Henriette-Julie de Murat

Henriette-Julie de Murat (1668 in Paris [1]– September 9, 1716 in Château de la Buzardière) was an aristocratic French writer of the late 17th century.


She most likely spent most of her childhood in Paris.[1] In 1691 she married Nicholas de Murat, Count de Gilbertez, and beginning in 1692 she frequently attended the salon of the Marquise de Lambert.[1] There she socialized with Marie Catherine d'Aulnoy and Catherine Bernard.[1] In 1697 she published Memoirs of the Countess of M***, a two-volume collection of false "memoirs" which was meant as a response to Charles de Saint-Évremond's 1696 book Memoirs of the Life of Count D*** before his Retirement, which had portrayed women as incapable of virtue and fickle.[1] Murat's book was successful and was even translated into English.[1]

She was one of the leaders of the fairy-tale vogue, along with Marie Catherine d'Aulnoy, Charlotte-Rose de Caumont La Force, Marie-Jeanne Lhéritier, and Charles Perrault. Among the fairy tales she wrote are Bearskin and Starlight. At Marie-Jeanne Lhéritier's insistence, she published three volumes of fairy tales between 1698 and 1699 - Fairy Tales (1698), New Fairy Tales (1698), and Sublime and Allegorical Stories (1699).[1] In 1699 she also published the ghost story A Trip to the Country, and was inducted into the Ricovrati Academy of Padua. Another recognition she received was one of the Academy of Toulouse's Floral Games prizes for excerpts from a volume of her poetry, which is now lost.[1]

In December 1699 she was involved in a scandal when a report was circulated accusing her of "shocking practices and beliefs" including lesbianism.[1] She was estranged from her husband and disinherited by her mother, forced to take a hiatus from publishing, and eventually exiled to the Château de Loches in 1702; in 1701 her debauchery was considered confirmed by the fact that she was pregnant.[1] She tried to escape from the Château de Loches in 1706 wearing men's clothing.[1] She was then transferred to two other prisons before being brought back to the Château de Loches in 1707.[1] In 1709 she obtained partial liberty from the Countess d'Argenton on the condition that she return to her aunt's home.[1]

She wrote a 607-page journal, framed by a letter to her cousin Mademoiselle de Menou.[1]

Her last work was The Sprites of Kernosy Castle, published in 1710.[1]


Fairy tales


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Perry Gethner (15 September 2011). A Trip to the Country: by Henriette-Julie de Castelnau, Comtesse de Murat. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3681-7.

External links

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