Published with Permission
Written by Katharine Trauger
A short life of almost constant pain . . . educated entirely at home in post-Bourbon France . . . who was this famous home scholar?
Throughout history, men have lost young wives.
This is the case for you, Étienne, as you realize you must somehow manage to raise your small children after their beloved mother dies.
Your own dad was Treasurer of France and you need no money. During this dangerous time in French history, you do desire the protection you believe comes from holding high office, and you put your law degree to good use. Your short marriage to Antoinette Bégon gives you two daughters and a son. She dies when the youngest is a year old.
From the start, you hire a governess, Louise, whose devotion wins the children’s love. She rears them as her own and imparts womanly grace and skills to your daughters, Gilberte and Jacqueline.
Your poor son, though, suffers almost constant pain from unknown causes. You devote yourself to your children’s education, and quit your positions in the birthplace of your family, moving to Paris and its academia when your son is seven.
Your affinity for sciences and math, proficiency in several languages, and skill in poetry make you an excellent teacher. (more…)