Mots-clés : littérature française du XVIIIe siècle ; Louise d’Épinay ; pratiques de sociabilité ; représentation ; imaginaire social ; femmes de lettres ; mondanité.
Louise d’Épinay’s Writing and Sociability Practices: A Study of her Contributions to the Correspondance littéraire and her Letters to Ferdinando Galiani (1755-1783)
Louise d’Épinay’s contributions to the Correspondance littéraire (1755-1783) and her correspondence with Ferdinando Galiani (1769-1783) constitute two complementary corpora which allow us to understand this author’s practices of sociability and to reveal their interaction with her writing. Her critical work, her dialogues and her letters contribute to the co-opting of a social elite, via their circulation in the margins of good society and their extension of court society’s mechanisms of distinction. The analysis of self-representations and group-representations in these writings allow us to better understand the social representations that give them meaning and that explain their restricted circulation. This thesis, based on sociological concepts, proposes a renewal of Louise d’Épinay’s studies, and those of the women associated with Enlightenment literary salons.
Keywords: Eighteenth-century French literature; Louise d’Épinay; Social life and customs; Social representation; Women writers.