O Consolador
Revista Semanal de Divulgação Espírita 



Amélie Gabrielle Boudet
1795 - 1883

According to the Republican Calendar in France at the time, Mrs. Rivail (Mrs. Allan Kardec) was born in the year IV in the city of Thiais which was part of the smaller and more populated French Council of the Seine. It corresponds to the date of 23rd of November 1795.
Daughter of Julien-Louis Boudet, a wealthy man, and Julie-Louise Seigneat de Lacombe, she received when baptised, the name of Amélie-Gabrielle Boudet. 
The little girl, Amelie, was an only child, someone of big vivacity and strong interest for her studies. She didn’t give too much concern to her parents who gave her moral education and considerable intellectual basis.
After finishing primary school, Amélie moved out to Paris with her family, where she studied in a average school from where she left graduated as a teacher.
Dr. Canuto de Abreu tells us that Miss Amélie also taught Literature and Arts, bringing from past incarnations the innate talent for poetry and drawing. Cultured and intelligent, she wrote three books: Spring Tales in 1825, Drawing Basics in 1826 and The essential in Fine Arts in 1828.

Living in Paris, in the world of Literature and Teaching, destiny wanted Miss Amélie Boudet and Professor Hippolyte Denizard Rivail to meet each other one day.
Short, but proportional, of serene eyes, kind and gracious, vivid in her gestures and words, showing admirable intelligence and a gentle smile, Amélie Boudet made herself noted by Professor Rivail. She recognised in him, immediately, a truly superior, cultured, polite and honest man.
In 6th of February 1832, they signed their marriage contract. Amélie Boudet was nine years older than Prof. Rivail, but she was so jovial physically and spiritually, that she seemed to be the same age of her husband. The difference of age never represented a problem to their happiness.
Not long after concluding his studies with Pestalozzi, in the famous Swiss castle of Zahringen (Yverdun), Prof. Rivail founded in Paris, a Technical Institute, based on the methods of Pestalozzi. Mrs. Rivail joined her husband on the educational task that he had been doing in the Institute for more than five years.

This humane initiative from Prof. Rivail was admirable and patriotic, because even though some laws were passed after the French Revolution in favour of education, the government didn’t pay too much attention to it. Only in 1833, by the Guizot law primary education became official and concrete in France.

In 1835, the couple went through a harsh situation. Their establishment of education was obligated to close its doors. But because Prof. Rivail had a highly understanding and courageous wife, it was easy for him to overcome this situation. Supporting each other, the couple dedicated themselves to bigger responsibilities. During the day, while Prof. Rivail was taking care of commercial establishment accounts, his wife was cooperating on the preparation of free courses in their own home. These free courses went on from 1835 to 1840.

At night, together, they didn’t choose to have the deserved but unproductive rest. The problem of kids and youngsters not having a proper education was very important to Prof. Rivail as much as it was to his Master, Pestalozzi. That’s the reason why during the night, he shared his time in different activities related to that subject. He always received from his wife spontaneous and talented cooperation. Beside writing new educational books, which were very popular, Prof. Rivail translated classical literature and prepared them for the Lévi-Alvarès courses which were popular between the Parisian youth of St. Germain. He also dedicated himself to teach some subjects in those free courses together with his wife.
“Those who find a great woman, will find the goodness and will find joy in God”, said Solomon. Amélie Boudet was one of those great women who, noble and pure, and without the human vanities, finds in matrimony great missions to be accomplished.

Consistent and efficient help from Prof. Rivail to the public courses of Math and Astronomy, where he taught weekly, from 1843 to 1848, never faltered. Not only students but also teachers attended these courses that Prof. Rivail founded and directed until 1850.

All these accomplishments and other ones to benefit people were originated in the couple’s conversations. But like the Condess of Ségur said, it comes mainly from  women the inspirations that men use to accomplish something. In relation to Mrs. Rivail, we believe that in many occasions, beside being advisor, she was the brain behind various projects which her husband developed. This is what Mr. P. J. Leymarie confirms when he affirmed that Kardec had a great appreciation for his wife’s opinion.
Thanks to the didactic books written by Prof. Rivail, which had many editions and were adopted by the University of France, he and his wife reached a good financial position.

The name Denizard Rivail became well known and very respected by the cultured society. The way to fortune and glory in Pedagogy was open to him. He would have more time to dedicate himself to his wife whom, according to her humbleness and high spiritual position, never complained about anything.

Both, however, had a big mission to accomplish because of its universal importance, although full of exhaustive working and painful situations.

The first call happened in 1854, when Prof. Rivail was attracted to the curious phenomena of  “table-turning”, very popular at the time. Other invitations from the other side came along and, from mid 1855, in the Baudin’s family house, Prof. Rivail started the first serious studies about those phenomena. He saw in those phenomena a key for the problems that were in the dark for millenniums.
Together with her husband in these investigations, it was clear the emotional joy in which Amélie started knowing the facts which opened to Humanity new horizons of understanding. After the observations and various experiments, Prof. Rivail started working on the great codification. It’s from Amélie, now 60 years old, that Prof Rivail receives the moral support with this accomplishment. She became his secretary, taking care secondarily of new and harder works which now took all his available time, supporting and encouraging his mission.
Without a doubt, we Spiritists, owe Amélie Boudet a great deal and we agree with Samuel Smiles who wrote: “ The supreme actions of women usually stay ignored. These actions don’t get admiration of the world because they were done in their private life, away from the public eyes, only for the love for goodness.”

