesse à ta personne! Who is interested in you!
Voudrais briser tes fers, et tout le reste t’abandonne! Alone in the universe I would break the chains when every one else deserted you!80

Legend has it that while singing “O Richard,” the guests trampled the tricolor cock-ade, a symbol of the Revolution, and donned black cockades instead.81 Although scholars have questioned the veracity of the fabled cockade desecration, this action, from the very evening of the banquet onward, became inextricably linked to Grétry’s aria, which immediately became a royalist anthem.82 At the time of the banquet, Richard had already been performed at the Salle Favart seven times since the beginning of 1789, and the opera went on to enjoy over two dozen Parisian performances in 1789 and 1790 alone, only to be banned for its royalist connotations in 1791.83 In her 1793 trial, Marie Antoinette was interrogated about her presence at the “orgy”: “You admit to having been in the room of the here present body guards, were you there when the air ‘Ô Richard, ô mon roi’ was played?”84 She claimed to be unable to recall the performance.

Campan rewrites the musical politics of the contested Versailles banquet.85 She supports the queen’s inability to recall “Ô Richard” by placing the royal family’s arrival immediately after the royalist anthem had been sung. Instead, she claims that upon their entrance into the Royal Opéra the orchestra spontaneously began to perform “Peut-on affliger ce qu’on aime?,” an ariette from Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny’s (1729–1817) opéra comique Le déserteur (1769) (example 1). Unlike Richard, Le déserteur was not a recent success but an older work that had enjoyed consistent [End Page 89] performances through the Revolution both at the Théâtre Italien and at court.86 Michel-Jean Sedaine had loosely based the libretto on the true story of a soldier who deserted the army under Louis XV at Compiègne in 1767 but narrowly avoided execution when a noblewoman begged at the king’s feet for the deserter’s life.87 It is tempting to draw meanings from the plot’s location in Compiègne, the forest where little Maria Antonia took the name Marie Antoinette when the Viennese handed her over to the French in 1770.

Campan’s choice to highlight the Monsigny ariette rather than the Grétry aria may have served political purposes in Restoration France when her memoirs were published, yet it also offers a more feminine perspective on the contested banquet. While “Ô Richard” focuses on the king’s isolation, “Peut-on affliger” and the plotline of Le déserteur convey a more sympathetic message of redemption through the love of benevolent monarchs and nobles, specifically a noblewoman. “Ô Richard” maintained irrevocable connotations of unabashed royalism; “Peuton affliger,” by contrast, offered a soberer political message amenable to the Restoration government: the royal family deserved and reciprocated the nation’s love. Indeed, the ariette line “it’s like turning against yourself” harks back to the Old Regime ideology that placed the king as the head of a single French body. The tune even provides a feminine political perspective. Composed for a woman’s voice, the noble melody reflects the idyllic opéras comiques enjoyed by Marie Antoinette and her intimate circle at the Trianon. Campan pairs her description of the ariette’s performance with an anecdote about her niece and another young girl, both raised at court, who attended the banquet. The girls had begun to shout in support along with the Monsigny ariette when a Third Estate deputy in a neighboring box expressed disgust that two well-brought-up French ladies would yell at the top of their lungs for “one man” whom they loved more than their very own parents.88 The ariette resonated with the girls’ choice of innocent love over politics, placing the deputy’s intransigent republican politics in stark relief. This depiction challenges previous interpretations of Marie Antoinette as the star of an orgy on that October night and offers an alternative interpretation: a scene of loving monarchs singing airs with their faithful subjects.

This evening would be the last time that the royal family appeared in the Royal Opéra at Versailles. Campan agrees with historians that the combination of the contested banquet and a widespread bread scarcity served as the pretext for the riots of October 5 and 6, 1789, when common women brought the royal family back into Paris from Versailles. The memoirs recount that, in Paris, Marie Antoinette [End Page 90]

Example 1. Le déserteur, “Peut-on affliger ce qu’on aime?,” act 1, scene 1, mm. 11–27 (full score, Paris: Claude Hérissant, 1769). “Can one inflict pain on one’s beloved? / Why seek to cause him pain? / Can one inflict pain on one’s beloved? / It’s like turning against yourself.”
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Example 1.

Le déserteur, “Peut-on affliger ce qu’on aime?,” act 1, scene 1, mm. 11–27 (full score, Paris: Claude Hérissant, 1769). “Can one inflict pain on one’s beloved? / Why seek to cause him pain? / Can one inflict pain on one’s beloved? / It’s like turning against yourself.”

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was forced to appear on the balcony of the Tuileries Palace numerous times in response to the throng. Two days later, the Parisian public and the National Guard requested that the queen appear at a theater performance to demonstrate her goodwill and pleasure at having returned to the capital city. Marie Antoinette refused. Her appearance at a purported secret orgy, followed by a refusal to present herself before the city, only contributed to her declining public image; in Darlow’s terms, “widespread metaphors of seeing and visibility” were central to the Revolution’s meta-theatricality.89

By the end of September 1791, two years later, Louis XVI had accepted the constitution.90 No longer able to refuse invitations from the public, the royal family was obliged to attend spectacles to manifest support for the new constitutional government.91 Campan admits the royal family’s efforts before performances to arrange the composition of the parterre in their favor. On one particular occasion, the Jacobins preempted them, and a commotion erupted during a performance of Grétry’s Les événemens imprévus at the Théâtre Italien.92 The memoirs depict the chilling moment from the perspective of the queen’s box:

Madame Dugazon unfortunately decided to incline herself toward the queen while singing during a duo the words: Oh! How I love my mistress! Instantly more than twenty voices rise from the parterre crying: No mistress! No master! Liberty! Some men respond from the loges and balconies: Long live the queen! Long live the king! Forever live the king and queen! They respond from the parterre: No master, no queen! The quarrel heats, the parterre separates and fights, and the Jacobins had the upper hand. Their tufts of black hair were flying around the room; a numerous guard arrives; the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, alerted to what was happening at the Italiens, was gathering and already talking of marching toward the spectacle. The queen maintained the most noble and calm demeanor; the commanders of the troops surrounded her and reassured her. Their conduct was proactive and prudent; nothing bad happened. The queen, leaving, received abundant applause. It was the last time that she would enter into a salle de spectacle.93 [End Page 93]

