Ed's Reviews > La Dame d'Esprit: A Biography of the Marquise Du Châtelet

La Dame d'Esprit by Judith P. Zinsser
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's review
Feb 08, 2010

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Read in February, 2010

I couldn't finish this well written, carefully researched biography. Zinsser uses a lot of background descriptonsl as well as a lot of stories about Voltaire et al to flesh out the limited material about Chatelet. Starting with three introductions she presents an interesting discussion of the choices we have in representing a life. Her effort to discover what facilitated this apparently frivolous aristocrat to become a scholar of note, while unconvincing, got me thinking about how subtle the forces that turn a life on one direction or another can be. I got impatient, however, looking for a thorough discussion of her ideas and her intellectual accomplishments.

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