She fought with swords, kissed women and set fire to a monastery: who was Julie d'AubignyBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/she-fought-with-swords-kissed-women-and-set-fire-to-a-monastery-who-was-julie-daubigny
France, XVII century, the court of Louis XIV. Imagine a handsome man with a sword: he fights duels, kisses beautiful women, sings like a nightingale... No, this is not a chapter from The Three Musketeers. And the handsome man is actually a beauty. Opera diva Julie D'Aubigny was scandalously known throughout France for her lifestyle and love victories.
Julie was born in 1673 in the family of the secretary of Count d'Armagnac, Gaston d'Aubigny. Her father trained court pages, and Julie spent her childhood dancing, reading, drawing and fencing along with the pages. D'Aubigny fenced brilliantly, everyone recognized that. A little later, at the age of 15, she became the count's mistress, but she was married to another man - to Mr. Maupin from Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
Freedom-loving Julie did not want to remain under the care of her husband and ran away with her lover Seran from Paris to Marseille. Seran was an unsurpassed swordsman, but after killing a man in a duel, he was forced to go on the run.
In Marseille, the couple earned their living by fencing for the public, who did not believe that one of the masters of the sword was a woman. They took turns calling everyone who wanted to taste their swords. One of the humiliated opponents said that he did not believe that a woman had defeated him and that all this was a farce and a lie.
Then Julie, not a bit embarrassed, tore off her shirt to show off her breasts. And they both had great voices, so sometimes they staged opera performances right on the street.
When Julie and Seran broke up, she did not grieve for her lover for a long time. Instead, she found a new passion for herself —the daughter of a Marseille merchant. After learning about the scandalous affair, the girl's parents locked her in a monastery to interrupt their relationship, but Julie was not stopped by this.
"Duel". The work of the artist Fortunino Matanya.
She also took the veil as a nun, pretending to be humble and quiet, and then, when one of the nuns died, she stole her body, put it in her lover's bed and set fire to the cell. Although the friends managed to escape, in the end, they broke up. Probably, the girl was not ready for such an adventurous life as Julie offered her.
For the arson of the monastery, Julie was sentenced to death by burning, but they wrote about her as a man - probably no one could believe that it could be a woman.
Julie later sang in the opera: both in Marseille and in Paris. Once she shocked Parisians by appearing at the royal ball of Louis XIV, dressed in men's clothes. Not disguised as a man, which is important, but in the clothes that she found comfortable. It shocked everyone! (Which is surprising, considering that the Sun King's own brother appeared at balls in a woman's dress).
But Julie not only appeared at the ball in a man's dress, but also danced with a girl (who already had suitors at that time). And then, in order not to waste time, she began to kiss her. Of course, she was challenged to a duel. She defeated all three of them, but since dueling was illegal, Julie was forced to flee again — this time not only from the city, but also from the country. Most of all, she regretted that she had to leave her opera career.
Some of d'Aubigny's opponents became her lovers. One day she came to visit a wounded opponent who did not believe until the very end that a woman had beaten him. They became lovers, and then just close friends. D'Albert even helped Julie by asking Louis to pardon her for setting fire to the monastery.
Julie did not stay long in Spain, where she tried herself in a new role as a contessa's maid. But the contessa so bored her with her quibbles that one day Julie decorated her hairstyle with fresh radishes. The whole court laughed at the contessa, and Julie returned to Paris again — she was pardoned because the law on duels concerned men, not women. In Paris, Julie returned to the opera under her stage name La Maupin.
In 1703, when Julie was thirty years old, she fell in love with the most beautiful woman in France, the Marquise de Florencac. The king's son was so obsessed with the Marquise that she herself had to flee to Brussels, just to avoid his courtship. Although Florensac was known for her free behavior, La Maupin became her first mistress. The two women lived together for two years until the Marquise fell ill and died.
La Maupin was so devastated that she left the stage and went to the monster, this time for real. She died very young, at 33, but for she became a true legend in her short life.