STAL-HOLSTEIN, ANNE LOUISE GERMALNE NECKER, Bar011ne de, was born at Paris, April 22, 1776. Her father was the celebrated M. Necker (q.v.)finanee minister.of Louis XVI., in the times immediately preceding the Revolution. Her Mother was a woman of severe character, and from her earliest years subjected her to a discipline almost puri tanic in its rigor. The daughter, in consequence, had no very warm attachment for her, but for M. Necker, who softened as ht could by his indulgent tenderness the harsh rule of his spouse, she entertained the most ardent affection, regarding him then and always with what was almost an idolatry of fondness and admiration. talents were precociously developed, and wipe yet the merest girl, she would listen with eager and intelligent interest to the conversation ,of the Parisian savans who used to frequent the house of her father. In 1786, she was married to the baron de Sind-Holstein, Swedish miniatet• at Paris, an elderly gentleman, with whom her happiness was probably not great, inasmuch as a few years after, a separation between them took place, two sons amid a daughter having been meantime the fruit of their union. In 1788, she issued her first work, Lettres sur les Ecrits at le Caraetere de J. J. Rousseau, which are, rather.a a passionate eulogy of a girlish idol than a just and discriminating criticism.
11cr sympathy with the revolution in its earlier stage of promise was profound, but gave place, as its later enormities were developed, to a reaction of horror, which is vividly, set forth imher subsequent Considerations surla Revolution Pranfaise. her grief was extreme on the failure of the attempt to escape on the part of the royal family, and she engaged in a secret scheme for securing them a flight to England. This• however, came to nothing, and she then, along with father, betook herself to Switzerland, his native country. The news of the king's execution inexpreSsibly shocked her, and she sought to save the life of the queen by publishingRefie-ctions ear le ('rovers de la Reins, par line Femme, which, however, was too late to be effective. In 1795 site published at Lausanne, under the title Reeutil de Moreeaux Detaches, a collection of her juvenile writ and the year after a treatise De l' Influence des Passions sue le Donheur des Indi rains at des Nirlions, a work full of originality and genius. In 1797, ortli•r having been re"-establkhed under the directory, she was once more in Paris. From the'first 'she ilia: trusted the designs of Napoleon, and her salon became the headquarters of the anti Bonapartist faction. In vain she was offered restitution of two million livres since 1788 due to her father from the royal treasury; she scornfully declined the bribe; and aa neither fear nor favor could lead her to disguise her hostility to him, it seemed well for Napoleon to rid himself of her. She was lot bidden to live in Paris, and subsequently (1802) exiled from France itself. Meanwhile, she had greatly increased her reputation 1w the publication of her r •111!IIICC of Delphine, and a work, Sur la Litteratare Consideree dans see L'a pitons user, l' Fan' Moral at Politiqae des Nation*. She now, for two years, travels I in Italy and in Germany. making at Weimar the acquaintance of Goethe, Schiller, 1ierder, Wieland, etc. The death of her father in 1804 recalled her to Coppet, in Switzerland. Subsequently she was permitted to return to Paris, and there, in 1807, she published her famous Owili ne. mr 1' Italie. the qt•euss of which was instant and im mense, and won for her a really European tapntation. As a hitter in the sweet of fame,
however. flesh difficulties with Napoleon occurred, and she was banished anew to Cop pet. Her son, the baron Auguste. then 17 years old, sought to intercede for his mother in a personal interv4w granted him by the emperor, whose inexorable deliverance on the occasion is too characteristic and amusing to be oini:ted: "Avec l'exaltation de sa la manic qu'elle a d'eerire sur tout et a propos de riem elle pouvait se faire des proselytes; j';ti da y veiller." And in candor it is to be admitted, despite of the shrieks which have ever since been put forth about Napoleon's so-called " ungenerous persecution," that he acted on the dictate of a sound prudential policy. A wonian who would keep no terms with him, who was uncompromising anal fearless, and an influence by the weight of her genius and reputation, was clearly in Paris, of all places, a phenomenon not to be tole rated by the head of a government such as Lis, more or less the sport of the hour, as always in its basis precarious. After this, when disgusted with Coppet. where she found h arself subjected to a petty surveillance, Mme. do Stall rushed restlessly over Europe to Vienna Moscow, St. Petersburg, thence through Finland to Stud:11°am. and afterward to London; where, in 1813, she published her great hook, De l' A Itetairghn, which had previously been suppressed in Paris. As the first decisive revelation of the genius of Germany to the French people—somewhat as the earlier writings of Mr. Car lyle revealed it to the reading public of Britain, this may perhaps rank as that most int por1aut and influential of her works. Of her various experiences of travel, an imerest iag record is preserved in her Dt.e, Annee d' Evil. At the restoration she returned to her beloved Paris; from Louis XVIII. she met with it most gracious reception; and restitu tion was granted her of the two mIllions on her father's account bcfore mentioned. Soon after her health failed; she sought its restoration in ai visit to Italy in 1810, but without effect, and on July 14, 1817, site died at Paris. She was buried at Coppet; and by tier will the fact was revealed that in 1812 she had privately married M. de ltateea, a French offieer of hussars, aged 2.3, which may be looked upon as something of an escapade for a mature matron of 43. In this wedlock she gave birth to im son. M. de Boma survived her only a few months. On the whole she had scantly been happy, as cursed with the " desires infinite and hopes impossible" which male life little better than a sad unfulfilled longing to many of her peculiar temperament and genius. tier toachin; wail of "Jainais, jamatis, je ne semi janctiS aimeie (*.name j'itime" was a cry out of her inmost heart. In this light there may perhaps, seem some element of pathos in this marriage, which looks otherwise am little ridiculous.
Mine. de just deduction from her claims being made—must be ranked iu the first class of female genius. Without question of her real power and originality, in the combination she presents of such a force of intellect as women have but rarely exhibited, with depth and tenderness of sentiment seeking its n aural outlet in a rich and impassioned rhetoric, she may curtly, yet with clearness sufficient, be defined as a sort of Rousseau in petticoats.
IIer son published an edition of her works in 18 vols. in 1821, with a biographical notice by Mine. Necker de Saussure. Sec Norris, Life and Times of ..11adante de Stat (1.833).