French swordswoman, swashbuckler, opera singer, and party animal (1670-1707). She was often called "La Maupin" or "Mademoiselle Maupin" -- nicknames that are actually better known than her own name. She was born to the family of Gaston d'Aubigny, a secretary to King Louis XIV's Master of the Horse (not a stablemaster -- actually a fairly high office in France at the time, sometimes known as the Grand Squire of France). Julie was trained as a youth in dancing, literacy, drawing, and fencing. She was introduced in the court after she became a mistress of the Count d'Armagnac while she was still in her teens (because the French, that's why), and the count had her married off to a friend. However, after the affair ended, her husband moved to the south of France, and Julie decided to stay in Paris.

For the next few years, d'Aubigny cultivated a reputation as a bit of a free spirit, if not an out-and-out lunatic, fighting duels with aristocrats, beating shopkeepers, and having an affair with an assistant fencing master named Serannes, who eventually got in trouble for killing a man in a duel. The two of them went on the run to Marseille, where Julie gave fencing exhibitions, sang in the local inns, and had more duels. Her habit of wearing men's clothing (along with her dueling and singing of sometimes filthy and insulting songs aimed at the people she dueled with) turned her into a minor celebrity. She also joined Pierre Gaultier's music academy so she could sing in the theatre.

Julie eventually left Serannes and took up with (gasp!) a young woman. Her lover's parents were scandalized and put their daughter in a convent in Avignon. Julie decided to rescue the girl, entered the convent as a novice, stole the body of a dead nun, placed it in her lover's bed, and set the room on fire so they could make their escape, possibly while riding a motorcycle while a screaming guitar played on the soundtrack. The affair with the girl lasted only three months, and Julie was charged as a male with kidnapping, body snatching, arson, and failing to appear before the tribunal. She was tried and convicted in absentia and sentenced to death by fire. This prompted her to return to Paris, 'cause seriously, burning at the stake? I'm amazed Angelina Jolie hasn't made a movie about her already.

And once d'Aubigny got back to Gay Paree, she continued to be astonishingly awesome. She fought a duel against three squires at the same time and defeated all of them. She went to check on the health of one of the men she'd defeated because she'd stabbed him in the shoulder. And then she said, hey, man, I know I stabbed you in the shoulder just yesterday, but you in the mood for some bouncy-bouncy? And he was, he was in the mood for some bouncy-bouncy! And after he recovered (from getting stabbed, not from the bouncy-bouncy) and had to return to his military unit, she took up with a fellow singer. And frankly, she carried on that way for quite a while.

Her career in opera started slowly -- she was initially rejected by the Paris Opera but was able to get an old friend to get them to reconsider. She debuted at the Paris Opera as Pallas Athena in Jean-Baptiste Lully's "Cadmus et Hermione" in 1690 and became quite popular, partly because she had a beautiful contralto singing voice, and partly because she was a horny sword-slinging bisexual. Her relationships with the other performers was a bit more stormy -- she had serious crushes on a couple other singers, Marie Le Rochois and Fanchon Moreau. Le Rochois was the Opera's top draw, and her attempts to get more of her attention led to plenty of arguments and even a few duels with other performers. Moreau, on the other hand, was the mistress of the Great Dauphin and refused to give him up for d'Aubigny, which upset her so much, she attempted suicide.

Julie even became a professional duelist while with the Paris Opera. At one point around 1693, she fought and defeated three aristocrats, one after the other, in another demonstration of her badassery. Unfortunately, she'd broken a law forbidding duels in Paris, so she hightailed it to Brussels, where she was rumored to be the mistress of Maximilian Emanuel, the Prince-Elector of Bavaria. She performed with the Opera du Quai au Foin in Brussels for several months in 1697-98 before returning to the Paris Opera to replace the recently-retired Le Rochois. She remained with the Paris Opera until 1705 and continued to draw crowds. André Campra created the role of Clorinde in "Tancrède" specifically for her. She eventually reconciled with her husband and lived with him until his death in either 1701 or 1705 (a wide range for records to be unsure about someone's death, but what can you do about old records).

After retiring from the opera, she entered another convent in Provence -- but not to kidnap sexy nuns this time. She died there in 1707 at the age of 37. Not the most awesome way to end an amazingly awesome life, but maybe she'd already dueled and/or made love to everyone she needed to...

Badass of the Week

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