Born in 1772 Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand achieved fame as a fortune teller. She was said to have predicted the deaths of several nobles during the French Revolution and was consulted by revolutionaries like Robespierre. Most notably she was the Empress Josephine's fortune teller, before she was famous and predicted her rise to power. As fortune telling was illegal she spent a few short periods in jail, but never for very long.
She died in 1843, and two years after her death, a publisher named Grimaud made a deck called "Le Grande Jeu de Mlle Lenormand", to capitalize on her name. He claimed to have gotten the information from a student of hers. It was a deck of 54 cards contains images from Greek mythology, flowers and Hebrew letters. There is no evidence she actually ever used these as she was reported to have used a mix of tarot and playing cards.
Many other decks came out shortly after also bearing her name on them. A smaller 36 card deck was produced during this time called a "petite Jeu". In 1850 a German company produced this 36 card deck with simple designs coupled with corresponding playing card images. They became very popular in Germany and spread to Europe and North America. These are the Lenormand cardswe still have today.
I recently purchased a deck of Lenormand cards called "The Gilded Reverie Lenormand cards". I am still learning it and have ordered a recommended book to help me learn. I will review the deck and book soon. Have any of you worked with these cards? If so I'd love to hear your thoughts!
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