In 1731 he returned to Mme de Warens at Chambéry and later briefly became her lover and then her household manager.
Rousseau remained with Mme de Warens through the rest of the 1730s, moving to Lyon in 1740 to take up a position as a tutor.
Mme de Warens arranged for Rousseau to travel to Turin, where he converted to Roman Catholicism in April 1728.
Rousseau spent some time working as a domestic servant in a noble household in Turin, and during this time a shameful episode occurred in which he falsely accused a fellow servant of the theft of a ribbon.
In 1745 Rousseau met Thérèse Levasseur, a barely literate laundry-maid who became his lover and, later, his wife.
According to Rousseau’s own account, Thérèse bore him five children, all of whom were deposited at the foundling hospital shortly after birth, an almost certain sentence of death in eighteenth-century France.
The Academy sought submissions on the theme of whether the development of the arts and sciences had improved or corrupted public morals.
Rousseau later claimed that he then and there experienced an epiphany which included the thought, central to his world view, that humankind is good by nature but is corrupted by society.
However, though Rousseau believes the co-existence of human beings in relations of equality and freedom is possible, he is consistently and overwhelmingly pessimistic that humanity will escape from a dystopia of alienation, oppression, and unfreedom.
In addition to his contributions to philosophy, Rousseau was active as a composer and a music theorist, as the pioneer of modern autobiography, as a novelist, and as a botanist.