The volatile audience no longer understood the singer’s performance as restricted to the diegesis of the opera. Campan’s recollection of the event, narrated partially in the present tense, conveys the immediate threat that Marie Antoinette and her entourage faced when reality and fiction became indistinguishable. Her specific reference to the Faubourg Saint-Antoine underscores the latent violence of the theater crowd, as this section was notorious for its role in the storming of both the Bastille and, later, of the Tuileries Palace on August 10, 1792. Attendance at musical performances became too dangerous for Marie Antoinette, but so too did her absence from them. According to the meta-theatricality of revolutionary aesthetics, if she was not seen, then she was not sufficiently supportive of the new republic. Before the Revolution, the foreignness, exclusivity, and extravagance of the queen’s musical activities caused political problems. During the Revolution, she became implicated within the diegesis of the operas comiques that she once held dear. No longer were the productions mere divertissements for the queen and her intimate circle; instead, they were public spectacles that placed her at the center of real-life political dramas.94

A Musical Legacy

As Campan narrates the dire political results of Marie Antoinette’s musical tastes and performances, she attests to the queen’s innocent intentions and thus implies that the true political danger of music lies in a woman’s failure to anticipate and mitigate public perceptions of it. In the aftermath of the Reign of Terror, as she navigated her life under the Directory government (1795–99), Campan’s own choices reflect an awareness of her former mistress’s musical-political weaknesses. After Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette had been guillotined in 1793, Campan’s sister committed suicide, fearing imprisonment for royalism. The ruined lady-in-waiting thus found herself with no assets or income, with numerous enemies because of her faithful service to the former royal family, and as caretaker to three orphaned nieces, a young son, and a dying ex-husband. Nineteenth-century biographies dramatically emphasize her narrow escape from the guillotine, yet only days after the fall of Robespierre on July 28, 1794, she resurfaced to rent a building outside Paris, where she established a school, the National Institute for Young Women at Saint-Germain-en-Laye.95 By August 1796 she had approached the revolutionary government to request supplies for the new institution.96 Her requests survive [End Page 94] among the vast archives of the revolutionary Committee on Public Instruction, along with summaries, personal memos, and correspondence by parties involved in the bureaucratic process. Research published about the school’s curriculum has yet to consider these documents.97 This archival discovery reveals that knowledge of Marie Antoinette’s musical instruments and scores figured into the lady-in-waiting’s plans to reestablish her career and that Campan carefully deployed political rhetoric in her requests to behind-the-scenes allies. Campan controlled her political narrative—including music—in a manner that Marie Antoinette had failed to master.

Musical training had long played a crucial role in the education of proper young ladies.98 Campan requests three pianofortes “with pedals if possible,” two harps by Naderman or Holtzman, and string instruments—two violins, one quinte, and one basse—by Amati or Stradivari. These particular instruments brazenly reflect the tastes of the deceased queen. Jean-Henri Naderman served as the appointed harp maker of Marie Antoinette beginning in 1778 until 1783, when Jacques-Georges Cousineau assumed the position.99 One copy of the request specifies an English rather than French pianoforte, which Cousineau began to carry in his shop during the 1780s.100 The Amati string instruments hark back to the famous Charles IX set belonging to the French royal family; the collection was dismantled during the Revolution.101 Moreover, Stradivari violins did not earn much recognition in France until the 1780s, when Italian virtuoso Giovanni Battista Viotti entered the musical service of Marie Antoinette in 1784 and brought them to the attention of French violinists.102 Campan also requests scores, separated into parts, by Gluck, Piccinni, Sacchini, and Grétry: Gluck, the foreigner whose music threatened to shake the French government; Sacchini, referenced in the pornographic pamphlet L’Autrichienne en goguettes; Piccinni, implicated in the court politics of the 1770s and 1780s; and Grétry, Marie Antoinette’s favorite composer.

The precision of Campan’s demands suggests a possible ulterior motive: to recover instruments and scores from the queen’s household at Versailles. It was common knowledge that requests to the revolutionary government were fulfilled from confiscated noble property, and in correspondence within the file she explicitly [End Page 95] asks for her request to be fulfilled from the depot.103 In a private letter to a behind-the-scenes ally in the government, she also submits a more personal request to reclaim a baby carriage that she had given to Louis XVI as a gift for the dauphin. She knew the carriage was displayed in the museum of Versailles. She notes, “I only mention it because it [would be] easy to find.” The subsequent sentence quickly returns to the instruments, affirming that “the harps, the pianos, the books and drawings” form the essential foundation of an institution to which she dedicated “every moment of [her] life.”104 This letter physically directed officials back to Versailles as they considered her request for instruments and scores.

It took several months and a number of follow-up queries, but the supplies were ultimately granted, including the baby carriage. Though it remains unclear whether the instruments and scores were taken from the queen’s household, the archival documents show that Campan succeeded by appealing to the government’s need for new educational institutions and claiming to train women for lives as virtuous wives and mothers. She (and her allies) adopted a patriotic and humble rhetoric, stating that she “gives to young people who are entrusted to her the principles of a pure morale and love for the Patrie.”105 The minister of the interior argued on her behalf that “after the real losses of Citoyenne Campan and the public work she does with her talents,” the government should furnish her supply requests.106 Citizens Devinck and La Garde also wrote in her favor, and scraps of paper among the official documents indicate that at least one behind-the-scenes ally pushed her inquiries along.107 An undated order from the office of the Directoire exécutif, likely handed down late in 1796, finally approves her request, stating: “The public work citizen Genet-Campan does with her talents in raising young people through the love of virtue, law, and the country merits that the government come to her aid after the real losses she endured.”108 Campan took two cautionary measures in her apparent attempt to recover the queen’s music collection. First, she framed her requests carefully. Second, she prompted male allies within the [End Page 96] government to advocate for her from the inside. By working within the system and adopting its prevailing rhetoric, Campan created an entirely new career.