The name of Mrs. Rivail is known fairly between the various women names who made History. History shows them as dedicated and faithful co-operators of their husbands whom, without them, might not have completed their missions. They were, for example, the noble wives of Lavoisier, Buckland, Flaxman, Sir Napier, Pestalozzi, Luther and many other genius men. To all of those great women, beside the ones forgotten by History, the Humanity will always owe them one!

The Spirit’s Book was published by Allan Kardec, pseudonym which Prof. Rivail adopted; and months later, on the 1st of January 1858, counting only on his wife support, Kardec published the first issue of the Spiritist Magazine. The publishing of these Spiritist Magazines last for more than one century of existence, largely benefiting Spiritism. 
For six months the very popular sessions happened in the house of Prof. Rivail, situated on the Martir Street, number eight. These sessions demanded certain care and attention from Mrs. Rivail who sometimes could be overwhelmed by it. Their house was sometimes crowded and not big enough to accommodate the number of people who attended to those sessions. So in 1858, Allan Kardec founded, outside his house, the “Parisian Society of Spiristist Studies”. One more responsibility of large proportions!

To take such initiatives, at that time, in which the clerical despotism was still strong, wasn’t work for many. Large doses of dedication, firmness of concepts and sacrifices were necessary.

It was up to Mr. And Mrs. Rivail to start, beside all the difficulties and obstacles in the way, the biggest revolution of ideas that was known in their times, in mid XIX century, with the help of God.

Allan Kardec was a target of hatred, calumny, envy and jealousy of unprovoked enemies who didn’t want him to divulgate his findings.
Gossip, betrayal, insults, ungratefulness, everything bad came across Prof Rivail’s way, but in every moment of probation and difficulties, he found in his wife affection, support and consolation, confirming Simalen’s words: “Women are the stars of goodness in the storms of life.”

Having many articles to write, from France to many other countries, Kardec wouldn’t have had the time to also write the books of the Codification and his magazines, if it wasn’t for his wife’s help.

Many trips (in 1860,1861,1862,1864 and others) were taken by Kardec. He went to more than twenty French cities and many Swiss and Belgium ones to spread the Spiritist concepts. His wife always went with him and it’s important to note that the expanses were paid by the couple. As the writer Carlyle said, Mrs. Rivail was, during almost 40 years, his loyal partner, supporting him with her actions and words in everything he did which was dignified and good.

On the 31st of March 1869, 65 years old, Allan Kardec died suddenly while they were moving house. It was a huge loss to the Spiritist world, affecting all the ones who loved him. Mrs. Rivail, who shared with her husband admirably all the disappointments and difficulties in his way, now 74 years old, with grey hair and her soul changed by the Spiritists concepts, could stand any hard reality.

In the Montmartre cemetery, a crowd of more than a thousand people attended to Prof. Rivail’s simple funeral which happened on the 2nd of April. Many lecturers gave a speech, including Kardec’s disciples and last, Mr. E. Muller, who in the beginning of his speech about his dear friend said: “ I speak in the name of his widow, who was his loyal partner during 37 years of happiness without discouragement, who shared with him his beliefs and works, difficulties and joy, and that always appreciated the pureness of habits, honesty and generosity of her husband; today, alone, she is the one who give us the example of courage, tolerance, forgiveness of mistakes and duty honourably performed.”

Mrs. Allan Kardec received from France and other countries abroad, many manifestations of sympathy and encouragement, which gave her renewed strength to continue doing her beloved husband’s works.

The French Spiritists wished to create a monument to honour the memory of the unforgettable Professor, to which his wife agreed, sensitive to this human but very sincere wish, taking this project under her wings. Copying a drawing from Mr. Sebille, a bust of Allan Kardec made of bronze was put between rock pillars weighing six tons, in the cemetery of Père-Lachaise.

This monument containing the mortal rests of Prof. Rivail was inaugurated on the 31st of March 1870, and on this occasion, Mr. Levent, vice-president of the “Parisian Society of Spiritists Studies”, gave a speech attending to Mrs. Rivail request, in hers and his friends name.

After two months of the Professor of Lyon’s death, his wife, wishing to contribute to the realization of future plans that her husband had in mind, and who was the sole owner of the legal rights of his books, donated every year certain amount to the “Spiritist General fund”. This money would be used for the acquisition of properties in case of difficulties in the future.

Other wise decisions were made by her in the way of keeping the spreading of Spiritists concepts running. Mrs. Rivail was appreciated by the Spiritist world for her generosity and devotion to the cause.

