This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (December 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Marie Thérèse Levasseur Veuve de Jean Jacques Rousseau, by Johann Michael Baader, aquarelle, 1791.
|Born||21 September 1721|
|Died||12 July 1801 (aged 79)|
Le Plessis-Belleville, France
Thérèse Le Vasseur came from a respected family that had fallen on hard times; her father was a local official in Orléans, and her mother was a merchant. Thérèse and her mother moved to Paris to find work, and were later joined by her father.
Le Vasseur met Rousseau in Paris in 1745. Le Vasseur was working as a laundress and chambermaid at the Hotel Saint-Quentin in the rue des Cordiers, where Rousseau took his meals. She was 24 years old at the time, he was 33. According to Rousseau, Thérèse bore him five children, all of whom were given to the Enfants-Trouvés foundling home, the first in 1746 and the others in 1747, 1748, 1751, and 1752.
They went through a legally invalid marriage ceremony at Bourgoin on August 29, 1768. Therese provided Rousseau with support and care, and when he died, she was the sole inheritor of his belongings, including manuscripts and royalties.