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Portraits


His family

His mother, Louise Madeleine Le Peletier
de Rosanbo

Louise-Madeleine Le Pelletier de Rosanbo

Louise-Madeleine Le Pelletier de Rosanbo,
private collection
© AD Manche / Poirier

Louise Madeleine Le Peletier de Rosanbo was from one of the most prestigious French families, since, on her mother's side, she was descended from Vauban and Chrétien-Guillaume Lamoignon de Malesherbes, who was her grandfather, and through her father she belonged to the Rosanbo family. On March 12, 1793, during the dark days of the Terror, she married Hervé de Tocqueville at Malesherbes where the young couple lived until the Committee of Public Safety arrested her entire family. Louise Madeleine - who thus saw not only her grandfather and both her parents condemned to death, but also her elder sister and her husband, the Chateaubriands - never recovered from this terrifying experience that left her permanently traumatized at the age of twenty-one.

« At the end of 1792, my marriage was arranged to a daughter of M. de Rosanbo, president of Parlement and a son-in-law of M. de Malesherbes.[...] We went to the altar with equal satisfaction. »
(Hervé de Tocqueville, Memoirs)

Even though, under the Empire, she played the role of wife of the mayor of Verneuil-sur-Seine and undertook much charity work, she was ill for the rest of her life, subject to perpetual migraines and unending nervous crises, which kept her from accompanying her husband in his various appointments to provincial prefectures. She never left her Parisian home after 1817, and was unable to attend the weddings of Edouard and Alexis. Obviously cherishing a certain nostalgia for the Ancien Régime, she was a passionate supporter of the legitimist cause, and ended up finding refuge in pronounced religious devotion. Illness ended her life in 1836, after feeling she had been wasting away and on the margins of the family for the second half of her life. Her correspondence with her son Alexis testifies nevertheless to the great affection they had for each other until the end.

Pastel portrait of Louise-Madeleine de Tocqueville

Pastel portrait of Louise-Madeleine de Tocqueville, anonymous
© AD Manche / Poirier

Archives

Marriage contract between Hervé and Louise-Madeleine

Marriage contract between Hervé and Louise-Madeleine
© AD Loiret

Presentation of the banns and the Marriage Certificate of Hervé and Louise-Madeleine

Presentation of the banns and the Marriage Certificate of Hervé and Louise-Madeleine
© AD Loiret

Letter from the marquis de Rosanbo giving news of Mme de Tocqueville's health, dated July 8, 1823

Letter from the marquis de Rosanbo giving news of Mme de Tocqueville's health, dated July 8, 1823
© CHAN

Letter from Louise Madeleine Le Peletier de Rosanbo to her young son Alexis de Tocqueville

Letter from Louise Madeleine Le Peletier de Rosanbo to her young son Alexis de Tocqueville
© AD Manche / Poirier

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