The Carte de Tendre (Map of Tender) was “conceived as a social game during the Winter of 1653-1654” by Madelaine de Scudery. The map shows a geography entirely based around the theme of love and represents the path towards love.

On the map the river of Inclination flows directly to Tendre-sur-Inclination, showing mutual affection as the shortest way to love. Unsuccessful suitors, however, have to find their way to love (“Tendre”) through two possible routes. One leads through the villages of “Billet Doux” (Love Letter), “Petits Soins” (Little Trinkets) and so forth and ends at “Tendre-sur-Estime”, the suitor having successfully convinced the lady of his worth. The other route leads to “Tendre-sur-Reconnaissance”, the names of the villages showing how patience, faithfulness, and constant attention will eventually soften a lady’s heart.

Straying from those routes is not recommended, as one might fall into the “lake of Indifference”.

Text excerpts taken from here

Contributed by Devika

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