Madame de La Fayette
(c. 1634 - 1693)
Born in Paris around 1634, Marie-Madeleine Pioche de la Vergne married François Motier, comte de La Fayette, in 1655. Four years later she separated from him, moving to Paris and publishing her first novel, The Princess of Montpensier. She spent the following two decades writing and developing a distinguished literary circle. Her 1678 book The Princess of Clèves, regarded as one of the first historical and psychological novels, proved controversial for its depiction of a married woman confessing adulterous feelings to her husband.