Claire-Louise Lechat de Coëtnempren de Kersaint (1777-1828), better known by her aristocratic friends and posterity as Madame de Duras, was born in Brest into the generation destined to suffer most intensely the trauma of the French Revolution. Her estranged father, a Girondist navy admiral, was guillotined in 1794. Her mother, a wealthy creole from Martinique, held considerable holdings on the island, and, after her father’s death, Claire accompanied her mother to Philadelphia to rescue her inheritance from confiscation. While there has long been speculation that they both also travelled to Martinique where she would have gained first-hand knowledge of the


and plantation system, there is no archival evidence for this (see Jenson, p. 101). Unable to return to France due to the…

3361 words

Citation: Dewey, Sylvie Pascale. "Ourika". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 November 2012 [, accessed 21 June 2024.]

32188 Ourika 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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