Abstract

Abstract:

Louise Sophie Bourdet married Jean Philbert Quentin de Champlost in 1775 and filed a lawsuit for marital separation from him in 1783. She charged him with financial and sexual misconduct, verbal and threatened physical abuse, and defamation. Further, she accused him of accusing her of having sexual relations with women. His lawyer Roch Henri Prévost de Saint-Lucien not only denied this allegation, but also argued that the accusation, like the conduct in question, could not constitute grounds for separation. The Parlement suppressed this section of his judicial mémoire, and Prévost de Saint-Lucien made a formal apology to his colleagues in the Parisian Order of Barristers. In the end, Bourdet lost her lawsuit. This case provides a rare example of discussion of same-sex relations between women in legal as opposed to medical and fictional sources in eighteenth-century France and suggests that tribadism did not have the same meaning in all texts and contexts.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 281-297
Launched on MUSE
2019-03-13
Open Access
No
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