Alfred the Great, king of the Salons in England, not only educated his people in the learning of the past ages; he inserted in the geographical works he translated many narratives of the travel of his own time.
Developed by extensive study at the Sorbonne and by frequenting the salons of the Encyclopaedists.
His conversational powers made him welcome in Parisian salons, but his zeal led, him to England, where he made the acquaintance of William Law, the English mystic, to Italy and to Switzerland, as well as to the chief towns of France.
And the salons of Mme de Sevigne, of her daughter Mme de Grignan, and of the duchesse de Maine for a while gave the questions of philosophy a place among the topics of polite society, and furnished to Moliere the occasion of his Femmes savantes.
In Paris he frequented the salons, especially those of Mme Graffigny - whose niece, Mlle de Ligniville ("Minette"), afterwards Mme Helvetius and his lifelong friend, he is supposed at one time to have wished to marry - Mme Geoffrin, Mme du Deffand, Mlle de Lespinasse and the duchesse d'Enville.