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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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(p.260) Epilogue
Minerva's French Sisters

Nina Rattner Gelbart

Yale University Press

This concluding chapter highlights the significance of the work and efforts of six intrepid women to successfully cultivate the sciences. It recalls the challenges they encountered and how they successfully raced the clock, aware of the ravages of time that threatened to upend their work. The chapter also recounts how their male contemporaries honored them enthusiastically and defended them vociferously during their lifetimes. Given the vibrancy of these women's lives, the chapter reviews how they could have disappeared from the historical record and why it is, therefore, necessary to write them back into it. The chapter spotlights their work, effort, brilliance, and courage in the male monopoly on science before the Revolution sent women back into their homes, disenfranchised and out of sight.

Keywords:   women, sciences, female scientists, Elisabeth Ferrand, Nicole Reine Lepaute, Jeanne Barret, Madeleine Françoise Basseporte, Marie-Marguerite Biheron, Geneviève d'Arconville

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