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Women in History: April 6th



1327 – Italian Petrarch first sees Laura de Noves, the woman who he immortalized in poetry, in mass at the Church of Saint Claire d’Avignon. Although not much is known to her, she was the wife of Count Hugues de Sade (the ancestor of the infamous Marquis de Sade) and she was said to be virtuous, with a large family. Francesco Petrarch spent the better part of three years following Laura in the Church of Saint Claire d’Avignon, watching her. He was said to have a platonic love for her. In Petrarch’s own Canzoniere, he wrote lyrics to her which were in the troubadour style of courtly love and he eventually invented the Petrarchan sonnet. Laura died in 1348 and Petrarch wrote Trionfo, a religious allegory in which she is commemorated.

Born on this day in…

An effigy of Joan Fogge, Maude Green’s mother.

1492 – Maude Green (d. 1531) was the mother of Catherine Parr, wife of Sir Thomas Parr, and a lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine of Aragon. During her lifetime, she was an active courtier who was trusted by Catherine of Aragon and was granted control of the Royal Court School, teaching her own children exceptionally well. Her children were: Catherine, William, and Anne. It is said that her daughter Catherine was named after Henry VIII’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon. Ironically, enough, her daughter would go on to marry that same man.

1898 – Jeanne Hébuterne (d. 1920) was a French artist and the Common Law wife of Amedeo Modigliani. She was often a subject for her husband and was known to be a great beauty. The Modiglianis had a daughter by the name of Jeanne who was orphaned when they both expired in the year 1920.

1917 – Leonora Carrington (d. 2011) was an English-born Mexican artist, authoress, and surrealist painter. Living in Mexico as an adult, she was one of the last Surrealist Painters in the 1930’s and a co-foundress of the Women’s Liberation Movement in the 1970’s. With her art, she focused on magical realism, alchemy, autobiographical aspects, and symbolism. She was reputed to have said: “I painted for myself…I never believed anyone would exhibit or buy my work.”

Died on this day in…

1927 – Florence Earle Coates (b. 1850) was an American poet who was the granddaughter of notable abolitionist, Thomas Earle. Inspired by the natural beauty of the Adirondacks, she wrote:

There’s a cabin in the mountains, where the fare, dear,
Is frugal as the cheer of Arden blest;
But contentment sweet and fellowship are there, dear,
And Love, that makes the feast he honors—best!

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