La Carte de Tendre (Map of Tendre) was a French map of an imaginary land called Tendre produced by several hands and conceived as a social game. The map represents the path towards love according to the précieuses of the mid-XVIIth century.

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 ».

Passion by contrast was left on the fringes, where ‘lies La Mer Dangereuse, rocky but otherwise uncharted, and beyond that again are Terres Inconnues.

Created by : Madelaine de Scudery, Catherine de Rambouillet and others

Find out more