elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,
elisa_rolle
elisa_rolle

Mlle Raucourt & Henriette Simonnot de Ponty

Françoise Marie Antoinette Saucerotte, called Mlle Raucourt (3 March 1756 – 15 January 1815) was a French actress. She was born in Nancy as the daughter of an actor, who took her to Spain. There she played in tragedy at the age of twelve. By 1770 she was back in France at Rouen, and her success as Euphmie in Belloy's Gaston et Bayard caused her to be called to the Comédie Française, where, in 1772, she made her debut as Dido. She played all the classical tragedy parts to crowded houses, until the scandals of her private life and her extravagance ended her popularity. She shared one of her lovers, Marguérite Weymer (“Mademoiselle Georges”), with Emperor NAPOLEON I. (P: Mlle. Raucourt D'après le Portrait peint par Mr. Gros en 1796)

Raucourt and her longtime companion Jeanne-Françoise-Marie Souck were once prosecuted on charges of outrageous conduct, and the scandal destroyed Raucourt’s career as an actress. Over the next twenty years, however, she gradually regained her popularity. (
P: Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725–1805), Portrait of a Lady, Called Sophie Arnould, circa 1773, Wallace Collection)

Her beauty and talent had made her famous, but her not so secret love affairs with other women made her notorious. She was known to have had numerous affairs with both men and women, preferring the latter, and famous or not, in her time this could have a negative effect on a career. With opera soprano Sophie Arnould, one on-again-off-again lover, Raucourt led the Sect of Anadrynes, a society of lesbians in Paris, on the Rue des Boucheries-Saint-Honoré.


Mademoiselle Georges (Marguerite-Josephine Weimer), published by John Bell, after Rose Emma Drummond, stipple engraving, published 1 October 1817, 9 1/4 in. x 5 5/8 in. (236 mm x 142 mm) plate size; 11 1/4 in. x 8 in. (286 mm x 202 mm) paper size, Given by Henry Witte Martin, 1861, Reference Collection, NPG D42330
Mlle Raucourt was a French actress. Raucourt and her longtime companion Jeanne-Françoise-Marie Souck were  prosecuted on charges of outrageous conduct. At the outbreak of the Revolution she was imprisoned for six months with other royalist members of the Comédie Française, and she did not reappear upon that stage until the close of 1793, and then only for a short time. While in prison she fell in love with Henriette Simonnot de Ponty, and the two remained together from her release in August 1794 until death.

Part of the ensuing three years she was in prison for debt, but some of the time she spent in the capitals of northern Europe, followed everywhere by scandal. Under protection of the queen she reappeared at the Théâtre Français in 1779, and renewed her success in Paris, as Cleopatra, and all her former roles. At the outbreak of the Revolution she was imprisoned for six months with other royalist members of the Comédie Française, and she did not reappear upon that stage until the close of 1793, and then only for a short time. While in prison she fell in love with Henriette Simonnot de Ponty, and the two remained together from her release in August 1794 until death.

She deserted, with a dozen of the best actors in the company, to found a rival colony, but a summons from the Directory brought her back in 1797. Napoleon gave her a pension, and in 1806 she was commissioned to organize and direct a company that was to tour Italy, where, especially in Milan, she was enthusiastically received. She returned to Paris a few months before her death on 15 January 1815. Her funeral was the occasion of a riot. The clergy of her parish having refused to receive the body, the crowd broke in the church doors, and were only restrained from further violence by the arrival of an almoner sent posthaste by Louis XVIII. She is buried at the Père Lachaise Cemetery, in Paris.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mlle_Raucourt

Further Readings:

Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1500563323
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
Amazon: Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time

Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher


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