Charlotte Curé, also known as "La Muse Limonadière," occupied a unique position in eighteenth-century French literature. Curé's literary output -- although largely forgotten, and at times forgettable -- offers a rare look into the life of a working-class female writer in the second half of the eighteenth century. A "maîtresse de café" (or limonadière), she was nevertheless a female writer who occupied a surprising position in the "Republic of Letters," maintaining a correspondence with some of eighteenth-century France's most influential writers. Her literary career and her successes are all the more exceptional when considered in tandem with her biography: by her own admission, she seems to have had no formal literary training. Moreover, she composed her works (in prose and in verse) and carried on her literary correspondence while also exercising her trade at Le Caffé Allemand on the Rue Croix des Petits Champs, not far from the Palais Royal.
"`Une voix plébienne' in Eighteenth-Century France: Charlotte Curé, 'La Muse Limonadière',"
2, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.mcmaster.ca/ecf/vol23/iss2/6
Paul J. Young, associate professor of French at Georgetown University, is the author of Seducing the Eighteenth-Century French Reader: Reading, Writing, and the Question of Pleasure (2008). He is currently working on a book about eighteenth-century French women writers.