KEYWORDS: French Enlightenment, Femme savante, Isaac Newton, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, vis viva debate, Cirey, Institutions de Physique / Foundations of Physics, Principes mathématiques de la philosophie naturelle, Discours sur le Bonheur.
SHE THOUGHT IT
Émilie du Châtelet was, first and foremost, a French writer on natural philosophy. Her work was mainly focused on Newtonian philosophy and Leibniz’s metaphysics. Her intellectual work included writings on ethics, theology and translation, among other subjects. She also wrote about the source of human happiness (published posthumously in 1779). However, her scientific portrait reveals not only a writer, but also a skilful thinker, a philosopher of the French Enlightenment1 (p. 596). During her lifetime, du Châtelet entered the French cycle of letters and agitated the scientific waters of an era during which science was synonymous with masculinity, since the principles of reason and logic were supposed to be the qualities of men rather than women2 (p. 284). From her letters and writings, it is unquestionable that du Châtelet developed excellent mathematical skills and that she was a decided advocate of Newton’s philosophy3.
Among her first writings was her Essay on the nature and propagation of fire, which was submitted to a competition organized by the Academy of Sciences in 1737. The essay was focused on the chemical and physical properties of fire, which du Châtelet had studied alongside Voltaire at her laboratory in Cirey4. She is also credited by contemporary researchers with contributing to Voltaire’s Elements of the Philosophy of Newton in the chapter regarding Newtonian optics and the formation of colours5 (p. 142).
In 1740, Madame du Châtelet published anonymously the first edition of Foundations of Physics, a work which greatly contributed to the reception of Leibniz’s philosophy in France. It was presented as a textbook for her son6 (p. 519). In the second edition, which had been published under her name two years later, Émilie du Châtelet re-edited the title, enacted further textual changes, revised some chapters and included two extensive letters regarding her “vis viva” [living force] dispute with the general secretary of the Academy of Sciences, Jean-Jacques Dortous de Mairan6 (p. 524-530). She also overcame accusations of plagiarism from her former tutor Samuel König, who alleged she copied his teachings on Leibniz’s philosophy. In sum, The Foundations of Physics connect du Châtelet’s belief that Newton’s physics and mechanics aren’t incompatible with Leibniz’s metaphysics and Wolff’s philosophical work7 (p. 38-45). She additionally tried to show how God had followed the principle of “sufficient reason” in order to create the world, which would then be based on rational laws8. As Madame du Châtelet established herself as an independent scientist, she commenced work on her masterpiece, the translation of Newton’s Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy or Principia from Latin into French.
By the spring of 1747, Émilie du Châtelet had completed the translation, having on her side the precious help of her good friend Alexis Claude Clairaut. However, du Châtelet’s purpose wasn’t merely to translate Newton’s magnum opus: she added appendices and algebraic commentaries. Her writing style wasn’t as convoluted as her contemporaries’ and as Fara9 (p. 15) underlines: “[f]or newcomers she converted the complex mathematics into elegant prose, supplemented by her own examples. Next, she turned to calculus, translating Newton’s geometry into the new continental algebra. Finally, she summarized recent mathematical research and experimental vindications of Newton’s theories”.
Gabrielle-Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, marquise du Châtelet was born in Paris on December 17, 1706. She was the youngest child of Gabrielle-Anne de Froulay and Louis Nicolas Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, a wealthy, noble and high-ranking French family. Her father worked at the court of Louis XIV and gave his daughter a remarkable education. She was taught Latin, dance, music and foreign languages, among other subjects, by the best available tutors10 (p. 770). In 1725, du Châtelet (aged nineteen years old) married an army officer, Florent-Claude, marquis du Châtelet. Du Châtelet gave birth to four children; however, only two survived into adulthood, Gabrielle-Pauline (born in 1726) and Florent-Louise (born in 1727).
In 1733, Émilie du Châtelet met Voltaire in Paris, whose sophisticated demeanour was intriguing to her: they became intellectual and love partners for fifteen years and mutually influenced each other’s scientific and philosophical work11 (p. 1168-1169). In 1734, du Châtelet’s interest in mathematics and natural philosophy was further intensified when she began taking lessons from the mathematician Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis (1698-1759). De Maupertuis would play a significant role in du Châtelet’s philosophical positioning, as he was a student of the renowned mathematician Johann I Bernoulli, who had taught him the principles of Leibniz’s dynamics2 (p. 285-288). During their lessons, a deeper relation developed between de Maupertuis and du Châtelet; however, it soon came to an end. Du Châtelet continued her lessons with the prominent young mathematician Alexis Claude Clairaut (1713-1765) and remained a close friend to de Maupertuis and Clairaut until the end of her life.
