From battered wife to major writer: Madame de Graffigny and her tell-all Correspondance

Portrait de Mme de Graffigny par Pierre-Augustin Clavareau, Lunéville, Musée du château, inv.2011.2.1, cliché T. Franz: Conseil général de Meurthe-et-Moselle

From battered wife to major writer: Madame de Graffigny and her tell-all Correspondance

Posted on 6 March 2015 by voltairefoundation


For International Women’s Day on 8 March we want to celebrate Madame de Graffigny, an exceptional eighteenth-century woman who overcame many obstacles to become the most famous woman writer of her day. Over the last few decades the life story and literary brilliance of Françoise d’Happoncourt de Graffigny (1695-1758) have awakened new interest, owing to the growing appreciation of literature

Françoise de Graffigny, gouvernante et observatrice de l’éducation des femmes

Republished from the Voltaire Foundation blog with the permission of Pippa  Faucheux. WHN Admin.

Mme de Graffigny

Françoise de Graffigny by Pierre-Augustin Clavareau. Lunéville, musée du château des Lumières. Photo: T. Franz, Conseil départemental 54.

Pour marquer la Journée internationale des femmes nous nous tournons vers Françoise de Graffigny (1695-1758), femme de lettres dont le talent était reconnu dans toute l’Europe. Sa Correspondance montre son indépendance, son dévouement à sa pratique de romancière et de dramaturge, son esprit critique, son langage franc et réaliste.

Fille d’un militaire attaché à la cour de Lorraine, et admise au

Women doctors in WW1: fighting to do their bit


Graduation of Isabella

Katrina Kirkwood’s ‘Women doctors in WW1: fighting to do their bit’, could be read in conjunction with the information provided by Zvezdana Popovic and recently publicised in the WHN blog (Deeds Not Words).

A ‘Taster ‘ from Kirkwood’s book, The Mystery of Isabella and the String of beads : A Woman Doctor in WW1 will be posted in April. A review of the book will be posted in May. In the meantime, Kirkwood’s ‘Women doctors in WW1: fighting to do their bit’ and information about her and the book, appears below.  WHN Admin.


Laura Bullion, 1876 – 1961 and Pearl Hart, c1871- unknown

Sophie Munro

Laura Bullion, 1876 – 1961


Laura Bullion’s mug shot, taken in 1893 by the Pinkerton National Detective Agency.
Photo supplied by Sophie Munro

Laura was born in Texas in 1876 to a Native American father Henry Bullion and German mother Fredy Byler. Her father was an outlaw and acquainted with William Carver and Ben Kilpatrick of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch, whom Laura met when she was 13 years old.

At 15 years old she became romantically involved with Carver and began working as a prostitute at Madame Fannie Porter’s brothel in San Antonio. Laura was nicknamed “Della …

Josephine Baker, 1906 – 1975


Portrait of American singer, dancer, and actress Josephine Baker (1906 – 1925) in a military uniform, 1944. (Photo by John D. Kisch/Separate Cinema Archive/Getty Images)


Sophie Munro

Josephine was born as Freda in St. Louis, Missouri. Although publicly her father was believed to be a vaudeville performer Eddie Carson, his true identity was a secret that her mother Carrie McDonald took to her grave. Josephine grew up in a low income neighbourhood mainly comprised of brothels. Her street, Targee Street, had gained notoriety in 1899 when a prostitute discovered her pimp in the embrace of another woman and fatally shot