In August 1782, Manon was in Amiens, while her husband, travelling for business, was in Paris. Jean-Marie Roland was inspector of Commerce and Manufactures, had his office in Amiens. The couple lived there for the first four years of their marriage (1780-1784) and their daughter was born there in October 1781. Most of the time, the couples were working on an Encyclopedia of textile manufacture, gathering expert articles, researching and writing, and editing. When Jean-Marie was promoted to general inspector, the family moved to Lyon, and Manon was able to live in the family's nearby country home, Le Clos.
Whenever they were apart, the couple corresponded.
On 8 August 1782, Manon wrote to Jean-Marie:
I hear, my friend, from M.d'Antic, that you are arrived, and while at first I only meant to let you know through him how pleased I was, I thought that at the same time I should pass on to you the included, which is from Villefranche where you must reply. It came together with a piece for Despreaux, from the lawyer Dessertines who disserts on Greek chronlogy as an ex-jesuit. (Please don't tell the chanoine this is from me, as it talks about the Deluge, and Moses, etc, things and people I don't wish others to think I have fallen out with).
Monsieur d'Antic was Bosc d'Antic, who, after 1789, went only by Bosc. He was a close friend of the Rolands, a botanist who helped them in the botanical part of their Encyclopedia.
The 'chanoine' was Roland's brother, a religious man. Both Manon and Jean-Marie were atheists, but Manon liked her brother in law very much and did not wish to argue with him too loudly.
As to the young lady, the editor of the letters refers to Manon's childhood friend and correspondent, Sophie Cannet, who introduced her to her husband. Sophie was considering an offer of marriage from a much older man. She eventually gave in, and a few years later was a widow with two children.
Letter from Manon Phlipon (Roland) to Sophie Cannet in 1770. (Lot 33o Bilbliorare)
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