In 1735, following the condemnation of Voltaire’s Letters on the English, du Châtelet arranged their moving from Paris to her husband’s Château de Cirey in Lorraine. Cirey had not only been transformed into a library and laboratory for Voltaire’s and du Châtelet’s scientific and experimental work, but also into an “academy”: young mathematicians, writers and philosophers from Europe’s Respublica literaria would meet there and discuss, dispute and critique the recent philosophical or cultural developments1 (p. 603-605). At the same time, “les Emiliens” enjoyed themselves during the evenings by having lively parties. Moreover, it was at Cirey that Émilie du Châtelet began her translation of Mandeville’s Fable of the Bees, worked on her Essay on the nature and propagation of fire and contributed the chapters on optics to Voltaire’s Elements of the Philosophy of Newton1.
In 1740, Émilie du Châtelet published anonymously her Foundations of Physics, a textbook which was addressed mainly to her son. For the French Academy of Sciences, the book appeared to be contradictory as French mathematicians were suspicious of German metaphysics2 (p. 295). However, du Châtelet managed to overcome the polemic and loss of credibility she suffered in the wake of the accusations of plagiarism levelled against her by Samuel König, and established herself as one the first female scientists of the Enlightenment1 (p. 596).
Du Châtelet’s next project was the translation into French of Newton’s Principia, which she began in 1745. In the meantime, her relationship with Voltaire had ended, even though they continued travelling together. In 1748, they went to Lunéville in order to pay a visit to Stanisław I Leszczyński. At the Château de Lunéville, Émilie du Châtelet met Jean François, marquis de Saint-Lambert, with whom she fell in love and, after a three-month relationship, du Châtelet (then forty-three years old) discovered that she was pregnant. Voltaire helped her convince her husband that the baby was legitimate and du Châtelet increased her efforts by working 18 hours per day to finish the translation on time, with Clairaut’s valued help5 (p. 146). On September 10, 1749, Émilie du Châtelet died at the palace of Lunéville in Lorraine after giving birth to her fourth child, Stanislas-Adélaïde, having contracted a puerperal fever. Stanislas-Adélaïde also passed away a few days later.
SCIENTIFIC COLLABORATION AND RECOGNITION
Émilie du Châtelet is often presented as Voltaire’s mistress and intellectual partner; however her scientific contributions cannot be obscured, since she was a person of diverse interests, who claimed her own position as a femme savante in an era in which science and philosophy was a male-only privilege2 (p. 283-285). Firstly, Madame du Châtelet’s translation of Newton’s Principia remains the only complete version in French. Voltaire, in his historic preface for the posthumous edition of du Châtelet’s translation of Principia, recognized her great philosophical work and he insisted on the authenticity of her work12 (p. vi-xiij). Moreover, her influence on Voltaire’s scientific work is depicted in the frontispiece of Elémens de la Philosophie de Newton where not only does du Châtelet appear as the Goddess of Truth [Voltaire said “Minerva dictated and I wrote”13 (p. 39)], but it is also implied by Voltaire himself that her contribution was greater than his5 (p. 142).
Secondly, even though du Châtelet wasn’t recognized as a scientist among her aristocratic peers, she was respected by the scientific circle of her era: du Châtelet’s correspondence proves that she had frequent scientific and intellectual exchange with the most prominent mathematicians, scholars and natural philosophers from the European Republic of Letters, such as Francesco Algarotti, Johann II Bernoulli and Frederick the Great3, and with scientific Academies such as those in Berlin, Scandinavia and Russia5 (p. 141). Her magnum opus, The Foundations of Physics, had been discussed across Europe through its translation into German and Italian.
In 1745 the fourth volume of the Portrait Gallery of Contemporary Authors Famous for their Learning included du Châtelet’s biography and an engraved portrait made by Brucker11 (p. 1162) and, in 1746, she was elected to the Bologna Academy of Sciences1 (p. 599). Finally, in 1751, Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert, editors of the renowned Encyclopedia, credited du Châtelet in the entry on Newtonianism and twelve more articles, recognizing her contribution to the French natural philosophy14 (p. 122-125).
