Saturday, August 30, 2008
In My Past Life I was...
...a woman with a brilliant mind. I lived in a time of pomp and circumstance and married only because it was my duty to do so. I bore three children so no shame would be brought to my family, yet lived a separate life from that of my understanding husband. I yearned for more. I was indeed well-bred, well-read and ahead of my time. I understood the great sciences and mathmathics and I spoke five classic languages fluently. My thirst for knowledge was insatiable. As any self respecting woman and lady of the court I learn to fence, ride, act, play the harpsicord and sing opera. Since my marriage was arranged, my husband and I agreed to keep our liasions behind closed doors. I had a few affairs becoming quite bored with life easily.
I was born on December 17, 1706 and my name was Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil. I became the Marquise du Châtelet (Voltaire later change the spelling of my last name) when I married the Marquis Florent-Claude du Chastellet. Today you know me as a French mathematician, physicist, and author, but in my time, a woman did no such thing as to think for herself especially not worldly important thoughts normally voiced by men. Unfortunately, I could debate the best of them under the table in subjects such as Philosophy or Literature and this made me all the more desirable to some. My affairs also afforded me friendships with people that thought like me and encouraged me to increase my knowledge in Geometry and Physics. I was very interested in Issac Newton and sought anyone recommended as a good tutor of such important matters. Many would deny my genius and some would love me for it. One person in particular was Voltaire whom I met after he returned from his exiled state. It was a magical ride in which we lived happily together studying Physics and Math, publishing papers and enjoying each other intellectual company. I was his muse and my ideas inspired his writings.
This was the age of Enlightenment but my affair with a poet would prove to be the last. I died on September 10, 1749, three days after giving birth to my fourth child. Voltaire, is quoted as writing in a letter that I was "a great man whose only fault was being a woman". Later many would consider me ahead of Einstein and leading the way for his discoveries...it is good to know that I will continue to be the muse for many as with knowledge comes a great responsibility to impart good information.