Fourès, Pauline

ROYAL MISTRESS, PAINTER, NOVELIST (FRANCE)
BORN 15 Mar 1778, Pamiers, Ariège - DIED 18 Mar 1869, Paris
BIRTH NAME Bellisle, Pauline
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Père Lachaise, Rue du Repos 16 (division 26)

Pauline Fourès was the daughter of the clockmaker Henri Jacques-Clement Bellisle. She married the soldier Jean-Noel Fourès who was sent to Egypt shortly after the marriage. Like several other women she joined her husband on the ship La Lucette, wearing an uniform herself. After their arrival in Cairo on 30 July 1798 she was abled to dress as a woman again. Napoleon saw her on 30 November 1798 for the first time. He knew that Joséphine had cheated on him and approached Pauline. Pauline initially resisted his attentions, but after he sent Pauline's husband to France to deliver a message to the Directoire she became his mistress. Pauline accompanied Napoleon everywhere, wearing a general's uniform. The troops knew about it and called her Cleopatra. Her husband was stopped by the British and after a short imprisonment he returned earlier to Egypt than expected. A divorce followed and she remained Napoleon's mistress. When Napoleon returned to France on 23 August 1799 he left her behind and she became the mistress of Kleber for several months before she returned to France as well.

In 1800 she was back in France. She tried to meet Napoleon again, but he wasn't interested. He gave her financial support and arranged a new marriage to Henry de Ranchoup in 1801. Napoleon presented him with a post as vice-consul in Santander. Pauline was active as a harpist and a painter and she wrote two novels, "Lord Wentwoth (1813) and "Aloïze de Mespres, nouvelle tirée des chroniques du XII° siècle" (1814) that enjoyed some success. In 1816 she divorced her second husband. Her next husband was an officer and she started an export company in wood in Brazil. Ranchoup died in 1826 but her activities improved her financial situation. In 1834 she wrote another novel, "Une chatelaine du XIIeme siècle, nouvelle". In 1837 she returned to Paris, where she lived in an appartment surrounded by several monkeys. She died in Paris in 1869.

Related persons
• was the lover of Kleber, Jean Baptiste
• was the lover of Napoleon I Bonaparte

Events
0/9/1798Napoleon sees Pauline Fourès and is impressed. He gave order to find out who she was and managed to make her his mistress. For this purpose he sent her husband to Paris without her. The affair comes at a good moment because his prestige has suffered from the infidelity of his own wife Joséphine. [Beauharnais, Joséphine de][Napoleon I Bonaparte]

Images

The grave of Pauline Fourès at Père Lachaise, Paris.
Picture by Androom (02 Nov 2019)

 

Sources
• Breton, Guy, Histoires d'Amour de L'Histoire de France 7, Presses Pocket, Paris, 1965


Fournel, Dominique Henry Louis

Published: 15 Dec 2021
Last update: 15 Dec 2021