Hortense Allart de Meritens
Moral Philosophy, Feminism,
Social & Political Philosophy

Kate Lindemann's 

Women Philosophers


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Hortense Allart de Meritens was born in Italy in 1801. She was orphaned very young. She was very attractive young women and had refused several offers of marriage when at the age of 20, she realized that she was pregnant.

In 1832 she began a life-long affair with the author George Sand, but had simultaneous male lovers. She left her lover ('set him free') and left Italy for France. In Paris Hortense Allart met Chateaubriand and soon they became lovers.

In 1843 she married an aristocrat Napoléon Louis Frédéric Corneille de Méritens de Malvézie, but the marriage lasted only one year at which time she left her husband's house. However, she continued to use his aristocratic name - perhaps it helped her writing career.

Hortense de Meritens raised two sons on her own. She spent most of her time in the countryside at Bourg-la-Reine because she could not afford to live in Paris. Eventually She published both under her own name and under a pseudonym.

She believed that the superiority of women was manifested in the "violence of her passions but that woman is no more made for love alone than man". She held that: "the superior woman needs action or intellectual pursuits [des lettres]."

Besides her histories and philosophy books, she penned some novels, Gertrude written in 1828 was the first . The Enchantments de Prudence was co-authored with George Sand.

Hortense de Meritens was widely read in philosophy and she also wrote a criticism of Bacon.

She is buried in the cemetery at Bourg-la-Reine, a cemetery which also holds the remains of Leon Vloy and the architect Francis Hennebique


1824 - Lettres sur les ouvrages de Madame de Staël, Paris, Bossange,

1828 - Gertrude, Paris, Dupont.

1836 - La femme et la démocratie de nos temps, Paris, Delaunay

1836 Settimia , Bruxelles, A. Settimia, Brussels,

1843 - Histoire de la république de Florence, Paris.

1857 - Novum Organum philosophical or holiness, Paris, Garnier brothers,

1857 Essai sur l’histoire politique depuis l’invasion des barbares jusqu’en 1848 ,

1873- Les enchantements de Prudence, Avec George Sand , Paris, Michel Lévy frères,

1874 - Derniers enchantements , Paris.

1908 - Lettres inédites à Sainte-Beuve (1841-1848) avec une introduction des notes ,

1961 Lettere inedite a Gino Capponi, Genoa: Tolozzi.

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