Edition of the correspondence between François Guizot and Dorothée de Lieven


One can never sufficiently disparage absence. We write to each other every day. We tell each other everything that can be written. All this is nothing – a grain of sand thrown into the ocean that separates us.

385. London, Tuesday, June 2, 1840, François Guizot to Dorothée de Lieven

When I receive your letters, in the moment that I read them, I am so happy, so perfectly happy that for that moment it seems to me that I do not regret your absence.

42. Paris, Tuesday 19 September 1837, Dorothée de Lieven to François Guizot

Letters exchanged between François Guizot et Dorothée de Lieven

To publish the correspondence from the period 1836 to 1857 between the historian and statesman François Guizot (1787-1874) , and a female figure of the European diplomatic world of the first half of the 19th century, Dorothée van Benckendorff, Princess of Lieven (1785-1857) , is to publish part of the private archives of a political and intellectual actor engaged in the public domain. When they met during the winter of 1837, after the death of François Guizot’s eldest son, their common experience of the loss of a child brought them together. But the daily correspondence exchanged between the two lovers also includes their analyses and descriptions of the political and diplomatic networks of France and Europe in their time.

François Guizot and Dorothée de Lieven

This digital edition with cultural, heritage and scientific ambitions, is financed by the Association François Guizot and supported by the EMAN platform (ITEM /CNRS-ENS).

The corpus consists of more than 4,000 letters preserved in the National Archives (Paris). Selected letters were previously published in Lettres de François Guizot et de la Princesse de Lieven (Paris: Mercure de France, three volumes, 1963 and 1964). A preface by Jean Schlumberger entitled “Les influences féminines dans la vie de François Guizot” was included in volume one.

The objective of this project is to give access to this body of correspondence in its entirety, both hand-written letters and the documented epistolary discourse. This on-line publication seeks to enhance the value of this corpus by opening it up to new scientific investigations from other disciplines, and by exploiting the documentary resources gathered in the thematic and biographical contents of the Guizot.com website.

The Guizot Association is promoting this family, intellectual and political heritage by applying to this corpus an editorial treatment that meets the archival and scientific standards demanded by the digital environment in order to manifest its historiographic and cultural value.

The aim of this edition is to allow for reading at a distance of the linked correspondence, but also to search and browse the entire body of correspondence. This publication is envisioned as a digital library structured into collections.

Different search and navigation modalities are proposed:

from the home page and the letter descriptions

within each letter description

  • By links to related letters
  • By active links at the bottom of the page to the next or previous letter

In December 2019, 410 letters were published, more than 2,400 editorialized and transcribed folios, in eight collections.

The digital system allows access to work under development. New information will be added regularly and the documentation of the material will be enriched.

Do not hesitate to send us your comments and suggestions via the contact form.

Enjoy your visit.