In 1735 France provided unlikely centers of information exchange. Salons were places to discuss news and information, especially in the salon of Madame Doublet. The news that passed through this particular salon was used to write Louis Petit de Bachaumont’s Mémoires secret.
This publication brought literary life of the eighteenth century to light. It discussed topics such as the war against the Jesuits, opposition between the French parliament and the King, Shakespeare and the affair of the diamond necklace. In a time of censorship and control, this salon was a way for public opinion to still be heard.
In Madame Doublet’s salon, a journal was kept recording the news that was spread in the salon. Much of the news was gossip and scandal, and the journal was therefore suppressed by the censors. In many cases, the public opinion included negative views of the monarchy.
With strict policies on discussion of the monarchy, a place in which censors had trouble positioning themselves would seem to be detrimental. Though it may have been, salons continued until into the 20th century.
The French Revolution began in 1789 and changed the world of France. Though many of those who gathered in salons were the elite themselves, with as much free speech that flew in the salons, it is interesting to think that some may have served as meeting places for those longing to revolt. Either way, there is no doubt that these locations served as a mecca for those who wanted to spread the news.