Emilie Du Chatelet

Daring Genius of the Enlightenment

by Judith P. Zinsser

The captivating biography of the French aristocrat who balanced the demands of her society with passionate affairs of the heart and a brilliant life of the mind

Although today she is best known for her fifteen-year liaison with Voltaire, Gabrielle Emilie le Tonnelier de Breteuil, Marquise Du Châtelet (1706-1749) was more than a great man's mistress. After marrying a marquis at the age of eighteen, she proceeded to fulfill the prescribed-and delightfully frivolous-role of a French noblewoman of her time. But she also challenged it, conducting a highly visible affair with a commoner, writing philosophical works, and translating Newton's Principia while pregnant by a younger lover. With the sweep of Galileo's Daughter, Emilie Du Châtelet captures the charm, glamour, and brilliance of this magnetic woman.

  • Penguin Publishing Group; November 2007
  • ISBN: 9781101201848
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: Emilie Du Chatelet
  • Author: Judith P. Zinsser
  • Imprint: Penguin Books

In The Press

"Today's women will find much that is familiar in Du ChGtelet's multitasking lifestyle, which Zinsser . . . describes with understandable and infectious appreciation."
-The New York Times Book Review


About The Author

Judith P. Zinsser is co-author of the landmark two-volume history of European women, A History of Their Own, and teaches at Miami University in Ohio. A recognized expert on the Marquise Du Châtelet, she was featured in October on the PBS Nova special Einstein’s Big Idea.