English & Literature

Who is Mme. la Marechale de B from Ourika: An English Translation and what is their importance?

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Mme. de B is an older French aristocratic lady living in Paris who received Ourika, a young black slave girl, from her nephew, Chevalier de B. Mme. de B raised her two grandsons after their mother died young. She was one of the most attractive women of her time and combined a fine mind with a genuine warmth of heart that made her highly valued by her friends. Mme. de B acted as a protector and benefactress to the girl, raising her and loving her like a daughter. She treated Ourika kindly and educated her properly, also teaching her good taste. She guided Ourika's intellect and formed her judgment. Mme. de B was open-minded and indulgent, and she never snubbed people by twisting their meanings or criticizing them too harshly. She was witty and possessed a great deal of common sense. Ourika wanted nothing more than to be near Mme. de B when she was a child.