Femme of the Week: Madame de Blot | Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: Femme of the Week: Madame de Blot

December 18, 2009

Femme of the Week: Madame de Blot

Marie Cécile Pauline d'Ennerie (or Ennery) was a woman of standards. It was a main goal of hers to, well basically, be a sylph in every way possible. She was the niece of Madame de Mauconseil, a close friend of Richelieu's. Her aunt held a popular salon, its main attraction being the guest of honor- King Stanlislaw II of Poland (Louis XV's father in law).

Pauline loved animals, and as recorded in the Memoirs of the Countess de Genlis, she had once wished for a portrait of her canary on a ring she could wear. Well, she wished it out loud and in the presence of the Prince de Conti, who asked if she would accept one from him.

George Stubbs, King Charles Spaniel.
Of course she said yes! But she desired a simple ring. He wasted no time having the ring fashioned for her, and he affixed a flat cut diamond over the top of the portrait. When she found it was not glass but an exquisite stone, she returned it, tsk tsk prince, "upon which [he] caused the diamond to be ground into powder, and used it to dry the ink of the letter he wrote on the subject to Madame de Blot."

Pauline also kept a little puppy (very tiny spaniel), like all fashionable ladies did. She cared for it so much that when she was not home she would have her ladies read to it, usually comedies, so the little pup would not get bored! In Madame de Crequey's Memoirs, the pup had a rather tragic end, as the result of a very portly priest's bottom.

In 1745 she became a lady-in-waiting to the lovely Duchesse de Chartres. She spent all her time at the Palais Royale and and was all the rage at the Palais Royale, or at least she felt that way. Pauline lived her life aspiring to be a sylph and held several ‘beliefs’ of just how a lady should life. On 18 Nov. 1749 she married Gilbert de Chauvigni, Baron de Blot. In 1752 he gained the station of Captain of the guards of the duc d'Orleans.


She always dressed in a tasteful manner and was fascinated with etiquette and courtly manners. One of her favorite topics was the bon ton and all the gossip surrounding it. She developed an obsession with good tastes, class and propriety, and would carry out this obsession in excess. Many saw her as cold.

Upholding the idea that the female sex was "bound to be ethereal," she would make due eating the smallest amounts of food when in the company of others, especially men. She did not eat chicken due to a "masculine flavor" among other silly rules she dutifully followed.

“What! Drink wine like a vulgar person? Why my dear, the correct thing is to eat a section of an orange, with a little cake and half a dozen strawberries. Then one my drink a little milk with fresh water in it- the milk of sheep, of course, what the dear little lambs are fed on.”¹

Her delicate femininity attracted the Viscount de Schromberg, and for ten years he found himself infatuated with the woman. He remained with her often and was a close confidant. Ironically he was also a close confident with the count de Frize, who happened to be her lover.

In 1776 Madame de Blot's brother died, and with his widow, the two women commissioned a large and beautiful memorial for him. The sculpture shows the Widow of the comte d'Ennry weeping with child, and Madame de Blot, on the left is weeping inconsolably. She holds a damp handkerchief to her eyes and looks up toward heaven. It lends a warm and very human light on the woman described as "too fine."



¹Grant, Colquhoun, and Renée Caroline de Froulay Créquy. 1904. The French noblesse of the XVIII century. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co. 

8 comments

  1. Fascinating! Thank you for sharing :)
    ...maybe this was the prelude to the "Hollywood diet"???

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  2. An eccentric that stands out in an already curious set. Nevertheless, I like her so thank you for sharing her with me.
    All the very best,
    Simone.

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  3. The story of the diamond masquerading as glass and then sand is amazing...

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  4. do you mean Madame de Monconseil, who is mentioned in the memoirs of the Marquise de la Tour du Pin?

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  5. @M de Gouverent
    Yes, I have come across both spellings of this name in regards to the same lady. If you have any other information on her, please share!

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  6. That link to Angela of the Office is a hilarious touch. Nicely done.

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  7. I found this item a bit later, but enjoy the story very much !

    Kind regards,

    Gilbert de Chauvigny de Blot

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