Music, Pedagogy, Politics

It is worth asking, then, how Campan intended to reconcile Marie Antoinette’s politically charged musical materials with this new patriotic pedagogical agenda. There is some evidence that instruction at the National Institute for Young Women at Saint-Germain-en-Laye and at Napoléon’s school for daughters of Legion of Honor recipients included a hidden curriculum of royalist sympathy, eventually revealed in former students’ memoirs and letters.109 By 1807, in the quiet haven of her tiny apartment in the village of Écouen, Campan would share stories about her former life as a lady-in-waiting to Marie Antoinette, a taboo subject in Napoleonic France. She selected only an intimate group of her favorite students to attend these gatherings. One student recalled how a dress smuggled from Marie Antoinette’s wardrobe was sometimes displayed for the girls to admire during these secret soirées.110 The dress must have represented a stark material reminder of the capricious politics that French aristocratic women were still destined to endure despite changes in governmental regime: in 1810, for example, the girls would witness Napoléon use women for political gain as he set aside his wife, Joséphine, the mother of their former classmate Hortense, because he hoped to produce a child in a more politically advantageous marriage to Austria’s archduchess Marie Louise. Napoléon also officially constrained the role of aristocratic women in Parisian salons, venues that were crucial to French cultural prominence yet threatening to the masculine ideology of postrevolutionary politics. These policies codified his personal belief that for women, “to talk of literature, morals, the fine arts, and everything under the sun is to indulge in politics.”111 Similarly, he restricted the musical genres permitted at Écouen to vocal music and group dances, and he explicitly forbade opera.112 In light of these regulations, the question becomes only more glaring: How, if at all, did Campan negotiate Marie Antoinette’s musical legacy with the education of proper aristocratic women in Napoleonic France?

Music certainly contributed to the daily rhythm of life at Saint-Germainen-Laye. Hortense’s report card from 1798 indicates a typical music curriculum, including solfège, pianoforte, harp, and singing.113 Music professors from the Paris Conservatory gave lessons to Saint-Germain-en-Laye students. Charles-Henri Plan-tade (1764–1839) taught composition and chorus; Honoré-François-Marie Langlé (1741–1807), singing and harpsichord; Théodore Mozin, pianoforte; Hyacinthe [End Page 97] Jadin (1769–1802), sonatas and concerti for the pianoforte; Jean-Jacques Grasset (1769–1839), violin and accompaniment; and Benoît (Barnabas) Bonesi (1745/46–1824), Italian singing.114 Campan also claims that the renowned English harpist Madame Delaval instructed Saint-Germain-en-Laye students.115 The instruments from the supply requests must have been put to good use. In De l’éducation, a guide to women’s education authored by Campan during the 1810s, she advises that girls take pianoforte lessons from ages seven through twelve, three times per week, plus independent study and practice each day. She recommends study of either the piano or the harp for at least eight to ten years, with a specific emphasis placed on sight-reading.116 Weekly performances occupied both study and leisure time at Saint-Germain-en-Laye. On Thursdays, more advanced students held recitals on the pianoforte to earn extra points in music and to motivate younger students to practice. On Sundays, some students accompanied on the pianoforte while their classmates practiced various dances.117 Performances were strictly chaperoned, and the practice eventually culminated in the school’s annual public examination, during which students could earn prizes in piano and singing, among other subjects.118

The students could not ignore the other arts in their education. “Painting, poetry, arts . . . we could never make [Marie Antoinette] listen to a word about all this,” Campan complains in her memoirs—immediately after she correlates music with the queen’s political mistakes.119 In addition to the music curriculum, students were expected to acquire skills in drawing, needlework, languages, geography, writing, and grammar.120 Accordingly, the 1796 supply request also lists a number of books in French and English, ranging from Diderot and D’Alembert’s Encyclopédie to historical dictionaries and Shakespeare’s plays, as well as teaching tools such as sculptures, globes, maps, and a microscope.121 Although Campan claims that “it is through [balance] that one obtains harmony in the whole education,” she still specifies how musical skills in particular could “animate solitude,” “complete happiness,” and “console grief.”122 She opines, “It is within the interiors of the home that [talents] are useful and sweet. . . . [I]f talents are the ornament of the rich, they are the riches of the poor.”123 The students would avoid Marie Antoinette’s vital political mistake by balancing musical practices with other subject areas and confining performance to the private sphere. [End Page 98]

The scores requested from the revolutionary government nonetheless remain curious. Though Campan’s pedagogical texts were published after her death in 1822, she wrote them during the 1810s, and so it was imperative that they conform to Écouen’s musically conservative policies. De l’éducation strictly discourages exposing young women to both opéra comique and pantomime-ballet because of their sensuality, which, without words, would “reach the heart through only the impression of the senses.” Grand opéras were permissible “when they stage[d] but tragic subjects.”124 Despite the composers she requested, Campan excludes precisely the genre that the queen cherished. Perhaps such restrictions were implemented with this history in mind or perhaps only after she became director at Écouen. Then again, the restrictions on opera articulated in De l’éducation may never have been truly enforced at all: not only did Campan list opera composers in her supply requests, but Hortense apparently expressed disgust at one particular performance of the Tartar march from Luigi Cherubini’s Lodoïska (1791) at Saint-Germain-en-Laye.125 Future research may yield more detailed insight into the extent to which opera permeated the school’s curriculum and activities.

Campan’s publications affirm Marie Antoinette’s innocent love of music and its general value in the education of young women, yet they highlight the social and political dangers that music posed.126 Her own life and pedagogy nonetheless demonstrate how a woman could achieve some degree of agency in the political narratives attached to her musical practices. In her legacy, the former lady-in-waitingfinally seemed to correct her mistress’s musical-political mistakes: her favorite student, Hortense de Beauharnais, not only became queen of Holland but also earned fame for the beautiful romances she composed.127

Rebecca Dowd Geoffroy-Schwinden

rebecca dowd geoffroy-schwinden is an assistant professor of music history at the University of North Texas College of Music. Her research on music and politics in Enlightenment and revolutionary France has been published in Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture. She earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in musicology from Duke University, where she was inducted into the Society of Duke Fellows.


I would like to express my gratitude to Darren Mueller, Sarah Elaine Neill, Jacqueline Waeber, Emily Wilbourne, and the anonymous reviewers of this journal for their helpful feedback on previous drafts of this article and to Bryan Stevens for creating the musical example. I would also like to thank Julia Doe and Melissa Hyde for their generosity in sharing sources and ideas about Marie Antoinette, cited in footnotes.

Archival research for this article was supported by a Duke University Summer Research Fellowship, a Duke University Dissertation and Pre-Dissertation [End Page 99] Travel Grant, and a Duke University International Research Travel Fellowship. Portions of this article were presented as conference papers at the Biennial Meeting of the Aphra Behn Society for Women and the Arts, 1660–1830, held at the University of Tulsa in October 2013; the conference “Genre et création dans l’histoire: Arts vivants, art de vivre,” held at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in December 2013; and at the Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in November 2014. [End Page 100]


1. “Souvent je l’y accompagnai sur la harpe ou sur le piano, quand elle voulait chanter les airs de Grétry.” Campan quoted in Just-Jean-Étienne Roy, Soirées d’Écouen (par Mme Campan): Recueillies et publiées par Stéphanie Ory (Tours: Alfred Mame et fils, 1859), 56–57. Subsequent editions attribute authorship to Ory rather than Roy. Translations are my own unless otherwise noted.

