Coppet group

The Coppet group (Groupe de Coppet), also known as the Coppet circle,[1] was an informal intellectual and literary gathering centered on Germaine de Staël during the time period between the French Revolution and the Bourbon Restoration at Coppet Castle.[2][3][4] The group had a considerable influence on the development of nineteenth century liberalism and romanticism.[5][6] Stendhal referred to it as "the Estates General of European opinion."[7]

Madame de Staël at Coppet (Debucourt 1800)
Madame de Stael et le groupe de Coppet


In addition to Stael, it included such prominent figures as Benjamin Constant, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Lord Byron,[8] Jean de Sismondi, Jacques Necker, Charles de Villers, Charles Victor de Bonstetten, Zacharias Werner, Mathieu de Montmorency, Arnail François, marquis de Jaucourt, Adolph Ribbing, Claude Hochet, François-René de Chateaubriand, Prosper de Barante, Victor de Broglie, Adam Gottlob Oehlenschläger, Joseph Marie de Gérando, Prince Augustus of Prussia, Adelbert von Chamisso, Friederike Brun, Juliette Récamier, and August Wilhelm Schlegel.


  1. ^ Tenenbaum, Susan (1980). "The Coppet Circle. Literary Criticism as Political Discourse". History of Political Thought. 1 (2): 453–473.
  2. ^ Lefevere, Andre (2016). Translation, Rewriting, and the Manipulation of Literary Fame. Taylor & Francis. p. 109.
  3. ^ Fairweather, Maria (2013). Madame de Stael. Little, Brown Book Group.
  4. ^ Hofmann, Etienne; Rosset, François (2005). Le Groupe de Coppet. Une constellation d’intellectuels européens. Presses polytechniques et universitaires romandes.
  5. ^ Jaume, Lucien (2000). Coppet, creuset de l'esprit libéral: Les idées politiques et constitutionnelles du Groupe de Madame de Staël. Presses Universitaires d'Aix-Marseille. p. 10.
  6. ^ Delon, Michel (1996). "Le Groupe de Coppet". In Francillon, Roger (ed.). Histoire de la littérature en Suisse romande t.1. Payot.
  7. ^ Ellis, David (2011). Byron in Geneva: That Summer of 1816. Oxford University Press. p. 77.
  8. ^ Guiccioli, Teresa (2005). Lord Byron's Life in Italy. University of Delaware Press. p. 77.
Adam Oehlenschläger

Adam Gottlob Oehlenschläger (14 November 1779 – 20 January 1850) was a Danish poet and playwright. He introduced romanticism into Danish literature.

Adelbert von Chamisso

Adelbert von Chamisso (30 January 1781 – 21 August 1838) was a German poet and botanist, author of Peter Schlemihl, a famous story about a man who sold his shadow. He was commonly known in French as Adelbert de Chamisso(t) de Boncourt, a name referring to the family estate at Boncourt.

Amable Guillaume Prosper Brugière, baron de Barante

Amable Guillaume Prosper Brugière, baron de Barante (June 10, 1782 – November 22, 1866) was a French statesman and historian. Associated with the center-left, he was described in France as the first man to call himself, "without any embarrassment or restriction, a Liberal."

Arnail François, marquis de Jaucourt

Arnail François, marquis de Jaucourt, comte de l'Empire (14 November 1757 – 5 February 1852) was a French aristocrat and politician.

August Wilhelm Schlegel

August Wilhelm (after 1812: von) Schlegel (; German: [ˈʃleːgl̩]; 8 September 1767 – 12 May 1845), usually cited as August Schlegel, was a German poet, translator and critic, and with his brother Friedrich Schlegel the leading influence within Jena Romanticism. His translations of Shakespeare turned the English dramatist's works into German classics. Schlegel was also the first professor of Sanskrit in Continental Europe and produced a translation of the Bhagavad Gita.

Benjamin Constant

Henri-Benjamin Constant de Rebecque (French: [kɔ̃stɑ̃]; 25 October 1767 – 8 December 1830), or simply Benjamin Constant, was a Swiss-French political activist and writer on politics and religion. He was the author of a partly biographical psychological novel, Adolphe. He was a fervent classical liberal of the early 19th century, who influenced the Trienio Liberal movement in Spain, the Liberal Revolution of 1820 in Portugal, the Greek War of Independence, the November Uprising in Poland, the Belgian Revolution, and liberalism in Brazil and Mexico.

Charles Victor de Bonstetten

Charles Victor de Bonstetten (German: Karl Viktor von Bonstetten; 3 September 1745 – 3 February 1832) was a Swiss liberal writer.

Charles de Villers

Charles François Dominique de Villers (4 November 1765 – 26 February 1815) was a French philosopher. He was mainly responsible for translating the philosophy of Immanuel Kant into the French language.

François-René de Chateaubriand

François-René, vicomte de Chateaubriand (; French: [fʁɑ̃swa ʁəne də ʃɑtobʁijɑ̃]; 4 September 1768 – 4 July 1848), was a French writer, politician, diplomat and historian who founded Romanticism in French literature. Descended from an old aristocratic family from Brittany, Chateaubriand was a royalist by political disposition. In an age when a number of intellectuals turned against the Church, he authored the Génie du christianisme in defense of the Catholic faith. His works include the autobiography Mémoires d'Outre-Tombe ("Memoirs from Beyond the Grave"), published posthumously in 1849–1850.

Historian Peter Gay says that Chateaubriand saw himself as the greatest lover, the greatest writer, and the greatest philosopher of his age. Gay states that Chateaubriand "dominated the literary scene in France in the first half of the nineteenth century".

