History

Julie d'Aubigny Was A Bisexual 17th-Century Operatic Swordfighter

Excited for the August 21 eclipse? Visit our Eclipse 2017 page to explore the science, history, and myths of the event. The Curiosity team will be viewing the eclipse alongside NASA in Carbondale, Illinois. Follow us on Facebook for live videos, trivia, and interviews on the big day.

Julie d'Aubigny, aka La Maupin, is probably someone you've never heard of. She was a bisexual 17th-century opera singer and sword fighter. Quite the resume, huh?

She was an expert duelist and opera singer who garnered as much fame from her scandalous affairs as she did from her performances. She went on the run from the law with an assistant fencing master, posed as postulant to break a female lover out of a convent (using the dead body of a nun as a prop in the scheme), and once dueled three men in a row who challenged her after she kissed a woman at a ball. (She defeated, and perhaps killed, all three of them.) Phew! D-Aubigny would beat any man who threatened her or her fellow opera stars, and apparently had extraordinary powers of memory, as she could memorize an opera script in rapid order. Watch the video below for more of her outlandish but true tale.

Julie d'Aubigny: Operatic Swordswoman

Share the knowledge!

Key Facts In This Video

  1. While on the run with a fencing master named Sérannes, Julie d'Aubigny performed dueling and singing shows to make money. 01:05

  2. When her lover was sent to a convent, Julie d’Aubigny infiltrated the convent as a postulant to liberate her. 01:26

  3. In 1695, Julie d’Aubigny kissed a woman at a ball, prompting three men to challenge her to a duel. 02:42

If you liked this you'll love our podcast! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, search 'curiosity' on your favorite podcast app or add the RSS Feed URL.

Advertisement