Felicite Stephanie Ducrest De Saint-Anbin Genlis, countess de, a French authoress, born near Autun, Jan. 25, 1746, died in Paris, Dec. 31, 1830. She had a taste for music, acquired great proficiency on the harp, and played seven other instruments; but her education was almost entirely neglected. When scarcely 15 years of age she was married to Count Bru-lart de Genlis, a friend of her father who had fallen in love with her on seeing her portrait. Full of ambition, she then devoted herself with great zeal to study. By the influence of her aunt, Mine, de Montesson, who was subsequently secretly married to the duke of Orleans, she was in 1770 appointed a lady in waiting in the household of his daughter-in-law the duchess de Chartres, became soon afterward governess of the daughter of that princess, and was formally nominated in 1782 by the duke de Chartres (afterward duke of Orleans)governor of his three sons, the eldest of whom was afterward King Louis Philippe. Such a title given to a woman gave rise to no little scandal, and the influence she subsequently exercised upon the political course of her employer, the notorious Philippe Egalite, seemed to warrant the most injurious suspicions.
During her governorship she published several works devoted to the moral education of her pupils-the Theatre d'education, Annates de la vertu, Adele et Theodore, Les veillees du chateau-which were generally well received by the public, and were highly praised by Gail-lard, La Harpe, and other eminent critics. During the first years of the revolution she proclaimed her liberal opinions, and is said to have been the principal adviser of Philippe Egalite. She published Conseils sur Veducation du dauphin, and Lepons dyune gouvernante, written in the spirit of the new constitution. She was, however, obliged to emigrate, and in 1793 retired for a while to Switzerland, and then to Altona. Amid all her troubles she neglected no opportunity of mingling in worldly pleasures. During this period she published several works, among which were her Meres rivales, Les petits emigres, and Le petit La Bruyere. In 1800 she returned to France, and was well received by the first consul; she was allowed handsome apartments at the arsenal and a pension of 6,000 francs, to which the wife of Joseph on his accession to the throne of Naples added an an-nuitv of 3,000. In re-turn for this she had to write twice a month to Napoleon, and communicate to him her opinions and observations on politics and current events.
It is not known what service she rendered to Joseph Bonaparte. This period of comparative repose and prosperity was also one of literary activity; she gave to the public, among other works, Mlle, de Clermont, the best of her performances, which ranks among standard novels in the French language, La duchesse de La Valliere, Mine, de Main-tenon, and Le siege de La Rochelle. Her His-toire de Henri le Grand displeased Napoleon, and she lost her pension and residence. At the return of the Bourbons the Orleans family contented themselves with paying a small pension to their old "governor." Her temper meanwhile, which never had been very gentle, became sullen and unmanageable; her misanthropy increased with years. Her wrath was especially directed against the philosophers of the last century; she published amended editions, with critical notes, of several works of Rousseau and Voltaire, and even contemplated a similar emendation of the Encyclopedic, but, appalled at the magnitude of the undertaking, gave it up, and turned her pen against the most popular contemporary authors. Mme. de Stael, Byron, Sir Walter Scott, and Lamar-tine were among the objects of her attacks.
She was 60 years old when she published her historical novel Jeanne de France, and over 80 when she completed her personal Memoires, in 10 large 8vo vols.