This biography of a fascinating woman is well written and Lucidly translated from the French. Though Mile. de Lespinasse lived in the 17th century, she was modern, one of the forerunners of great women of all nations including American Margaret Fuller. The life of Julie de Lespinasse embraces not only her own exciting if finally tragic one, but involves many international towering figures who so richly contributed to the world's history and culture; Rousseau, Voltaire, David Hume, Diderot, Walpole, Condorcet, etc. Her salon, called the ""laboratory of the Encyclopedia"", could as accurately have been named the laboratory of the Revolution. Her personal history not only touches upon the powerful currents that swept the 17th century on to its future, but shows a brilliant woman whose romantic and feminine heart finally outwitted her mind--- ""she needed to suffer. In loving... she courted death.