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Lucy Knox, Mistress of the Chess Board

On 24 Aug 1788, Lucy Knox wrote to her husband Henry from Trenton about having recently beaten Gouverneur Morris at chess. That game might have been good preparation for Morris’s travel later that year to France, where chess could mean so much more. He wrote of calling on “Mme. [Sophie le Couteulx] Dumolley, who is at chess” before they embarked on an affair; of the Vicomte de Ségur, who declares “the pursuit of a woman is like a game of chess, when in consequence of a certain set of moves the success is certain”; and of the bishop of Autun, whose “passion for play has become extreme,” claiming to have won “in the society of chess-clubs, about thirty thousand francs.
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