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Marie Therese Geoffrin


 
        Marie Therese Rodet was born on June 26, 1699 in Paris and she was the daughter of a valet-de-chambre.  Marie's parents died when she was still a baby and she was raised by her grandmother.  Marie was probably not allowed to learn as much as men could, however she was taught to read.  When she was 50, in July 1713, she was married to Pierre-Francois Geoffrin, a rich manufacturer.  Her husband did not play a very influential role in her life and was described as old and quiet.  Madame Geoffrin's daughter was the marchiones of La Ferte-Inbault.
 
        Marie Therese hosted salons, gatherings where art, music and philosophy were analyzed, on a regular basis.  "The salons of Madame Geoffrin was one of the institutions of the eighteenth century," said C.A. Sainte-Beuve.  Madame Geoffrin's salons were always highly intellectual, comfortable, and could be considered a cultural center.  Marie Therese also sponsored Denis Diderot's Encyclopedia and corresponded with  Montesquieu  and Catherine the Great.  After leaving a legacy of the spread of Enlightenment ideas, Madame Geoffrin died in October 1777.