Marie-Catherine de Villedieu entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Marie-Catherine de Villedieu was one of the very few women to earn her living by her pen in France as early as the seventeenth century. She was productive in many genres, held a significant place in the development of the novel (epistolary, historical, scandalous, and pseudo-autobiographical, as well as various non-novelistic forms of fiction), and was the first Frenchwoman to have a dramatic work produced by a professional theatre company. Her canon, however, is still disputed, with the authorship of several works in doubt. Bibliographic Citation link.
Probably 1640 Marie-Catherine Desjardins (who later called herself MCV) was born, perhaps in Paris, the middle one of three children in her family. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
1658 The sonnet "Jouissance" by Marie-Catherine Desjardins, said to be connected with her love for Antoine de Boësset, sieur de Villedieu, was written this year, according to Micheline Cuénin. Bibliographic Citation link.
April 1662 MCV's Manlius Torquatus, a tragedy in verse and prose, made her the first woman to have a play professionally produced in France (in Paris of course). Bibliographic Citation link.
1672 MCV began with four parts the anonymous publication of her pseudo-autobiographical fiction Mémoires de la vie de Henriette-Sylvie de Molière (which she completed with two more parts in 1674).  Bibliographic Citation link.
20 October 1683 MCV died at her family's manor of Clinchemore, Saint-Rémy-du-Val. Bibliographic Citation link.
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