Claire Sallard notebooks
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
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Overview and metadata sections
Claire Sallard (circa 1821-1896) was the daughter of a military officer and the great-niece of French composer Nicolas Dalayrac. She spent much of her childhood in Le Mans in France, a part of a prosperous family during the Restoration. She was taught by tutors and was educated in the bourgeois style of the times, with particular focus on becoming a good wife and mother. Her lessons highlighted the ideology of her social class, the established morals, and the accepted position attributed to women in 1820s and 1830s.
On August 21, 1843, at the age of 21, Claire Sallard married Paul Huet (1804-1869), a successful landscape artist. According to the Galerie Michael, he "was a well-known and appreciated artist during his time." Claire and Paul Huet were the parents of Rene and Edme and, after 1863, lived in Chaville, near Paris. Huet died in 1869. Claire lived until 1896.
This collection contains 47 notebooks, dating from 1824 to 1836, written by Claire Sallard, as a young woman. The notebooks were a result of her education by a tutor and provide evidence of the type of education received by prosperous young ladies in France in the 1820s and 1830s. With a focus on the skills of literary form, the notebooks contain short stories, moral speeches, diary entries, and a "cahier de bonne conduite" (a good conduct notebook). These notebooks are arranged in chronological order.
While the majority of the material is in the handwriting of Claire Sallard, there is evidence of at least two other contributors: probably a tutor and a relative or a friend.
The earliest pieces are probably in her tutor's hand, but she seems to have been producing extensive dictations and compositions shortly thereafter. Among the early pieces are a few leaves from a notebook entitled '9eme annee de Claire. Cahier de bonne conduit,' in which she receives points and comments for her behavior. The longer pieces, all in prose, are original compositions based on personal observation and reflection and contain a large amount of autobiographical material. There are several pieces in the form of a journal covering the years of 1833 to 1834, and there is significant material for reconstructing the detail of a bourgeois domestic scene, including descriptions of family visits to relations, the comings-and-goings of servants, jam making, shopping, and playing with siblings. A good number of the later pieces are moral tales bearing titles such as Luxe et Misere, Las bas blue, Le sort d'une robe, La reine detronee, La vieille fille, and Les trois mariages.
Throughout these writings, there is an overriding concern for morality, good conduct, and a sweet nature. The writings clearly reflect the tutor's goals for the education of young Claire Sallard, and although these items are frequently autobiographical, they were never private. Those written by Claire Sallard were at least read, and often commented on, by a tutor, and many were dictated to her, probably by her tutor. Scholars interested in gender studies and the education of women in France during the 19th century will find this collection to be very valuable.
Purchase from Justin Croft Antiquarian Books (cat.8, no.29), 2014
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Aleth Tisseau des Escotais
- Finding Aid Date
- 2014 April 23
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.