De Beauvoir wrote novels, essays, biographies, autobiography and monographs on philosophy, politics and social issues. She is known for her 1949 treatise The Second Sex, a detailed analysis of women’s oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary feminism; and for her novels, including She Came to Stay and The Mandarins. She is also known for her open relationship with French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.

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Her correspondence, first published by her grandson Charles, is full of gossip, affection, and political observations. She was an ardent abolitionist long before such views were even entertained as subjects of conversation. She expressed doubts as to Virginians’ “passion for Liberty” since they “have been accustomed to deprive their fellow Creatures of theirs.”

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