Marie-Anne Detourbay

Marie-Anne Detourbay (18 January 1837 – 21 January 1908)[1] was a French demimonde and salon-holder. She was a famous courtesan during the Second Empire, and also hosted a literary salon which had some influence during the Second Empire and the Third Republic.[2] She is also known for her relationship with Jules Lemaître.

Marie-Anne Detourbay
Jeanne Detourbay, future comtesse de Loynes, by Amaury-Duval - Musée d'Orsay
Born(1837-01-18)January 18, 1837
DiedJanuary 21, 1908(1908-01-21) (aged 71)
Paris, France
Other namesJeanne de Tourbey
OccupationCourtesan, Salonnière
TitleComtesse de Loynes


Marie-Anne Detourbay, was born in rue Gambetta, Reims to a poor and large family. Her mother was a cloth burler[3] and her father unknown.[4] From age eight she was employed to rinse champagne bottles.[5] She moved to Paris when she was 15, where under the name of Jeanne de Tourbey[1] she was discovered in a brothel by Alexandre Dumas fils.[6] She soon became part of the Parisian demimonde.[7]

Her first protector, Marc Fournier, was director of the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin, who introduced her to Prince Napoleon, cousin of Napoleon III.[7] Napoleon installed her in a beautiful flat in rue de l'Arcade,[6] close to the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.[7] She would host an exclusively male assembly of the Parisian men of letters: Ernest Renan, Sainte-Beuve, Théophile Gautier, Prévost-Paradol and Emile de Girardin.[8][9]

Through her best friend, actress Josephine Clemence Ennery, nicknamed "Gisette", she met Gustave Flaubert[2] and Khalil-Bey,[10] who fell in love with her. From Tunis, where he went to write Salammbô, Flaubert wrote:

Around 1862, she met Ernest Baroche, son of the Minister of Napoleon III, Master of Petitions at the State Council and Director of Foreign Trade at the Ministry of Agriculture, who fell in love with her. They would have become engaged but, as Commander of the 12th mobile battalion of the Seine, he was killed in action at the Battle of Le Bourget on 30 October 1870[7] and left her a fortune of 800,000 gold francs (about 2.5 million Euros) and a sugar factory. The director of the factory is retired officer Count Victor Edgar de Loynes.[12]

In 1872, she married de Loynes,.[13] This marriage gave her access to high society, but the Count soon left for America, where he disappeared. Although the marriage was only nominal, because her husband's family had opposed their union,[12] she carried and kept the use of the name and title of Countess de Loynes.[13] Her visitors became more prestigious; received every day between five and seven o'clock. The celebrities of the Second Empire give way to those of the nascent Third Republic, a new regime which the Countess de Loynes did not like. Her visitors included Georges Clemenceau, Georges de Porto-Riche, Alexandre Dumas fils, Ernest Daudet, Henry Houssaye, Pierre Decourcelle, and soon many young writers and musicians led by Maurice Barrès, who gives her his two books Huit jours chez M. Renan (1890) and Du sang, de la volupté, et de la mort (1894) luxuriously bound by Charles Meunier in 1897.[14] Others included Paul Bourget, Marcel Proust, Georges Bizet and Henri Kowalski.[12]

Between 1880 and 1885, through Arsène Houssaye, she met the critic Jules Lemaître, who was 15 years younger than her. Under his leadership, she founded, the League of the French Homeland in 1899, and became its first president. Encouraging nationalism, they put their political hopes, like other personalities such as the Duchess of Uzès, in General Boulanger and became passionately anti-Dreyfusards.[12] This led to a break with some of her friends including Georges Clemenceau, Georges de Porto-Riche and Anatole France. From then on she received into her home Édouard Drumont, Jules Guérin and Henri Rochefort.[12]

In her latter years she supported the political position of Charles Maurras,[15] and shortly before her death on 21 January 1908, Detourbay helped Maurras and Léon Daudet to found the Royalist newspaper L'Action française by donating 100,000 gold francs.

The Countess of Loynes was buried in Montmartre Cemetery, alongside her parents.



  • 58, rue neuve, (now rue Gambetta), from her birth in 1837
  • 16, rue du Cadran-Saint-Pierre (in 1852);
  • 8, rue de la Grosse-Écritoire (in 1854, middle-class pension).


  • Place Royale (Place des Vosges);
  • Rue de Vendôme (in 1857);
  • 28, rue de l'Arcade (8th arrondissement) (in 1865);
  • 53, avenue d'Iéna (in 1886);
  • 152, avenue des Champs-Elysées (8th arrondissement) (from 1896).


  1. "Jeanne Loynes (comtesse de, 1837-1908)". Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  2. Baldick 1971, p. 237.
  3. Holden 1950, p. 142.
  4. "LA COMTESSE DE LOYNES, Gerard Desanges - livre, ebook, epub". (in French). Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  5. "La comtesse de Loynes : Du Second Empire à l'Action française De Dumas père et fils à Proust". Babelio (in French). Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  6. Guilbert, Cécile (19 July 2014). "Gustave Flaubert à Jeanne de Tourbey". France Culture (in French). Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  7. "Saturday Art: Madame de Loynes by Amaury Duval". Shadowproof. 16 October 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  8. "Musée d'Orsay: Amaury-Duval Madame de Loynes". Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  9. "Amaury-Duval - Madame de Loynes". LANKAART (in French). 13 December 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  10. "Mystery nude's name uncovered 150 years on". BBC. 25 September 2018. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  11. Gallimard 1980, pp. 813-814.
  12. "La Comtesse de Loynes, biographie par Pierre-Robert Leclercq - Bigmammy en ligne". (in French). 20 November 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  13. Goncourt & Goncourt 1971, p. 361.
  14. Picard Tajan Ader 1986.
  15. "Marie-Anne Detourbay, condesa de Loynes". Nombres de mujer (in Spanish). 15 November 2018. Retrieved 10 March 2019.


  • Baldick, Robert (1971). Dinner at Magny's. Gollancz.
  • Gallimard, ed. (1980). "Lettre à Jeanne de Tourbey du 15 mai 1858". Flaubert : Correspondance, tome 2 Juillet 1851 - Décembre 1858 (in French). Bibliothèque de la Pléiade.
  • Goncourt, Edmond de; Goncourt, Jules de (1971). Becker, George Joseph; Philips, Edith (eds.). Paris and the Arts, 1851-1896: From the Goncourt Journal. Cornell University Press. ISBN 9780801406553.
  • Holden, Wilfred Herbert (1950). The Pearl from Plymouth: Eliza Emma Crouch, alias Cora Pearl, with notes on some of her celebrated contemporaries. British Technical and General Press.
  • Picard Tajan Ader (1986). Tres Beaux Livres Des Xixe Et Xxe Siècles - Manuscrits - Vente a Paris, Hotel Drouot - 4 Juin 1986.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.