Germaine de Stael, the daughter of a Swiss banker, was "the first woman of middle-class origins to impress herself, through her own genius, on all the major public events of her time---events political, literary, in every sense revolutionary" (Ellen Moers). Mme de Stael presided over a Paris salon in which the greatest minds of the day met and conversed. Her cosmopolitan liberalism so offended Napoleon that he once forbade her to come within 40 miles of Paris. Mme de Stael's writing helped lay the cultural foundations of French romanticism. Her essay De l'Allegmagne (Of Germany) (1810) introduced German romantic poetry and philosophy to the French. Her novels depicted strong-willed heroines driven by passion and intellectual curiosity but constrained by social conventions.