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In the 17th century, women would write letters as least as often as men. In the summer of 1691, a nun wrote this letter to her sick mother, madame Calin. Apparently, her mother had complained about her condition before, with the daughter seeking to comfort her with religious advice: 

“You know better than I do that God never leaves those who believe in Him. Your experience gives hope that He will always remain the same, provided that you throw yourself into his all-providing arms. Do not torment yourself, I beg of you, my dear mother, and take the chalice from the Hand of God, as did Jesus Christ to share His glory.” 

This letter made it to The Hague by accident. Hugo van der Meer, Simon de Brienne’s deputy, noticed the mistake and wrote “France” on the back of the letter. The French postmasters had presumably confused the address “La Ayes” with “La Haye”, which is the French name for The Hague.


De Brienne letter: Daughter to mother, 1691


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