The epistolary art in the 17th-century salon culture. A corpus-based framework of the gallant letter

Start - End 
2014 - 2018 (ongoing)
Research Focus 
Research Period 
Additional tags 
French literature
Letter writing
salon culture



My project focuses on the early 17th-century France, starting from 1607 with the opening of the Hôtel de Rambouillet and concluding in 1661 with the start of Louis XIV’s personal reign. In this period, a brilliant Salon culture radiating literary and societal ideals emerged in a literary as well as socio-cultural movement called galanterie. My main aim is to define and redefine this ambivalent movement by analysing its early manifestation in writing, the gallant letters. Being the main playground of the ideals of the highly codified salon society, these shared letters enclose a refinement of speech and manners. Overshadowed by the queen of letter writers, Marie de Rabutin-Chantal de Sévigné (1626 – 1696), the earlier correspondences remain a great unchartered territory. The gallant letter will be given a theoretical framework and repercussions of its aesthetics in Modern Prose will be analysed.



Phd Student(s)