Mother and daughter had little sympathy for each other. Mme Necker, despite her talents, her beauty and her fondness for philosophic society, was strictly decorous, somewhat reserved, and wanted to bring up her daughter with the discipline of her own childhood. Anne Louise was from her earliest years energetic and boisterous. She began very early to write, though not to publish. She was said to have injured her health by excessive study and intellectual excitement. But in reading all the accounts of Mme de Staël's life which come from herself or her intimate friends, it must be carefully remembered that she was the most distinguished and characteristic product of the period of sensibility — the singular fashion of ultra-sentimentalism — which required that both men and women, but especially women, should be always palpitating with excitement, steeped inmelancholy, or dissolved in tears. Still, her father's dismissal from the ministry and the consequent removal of the family from the busy life ofPariswere probably beneficial to her.
During part of the next few years, they resided in the Swiss village of Coppet at the Château de Coppet, her father's estate on Lake Geneva, which she herself made famous. But other parts were spent in travelling, chiefly in southern France. They returned to Paris, or at least to its neighborhood, in 1785, and Mlle Necker resumed writing miscellaneous works, including a novel, Sophie, printed in 1786, and a tragedy, Jeanne Grey, published in 1790.