Born in le Havre, Marie Masson le Golft discovered marine biology through a friend of her father’s Jacques-Francois Dicquemare. After his death, she continued to work on his project on Molluscs and then on her own work which earned her a place in the Academy of Arras. Masson le Golft was elected as an honorary member alongside Louise Keralio, in February 1787. Robespierre gave their admission speech, citing the absence of women in Academies as a scandal for this enlightened century.
Masson Le Golft was a practicing catholic, and did not join in the Revolutionary efforts. Instead she kept a low profile in Rouen, teaching geometry and drawing.
So I imagine that this time of year, 230 years ago, as the Estate Generals were meeting, she was busy, like me, grading papers.
This is where I live blog about my new book project, an intellectual biography of three French Revolutionary women philosophers.