Houdetot, Elisabeth-Françoise-Sophie de La Live de Bellegarde, comtesse d’ (1730-1813)

Wife of Claude-Constance-César, comte d’Houdetot. Sister-in-law of Madame d’Epinay.

Made famous by Rousseau, who wrote about her in Confessions and identified her with Julie, the heroine of his novel La Nouvelle Héloise.

Widely praised for her wit, generosity, and talent. She gathered around her a society of people of literary and political distinction including her neighbor the comte de Tressan, Madame de Staël, and her ami intime the marquis de Saint-Lambert.

She and the comte de Tressan orchestrated an elaborate rustic celebration held in Franklin’s honor at Sannois, her husband’s country estate (April, 1781).

An American enthusiast, she was named an honorary citizen of New Haven, Connecticut (1785).

Born in Paris.