Julie de Lespinasse and the ‘philosophical’ salon
Chloe Summers Edmondson
From 1764 to 1776 in Paris on the rue Saint-Dominique, Julie de Lespinasse assembled together in her salon some of the most prominent figures of elite French society and of the Enlightenment. This case study reconstructs her network on the basis of salon attendee data, and analyses the social and intellectual composition of her salon to address the question of how to distinguish the ‘philosophical’ salon from the mondain salon. A network analysis of Lespinasse’s salon reveals several features indicative of intellectual activity, from its high level of integration with the philosophes, gens de lettres, academies and correspondents of major Enlightenment figures, to its similarities and overlap with the baron d’Holbach’s network.
Part 2 : Social Networks