Anne Louise Germaine de Staël-Holstein (1766–1817) is one of the best-known femmes de lettres of the 18th century. With her social historical essay on literature (De la littérature considérée dans ses rapports avec les institutions sociales), she paved the way for the fields of literary sociology and comparative literature. In addition, her influential work De l'Allemagne (1810) enduringly shaped the perception of Germany in France.
Anne Louise Germaine de Staël (1766–1817), portrait, engraving after a painting by François Gérard (1770–1837), ca. 1810, unknown artist; source: Evert A. Duyckinick: Portrait Gallery of Eminent Men and Women in Europe and America, New York 1873, online: Courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin, public domain.