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Catherine of Aragon

By Luz Santodomingo & Samuel Yelton Catherine of Aragon (Spain, 1485-England, 1536) Born December 16, 1485, she was the daughter of Isabella, Queen of Castile, and Ferdinand II of Aragon.[1]  Catherine was the youngest of four daughters. Her sisters were Isabella, Queen of Portugal; Juana, Queen of Castile; and Maria, Queen of Portugal.[2] Compared to the traditional education…

Catherine (Kitty) Clive

By Lindsay Smith Catherine “Kitty” Clive (1711- 85) Born Catherine Raftor in London in 1711.[1] Her father, William Raftor, likely came from a wealthy Irish family that lost its fortune due to its support of King James II before the Glorious Revolution of 1688.[2] Although her father received a commission for serving in the French army…

Emilie Du Châtelet

  by Elizabeth Pearce Emilie Du Châtelet (1706-49) The Marquise Du Châtelet was born Gabrielle-Emilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil in Paris on December 17, 1706.[1] Her father, Louis Nicolas le Tonnelier de Breteuil served King Louis XIV as one of the noblesse de robe, men ennobled because of service to the king, while her mother,…

Annie Jump Cannon

By Lindsay Smith Annie Jump Cannon (1863-1941) Cannon was born in Dover, Delaware on December 11, 1863, to Wilson Cannon, a shipbuilder, and his wife, Mary . Not much is known about Cannon’s early education, but it was her mother who introduced her to her first star constellations and encouraged her curiosity in astronomy. Together, they…

Bianca Capello

By Lindsay Smith, Troy O’Neill, and Piera Carroli Bianca Capello (c. 1548-87) was born to Pellegrina Morosini and Bartolomeo Capello, who were members of the wealthy Capelli nobility in Venice, Italy.[1] Not much is known about her childhood, but by the time she reached adolescence, she was known for her great beauty, with reddish blond…

Elena Lucrezia Cornaro

Elena Cornaro Piscopia

  by Koren Whipp Elena Lucrezia Cornaro also Cornaro-Piscopia (1646-84), philosopher and the first known woman to earn a Doctor of Philosophy.  She was born in the Republic of Venice, the fifth daughter of Giovanni Battista Cornaro-Piscopia, Procurator of St. Mark’s, the second highest office only to the Doge, and Zanetta Giovanna Boni. Cornaro began…

Cleobulina

by Koren Whipp Cleobulina (fl. c. 6th C BCE) Plutarch states that her father, Cleobulus, the prince of Lindus, called her “Eumetis” which translates to ‘Clever’.[1] Despite her fame as a Greek poet, there is little reliable biography of her; stories about her socializing with famous sages are later inventions, and contradictions in the essential…

Sarra Copia Sullam

By Ruth Palmer Sarra Copia Sullam was born to a prominent Italian Jewish family in Venice around 1592. Her parents were Simon and Ricca Copia, and her sisters were Rachel (Diana) and Esther (Ster). Sarra was educated in the basics of Jewish and Italian culture, and was most likely learned in several languages, including Hebrew, Latin,…

Maria Rosa Coccia

by Marie Caruso Italian composer and teacher, Maria Rosa Coccia (1759-1833) was the first woman to achieve the qualification of Maestra di Capella (Chapel Master) of Rome.  What historians have most often remembered about her were not her accomplishments, but the controversy that developed over the publication of her extemporaneous entrance exam for the Accademia di S Cecilia. …

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