Marie-Catherine Angélique Regnard

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Entry by Sabine Juratic, 2007

Daughter of the Royal officer, inspector and keeper of the warehouse of salt in Paris, Marie-Catherine Angélique Regnard first married in 1739, the bookseller Bernard Brunet, with whom she had five kids. He was printer of the King and the Académie Française. In 1760, after the death of her husband, she took over his position, as widows of masters were allowed to do so by the statutes of the community of librarians and printers. She was working under the name of widow Brunet. She remarried in 1763 with Antoine Lois Regnard, one of her distant cousins. When her second husband died on July 1st, 1767, she continued working and published under the name widow Regnard. She worked until her death on March 2, 1772. Startng in 1769, she shared the privilege of the Academie with her son-in-law Antoine Guénard de Monvile. For that time, she had a publishing press, which was well equipped, with eight presses, employing between ten to sixteen employees.

According to her privilege, the widow Brunet mainly published for the Academie or its members. At the same time it did not prevent her from printing her own editions and works for other bookstores. Between 1762-1763 she was a surrogate name for the publication of the Oeuvres by Corneille, for the benefit of his heirs, under the direction of Voltaire by the booksellers Cramer of Geneva. In charge to collect subscriptions for the work in Paris, but having debts with the publication of the Dictionnaire de l'Académie, the widow Brunet was unable to reimburse the Geneve people for the amount of the received subscriptions. Voltaire issued multiple criticisms towards her and did not hide his frustration to his correspondents. Thus, in a letter to Chauvelin on September 18, 1763 he mentioned " the bookseller of the Académie française started to go bankrupt. This bookseller is a woman, and I had the suspicion that she was in despair, when she had finished our Dictionnaire; it did not fail, and the worse of it is that she brings eight thousand francs to our poor Corneille.

(translated by Martine Sauret)

Selected bibliography

- Arbour, Roméo, «Brunet, Bernard (Vve)», dans Dictionnaire des femmes libraires en France (1470-1870), Genève, Droz, 2003, p.106.
- Barbier, Frédéric, Juratic, Sabine, et Annick Mellerio, «Brunet, Bernard, veuve», dans Dictionnaire des imprimeurs, libraires et gens du livre à Paris (1701-1789), A-C, Genève, Droz, 2007, no 270.

Marie-Catherine Angélique Regnard
Spouses Bernard Brunet
Antoine-Louis Régnard
Also known as Veuve Brunet
Veuve Régnard
Birth date After 1700
Death 1772
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