Sophie Maríñez, Ph.D. (2010), The Graduate Center, City University of New York, is Associate Professor of French and Spanish at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York.
"Sophie Maríñez explores the links between la Grande Mademoiselle’s writings and her architectural patronage in this vivid portrayal of one of the century’s most important and colorful figures. Montpensier takes on new significance in a continuum that reaches from the medieval period and extends into our own. The pleasure of this well written text is enhanced by a generous number of rare illustrations."
- Christine Reno, Vassar College
"Mademoiselle de Montpensier was a woman of many talents and varying interests, political, literary, and artistic. By integrating Montpensier’s literary output and her patronage of the architecture, and arguing that such efforts must be seen as a coherent attempt at “self- construction” by the princess, Sophie Maríñez offers us new and intriguing insights into the personality of one of the most prominent women in 17th century France.
Not the least of these perspectives is Maríñez’s placement of Montpensier in a continuum of pro-women literature and of the patronage of architecture reaching back to such powerful predecessors as Christine de Pizan and Anne of Brittany. As such, Maríñez maintains, Montpensier cannot be evaluated in a vacuum, but must be viewed as the successor of other women whose talents and determination enabled them to disregard the gender-imposed norms of their respective times.
This is an important work of scholarship, a real voyage of discovery, and will be read with pleasure by anyone interested in the “splendid century” that was Louis XIV’s France."
- Vincent Pitts, author of La Grande Mademoiselle at the Court of France (1627-1693)