Léontine Zanta

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Léontine Zanta (14 February 1872 – 15 June 1942) was a French philosopher, feminist and novelist. One of the first two women to gain a doctorate in France, and the first to do so in philosophy, Zanta "was an intellectual celebrity in her day, active in journalism and in the feminist movement of the 1920s."[1]


Zanta was born in Mâcon. Her doctoral thesis, defended in May 1914, was on the 16th-century revival of Stoicism. She never secured a position in higher education, and became a journalist and writer, publishing several novels.[1]

She maintained a correspondence with Teilhard de Chardin.[2]

In the late 1920s she received the Legion of Honour. Simone de Beauvoir remembered being inspired by her example as a woman philosopher.[1]


  • La renaissance du stoïcisme au XVIe siècle, 1914.
  • (ed. with intro.) La traduction française du manuel d'Epictète d'André de Rivaudeau au XVIe siècle, 1914.
  • Psychologie du féminisme, 1922
  • La part du feu, 1927
  • Sainte-Odile, 1931


  1. ^ a b c Toril Moi (2008). Simone De Beauvoir: The Making of an Intellectual Woman. Oxford University Press. pp. 71–2. ISBN 978-0-19-923871-2. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Ursula King; Joseph Needham (2011). Teilhard De Chardin and Eastern Religions: Spirituality and Mysticism in an Evolutionary World. Paulist Press. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-8091-4704-5. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Robert Garric, Introduction, in Teilhard de Chardin, Letters to Léontine Zanta, trans. Bernard Wall, London: Collins, 1969.
  • Henri Maleprade, Léontine Zanta, vertueuse aventurière du féminisme, Paris: Rive droite, 1997.