Stéphane Bern is dedicating, this Monday January 10 at 9 p.m. on France 3, a new number of Secrets d’histoire to Molière. For the occasion, Closer invites you to dive into the private life of the famous playwright and to discover in particular why his affair with his wife, Armande Béjart, was tinged with scandal.
Son of Jean, an upholsterer, Jean-Baptiste Poquelin was born in January 1622 in Paris. While he was destined to take over his father’s business, the young man met, in 1643, a certain Madeleine Béjart. The latter is an actress known throughout Paris. Free woman, she is the mother of several children. Together, Molière and Madeleine found a troop with which they crisscrossed France. Back in Paris, the playwright became the favorite author of King Louis XIV and wrote several plays for the court. But Molière now wants to start a family and he then turns to Armande who is none other than Madeleine Béjart’s little sister.
Molière and Armande Béjart: four children, three of whom died a few months after their birth
Their union was celebrated in 1662 but it caused a lot of noise. Indeed, according to some rumors, Armande is, in reality, the daughter of Madeleine and … Molière, himself! The playwright refutes this thesis and is very enamored of his wife even if the latter goes into extra-marital relationships. Libertine, Molière does not deprive himself, either, to free himself from good thinking. Together, they will have four children: Louis, born and died in 1664, Esprit-Madeleine born in 1665, Marie born and died in 1668 and Pierre, born and died in 1672. Finally, the couple separated and the famous author, ill, retired in the early 1670s to Auteuil where he would have maintained a relationship with a certain Michel Baron, a 17-year-old actor, before dying in 1673 at the age of 51.
Molière © Zuma Press