2. “Maison de la reine: Décision,” July 13, 1786, F-Pan, O1 3791–97. I have cited the Archives nationales, Paris, according to the RISM library siglum, F-Pan, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, as FPn. See also “Maison de la reine: Décision,” August 19, 1788; a letter from M. Villedeul to M. Augeart, March 13, 1789; and “Arriéré du 10 août 1792 aux personnes employées dans la maison de la ci-devant Reine,” n.d., F-Pan, O1 3791–97.

3. Napoléon Bonaparte’s future stepdaughter and sister-in-law, Hortense de Beauharnais, attended the schoolinSaint-Germain-en-Layewhenhefirst courted her mother, Joséphine, in 1795. Eventually he chose to send his sisters Caroline and Pauline and his cousin Charlotte to be educated there as well. On Napoléon’s school for the daughters of the Legion of Honor, see Rebecca Rogers, Les demoiselles de la Légion d’honneur: Les maisons d’éducation de la Légion d’honneur au XIXe siècle (Paris: Plon, 1992). On Madame Campan as an educator, see Louis Bonneville de Marsagny, Madame Campan à Écouen: Étude historique et biographique (Paris: H. Champion Libraire de la Société de l’histoire de Paris, 1879); Louis Chabaud, Les précurseurs du féminisme: Mmes de Maintenon, de Genlis et Campan, leur rôle dans l’éducation chrétienne de la femme (Paris: Plon-Nourrit and Co., 1901); Pierre Sabatier, “Une educatrice: Madame Campan, d’après ses lettres inédites à son fils,” Le correspondant, January 25, 1929, 246–70; Gabrielle Réval, Madame Campan: Assistante de Napoléon (Paris: Albin Michel, 1931); Yvan David and Monique Giot, Madame Campan (1752– 1822) (Paris: Éditions de la Réunion des musées nationaux, 1972); J. Terrie Quintana, “Educating Women in the Arts: Madame Campan’s School,” in Eighteenth-Century Women and the Arts, ed. Frederick Keener and Susan Lorsch (New York: Greenwood Press, 1988), 237–44; Catherine Montfort and J. Terrie Quintana, “Mme. Campan’s Institute of Education: A Revolution in the Education of Women,” Australian Journal of French Studies 33 (January–April 1996): 30–44; Rebecca Rogers, From the Salon to the Schoolroom: Educating Bourgeois Girls in Nineteenth-Century France (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2005); and Christina de Bellaigue, Educating Women: Schooling and Identity in England and France, 1800–1867 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).

4. Madame Campan realized her students were destined for royalty at the time, according to Pierre Maigne, Journal anecdotique de Madame Campan, ou souvenirs recueillis dans ses entretiens (Paris: Baudouin frères, 1824), 8. While many of her students went on to become European nobility, the best-known example is Hortense de Beauharnais, later queen of Holland and mother of Napoléon III, who was the second emperor of France from 1848 until 1871.

5. Throughout the article I refer to the French first edition, Mémoires sur la vie privée de Marie-Antoinette, reine de France et de Navarre, 2 vols. (Paris: Baudouin frères, 1822). Numerous subsequent editions followed in both French and English, some of which included other writings by Campan, such as Madame Campan, Memoirs of Marie Antoinette: Queen of France and Wife of Louis XVI (New York: Collier, 1910).

6. Jean-Rémy Julien and Jean-Claude Klein, Orphée phrygien: Les musiques de la Révolution (Paris: Éditions du May, 1989); Jean-Rémy Julien and Jean Mongrédien, Le tambour et la harpe: Œuvres, pratiques et manifestations musicales sous la Révolution, 1788–1800 (Paris: Éditions du May, 1991); Malcolm Boyd, ed., Music and the French Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992); James H. Johnson, Listening in Paris: A Cultural History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995); Emmet Kennedy et al., Theatre, Opera, and Audiences in Revolutionary Paris: Analysis and Repertory (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996); Laura Mason, Singing the French Revolution: Popular Culture and Politics, 1787–1799 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996); Mark Darlow, “The Role of the Listener in the Musical Aesthetics of the Revolution,” in Enlightenment and Tradition—Women’s Studies—Montesquieu, ed. Mark Darlow and Caroline Warman, SVEC / Studies on Voltaire in the Eighteenth Century 6 (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2007), 143–57; Darlow, Staging the French Revolution: Cultural Politics and the Paris Opéra, 1789–1794 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).

7. Mark Darlow, “History and (Meta-)Theatricality: The French Revolution’s Paranoid Aesthetics,” Modern Language Review 105, no. 2 (April 2010): 385–400.

8. Laura Mason, “Angels and Furies: Women and Popular Song during the French Revolution,” in Music and History: Bridging the Disciplines, ed. Jeffrey H. Jackson and Stanley C. Pelkey (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2005), 44–60.

9. Julie A. Sadie, “Musiciennes of the Ancien Régime,” in Women Making Music: The Western Art Tradition, 1150–1950, ed. Jane M. Bowers and Judith Tick (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987), 191–223; and Robert Adelson and Jacqueline Letzter, Women Writing Opera: Creativity and Controversy in the Age of the French Revolution (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001).

10. Jules Flammermont details these claims in “Les mémoirs de Madame Campan,” in Études critiques sur les sources de l’histoire du dix-huitième siècle (Paris: Alphonse-Picard, 1886), 1:5–43; and Réval, Madame Campan.

11. “Arriéré du 10 août 1792.”

12. Furthermore, the Mémoires secrets pour servir à l’histoire de la République des lettres en France, depuis 1762 jusqu’à nos jours (London: John Adamson, 1780–89), a contemporary chronicle of events in Paris from 1762 to 1783, corroborates many of Campan’s tales (see, e.g., 36:8), as does recent research on opéra comique at court (see Julia Doe, “Marie Antoinette et la musique: Habsburg Patronage and French Operatic Culture,” Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 46, no. 1 (2017): 81–94. Several students document Campan’s continued sympathies for the former queen from the Revolution through the Restoration.

13. Georgia Cowart, “Carnival in Venice or Protest in Paris? Louis XIV and the Politics of Subversion at the Paris Opéra,” Journal of the American Musicological Society 54, no. 2 (Summer 2001): 265–302.

14. Robert Darnton, Poetry and the Police: Communication Networks in Eighteenth-Century Paris (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010); and Rebecca Dowd Geoffroy-Schwinden, “Rousseau and the Revolutionary Repertoire,” Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 43 (2014): 89–110.

