- Collection Overview
- Collection Description & Creator Information
- Access & Use
- Collection History
- Find Related Materials
- Villenave, M. G. T. (Mathieu Guillaume Thérèse), 1762-1846
- Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
- Mathieu-Guillaume-Thérèse Villenave's Collection on Alina d'Eldir
- Manuscripts Division
- Permanent URL:
- 1829-1959 (mostly 1829-1845)
- 1 box
- Storage Note:
- Firestone Library (mss): Box B-001330
Consists of correspondence and other materials collected by Mathieu-Guillaume-Thérèse Villenave relating to Alina d'Eldir, including her biography, her work with magnetism treatments, and the Ordre Asiatique de Morale Universelle.
Collection Description & Creator Information
This collection consists primarily of materials created, received, and collected by Mathieu-Guillaume-Thérèse Villenave regarding Alina d'Eldir (?-1851), also known as La Sultane, an author, founder of the Ordre Asiatique de Morale Universelle, and advocate of magnetism as a cure for illness.
Many of the materials are handwritten copies of Alina d'Eldir's own papers, some in Villenave's handwriting and some in unknown handwriting. Also included are letters to Villenave written on behalf of Alina d'Eldir by her husband, Charles Mercier, who served as secretary of the Ordre Asiatique de Morale Universelle; Villenave's handwritten materials related to La vérité du magnétisme; handwritten copies of a letter from Le Comte de Montalivet to d'Eldir; materials related to d'Eldir's life and background in India; handwritten copies of testimonials of people who witnessed or underwent magnetism treatment with d'Eldir; and materials related to the Ordre Asiatique de Morale Universelle (formerly Le Cercle de la Noble Porte de l'Elysée), a religious organization founded by Alina d'Eldir in 1832.
The collection also includes documents and materials that post-date Villenave's death and/or include unidentified handwritten notes, which indicates that it likely passed through several hands. One such item is Hans Fellner's (possibly Hans Fellner, the book dealer) book plate, which could serve as evidence of the collection's provenance.
As materials were not received in original order, materials were arranged by creator and topic.
- Collection Creator Biography:
Mathieu-Guillaume-Thérèse Villenave was born on April 13, 1762 in Saint-Félix de Caraman, France. He was a lawyer, journalist, and book and autograph collector. Villenave wrote a review of Alina d'Eldir's Méditations en prose, par une dame indienne in Revue encyclopédique in 1828, claiming it was "le premier ouvrage qui était composé en français, et publié à Paris, par une princesse de l'Hindoustan." Villenave also compiled and edited a book of d'Eldir's papers La vérité du magnétisme, published in 1829. Villenave was a member of the Ordre Asiatique de Morale Universelle, which d'Eldir founded. He died in Nantes, France on March 16, 1846.
Purchased from Gerald W. Cloud, Rare Books, Manuscripts, Archives in 2019 . AM 2019-94.
- Custodial History:
This collection was initially formed by Mathieu-Guillaume-Thérèse Villenave. However, the collection includes materials that post-date Villenave's death, which indicates that it likely passed through several hands. One such item is Hans Fellner's (possibly Hans Fellner, the book dealer) book plate, which could serve as evidence of the collection's provenance.
- Archival Appraisal Information:
No materials were removed from the collection during 2019 processing beyond routine appraisal practices.
- Processing Information:
This collection was processed by Alice Griffin in July 2019. Finding aid written by Alice Griffin in July 2019.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
Open for research.
- Conditions for Reproduction and Use:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.
- Credit this material:
Mathieu-Guillaume-Thérèse Villenave's Collection on Alina d'Eldir; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Permanent URL:
- Firestone LibraryOne Washington RoadPrinceton, NJ 08544, USA(609) 258-3184
- Publication Note:
d'Eldir, Alina. Méditations en prose , par une dame indienne. Paris: Imprimerie de Mme. V. Porthmann, 1828. Gence, Jean-Baptiste-Modeste. Sur l'Institution de l'ordre moral asiatique universel, fondée en 1832 sous le nom de la Noble porte de l'Élysée par la sultane indienne Alina d'Eldir. Paris: Imprimerie de L. Thomassin, 1839. Titres constatant la naissance dans l'Inde de la Sultane Alina d'Eldir. Paris: Imprimerie de J.-B. Gros, 1846. Villenave, Mathieu-Guillaume-Thérèse. "Méditations en prose, par une dame indienne (La Sultane d'Eldir)." Revue encyclopedique ou analyse raisonnée des productions les plus remarquables dans la littérature, les sciences et les arts, par une réunion de membres de l'institut et d'autres hommes de lettres 38 (1828): 676-682.
- Subject Terms:
- Magnetism--Religious aspects--Sources.
Religious institutions--France--History--19th century--Sources.
Social history--France--19th century--Sources.
Women authors, French--19th century--Sources.
- Alletz, Édouard 1798-1850
Fortia d'Urban, Agricol Joseph François, marquis de, 1756-
Gence, Jean-Baptiste-Modeste, 1755-1840