Émilie du Châtelet

(1706 - 1749)

Born Gabrielle-Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil in 1706 to an aristocratic Parisian family, Émilie du Châtelet learned six languages and studied math and science as a young woman. After receiving almost no credit for having cowritten an introduction to Isaac Newton’s philosophy with Voltaire, her long-term romantic partner, she undertook in 1745 a comprehensive translation of Newton’s Principia Mathematica, working eighteen-hour days during a pregnancy that would lead to her death at the age of forty-two.

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