Marion Delorme - Encyclopedia

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MARION DELORME (c. 1613-1650), French courtesan, was the daughter of Jean de Lou, sieur de l'Orme, president of the treasurers of France in Champagne, and of Marie Chastelain. She was born at her father's château near Champaubert. Initiated into the philosophy of pleasure by the epicurean and atheist Jacques Vallee, sieur Desbarreaux, she soon left him for Cinq Mars, at that time at the height of his popularity, and succeeded, it is said, in marrying him in secret. From this time Marion Delorme's salon became one of the most brilliant centres of elegant Parisian society. After the execution of Cinq Mars she is said to have numbered among herlovers Charles de St Evremond (1610-1703) the wit and litterateur, Buckingham (Villiers), the great Conde, and even Cardinal Richelieu. Under the Fronde her salon became a meeting place for the disaffected, and Mazarin is said to have sent to arrest her when she suddenly died. Her last years have been adorned with considerable legend (cf. Merecourt, Confessions de Marie Delorme, Paris, 1856). It seems established that she died in 1650. But she was believed to have lived until 1706 or even 1741, after having had the most fantastic adventures, including marriage with an English lord, and an old age spent in poverty in Paris. Her name has been popularized by various authors, especially by Alfred de Vigny in his novel Cinq Mars, by Victor Hugo in the drama Marion Delorme, and by G. Bottesini in an opera of the same title.

See P. J. Jacob, Marion Delorme et Ninon Lenclos (Paris, 1859); J. Peladan, Histoire et legende de Marion de Lorme (Paris, 1882).

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