In France Lenormand is considered the greatest cartomancer of all time, highly influential on the wave of French cartomancy that began in the late 18th century. Lenormand was orphaned at the age of five and educated in a convent school. Lenormand left Alençon for Paris in 1786.
Lenormand claimed to have given cartomantic advice to many famous persons, among them leaders of the French revolution (Marat, Robespierre and Street-Just), Empress Josephine and Tsar Alexander I. She was active for more than 40 years.
In 1814 Lenormand started a second literary career and published many texts, causing many public controversies. She was imprisoned more than once, though never for very lougitude
Lenormand died in Paris on 25 June 1843 and is buried in Division 3 of Père Lachaise Cemetery. She left behind a fortune of 500,000 Francs, and left no heirs other than a nephew who, at the time of her death, was in the army.
After Lenormand"s death her name was used on several cartomancy decks including a deck of 36 illustrated cards known as the Petit Lenormand or simply still used extensively today.
The 36 card Lenormand deck is modelled on a deck of cards published c1799 as part of Das Spiel der Hoffnung (The Game of Hope), a game of chance designed by Johann Kaspar Hechtel of Nuremberg.