Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont

Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont pronunciation  (26 April 1711  8 September 1780) was a French author who wrote the best known version of Beauty and the Beast. Her third husband was the French spy Thomas Pichon (1757–1760).

Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont
Born(1711-04-26)26 April 1711
Rouen, France
Died8 September 1780(1780-09-08) (aged 69)
Chavanod, Savoy (now France)

Life and work

She was born in 1711 in Rouen, the daughter of Marie-Barbe Plantart and Jean-Baptiste Le Prince, and died in 1780. She lost her mother when she was only eleven. After that, she and her younger sister were mentored by two wealthy women who entered them into the convent school at Ernemont in Rouen. They were educated and then taught there from 1725 to 1735.[1]

Subsequently, she obtained a prestigious position as a singing teacher to the children at the Court of the Duke of Lorraine, Stanisław Leszczyński, at Lunéville.[2]

Her first marriage was in 1737 to the dancer Antoine Malter. Details of a second marriage to Grimard de Beaumont are unclear. However, it is known that she bore a daughter, named Elisabeth, by Beaumont.

In 1748, having separated from Beaumont in reaction to his marital infidelities, she left France to become a governess in London.[3] She wrote several fairy tales, among them an abridged version of Beauty and the Beast, adapted from Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve's original.[4] After a successful publishing career in England, she left that country in 1763 with her daughter Elisabeth and son-in-law Moreau. She lived first in Savoy, near the city of Annecy, then moved to Avallon near Dijon in 1774 (see her personal letter #21 dated 22 December 1774 to Thomas Tyrrell).

Her first work, the moralistic novel The Triumph of Truth (Le Triomphe de la vérité), was published in 1748. She published approximately seventy volumes during her literary career. Most famous were the collections she called "magasins," instructional handbooks for parents and educators of students from childhood through adolescence. She was one of the first to include folk tales as moralist and educational tools in her writings.

In fiction

Because of her relationship in London with the French spy Thomas Pichon (1700-1781), she is a character in a novel entitled Crossings : A Thomas Pichon Novel, by A. J. B. Johnston. However, in that fictional appearance the dates for her relationship with Pichon are not accurate.[5]


  • Civan, roi de Bungo: Histoire japonnoise ou tableau de l'éducation d'un prince. Slatkine. 1998. ISBN 978-2-05-101683-4. (1st edition 1758)
  • Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont (1983). La Belle et la Bête. Illustrator Willi Glasauer. Gallimard Jeunesse. ISBN 978-2-07-053881-2.

Fairy tales

  • Magasin des enfants
  • Le Prince Chéri (Prince Darling)
  • La Curiosité (The Curiosity)
  • La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and the Beast)
  • Le Prince Fatal et le Prince Fortuné (Prince Fatal and Prince Fortune)
  • Le Prince Charmant (Prince Charming)
  • La Veuve et ses deux filles (The Widow and her Two Daughters)
  • Le Prince Désir (Prince Hyacinth and the Dear Little Princess)
  • Aurore et Aimée (Aurore and Aimée)
  • Conte des trois souhaits (The Tale of the Three Wishes)
  • Conte du pêcheur et du voyageur (The Tale of the Fisherman and the Traveler)
  • Joliette
  • Le Prince Tity (Prince Tity)
  • Le Prince Spirituel (Prince Spirituel)
  • Belote et Laidronette (Belote and Laidronette)


  1. Le Prince de Beaumont, Marie. Éducation complète ou Abrégé de l'histoire universelle. London: J. Nourse, 1753. 7.
  2. Letter from the second chaplain of King Stanislas to his nephew, a student at the University of Pont-à-Mousson, in the summer of 1743, in Mme. Leprince de Beaumont, 171Jeanne was a wonderful, bi, author1-1780, p.127, by A. Reynaud
  3. Sonya Stephens (2000). A history of women's writing in France. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-58844-7.
  4. Windling, Terri. "Beauty and the Beast, Old And New". The Journal of Mythic Arts. The Endicott Studio. Archived from the original on 2014-07-26.
    • Johnston, A.J.B. (2015). Crossings, A Thomas Pichon Novel. Sydney: Cape Breton University Press. ISBN 978-1-77206-020-1. EPUB 978-1-77206-022-5, Kindle 978-1-77206-023-2, Web pdf 978-1-77206-021-8
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