Charlotte Elisabeth Aïssé
(1694–1733), Circassian — slave, social celebrity
A Circassian born in the Caucasus, she was captured by the Turks and sold to Charles d'Argental, marquis de Feriol (1637–1722), French ambassador to Istanbul, in 1698; although slavery in France was illegal, he never fully clarified her legal status and she remained entirely dependent on him, although he left her a generous legacy on his death. He had her brought up by his sister-in-law, Mme de Feriol. Both intelligent and beautiful, and extremely well educated, she became well known in the salon society. She never married but was for a long time the mistress of Antoine, chevalier d'Aydie; they had a child in 1724.
Biographical note by Electronic Enlightenment Project.
Updated January 2009.
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