Jeanne Dumée

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Jeanne Dumée (born Paris 1660; died 1706) was a French astronomer and author.

Dumée, born in Paris, was interested in astronomy since childhood and had mathematical training.[1] She married young and became a widow at age 17, when her husband died in battle in Germany at the head of a company he commanded.[1][2] She then dedicated her life to the study of astronomy.

Written work[edit]

Dumée was the author of Entretiens sur l’opinion de Copernic touchant la mobilité de la terre (Conversations on Copernicus’ Opinion on the Movement of the Earth), written in 1680.[3] The manuscript is kept at the French National Library in Paris.[4] Her work explains the Copernican system. The manuscript supported Copernican and Galilean theories on earth's movement, and the purpose of her writing was to discuss the reasons Copernicus himself used to defend his doctrines.[1][3] She also wrote on her observations of Venus and moons of Jupiter, which proved Copernicus and Galileo's theories.[5] The book was never published in entirety, but is known through an epitome in the Journal des sçavans. It was critically acclaimed and praised for its clarity.[1] She wrote during a time when the famous astronomers were object of violent and passionate attacks from several scientists.[6]

In her writing, Dumée included an apology for writing on a subject that was considered, at the time, "too delicate work for persons of her sex", or not in the female domain.[6][7] She wrote that women of her time considered themselves incapable of study, and explained that she hoped her own example would convince them that there is no difference between the a brain of a woman and of a man.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Ogilvie, Marilyn Bailey (1986). Women in science: antiquity through the nineteenth century : a biographical dictionary with annotated bibliography. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press. p. 78. 
  2. ^ Tooke, William (1798). A new and general biographical dictionary: containing an historical and critical account of the lives and writings of the most eminent persons in every nation; particularly the British and Irish; from the earliest accounts of time to the present period. G. G. and J. Robinson. p. 213. 
  3. ^ a b Caminer Turra, Elisabetta (2003). Selected writings of an eighteenth-century Venetian woman of letters. Edited and Translated by Catherine M. Sama. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 177. ISBN 9780226817699. 
  4. ^ Alic, Margaret (1986). Hypatia's heritage : a history of women in science from antiquity through the nineteenth century. Boston: Beacon Press. p. 123. ISBN 0807067318. 
  5. ^ Noble, David F. (1992). A world without women : the Christian clerical culture of Western science (1. ed. ed.). New York: Knopf. ISBN 039455650X. 
  6. ^ a b Finot, Jean (1913). Problems of the sexes. New York and London: G. P. Putnam's sons. pp. 111–112. 
  7. ^ Osen, Lynn M. (1990). Women in mathematics (10. print. ed.). Cambridge, Mass. [u.a.]: Mit Press. p. 6. ISBN 026215014X.