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Louise-Félicité Guinement de Kéralio Robert


  1. État des prisons, des hôpitaux, et des maisons de force, par John Howard, traduit de l'anglois translation translator
  2. Histoire du grand duché de Toscane sous les gouvernement des Médicis. Traduite de l'Italien de M. Riguccio Galluzzi translation has paratext translator
  3. Histoire du grand duché de Toscane sous les gouvernement des Médicis. Traduite de l'Italien de M. Riguccio Galluzzi paratext author


Member of


Raised in an aristocratic milieu in Arras by the soldier, academician and royal censor Louis-Félix Guynement de Kéralio and novelist Marie-Françoise Abeille de Kéralio, Louise-Félicité de Kéralio Robert was a writer, translator, journalist, publisher and republican. She was also frequently in financial difficulties from her publishing ventures, at one point forcing her father to sell off his precious library of 1500 volumes to pay off her debts. Although living in the rue de Gramont, her parents' house, she was associated with the Cordeliers district and group, not least with her husband Pierre-François Robert, but also his employer Georges Danton and Camille Desmoulins.

She translated travel writing, history and works of social reform, mostly from English and sometimes working with her father. In association with Lagrange, she published an ill-fated, multi-volume anthology of French women's writing, 'Collection des meilleurs ouvrages français par des femmes' (1786-89), which ended in their bankruptcy and the appearance of only 14 out of 40 projected volumes. She had installed a printing press in the mezzanine of the family home. She also wrote a five-volume history of Elizabeth I (1786-89), and a two-volume polemic, ‘Les crimes des reines de France’ (1791/1793) that fiercely attacked Marie-Antoinette.

As well as her association with the non-exclusive Cordeliers (unlike the male-only Jacobins), she was a member of La Société Fraternelle des Patriotes de l'un et l'autre sexe, an inclusive revolutionary society. Her feminism is debated. She has been credited both with a Rousseauist political sexism and with a revisionary, feminist domesticity.

In August 1789, she founded and published the Journal d'État et du Citoyen (Aug 1789) – the first woman to edit a political journal in France. It then passed through a series of name changes, including Mercure National et Révolutions de l'Europe, and Mercure National et Étranger, ou Journal Politique de l’Europe (April 1791–July 1791), the latter in partnership with Pierre Lebrun-Tondu, the future foreign minister. It bore the motto 'Vivre libre ou mourir', of debatable provenance and popularized by her father on the banners of his National Guard regiment. She also hosted a republican salon in this period, using both her father’s networks (including Jean-Louis Carra) and her own with the Cordeliers. She withdrew from politics and journalism in July 1791, a few months before the birth of her daughter, and was the target a series of attacks in 1793 concerning her response to the regicide.


Christine Fauré, ‘Une histoire des femmes au XVIIIe siècle par Louise de Kéralio’, Revue de la BNF, 17 (2004), pp. 61-64

Annie Geffroy, ‘Louise de Kéralio-Robert, pionnière du républicanisme sexiste’, in Annales historiques de la Révolution française, 344 (2006) pp.107-124

Karen Green, 'A History of Women’s Political Thought in Europe, 1700-1800' (Cambridge: CUP, 2014)

Nicole Pellegrin, 'Une traductrice historienne. Louise de Kéralio-Robert et les voyageurs anglais', in Fidecaro, Partzsch, van Dijk & Cossy, eds., 'Femmes écrivains/Women writers. At the Crossroads of languages, 1700-2000 (Geneva: Métis Presses, 2009), pp.67-90.