Alphonse de Lamartine, a passionate lover

/ 1811 /
Alphonse de Lamartine fell in love at the Château du Moulin-à-Vent. Extracts from  the letters between de Lamartine and his close friend Aymar de Virieu about Marie-Henriette Pommier, Philiberte's daughter. In a letter, dated March 2nd 1811, to Aymar de Virieu, one of his friends, he described her as:

"She is a 20 year-old young woman, small, quite nice, with a pretty face, distant, reserved, educated, with perfect manners and full of talents, seeing all day to painting or italians or more serious studies, dancing like an angel and with a reasonable character until now, only daughter having around 50,000 écus for marriage, raised by a mother who loves her and a good father, free from her willingness and her actions like a young English girl... By our likenesses, I have become her friends, and from a friend, unfortunately, I became a drunk and passionate lover."
Thus, Lamartine will visit between 1811 and 1812, assiduously but with some interludes dedicated to travelling, Marie-Henriette Pommier and the Château du Moulin-à-Vent. However, deeply in love, Alphonse de Lamartine must vacate the premises when his father forbade him to continue this brief romance with the young Marie-Henriette. In a new letter to Aymar de Virieu dated May 27th 1812, Lamartine related the conclusion of this relationship:

"... One complained about a supposed coldness from me, the words of my parents truly against any marriage, they told me that the good manners and the interest of the young person demanded an eternal farewell, a total separation between us...".

Lamartine was sent to an extended journey to Italy to stop any contact with Marie-Henriette and the Castle. The French litterature can thank him. He pulled from his nostalgy of the Castle and from his Italian journey a rich part of his verses and his prose.


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