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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’

(p.324) 12 French Women Latinists in the ‘Grand Siècle’
Women Latin Poets

Jane Stevenson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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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