Ep. 15 Julie D'Aubigny a.k.a 100% That Bitch
a.k.a My bisexual, androgynes role model
Julie d'Aubigny (1670/1673–1707), better known as Mademoiselle Maupin or La Maupin, was a 17th-century swordswoman and opera singer. Her tumultuous career and flamboyant life were the subject of gossip and colourful stories in her own time, and inspired numerous portrayals afterwards.
Julie d'Aubigny was born in 1673 to Gaston d'Aubigny, a secretary to Louis de Lorraine-Guise, comte d'Armagnac, the Master of the Horse for King Louis XIV.
Her father trained the court pages, and so his daughter learned dancing, reading, drawing, and fencing alongside the pages, and dressed as a boy from an early age.
In 1687, the Count d'Armagnac )the douche bag master of the house) began to rape her when she was barely fourteen years old. He then had her married to Sieur de Maupin of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, and she became Madame de Maupin (or simply "La Maupin" per French custom).
Soon after the wedding, her husband received an administrative position in the south of France, but the Count kept her in Paris for his own purposes.
Also around 1687, La Maupin became involved with an assistant fencing master named Sérannes. When Lieutenant-General of Police Gabriel Nicolas de la Reynie tried to apprehend Sérannes for killing a man in an illegal duel, the pair fled the city to Marseille.
On the road south, La Maupin and Sérannes made a living by giving fencing exhibitions and singing in taverns and at local fairs. While travelling and performing in these impromptu shows, La Maupin dressed in male clothing but did not conceal her sex. On arrival in Marseille, she joined the opera company run by Pierre Gaultier, singing under her maiden name.
Eventually, she grew bored of Sérannes and became involved with a young woman.
When the girl's parents put her away in the Visitandines convent in Avignon, La Maupin followed, entering the convent as a postulant. In order to run away with her new love, she stole the body of a dead nun, placed it in the bed of her lover, and set the room on fire to cover their escape.
Their affair lasted for three months before the young woman returned to her family. La Maupin was charged in absentia—as a male—with kidnapping, body snatching, arson, and failing to appear before the tribunal. The sentence was death by fire.
La Maupin left for Paris and again earned her living by singing. Near Poitiers, she met an old actor named Maréchal who began to teach her until his alcoholism got worse and he sent her on her way to Paris.
In Villeperdue, still wearing men's clothing, she was insulted by a young nobleman. They fought a duel and she drove her blade through his shoulder. The next day, she asked about his health and found out he was Louis-Joseph d'Albert Luynes, son of the Duke of Luynes. Later, one of his companions came to offer d'Albert's apologies. She went to his room and subsequently they became lovers and, later, lifelong friends.
After Count d'Albert recovered and had to return to his military unit, La Maupin continued to Rouen. There she met Gabriel-Vincent Thévenard, another singer, and began a new affair with him. They continued together towards Paris in the hope of joining the Paris Opéra. In the Marais, she contacted Count d'Armagnac for help against the sentence hanging over her. He persuaded the king to grant her a pardon and allow her to sing with the Opéra.
In 1690 the Paris Opera House hired her, reluctantly, quickly showing her great singing and performing skills.
In Paris, and later in Brussels, she performed under the name Mademoiselle de
Maupin because singers were addressed as "mademoiselle" whether or not they were married.
Due to Mademoiselle de Maupin's beautiful voice, her acting skill, and her androgynous attire, she became quite popular with the audience, although her relationship with her fellow actors and actresses was sometimes tempestuous. She famously beat the singer Louis Gaulard Dumesny after he pestered the women members of the troupe, and a legendary duel of wits with Thévenard was the talk of Paris. She also fell in love with another singer who was the mistress of the Grand Dauphin, and tried to commit suicide when she was rejected.
Her Paris career was interrupted around 1695, when she kissed a young woman at a society ball and was challenged to duels by three different noblemen. She beat them all, but fell afoul of the king's law that forbade duels in Paris. She fled to Brussels to wait for calmer times.
These final years of her career were spent in a relationship with Marie Louise Thérèse de Senneterre, la Marquise de Florensac, upon whose death La Maupin was inconsolable. She retired from the opera in 1705 and took refuge in a convent, probably in Provence, where she is believed to have died in 1707 at the age of 33. She has no known grave.