Sunday, March 11, 2012
Finding Emilie by Laurel Corona
Woman is born free, and everywhere she is in corsets . . . .
Lili du Chatelet yearns to know more about her mother, the brilliant French mathematician Emilie. But the shrouded details of Emilie's unconventional life - and her sudden death - are elusive. Caught between the confines of a convent upbringing and the intrigues of the Versailles court, Lili blossoms under the care of a Parisian salonniere as she absorbs the excitement of the Enlightenment, even as the scandalous shadows of her mother's past haunts her and puts her on her own path of self-discovery. Laurel Corona's breathtaking new novel, set on the eve of the French Revolution, vividly illuminates the tensions of the times, and the dangerous dance between the need to conform and the desire to chart one's own destiny and journey of the heart. (back cover)
On September 3, 1749, shortly before her forty-third birthday, Gabrielle-Emilie le Tonnelier de Breteuil, the Marquise du Chatelet, gave birth to a baby girl, Stanislas-Adelaide. Six days later, already back at her translation of and commentary on Newton's Principia Mathematica, Emilie du Chatelet complained of a headache, and within hours this charismatic and brilliant woman of letters was dead. This is a work of fiction about the daughter she left behind. (author's note)