Houdetot, Élisabeth de la Live de Bellegarde, countess de

   Born in Paris, Élisabeth de la Live de Bellegarde, countess de Houdetot was the sister-in-law of louise d'épignay. Estranged from her husband, she had a long affair with the poet jean-françois de saint-lambert, from 1753 until his death, and had a strong influence on jean-jacques rousseau during his stay at the Ermitage (1756-57), being the inspiration for Julie, the heroine of La nouvelle Héloïse. The countess de Houdetot was described as having "a very natural and very agreeable spirit, gay, stunning, and naïve." Rousseau recalled her also in Les Confessions, exalting an evening spent with the presence of her "most lively and tender company" (Book IX).

France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.

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