15. Elisabeth Cook, “Challenging the Ancien Régime: The Hidden Politics of the ‘Querelle des Bouffons,’” in La ‘Querelle des Bouffons’ dans la vie culturelle française du XVIIIe siècle, ed. Andrea Fabiano (Paris: CNRS editions / Sciences de la musique, 2005), 141–60.

16. Quintana’s publications detail this necessary balance in an eighteenth-century French woman’s education.

17. Vivan R. Gruder, “The Question of Marie Antoinette: The Queen and Public Opinion before the Revolution,” French History 16, no. 3 (2002): 292. Thomas Kaiser specifically lays out these issues in “Who’s Afraid of Marie-Antoinette? Diplomacy, Austrophobia, and the Queen,” French History 14, no. 3 (2000): 261–63. He also addresses the queen’s perceived foreignness in “From the Austrian Committee to the Foreign Plot: Marie-Antoinette, Austrophobia, and the Terror,” French Historical Studies 26, no. 4 (Fall 2003): 579–617.

18. On the conflation of myth and history around public opinion of Marie Antoinette, see Gruder, “The Question of Marie Antoinette.”

19. Gruder explains that in prerevolutionary pornographic libelles, “the queen, and even more so the ministers, appear as guilty of political as well as moral misdeeds. These charges highlight problems of policy, or of individual actions believed to influence government policy, that affected the public” (“The Question of Marie Antoinette,” 291, emphasis added). See also Kaiser, “Who’s Afraid of Marie-Antoinette?,” 261–63.

20. “Louis XVI et Marie-Antoinette, les derniers, les plus infortunés de tous nos monarques, n’avaient fait que des fautes politiques. . . . [L]eur vie privées les ferait toujours chérir par ceux qui les ont approchés. Une des grandes fautes de la reine a été de ne servir que la musique, parce qu’elle l’aimait, et les modes, parce qu’elle aimait la parue” (Jeanne-Louise-Henriette Genet-Campan, Correspondance inédite de Madame Campan avec la reine Hortense, ed. J. A. C. Buchon [Paris: A. Levasseur, 1835], 1:199).

21. Kaiser convincingly lays out the details of this Austrophobia and its connection to the queen in “Who’s Afraid of Marie-Anotinette?,” 247, and “From the Austrian Committee,” 580–84.

22. Roy, Soirées d’Écouen, 67.

23. Kaiser, “From the Austrian Committee,” 586.

24. “Cédant à l’orgueil national, attire en France le célèbre Allemand qui créa chez nous la musique dramatique; en cela elle fit une imprudence. Ce n’est point une erreur de dire que la révolution opérée par Gluck dans la musique auroit dû faire trembler le gouvernement. . . . [L]e trône fut ébranlé. Les amis de la liberté se servirent à leur tour de la musique” (Jean-Baptiste Leclerc, Essai sur la propagation de la musique en France, sa conservation, et ses rapports avec le gouvernement [Paris: H. J. Jansen, an VI], 12). The translation is adapted from those found in James H. Johnson, Listening in Paris, 98, and Mark Darlow, Dissonance in the Republic of Letters: The Querelle des Gluckistes et des Piccinnistes (London: Modern Humanities Research Association and Maney, 2013), 178.

25. For an articulate explanation of the connection between music and revolution in late eighteenth-century French writings, see Michael Fend, “An Instinct for Parody and a Spirit of Revolution: Parisian Opera, 1752–1800,” in The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Music, ed. Simon Keefe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 296. See also Philippe Vendrix, “La notion de révolution dans les écrits théoriques concernant la musique avant 1789,” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 21, no. 1 (June 1990): 71–78; and the introduction to Darlow, Dissonance.

26. For a detailed explanation of Marie Antoinette’s role (and public perceptions of it) in Gluck’s arrival in Paris, see Darlow, “From Iphigénie en Aulide to Orphée: A Court-Sponsored Reform?,” in Dissonance.

27. “En peu d’années cet art parvint à une perfection qu’il n’avait jamais eu en France” (Campan, Mémoires, 1:153).

28. Darlow, Dissonance, 181.

29. M. Elizabeth C. Bartlet, “Grétry, Marie-Antoinette, and La rosière de Salency,” Proceedings of the Royal Music Association 111 (1984–85): 92.

30. “There crystallized around anti-Gluck reaction an opposition party, centered on du Barry and composed of at least two strands: hostility to the ‘Austrian’ Marie-Antoinette, and musical taste which self-conceived as anti-elitist, binding cultural politics into musical reception” (Darlow, Dissonance, 77). See also 75–78, 94.

31. Kaiser shows these origins in “From the Austrian Committee,” 590; and Elizabeth Colwill elucidates their circulation during the Revolution in “Just Another ‘Citoyenne’? Marie-Antoinette on Trial, 1790–1793,” History Workshop 28 (Autumn 1989): 73.

32. “It is surely significant that these complaints [about her patronage of Gluck] coincide with the first two years of the reign, a period when Marie-Antoinette was suspected of attempting to wield political influence at court in favour of Austrian interests” (Darlow, Dissonance, 77). See also 89–90.

33. Kaiser, “From the Austrian Committee,” 582n14. Kaiser quotes documents from the Archives du Ministère des affaires étrangères, mémoires et documents autriche 29, fol. 33.

34. Kaiser, “From the Austrian Committee,” 608–9.

35. Kaiser, “From the Austrian Committee,” 590.

36. Kaiser, “From the Austrian Committee,” 590.

37. Kaiser, “From the Austrian Committee,” 587.

38. Darlow, Staging the French Revolution.

39. “Lettre de Jean-François Lesueur à Honoré-François-Marie Langlé,” January 22, 1800 [2 pluviôse an VIII], F-Pn, Mus. L.A. 67.

40. Comte de Mirabeau, L’ami des hommes (Paris, 1756), quoted in Meredith Martin, Dairy Queens: The Politics of Pastoral Architecture from Catherine de’ Medici to Marie Antoinette (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011), and elaborated and translated in Michael Kwass, “Consumption and the World of Ideas: Consumer Revolution and the Moral Economy of the Marquis de Mirabeau,” in “Spaces of Enlightenment,” special issue, Eighteenth-Century Studies 37, no. 2 (Winter 2004): 187–213.

