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The Life of David Hume$
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Ernest C. Mossner

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199243365

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243365.001.0001

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The Comtesse De Boufflers

The Comtesse De Boufflers

Chapter:
(p.456) Chapter 32 The Comtesse De Boufflers
Source:
The Life of David Hume
Author(s):

Ernest Campbell Mossner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243365.003.0032

Whether called ‘Divine Comtesse’ in affection, or ‘Idol of the Temple’ in derision, Madame de Boufflers was something of an enigma to everyone. That she was exceedingly attractive – if not beautiful – is attested by all who met her and is borne out in her portraits. She had all the charm of Dresden china: a figure dainty and slight, delicate features crowned with dark hair in a simple coiffure, eyes that burned brightly. That she was a distinguished – if not the most distinguished – salonnière of the eighteenth century was universally acknowledged, as was also her social charm and poise, and her interest in the arts and learning. She also attempted to write plays and some say that she actually published books. The enigma of Madame de Boufflers lies not in such externals, but in character; and while the readings of her character vary, they yet agree on essentials.

Keywords:   Madame de Boufflers, Dresden china, salonnière, charm, poise, arts, learning, plays, books, character

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