Marie Therese Geoffrin, a French lady, born in Paris, June 2, 1699, died there in October, 1777. Her father, M. Rodet, was in the service of the dauphiness. She was barely 15 when she married M. Geoffrin, a manufacturer, who was ridiculed on account of his mental inferiority to his wife, but whose for-tune enabled her to dispense hospitalities to distinguished persons. She became a widow in a few years, and remained to the end of her life one of the most conspicuous leaders of European society. She counted among her friends Diderot, D'Alembert, Horace Walpole, Hume, and Gibbon. Count Stanislas Poni-atowski was a constant visitor at her house, and she rescued him from prison by paying his debts. When elected king of Poland in 1764, he said to her, Maman, voire fils est roi. On her visiting him at Warsaw in 1766, the leading members of the Polish nobility came to meet her on the road, and the king had a residence prepared for her. Passing through Vienna, she was received with great distinction by the empress Maria Theresa and her son Joseph II. She was unceasing in her assistance to literary men, especially to those connected with the Encyclopedic, toward the publication of which she is said to have contributed more than 100,000 francs.

Though intimately associated with philosophers and free thinkers, she was somewhat of a devotee, and her daughter, who became the wife of the marquis de la Ferte-Imbault, attempted to wean her altogether from intercourse with her former friends. But it was only during the last year of her life that she was prevailed upon to deny her society to the encyclopaedists. Morellet published in 1812 Eloges de Madame Geoffrin, comprising his eulogy of her and those by D'Alembert and Thomas, and several of her letters.