41. Melissa Hyde, “Watching Her Step: Marie Antoinette and the Art of Walking,” in Body Narratives: Motion and Emotion in the French Enlightenment, ed. Susanna Caviglia (Chicago: Brepols Publishers, forthcoming). Hyde argues that the queen’s promenades and her maternal comportment were viewed as unbecoming to a queen. I am grateful to Melissa Hyde for sharing her forthcoming work with me, which resonates deeply with the arguments set forth in the present article.

42. “Ces promenades ne firent d’abord aucune sensation; mais on eut l’idée de jouir, pendant ces belles nuits d’été, de l’effet d’une musique à vent. Les musiciens de la chapelle eurent l’ordre d’exécuter des morceaux de ce genre, sur un gradin que l’on fit construire au milieu du parterre” (Campan, Mémoires, 1:193).

43. Campan, Mémoires, 1:193. Campan is likely referring to the queen’s brothers-in-law, particularly the comte d’Artois, because the visit of Marie Antoinette’s brother, Joseph II, to Versailles occurred from April until August 1777, before her pregnancy.

44. Comte F.-C. Mercy-Argenteau and Maria Teresa of Austria, Correspondance secrète entre Marie-Thérèse et le comte de Mercy-Argenteau, ed. A. D’Ardenth and M. A. Geoffroy (Paris: Firmin-Didot frères, fils, et cie, 1874), 1:403. Pornographic propaganda placed Marie Antoinette in the arms of her brother-in-law, the comte d’Artois. See Lynn Hunt, “The Many Bodies of Marie-Antoinette: Political Pornography and the Problem of the Feminine in the French Revolution,” in Eroticism and the Body Politic, ed. Lynn Hunt (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), 108–30.

45. “Bientôt Paris, France, et même Europe furent occupés de la manière la plus offensante pour le caractère de Marie-Antoinette. Il est vrais que tous les habitants de Versailles voulurent jouir de ces sérénades et que bientôt il y eut foule depuis onze heures du soir, jusqu’à deux et trois heures du matin” (Campan, Mémoires, 1:194).

46. Melissa Hyde, “Marie-Antoinette, Wertmüller, and Scandal of the Garden Variety: Portraying the Queen at Petit Trianon,” in “Disciples of Flora”: Gardens in History and Culture, ed. Victoria Emma Pagan, Judith W. Page, and Brigitte Weltman-Aron (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015), 69.

47. Campan, Mémoires, 1:195.

48. Campan, Mémoires, 1:195.

49. “Les contes les plus scandaleux ont été faits et imprimés dans les libelles du temps, sur les deux événemens très-insignifians que je viens de détailler avec une scrupuleuse exactitude” (Campan, Mémoires, 1:196).

50. Gruder, “The Question of Marie Antoinette,” 273. Later pornographic libelles about the queen proliferated by the end of the 1780s, particularly around the homosocial and, by extrapolation, homosexual exclusivity of her private quarters. See Chantal Thomas, The Wicked Queen: The Origin of the Myth of Marie Antoinette (New York: Zone, 1999).

51. Campan, Mémoires, 1:199. Gruder also mentions songs in her discussion of the pornographic libelles that circulated about Marie Antoinette (“The Question of Marie Antoinette”). According to Soulavie, “Elle substitua au ceremonial des reines de France, qui était gênant, mais non point despotique, le ton et la liberté des familles bourgeoises, pour se livrer à une vie libre et dissipée, au point qu’elle sortait, promenait, rendait des visites, suivie d’une ou deux dames de son choix, plutôt que de ses dames chargées par l’état de l’accompagner” (She substituted for the ceremonials of the queens of France, which were troublesome but not despotic, the tone and the liberty of bourgeois families, to surrender herself to a free and removed life, to the point that she went out, walked, visited, followed by one or two women of her choice, instead of her women charged by the state to accompany her) (Jean-Louis Soulavie, Mémoires historiques et politiques du règne de Louis XVI depuis son mariage jusqu’à sa mort [Paris: Treuttel et Würtz, 1801], 1:9).

52. Campan, Mémoires, 1:197–98n.

53. “Marie-Antoinette encourageait et protégeait les musiciens” (Marie Antoinette encouraged and protected musicians) (Soulavie, Mémoires historiques, 2:64).

54. Marie Antoinette endured ridicule because her gardens were the only ones locked on the grounds of Versailles (Martin, Dairy Queens, 202).

55. Campan, Mémoires, 1:198. “La foule des curieux, éloignée par les factionnaires qui gardaient l’enceinte de la colonnade, se retire très-mécontente, et les plus révoltantes calomnies circulèrent au sujet de ce concert particulier” (1:197).

56. Campan, Correspondance inédite, 1:199. In the Mémoires, Madame Campan recounts that following a performance at Fontainebleau of Grétry and Marmontel’s Zémir et Azor, Marie Antoinette passed the two men in the gallery and stopped to compliment Grétry specifically on his accomplishment, saying nothing to Marmontel (1:155).

57. Marie Antoinette’s love of “lighter” genres is explained in Bartlet, “Grétry,” and expanded in recent scholarship, especially in Doe, “Marie Antoinette et la musique,” which argues that while opéra comique indeed reigned in the court of Marie Antoinette, it came to represent a modernized monarchy in opposition to the older tragédie lyrique rather than a “revolution” in music that degraded monarchical control.

58. “Il y a avait souvent, dans les petits voyages de Choisy, spectacle deux fois dans une même journée: grand opéra, comédie française, ou italienne à l’heure ordinaire, et à onze heures du soir on rentrait dans la salle de spectacles, pour assister à des répresentations de parodies où les premiers acteurs de l’Opéra se montraient dans les robes et sous les costumes les plus bizarres” (Campan, Mémoires, 1:161). With the term “grand opéra,” Madame Campan refers not to the genre as it would come to be known as such during the 1820s and 1830s but rather to any serious opera production, that is to say, not comic or Italian-influenced, in French, and requiring a larger cast and elaborate set design and costuming. See Bartlet, “Grétry.”

59. Gustave Desjardins, Le Petit Trianon: Histoire et description (Versailles: L. Bernard, 1885), 107.

60. “Les répresentations [à Trianon] mettront obstacle aux promenades du soir” (Mercy-Argenteau quoted in Adolphe Jullien, La comédie à la cour: Les théâtres de société royale pendant le siècle dernier [Paris: Fermin-Didot, 1885], 278).

61. “L’amour de la musique avait mené la Reine à l’amour du théâtre, qui devint la plus grand plaisir de Marie-Antoinette et la plus chère distraction de son esprit” (Jullien, La comédie à la cour, 268).

