Author Archives: Melanie Robin Conroy

About Melanie Robin Conroy

Melanie Conroy is an assistant professor at the University of Memphis where she teaches French language, literature, and culture. Her main areas of specialization are modern French culture, post-1789 literature, and French intellectual and political history in a European context. In 2012, she received her PhD in French from Stanford University with a dissertation on the French nobility in modern French literature. She also has an MA in French theory, literature, and visual studies from the University of Paris VIII. She tweets at @MelanieConroy1 and also writes a blog on and reviews for the LSE Review of Books.

Salons: Paris in 1900, persistance of the “grand monde”

Alice Bernard’s recent dissertation, La persistance du modèle aristocratique : mode de vie et sociabilité du grand monde parisien (1900-1939) catalogues the attendees of Parisian salons in the year 1900 by counting mentions of notables in the pages of Le Figaro‘s supplement on the grand monde. Among her findings: le grand monde was alive and well in 1900, dominated by a small group of nobles, issued from old regime families.

Networks remain tight and centered around the grandes familles. As Bernard writes, the family remains at the center of the “système-Monde.”

Family Relations in Paris 1900

Likewise, the mondains remain clustered in a small area of Paris around the Place de l’Étoile, the right bank.

Apartments of Mondains in 1900

The 19th-Century Networks database contains Bernard’s full dataset on the Parisian grand monde in 1900. Her dissertation contains a complete demographic profile of the Parisian notables mentioned in Le Figaro.