In the Victorian Era-where women were not permitted to be “independent,” Ninon De Lenclos took that social norm and kicked its’ ass! Not only was she beautiful, she was considered an “equal” to men in her intelligence and wit. Thanks to a string of very wealthy lovers, Ninon lived her life as she pleased, was loved in French court and became an author. She also held on to her wealth…something a lot of women were not taught how to do back then. I mean, that would involve becoming independent so you can take care of yourself, right? (sassy wink) Want more? Some more inspiring tidbits:
- Ninon was born in poverty and to keep her independence, joined a convent.
- Her father, in a time where women were not taught how to write, made sure Ninon learned her letters.
- Noticing how women were taught to buy “frivolous things,” Ninon took note instead of what men bought. And chose those things.
- She divided her admirers into 3 groups: “Payers”-Conversation seekers, not necessarily sex. “Martyrs” those who struck out. “Favorites” flocked to her home to hear her play her lute.
- King Louis XIV never changed mistresses without asking Ninon first.
- Men wanted her so much: but they didn’t meet her high standards. So she opened “The School of Gallantry” to teach them how to romance women. LOVE it!
- Ninon’s lovers paid her bills, but she refused to be “bought.” She did exactly what she wanted. Whenever, whoever, whatever.
Mmmmm…so ladies. When are you opening up your “School of Gallantry?” For extra inspiration here is the book Ninon wrote about her experiences: Life, Letters and Epicurean Philosophy of Ninon De L’Enclos: The Celebrated Beauty of the Seventeenth Century
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