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Madame Lavoisier
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Celebrity's Relative
    (January 20, 1758-February 10, 1836)
    Born in Montbrison, Loire, France
    Birth name was Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze
    Wife of French Chemist, Antoine Lavoisier
    Insisted on retaining her first husband's last name, even after his death, as a sign of devotion
    Acted as Lavoisier's laboratory assistant and contributed to promoting his work after his death
    Best known for her translation and criticism of Richard Kirwan's 'Essay on Phlogiston and the Constitution of Acids' (1787)
    Organized the publication of husband’s final memoirs, 'Mémoires de Chimie'
    She lived in her husband's shadow.
    She was educated in a convent.
    She married a 28-year old at the age of 13.
    Her marriage to Lavoisier was arranged by her father to avoid her marriage to a Count he despised (who was incidentally 40 years her senior).
    Controversy ensued over a Jacques-Louis David painting of her and her husband prominently displayed at the Metropolitan Art Museum, simply listed as 'Portrait of M. Lavoisier' even as she is clearly seen in the foreground.
    Her husband was beheaded during the French Revolution, but she escaped with just 65 days in jail.
    She feuded bitterly with her second husband.
    Her second marriage was so dysfunctional that she apparently poured boiling water on her husband's flowers.
    She has been called 'the mother of modern chemistry.'
    She was instrumental in proving that rust and respiration are forms of combustion.
    She was the social face of her husband's research efforts and was arguably more popular than her husband among the elite.
    She taught herself English to translate contemporary scientific work for her husband, who relied on her to know the latest scientific advancements.
    She was known to critique the papers she translated, frequently pointing out errors in the studies (she also regularly edited her husband's reports).
    She studied drawing with Jacques-Louis David to make accurate sketches of her husband's experimental setups so they could be replicated by other scientists.
    She lost both her husband and father to the guillotine in the same year.
    Her property and financial assets were seized by the Revolutionaries, who also confiscated her husband's notes and papers.
    She was able to recover nearly all of her husband’s chemical equipment and notes/papers, which she would publish as his memoirs.
    She lived to the ripe age of 78, when life expectancy for women was in the 40s.
    She and her husband are featured in the 2005 PBS Documentary, 'Einstein's Big Idea,' as those who laid the groundwork for his Theory of Relativity (along with Faraday, du Chatelet, and Meitner).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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