Although she was already elderly, Mrs. Rivail showed a great spirit of work . She always wanted to manage everything in person, taking care of many different activities which would normally require many brains to sort out. Beside attending meetings to which she was invited, Mrs. Rivail attended the beautiful sessions of the Day of the Dead every year. On those sessions, after many lecturers talked about what death in the Spiritists concepts meant, they received important messages from Superior Spirits through many different mediums.
If Mrs. Rivail, as it reads in The Spiritist Magazine of 1869, kept herself to her personal interests, leaving things to be taken care by others without an effort from her part, she would easily enjoy tranquillity and rest during her elderly days. But, putting herself in a better perspective, and guided by the certainty that Allan Kardec counted on her to continue his accomplishments to which he dedicated himself until his last moments, she didn’t hesitate. Deeply convinced by the truth of Spiritists concepts, she tried to guarantee the existence of Spiritism in the future and, as she said herself, she wouldn’t have known how to use the time she had left on Earth in a better way, before meeting her husband on the other side.

Making an effort to put in practice the plans made by Allan Kardec, in the Spiritist Magazine of 1868, Mrs. Rivail created the “Anonymous Society of Spiritism” after carefully studying it with old disciples of Kardec.

Destined to spread Spiritism around using all the ways allowed by Law, this Society had, however, as its main purpose, the continuation of the Spiritist Magazine, the publication of Kardec’s books and all the books which talked about Spiritism.
Thanks to the vision, effort, devotion without limits of Mrs. Rivail, Spiritism grew immensely, not only in France, but also around the world.

Tiring were this admirable lady’s responsibilities, whose age required rest and tranquillity. However, Mrs. Rivail was helped. Mr. P. G. Leymarie, one of the most dedicated disciples of Kardec since 1858, medium, honest and hard worker man, took over in 1871 the management of the Anonymous Society of Spiritism and, afterwards he was left by himself with the responsibility of directing the Society because of the renunciation of some partners in administration. From this point on, Mr. Leymarie was Mrs. Rivail’s right arm, always respecting this lady’s instructions, allowing her to die in peace and certain of the continuous development of Spiritism.

Some spiritists didn’t like the name given to the Society thinking it was too commercial. So Mrs. Rivail, who never liked the name herself but accepted it because of certain conveniences, decided in a General Assembly on the 18th of October 1873 to change its name to “ Continuation of the Spiritist Books of Allan Kardec’s Society”. It was hugely accepted by everyone.
This extraordinary woman still did many other things in favour of Spiritism and in favour of all people who asked her for a advice or consolation, until she died on the 21st of January 1883 at five o’clock in the morning. Mrs. Rivail showed rare consciousness of spirit and the same kind smile she always had after waking up on the other side.
The dear elderly was 87 years old at the time, and people who knew her say that she didn’t need glasses to read and wrote at the same time firmly and correctly.
Applying to her the expressions of a famous writer, we can say without a doubt that   “ her whole existence was a poem full of courage, perseverance, charity and wisdom.”
The grief that hit the Spiritist family everywhere in the world was understandable. According to her own wishes, Mrs. Rivail funeral was simple, leaving her house on the Ségur Village, number 39 straight to Père-Lachaise, twelve kilometres away.
A big crowd, from simple people to famous ones, attended on the 23rd of January to her funeral where the elderly lady rests were put beside Kardec’s and where she visited every year on the 31st of March.
To the bust of Allan Kardec was written, on the left side, on capital letters, the message: AMÈLIE GABRIELLE BOUDET – VEUVE ALLAN KARDEC – 21 NOVEMBRE 1795 – 21 JANVIER 1883
During the funeral, Mr. P.G. Leymarie gave a speech in the name of all spiritists and in the name of the “Continuation of the Spiritists Books of Allan Kardec’s Society”. Also gave speech Charles Fauvety, writer and president of the “Scientific Studies of Psychology Society”, and other institutions leaders and friends like Gabriel Delanne, Cot, Carrier, J. Camille Chaigneau, writer, Lecoq, Georges Cochet, Louis Vignon, who dedicated many verses to the dear elderly lady, Mrs. Sofia Rosen-Dufaure; all of them making clear the merits of the dignified wife of Kardec. Finally, after a prayer said by Mr. Warroquier, the crowd left in silence.
The most touching speech was given by Mr. Lecoq. He read, to everybody’s joy, a beautiful psychograph of Anthony of Padua, received on 22nd of January, in which this Superior Spirit described the reception they gave, together with Allan Kardec, to Mrs. Rivail on the other side.
By improvisation, Mr. P.G. Leymarie remembered quickly something of Mrs. Rivail’s life, her noble soul, affirming that the publication of the Spirit’s Book and the Spiritist Magazines, happened because of the firmness of will, insistence and perseverance of Mrs. Rivail.

Mrs. Rivail didn’t have children therefore she didn’t have direct benefactors. She left everything by will to the “Continuation of the Spiritists Books of Allan Kardec’s Society”. Some of her relatives tried to cancel her will claiming dementia from her part. They didn’t get anything because the proof of the opposite was huge.

On the 26th of January 1883, the respected Parisian medium Mr. E. Cordurié, psycho graphed spontaneously a message signed by Mrs. Rivail and on the same day another one signed by her husband. Simple in the form, pretty in the concepts, the messages had immortality in them and showed that life continues...


Londres (Reino Unido)




O Consolador
 Revista Semanal de Divulgação Espírita