[Garbo as Queen Christina,
									  looking as I imagine La Maupin.]
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Mademoiselle Maupin Home Page

Mlle. Maupin

Several times in the year or so before I created this page, I read assertions that women in the past could not obtain training in arms or would never have dressed as men and such like. One of the many fascinating women who give the lie to such claims is the seventeenth century opera star, Mademoiselle Maupin. I've spent a fair amount of time trying to chase down her story, and so I figured I'd put what I've learned about her on the Web.

La Maupin

I first learned of Mlle. Maupin from Jessica Amanda Salmonson's introduction to her 1982 anthology Amazons II. Since encountering her there, I've sought to learn more of her. Shortly after I created my first La Maupin web page, François Velde's reference to her in his page on 17th and 18th century French opera led me to a few more details. François was kind enough to translate the entry on Mlle Maupin from Fétis's "Biographie Universelle des Musiciens". Since then many people have seen these pages and written to me providing electronic transcriptions, xerographic copies and citations of many other sources.

Theophile Gautier's Mademoiselle De Maupin

Mlle. Maupin was the inspiration for Theophile Gautier's 1834 novel Mademoiselle De Maupin. Gautier was one of the fathers of the 19th century's Romantic movement, and his essay on "art for art's sake" in the preface of Mademoiselle De Maupin is one of the foundations of the aesthete school of Romanticism. I read the novel recently and while searching with some friends for information on the historical La Maupin, I ended up recounting the Gautier novel to them so as to be able to contrast what I knew about the two. I've put a somewhat modified version of that summary into a page of its own. I make no claims as to the literary merits of my summary and review,but it should give you an idea of what the novel is about, at least from my biased view.

Aubery Beardsley did six illustrations for Mademoiselle De Maupin, one of which is viewable on the Web.

Directory of Mlle. Maupin Pages

My Pages
Mademoiselle Maupin This page.
La Maupin My own recounting of the life and times of Mlle. Maupin.
Sources Transcripts of the first sources I had on Mlle. Maupin.
More Sources Thanks to J Nelson Smith and my wife Selma, I now have more sources than easily fit on a single page.
Dictionnaire & Anecdotes
My (ongoing) translation of two of the earliest sources on La Maupin, based on scans of the original documents at CESAR, the Calendrier Electronique des Spectacles sous l'Ancien Régime
Women In Men's Guise
Thanks to Paul Kirchner, I now have a transcript of the section of Oscar Paul Gilbert's Women In Men's Guise that deals with La Maupin.
Julie, Chevalier de Maupin
Thanks to "LaMaupin13", I have translations of parts of Anne France Dautheville's Julie, Chevalier de Maupin.
La Maupin Time-Line This page is mostly a checklist for me as I work on my account of La Maupin's life. It consists of a huge table listing the major events and episodes of her life, brief details and pointers as to which sources refered to them.
Mlle. de Maupin
Summary and brief review of Theophile Gautier's fictional Mlle. de Maupin.
Elsewhere On The Web
French opera François Velde's page on 17th and 18th century French opera. Mlle. Maupin is mentioned in connection with André Campra's Tancrède.
Women as Swashbucklers This is an article on roleplaying women swashbucklers from the Roleplayer magazine #13, February 1989 by Lisa Evans. The page contains a bit of Maupin fiction and a list of a number of women swashbucklers including La Maupin.
Trouser Roles [Subscription?] Stagebill Magazine has a feature article on the history of women dressing as and portraying men in the opera in which they point out that some women in the opera world have been known to cross-dress off-stage as well as on. The example that they cite is, off course, La Maupin. They only have a sentence or two.
Aubery Beardsley Several Aubery Beardsley images, including an illustration, "The Lady with the Monkey", from Gautier's novel.

Related Topics

The picture I used in the upper left corner of this page (as seen with most graphical browsers) is of Greta Garbo in her role as Queen Christina from the movie of that title. I used it because it has something of the flavour of Mlle. Maupin and I had no suitable pictures of La Maupin herself. In looking for such a picture I collected a couple more like it, images of women dressed as cavaliers from TV and the movies. I've collected those pictures in a page of its own.

I recently receive e-mail from the woman who got me started on all of this and from the leader of a group of modern-day La Maupins. I have included links to both their pages here as well.

Directory of Related Topics on the Web

My Pages
Swashbuckling Women of Movies & TV A page dedicated to the image of the woman as Cavalier in film, television, and on the stage. Who knows, some day maybe there will be a La Maupin film.
Elsewhere On The Web
Babes With Blades Perhaps I should have called this one, "Swashbuckling Women of Real Life". Babes With Blades is an all-women stage combat performance troupe, which is about as close as you can come today to La Maupin's life as a professional duelist. Although they don't seem to seduce emperors or burn down convents, Sam Alden and her troupe of about a dozen and a half actresses, stuntwomen, martial artists, choreographers, teachers and artists seem to be following in La Maupin's footsteps.
The Lady Cavaliers It seems that female stage combat troupes are the coming thing. As of the fall of 2000, New York city has its own troup, The Lady Cavaliers. Their first production "Gloria", something of a martial fairy tale in verse, got great notices and this summer (June-August 2001) they are performing a pirate piece entitled "Bold in 'er Breeches". As seen on my page and theirs, the group is filled with Maupin-like ladies.
Amazon Heroic Fantasy This page contains an excellent essay on women in heroic fantasy by Jessica Amanda Salmonson, the woman who introduced many of us to La Maupin in the introduction to her Amazon's II anthology. La Salmonson is also proprietrice of Violet Books, a store specializing in "Antiquarian Supernatural Literature".