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Women Latin PoetsLanguage, Gender, and Authority from Antiquity to the Eighteenth Century$
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Jane Stevenson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198185024

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198185024.001.0001

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French Women Latinists in the ‘Grand Siècle’

French Women Latinists in the ‘Grand Siècle’

Chapter:
(p.324) 12 French Women Latinists in the ‘Grand Siècle’
Source:
Women Latin Poets
Author(s):

Jane Stevenson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198185024.003.0014

This chapter focuses on the cultural dominance of French in 17th-century France. Latin was little used, though some churchmen still wrote in it. However, women played a highly visible role as cultural arbiters, and a number of bluestocking writers and salonnières, such as Madeleine de Scudéry and Mme de Sevigné, continued to learn Latin, though few wrote in it. There were also a few learned, aristocratic nuns. The arguments raised in favor of Latin learning for girls focused mostly on their potential future as educating mothers. However, Anne Dacier became famous as a translator from Greek, and it is also worth observing that the journal Mercure Galant, aimed at a mixed audience, encouraged women to study.

Keywords:   French, Madeleine de Scudéry, Mme de Sevigné, salons, précieuses, learned nuns, educating mothers, Anne Dacier, translation, Mercure Galant

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