Map of Tendre
|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the French Wikipedia. (December 2009)|
The Map of Tendre (Carte de Tendre or Carte du Tendre) was a French map of an imaginary land called Tendre produced by several hands (including Catherine de Rambouillet). It appeared as an engraving (attributed to François Chauveau) in the first part of Madeleine de Scudéry's 1654-61 novel Clélie. The map represents the path towards love according to the précieuses of the time period.
The map shows a geography entirely based around the theme of love according to the Précieuses of that era: the river of Inclination flows past the villages of "Billet Doux" (Love Letter), "Petits Soins" (Little Trinkets) and so forth.
'The way through this pastoral country of the affections begins at Nouvelle Amitié and leads (ignoring dead-ends such as the Lake of Indifference) by three alternative routes to either Tendre-sur-Reconnaissance, Tendre-sur-Inclination, or Tendre-sur-Estime.
'The enormously popular and much imitated Carte de Tendre...became a symbol for the politically and culturally independent, aristocratic salonnières '.
From a later, feminist perspective, 'in this geography of sentiment the personal is indeed political...placing the female prerogative at the center of civilization' by privileging 'the private amorous contract contingent on woman's inclination'.
- Geoffrey Brereton, A Short History of French Literature (Penguin 1954) p. 116
- Brereton, p. 116
- Pamela Cheek, Sexual Antipodes (2003) p. 45
- L. M. Brooks, Women's Work (2007) p. 237
- Cheek, p. 45
Read in another language
This page is available in 1 language