62. Madame Campan recounts her warnings: “J’osai representer à la reine. . . . [M]es avis furent inutile” (I dared to explain [the dangers of these meetings] to the queen. . . . [M]y advice was useless) (Mémoires, 1:196). On Mercy-Argenteau’s concern about alienation, see Jullien, La comédie à la cour, 288.

63. “Transpira de la cour à la ville . . . et [Marie Antoinette] jouait royalement mal” (Jullien, La comédie à la cour, 290).

64. “Édit du Roi, concernant le corps de la musique du roi,” May 1782, Musique du Roi, F-Pan, O1 842. Julia Doe shared in a personal correspondence by e-mail on January 15, 2016, that Papillion de la Ferté, administrator of the Menus-Plaisirs du Roi, compiled budgets to combat these cuts and to argue that opéra comique productions would in fact save money for the household budget.

65. Jullien, La comédie à la cour, 269.

66. According to Martin, Dairy Queens, Marie Antoinette added dairies to her Hamlet in 1785 to symbolize maternal nurture and virtue.

67. Timothy Tackett, Becoming a Revolutionary: The Deputies of the French National Assembly and the Emergence of a Revolutionary Culture (1789–1790) (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996).

68. “La Reine, élève de feu Sacchini, et protectrice de tout ce qui est compositeur ultramontain, a la ferme persuasion qu’elle est bonne musicienne, parce qu’elle estropie quelques sonates sur son clavecin, et qu’elle chante faux dans les concerts qu’elle donne in petto, et oû elle a soin de ne laisser entrer que de vils adulateurs. Quant à Louis XVI, on peut se faire une idée de son goût pour l’harmonie en apprenant que les sons discordants et insupportables de doux flambeaux d’argent frottés avec force sur une table de marbre, ont des attraits pour son oreille anti-musicale” (L’Autrichienne en goguettes, ou L’orgie royale [n.p., n.d., 1789], 1n1).

69. In her research on the pornographic pamphlets featuring Marie Antoinette published in revolutionary France, Jenna Harmon similarly concludes that “bad” music and musicianship came to symbolize the queen’s immorality and poor character. Jenna Harmon, “Silent Songs, Royal Orgies: Listening to the Political Pornography of the French Revolution” (paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society, Vancouver, BC, November 2016).

70. Paul Friedland, Political Actors: Representative Bodies and Theatricality in the Age of the French Revolution (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2002).

71. Susan Maslan, Revolutionary Acts: Theater, Democracy and the French Revolution (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005), 13–14, quoted in Darlow, “(Meta-)Theatricality,” 387.

72. Darlow, “(Meta-)Theatricality,” 388.

73. Darlow, “(Meta-)Theatricality,” 390.

74. Campan, Mémoires, 2:72.

75. Campan, Mémoires, 2:70.

76. Campan, Mémoires, 2:71–72; David E. A. Coles, The French Revolution (Victoria, BC: Friesen Press, 2014), 97.

77. Sources that discuss the banquet location are cited in Laura Mason, Singing the French Revolution: Popular Culture and Politics, 1787–1799 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996), 47nn45–48.

78. For one Anglophone example of how the orgy was discussed during the queen’s trial, see The Accusation, Trial, Defence, Sentence, and Execution of Marie Antoinette, Late Queen of France (Edinburgh: J. Elder, T. Brown, Walter Berry, 1793), 12–14.

79. Mason, Singing the French Revolution, 46–48.

80. Mason, Singing the French Revolution, 46.

81. Mason, Singing the French Revolution, 47.

82. Mason, Singing the French Revolution, 47.

83. David Charlton, “Richard Cœur-de-lion,” in The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, Grove Music Online, Oxford Music Online,

84. “Vous convenez d’avoir été dans la salle des ci-devant gardes-du-corps, y étiez-vous lorsque la musique a joué l’air: O Richard, ô mon roi?” (Louis-Marie Prudhomme, Les crimes de Marie-Antoinette d’Autriche, dernière reine de France, avec les pièces justificatives de son procès, pour servir de supplément aux premières éditions des “Crimes des reines de France” [Paris: Au bureau des Révolutions de Paris, 1793–94], 475).

85. Mason notes that contemporaneous accounts of the banquet report that a variety of songs with themes similar to “Ô Richard” were performed that evening but only specify the Grétry aria. Mason, Singing the French Revolution, 47.

86. Clarence D. Brenner, The Théâtre Italien: Its Repertory, 1716–1793 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1961), 386–501. Brenner describes Le déserteur as “probably the greatest opéra-comique success . . . on the boards continuously from 1769 through the rest of the century” (24). Two of its performances at the Théâtre Italien in 1786 and 1788 were “spectacles démandés,” described by Brenner as an “indication that one or two of these request performances were ordered because high personages at court wanted to see particular plays” (33). I am grateful to Julia Doe for sharing the statistics of operas performed at court during the 1770s and 1780s.

87. In Monsigny’s opéra comique, it is the soldier’s fiancée, Louise, who intervenes on his behalf instead.

88. Campan, Mémoires, 1:71–72.

89. Darlow, “(Meta-)Theatricality,” 398–99.

90. Timothy Tackett, When the King Took Flight (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003).

91. Campan, Mémoires, 2:170.

92. The opéra comique was performed at least eight times at the Théâtre Italien after the adoption of the constitutional monarchy in September 1791, according to the César database: Calendrier électronique des spectacles sous l’ancien régime et sous la révolution, See also Brenner, The Théâtre Italien.

93. “Madame Dugazon eut malheureusement l’idée de s’incliner vers la reine, en chantant dans un duo ces paroles: Ah! Comme j’aime ma maîtresse! A l’instant plus de vingt voix s’élèvent du parterre, en criant: Pas de maîtresse! Pas de maître! Liberté! Quelques hommes répondent des loges et des balcons: Vive la reine! Vive le roi! Vive à jamais le roi et la reine! On répond dans le parterre: Point de maître, point de reine! La querelle s’échauffe, le parterre se partage, on se bat, et les jacobins eurent le dessus. Leurs touffes de cheveux noirs volaient dans la salle; une garde nombreuse arrive; le faubourg Saint-Antoine, averti de ce qui se passait aux Italiens, s’attroupait et parlait déjà de marcher vers ce spectacle. La reine conservait le maintien le plus noble et le plus calme; les commandans de la garde l’environnaient et la rassuraient. Leur conduite fut active et prudente; il n’arriva aucun malheur. Le reine, en sortant, reçut de nombreux applaudissemens. C’est la dernière fois qu’elle soit entrée dans une salle de spectacle” (Campan, Mémoires, 2:173–74).

