Houdetot, Sophie de la Live de Bellegarde, comtesse de

BORN 18 Dec 1730, Paris - DIED 22 Jan 1813, Paris: 12 Rue de Tournon
BIRTH NAME Lalive de Bellegarde, Elisabeth Françoise Sophie de la
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Cimetière de Montmartre, 20 Avenue Rachel (division 21)

Sophie de la Live de Bellegarde was the daughter of the tax collector Louis de Robertier Denis Lalive de Bellegarde. In 1748 she married Claude Constant César, Comte d' Houdetot. She was presented at court and introduced to literary circles. She had three children and her son César Louis Marie François Ange d'Houdetot was governor of Martinique during the French Revolution.

Around 1752 the poet and academician Jean François de Saint-Lambert became her lover. When Jean-Jacques Rousseau visited her sister in law Louise d'Épinay in 1757 at her country estate she met him there. They had met before but this time he fell in love with her. She loved him back but it is unknown if their affair was consumated. After Saint-Lambert returned from a military service Sophie ended the affair with Rousseau. Saint-Lambert remained her lover until his death in 1803.

She was interested in America and corresponded with Thomas Jefferson. She also received Benjamin Franklin at her home. After the French Revolution the Houdinots and Saint-Lambert lived at her property in Sannois near Paris. She died in 1813 at her home in Paris.

Related persons
• was visited by Franklin, Benjamin
• was a friend of Rémusat, Claire-Élisabeth Gravier de Vergennes, comtesse de
• was admired by Rousseau, Jean-Jacques


The grave of Sophie de la Live de Bellegarde, comtesse de Houdetot at the Montmartre Cimetière, Paris.
Picture by Androom (05 Nov 2017)


• Beyern, Bertrand, Guide des Cimetières en France, Le Cherche Midi Éditeur, Paris, 1994
• Claude Augé (ed.), Larousse Universel en 2 volumes, Librarie Larousse, 1922
Sophie Lalive de Bellegarde - Wikipédia

Houdini, Harry

Published: 13 Oct 2019
Last update: 13 Oct 2019