Plays, late 18th century


Date: Circa late 18th century | Size: 0.25 Linear feet, 7 pieces (ca. 250 pages)


Comedies and tragedies, possibly not all by Mme. Brillon, entitled :La mort de Sénèque," "Charles le Mauvais, roi de Navarre; ou, La clémence du roi Jean," "Charles premier, roi d'Angleterre," "Marguerite d'Anjou, reine d'Angleterre," "Molière aux enfers," "Le songe, opéra comique," and "Le bienfaisant maladroit; ou, plus de bruit que de besogne."

Background note

Anne Louise Brillon de Jouy, a French musician, playwright, and composer, was born Anne Louise Boyvin d'Hardancourt in Paris on December 13, 1744. She was best known for her work with the harpsichord and pianoforte; Johann Schobert, Luigi Boccherini, Ernst Eichner, and Henri-Joseph Rigel all dedicated sonatas to her.

Her salons were well-attended and how she became Benjamin Franklin's friend, as they were neighbors in Passy. The two shared a long correspondence, and Franklin referred to the musical entertainments at the salons as his opera.

She composed Marche des insurgents (March of the Insurgents) after the defeat of British General Burgoyne by the American forces at Saratoga, New York on October 7, 1777.

Brillon de Jouy died December 5, 1824.

Digital objects note

This collection contains digital materials that are available in the APS Digital Library. Links to these materials are provided with context in the inventory of this finding aid. A general listing of digital objects may also be found here.

Collection Information


Purchase from Gilbert Chimard, a descendant of Mme. Brillon, 1955.

Early American History Note

This collection includes a number of plays apparently written by Madame Anne Louise Boyvin d'Hardancourt Brillon de Juoy, a prominent Parisian salon hostess and musician. The authorship of some of the plays is not entirely clear.

A second, related collection, Musical Compositions, 18th Century (Mss.781.508.B762), contains a number of musical compositions by Brillon. Her most famous composition, Le Marche des Insurgents, which was inspired by the American victory at Saratoga, is included in this collection. Many of these compositions are handwritten and appear to be from the eighteenth century, although it is unclear when they were written and who wrote them.

Combined, the two collections capture the creative work of one of the most prominent French women of the time.

Indexing Terms


  • Foreign Language
  • Literature
  • Miscellaneous
  • Scripts.


  • Beyond Early America
  • French drama -- 18th century.
  • French literature -- 18th century.
  • Literature, Arts, and Culture
  • Women's History