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Minerva's French SistersWomen of Science in Enlightenment France$
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Nina Rattner Gelbart

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780300252569

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300252569.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 27 November 2021

Dear Marie-Marguerite,

Dear Marie-Marguerite,

(p.208) Dear Marie-Marguerite,
Minerva's French Sisters

Nina Rattner Gelbart

Yale University Press

I visit your ghost in several places as I stroll around the 5th arrondissement. You had two addresses on the rue de l’Estrapade behind and south of what is now the Pantheon, the first on the corner of the rue des Poules, today rue Laromiguière—although there’s some ambiguity because the building adjoins the one next to it on the corner of the parallel rue Tournefort. Of course there is a plaque about Diderot having lived there, but no mention of you. The courtyards of those back-to-back buildings, where you did your experimental work in a glass enclosure, are filled now with trees and garbage can depots but back then that space was all yours. It was the scene of your hundreds of dissections, a research lab. Your neighbors evidently tolerated these unusual efforts, the constant traffic of bodies in and out, and the crowds lining up to see your exhibit. You must have had exceptional people skills to placate everyone around you, but they probably recognized the deep reverence with which you approached your work....

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