Friederike Brun

Friederike Brun, née Münther (3 June 1765 – 25 March 1835), was a Danish author and salonist.

She was married to the affluent merchant Constantin Brun and during the Danish Golden Age of the first half of the 19th century she arranged literary salons at Sophienholm, their summer retreat north of Copenhagen. She is known for writing the poem Chamouny at Sunrise which was the original of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Hymn in the Vale of Chamouni.

Jean Charles Léonard de Sismondi

Jean Charles Léonard de Sismondi (also known as Jean Charles Leonard Simonde de Sismondi) (French: [ʒɑ̃ ʃaʁl leɔnaʁ də sismɔ̃di]; 9 May 1773 – 25 June 1842), whose real name was Simonde, was a historian and political economist, who is best known for his works on French and Italian history, and his economic ideas. His Nouveaux principes d'économie politique, ou de la richesse dans ses rapports avec la population (1819) represents the first liberal critique of early capitalism and laissez-faire economics. He was one of the pioneering advocates of unemployment insurance, sickness benefits, a progressive tax, regulation of working hours, and a pension scheme. He was also the first to coin the term proletariat to refer to the working class created under capitalism, and his discussion of mieux value anticipates the Marxist concept of surplus value. According to Gareth Stedman Jones, "much of what Sismondi wrote became part of the standard repertoire of socialist criticism of modern industry."

Joseph Marie, baron de Gérando

Joseph Marie, baron de Gérando, born Joseph Marie Degérando (29 February 1772 in Lyon, France – 10 November 1842 in Paris), was a French jurist, philanthropist and philosopher of Italian descent.

He is most remembered for his 1804 book Histoire comparée des systèmes de philosophie, considérés relativement aux principes des connaissances humaines (Comparative History of philosophical systems, considered in relation to the principles of human knowledge) as well as his 1820 study of benevolent activity, Le visiteur du pauvre (The visitor to the poor). He influenced Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, and especially Ralph Waldo Emerson who used his philosophical framework extensively in support of his own first book Nature.

Juliette Récamier

Jeanne Françoise Jullie Adélaïde Récamier (French pronunciation: ​[ʒan fʁɑ̃swaz ʒyli ʁekamje]; 3 December 1777 – 11 May 1849), known as Juliette (French pronunciation: ​[ʒyljɛt]), was a French socialite, whose salon drew Parisians from the leading literary and political circles of the early 19th century. As an icon of neoclassicism, Récamier cultivated a public persona of herself as a great beauty and her fame quickly spread across Europe. She befriended many intellectuals, sat for the finest artists of the age, and spurned an offer of marriage from Prince Augustus of Prussia.

Ludovico di Breme

Ludovico di Breme (Torino, 1780 – Torino, 15 August 1820), whose complete name was Ludovico Arborio Gattinara dei Marchesi di Breme, was an Italian writer and thinker, as well as a contributor to Milan's principal romantic journal, Il Conciliatore.

His works include Intorno alla ingiustizia di alcuni giudizi letterari italiani (1816), Il Grand commentaire sur un petit article (1817), Il saggio sul Giaurro del Byron (1818), and Le Postille contro i Cenni critici sulla poesia romantica del Londonio, as well as a number of articles in Il Conciliatore.

Mathieu de Montmorency

Mathieu Jean Felicité de Montmorency, duc de Montmorency-Laval (10 July 1767 – 24 March 1826) was a prominent French statesman during the French Revolution and Bourbon Restoration. He was elected as the youngest member of the National Assembly during the time of the French Revolution. He is also known for his military expertise, and ultimately this is what led to his fame. He was a well known statesman and politician who was popular for his revolutionary ideals. Throughout his life he served as a governor, a deputy of the Estates General, secretary of the assembly, and captain of the guards.

Prince Augustus of Prussia

Prince Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich August of Prussia (19 September 1779 - 19 July 1843), known in English as Prince Augustus, was a Prussian general. Born on Friedrichsfelde Palace, he was the youngest son of Prince Augustus Ferdinand of Prussia, the brother of King Frederick the Great, and Margravine Elisabeth Louise of Brandenburg-Schwedt.

Victor de Broglie (1785–1870)

Achille Léonce Victor Charles, 3rd Duke of Broglie (French: [vik.tɔʁ də.bʁœj]; 28 November 1785 – 25 January 1870), fully Victor de Broglie, was a French peer, statesman, and diplomat. He was the third duke of Broglie and served as president of the Council during the July Monarchy, from August 1830 to November 1830 and from March 1835 to February 1836. Victor de Broglie was close to the liberal Doctrinaires who opposed the ultra-royalists and were absorbed, under Louis-Philippe's rule, by the Orléanists.

Wilhelm von Humboldt

Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand von Humboldt (; German: [ˈvɪlhɛlm fɔn ˈhʊmbɔlt]; 22 June 1767 – 8 April 1835) was a Prussian philosopher, linguist, government functionary, diplomat, and founder of the Humboldt University of Berlin, which was named after him in 1949 (and also after his younger brother, Alexander von Humboldt, a naturalist).

He is especially remembered as a linguist who made important contributions to the philosophy of language, ethnolinguistics and to the theory and practice of education. In particular, he is widely recognized as having been the architect of the Humboldtian education ideal, which was used from the beginning in Prussia as a model for its system of education and eventually in countries such as the US and Japan.

His younger brother, Alexander von Humboldt, was famous as a geographer, naturalist, and explorer.

Zacharias Werner

Friedrich Ludwig Zacharias Werner (November 18, 1768 – January 17, 1823) was a German poet, dramatist, and preacher. As a dramatist, he is known mainly for inaugurating the era of the so-called “tragedies of fate.”

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