Women Who Defied Tradition And Made History

Women Who Defied Tradition And Made History

Julie d'Aubigny, AKA La Maupin, 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.) She 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.

Julie d'Aubigny: Operatic Swordswoman


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. (1:05)

  • 2

    When her lover was sent to a convent, Julie d’Aubigny infiltrated the convent as a postulant to liberate her. (1:26)

  • 3

    In 1695, Julie d’Aubigny kissed a woman at a ball, prompting three men to challenge her to a duel. (2:42)

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