Albertine Necker de Saussure

Albertine Adrienne Necker de Saussure (1766, Geneva - 1841 , Vallée du Salève, near Geneva) was a Swiss writer and educationalist and an early advocate of education for women.


She was the daughter of the distinguished Swiss scientist, Horace Bénédict de Saussure, who ensured she received the best education available at that time. She married a noted botanist who was the nephew and namesake of Louis XVI's finance minister, Jacques Necker. Her brother, Nicolas-Théodore de Saussure, became a noted chemist and researcher into plant physiology.

Albertine Necker de Saussure was a Calvinist and this laid stress on the equality of all souls, both men and women, before God. She suffered from deafness for much of her life.


Her principal work, L'Education Progressive or Etude du Cours de la Vie (1828), was a long and influential study on educational theory and the education of women. The work is divided into two parts, originally in three volumes which were published successively. The first two volumes treat education in general. The author takes the child from birth and follows it up to fourteen years old. The third volume is especially devoted to the education of women.

She also wrote a biography of her friend and cousin, by marriage, Germaine de Staël for the first collected edition of de Staël's works in 1821.


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