Madame de Maintenon

By Elizabeth Pearce Madame de Maintenon (France 1635-1719) Born Françoise d’Aubigné on November 27, 1635 in a building adjacent to the prison of Niort, where her father, Constant d’Aubigné was serving a sentence for various crimes, including rape, murder, and creating and using counterfeit money.[1] Her mother was Jeanne de Cardillac, a “prudent and amiable…

Antonia Maury

by Lindsay Smith Antonia Caetana Maury (1866-1952) Maury was born on March 21, 1866, in Cold Springs, New York. Her father, Mytton Maury, was an Episcopal minister and amateur naturalist. Her mother, Virginia (Draper) Maury, was the sister of Henry Draper, the first person to photograph stellar spectra. Antonia Maury was also the granddaughter of…

Margaret More Roper

by Koren Whipp Margaret More Roper (1505-44), the eldest daughter of Thomas More, lord chancellor of England, and Joanna Colt, often called ‘Jane’ by modern writers, was born at home in late summer or early autumn of 1505 in Bucklersbury, London, five hundred yards north of the Thames.[1]  The More children, Margaret, Elizabeth More Dancy,…

Tarquinia Molza

by Penelope Whitworth Tarquinia Molza (1542-1617) Italian virtuosa singer who was a notable courtier, celebrated musician and acclaimed intellectual of her time.  In addition to performing, she was probably an instructor and advisor to the concerto delle donne of the court of Ferrara where she was a lady-in-waiting to the Duchess, Margherita Gonzaga-Este.[1] In 1589…

Lucrezia Marinella

by Lindsay Smith Lucrezia Marinella (c.1571-1653) also known as Lucrezia Marinelli Vacca, was born in Venice, Italy[1] to the physician and natural philosopher Giovanni Marinelli.  Nothing is known of Marinella’s mother; she may have died in childbirth. [2] Giovanni Marinelli wrote several books on natural philosophy, rhetoric, and medicine, including female medicine and beauty. His…


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