The clash between young and old made deliriously joyous sparks and the cinders of abysmal despair in the affair between Mirabeau and Sophie de Monier, a poster illustration of traditional marriages gone awry. The collection of letters from Mirabeau to Sophie reads like a novel but offers a real life example of the turbulence of the times. Sophie was married to a septuagenarian, and she did not hesitate to fall in love with the engaging Mirabeau, who was also married. Divorce was, of course impossible, so they ran off, eventually ending up in Belgium. The child from the resultant pregnancy was born after the errant Mirabeau had been captured and incarcerated with a lettre de cachet in the donjon of Vincennes. He stayed in prison for 42 months, writing famous love letters redolent of Rousseau‘s La Nouvelle Héloïse, that were apparently published by someone else as Lettres à Sophie (1777-1779). Other documents, like the Comtesse de Sabran‘s correspondence with the Chevalier de Boufflers or one or another of the diaries and memoirs, are equally enlightening,1 but, in general, memorialists either do not mention or pass rapidly over love, love affairs, and marriage in order to develop more “significant” events and thoughts like wars and administrative wrangling.