Montesquieu, his wife and daughters
In this biographical article, the author presents the history of Montesquieu’s family relations with his wife and two daughters. While Montesquieu, it seems, did not have any deep feelings and affection for his wife, Jeanne de Lartigue, and, in particular, there was no intellectual bond between them, his wife played a role of an ancestral property administrator during his frequent and sometimes long absences from the home region. In carrying out this task Jeanne de Lartigue displayed considerable talent and administrative skills. Another type of a relationship, however, existed between Montesquieu and his daughters, Marie and Denise, especially between him and the latter, the youngest daughter. At some point he entrusted her with the role of his own secretary and she diligently assisted her father in editing The spirit of the laws. Montesquieu included his daughter into the intellectual sphere of his life, from which he deliberately excluded his wife. Unfortunately, this does not change the fact that in his family plans this daughter, too, was subject to the inexorable patriarchal laws and the feudal family traditions.