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Volume Editors' Introduction

Volume Editors' Introduction

(p.1) Volume Editors' Introduction
Selected Letters, Orations, and Rhetorical Dialogues
University of Chicago Press

Madeleine de Scudéry was well known as an important presence in French salons and a founder of the précieuse movement. When these were attacked and fell out of fashion (for the quite misogynist reason that they encouraged uppity women, as well as for matters of changing taste), she was vilified, and in contemporary French studies still has a reputation for stylistic excess. In her Amorous Letters, Scudéry helped to popularize the passionate figures and extravagant language of female friendship that became a staple of women's literature for the next two and a half centuries. In Heroic Speeches, she adapted the heightened humanist oratorical style to the vernacular and to women. In her many volumes of Conversations, Scudéry creates an easy, modern, conversational style that is playful and still amusing and engaging.

Keywords:   Madeleine de Scudéry, French salons, précieuse movement, Amorous Letters, female friendship, Heroic Speeches, oratorical style, Conversations

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