Flora Tristan

Biography of Flora Tristan

Flora Tristan (7 April 1803 in Paris – 14 November 1844 in Bordeaux, France) was a socialist writer and activist. She was one of the founders of modern feminism. She wrote several works, the best known of which are Peregrinations of a Pariah (1838), Promenades in London (1840), and The Workers' Union (1843).

Tristan was the grandmother of the painter Paul Gauguin.

Her full name was Flore-Celestine-Therèse-Henriette Tristan-Moscoso. Her father, Mariano Tristán y Moscoso,was a colonel of the Spanish Navy, born in Arequipa, the second city of Peru. His family was one of the most powerful in the south of the country; his brother Pío de Tristán became viceroy of Peru. Flora Tristan's mother, Anne Laisney, was French; the couple met in Bilbao, Spain.

When her father died in 1807, before her fifth birthday, the situation of Tristan and her mother changed drastically from the high standards of living they were accustomed to. In 1833 she travelled to his hometown to claim her paternal inheritance, which was in possession of an uncle. She remained in Peru until 16 July 1834. Though she never secured the inheritance that brought her there, Tristan wrote a travel diary about her experiences during its tumultuous post-independence period. The diary was published in 1838 as Pérégrinations d'une paria.

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