94. In a contemporaneous account, Mary Wollstonecraft similarly depicts Marie Antoinette as starring in an imagined theatrical performance with political consequences. See Michelle Callander, “‘The Grand Theatre of Political Changes’: Marie Antoinette, the Republic, and the Politics of Spectacle in Mary Wollstonecraft’s An Historical and Moral View of the French Revolution,” European Romantic Review 11, no. 4 (2000): 375–92.

95. David and Giot, Madame Campan, 33–39.

96. “Le ministre de l’intérieur, objets nécessaire à la maison d’éducation de la citoyenne Campan,” an IV (September 1795–September 1796), F-Pan, F17 1344 (36), file 7. Although the supply request is undated, it is found with the series of correspondences between Madame Campan and her Directory government connection discussed below. Thus, the supply list likely dates from sometime before or during the summer of 1796. Portions of this supply request are discussed in Rebecca Dowd Geoffroy-Schwinden, “Politics, the French Revolution, and Performance: Parisian Musicians as an Emergent Professional Class, 1749–1802” (Ph.D. diss., Duke University, 2015), 173–76.

97. Chabaud, Les précurseurs; Sabatier, “Une educatrice”; Réval, Madame Campan; David and Giot, Madame Campan; Quintana, “Educating Women”; Montfort and Quintana, “Mme. Campan’s Institute of Education”; Rogers, Les demoiselles; and Bellaigue, Educating Women.

98. See Quintana, “Educating Women.”

99. Ann Griffiths and Richard Macnutt, “Naderman,” in Grove Music Online, Oxford Music Online,

100. Constant Pierre, Les facteurs d’instruments de musique: Les luthiers et la facture instrumentale (Paris, 1893; Geneva: Minkoff, 1976), 115–16.

101. Laurence C. Witten II, “The Surviving Instruments of Andrea Amati,” Early Music 10, no. 4 (October 1982): 487–94.

102. Walter Kolneder, The Amadeus Book of the Violin: Construction, History, and Music, trans. and ed. Reinhard G. Pauly (Portland, OR: Amadeus Press, 1998), 139.

103. Letter from Madame Campan to the Minister, 5 thermidor an IV (July 23, 1796), F-Pan, F17 1344 (36), file 7.

104. “[Le carosse] n’est surement pas la chose qui m’est plus éssentielle à posséder, je n’en parle que comme une des plus facile à trouver. Les harpes, les pianos et les livres et les desseins sont bien éssentiellement les bases précieuses que l’on a bien voulu promettra à un établissement auquel je donne tous les instans de ma vie” (Madame Campan to the Minister).

105. “La citoyenne Genet Campan a perdu sa fortune entière à la Révolution. Obligée de tirer ses moyens d’exister de son travail, elle a établi à St. Germain une maison d’éducation où elle donne aux jenues personnes qui lui sont confiées les principes d’une morale pure et d’amour pour la Patrie” (“Rapport présenté au Directoire exécutif par le ministre de l’intérieur,” 27 messidor an IV (July 15, 1796), F-Pan, F17 1344 (36), file 7.

106. “Rapport.”

107. “Le secrétaire-général du Directoire exécutif au citoyen Devinck membre du Conseil des cinq cens,” 7 vendémiaire an V (September 29, 1796), F-Pan, F17 1344 (36), file 7. See also Madame Campan, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 16 vendémiaire an V (October 7, 1796), F-Pan, F17 1344 (36), file 7.

108. Decree from the office of the minister of the interior, undated, F-Pan, F17 1344 (36), file 7. Although the letter is written on stationery that is predated “an IV” (September 1795–September 1796), the content clearly dates the letter from after the exchanges regarding Madame Campan’s case that occurred from July to October 1796.

109. See Roy, Soirées d’Écouen.

110. Roy, Soirées d’Écouen, 14. Madame Campan may have begun to organize her memoirs during these clandestine locutions, because the introduction to the first edition of her memoirs states that she started them in 1802 (Campan, Mémoires, 1:i).

111. Steven Kale, French Salons: High Society and Political Sociability from the Old Regime to the Revolution of 1848 (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006), 88–91.

112. Réval, Madame Campan, 227.

113. W. F. Von Scheelten, Mémoires sur la reine Hortense, aujourd’hui duchesse de Saint-Leu (Paris: Urbain Canel, A. Guyot, 1833), 1:60.

114. Quintana, “Educating Women,” 241.

115. Maigne, Journal anecdotique, 223.

116. Madame Campan, De l’éducation, 2 vols. (Paris: Baudouin frères, 1824), 1:189.

117. Campan, De l’éducation, 1:269.

118. Campan, De l’éducation, 1:283.

119. “Peinture, poésie, arts, manufactures nationales, jamais on n’a pu lui faire entrendre un mot de tout cela” (Campan, Correspondance inédite, 199).

120. Quintana, “Educating Women,” 237–44.

121. “Le ministre de l’intérieur.”

122. “C’est par-là [balance] qu’on obtient de l’harmonie dans l’ensemble d’une education” (Campan, De l’éducation, 181). “[La musique] . . . animent la solitude, complètent le Bonheur, consolent le chagrin” (1:180).

123. “C’est dans l’intérieux du logis qu’ils sont utiles et doux. . . . [S]i les talens sont l’ornament du riche, ils sont la richesse du pauvre” (Campan, De l’éducation, 1:180).

124. “Quand ils ne placent sur la scène que des sujets tragiques . . . parviennent jusqu’au cœur par la seule impression des sens” (Campan, De l’éducation, 1:216).

125. Von Scheelten, Mémoires, 68.

126. Campan, Mémoires; and Campan, De l’éducation. A third volume of the memoirs published in 1823 included her writings on education, Mémoires sur la vie privée de Marie-Antoinette, Reine de France et de Navarre, 2nd ed., vol. 3 (Paris: Baudouin frères, 1823).

127. See Dorothea Baumann, “Die Musiksammlung der Königin Hortense auf Arenenberg,” Librarium 28, no. 2 (October 1985): 110–37; Antonio Baldassare, “Music, Painting, and Domestic Life: Hortense de Beauharnais in Arenenberg,” Music in Art 23, no. 1–2 (1998): 49–61; and Marilyn Portman, “‘Romances’ mises en musique par Hortense, duchesse de Saint Leu, ex-reine de Hollande,” Crescendo 79 (April 2008): 24–26.

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