My mother, Apolline de Bedée, endowed with great wit and a prodigious imagination, was formed by reading Fénelon, Racine, and Madame de Sévigné. She was nourished on anecdotes of the Court of Louis XIV and knew all of Cyrus by heart. A small woman of large features, dark-haired and ugly, her elegant manners and lively disposition were at odds with my father’s rigidity and calm. Loving society as much as he loved solitude, as exuberant and animated as he was expressionless and cold, she possessed no taste not antagonistic to the tastes of her husband.
― François-René de Chateaubriand,
Memoirs from Beyond the Grave: 1768-1800
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