SHE SAID IT
“[…] I am in my own right a whole person, responsible for myself alone for all that I am, all that I say, all that I do. […] so, when I add the sum total of my graces, I confess that I am inferior to no one”.
cited by Alic, Margaret (1986), Hypatia’s Heritage. A History of Women in Science from Antiquity to the late Nineteenth Centrury, London, The Women’s Press, 147.
“I am convinced that many women either ignore their own talents, as a result of a poor education, or they bury them in the face of current prejudices and because they lack a courageous spirit”.
cited by Pierse, Siofra (2015), “Marquise Émilie Du Châtelet as “Lady Newton”: Prefatory Nuances and Problematic Ambiguities in the Writing of an Early-Modern Female Scientist”, Women’s Studies, 44 (8), 1160.
“I would reverse an abuse that in practice excludes exactly half of the human race”.
cited by Pierse, Siofra (2015), “Marquise Émilie Du Châtelet as “Lady Newton”: Prefatory Nuances and Problematic Ambiguities in the Writing of an Early-Modern Female Scientist”, Women’s Studies, 44 (8), 1162.
“[P]eople may find that it is a little ambitious for a woman to undertake this translation. I feel all the weight of prejudice that excludes us so universally from the sciences and it is one of the contradictions of this world and the one that has most astonished me”.
cited by Pierse, Siofra (2015), “Marquise Émilie Du Châtelet as “Lady Newton”: Prefatory Nuances and Problematic Ambiguities in the Writing of an Early-Modern Female Scientist”, Women’s Studies, 44 (8), 1162.
“I am astonished to find that I have devoted excessive attention to caring for my teeth and my hair and have neglected both my mind and my understanding”.
cited by Pierse, Siofra (2015), “Marquise Émilie Du Châtelet as “Lady Newton”: Prefatory Nuances and Problematic Ambiguities in the Writing of an Early-Modern Female Scientist”, Women’s Studies, 44 (8), 1165.
THEY SAID IT
“Émilie du Châtelet could have been speaking for 2000 years of women scientists”.
Alic, Margaret (1986), Hypatia’s Heritage. A History of Women in Science from Antiquity to the late Nineteenth Centrury, London, The Women’s Press, 147.
“I have lost a friend of twenty-five years, a great man whose only fault was being a woman”.
Voltaire, cited by Terrall, Mary (1995), “Émilie Du Châtelet and the Gendering of Science.”, History of Science, 33, 303.
“We have seen two miracles; one, that Newton wrote this work [Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica]; the other, that a lady [Émilie du Châtelet] has translated and explained it”.
Voltaire, cited by Farra, Patricia (2002), “Images of Émilie du Châtelet”, Endeavour, 26 (2), 40.
PRIZES, DISTINCTIONS, HONORS
1738: The Journal des sçavans accepted du Châtelet’s anonymous review on Voltaire’s Elements of the Philosophy of Newton.
1739: Du Châtelet’s Essay on the nature and propagation of fire was published anonymously by the Academy of Sciences (in a volume with the winning essays).
1741: The Foundations of Physics was reviewed in Journal des sçavans (in March and May 1741) and Mémoires de Trévoux (in May 1741).
1742: Du Châtelet publishes the second edition of her Institutions de Physique; this edition is published under her own name. The edition includes her debate with Dortous de Mairan on “vis viva” and an important frontispiece with her portrait.
1743: The second edition of the Institutions is fully translated into German and published in Halle and Leipzig.
1743: The second edition of the Institutions is fully translated into Italian and published in Venice.
1745: Du Châtelet is included in the fourth volume of the Portrait Gallery of Contemporary Authors Famous for their Learning [Bilder-Sal Hautiges Tages Lebender und durch Gelahrheit Beruhmter Schrifft-Steller].
1746: Du Châtelet is elected to the Bologna Academy of Sciences.
1751: Diderot and D’Alembert, editors of the Encyclopédie, credit du Châtelet in the entry on Newtonianism and twelve more articles.
1759: Alexis-Claude Clairaut arranged the full publication of the work du Châtelet’s translation and commentary on Newton’s Prinicipia.
1779: Posthumous publication of Du Châtelet’s Discourse on Happiness.
1998: The asteroid 12059 discovered by E.W. Elst named after du Châtelet.
2006: The Emilie du Châtelet Institute (IEC) was founded in 2006, at the initiative of the Paris Regional Council.
A crater on Venus is also named after du Émilie du Châtelet (19 km, 21.5°/165).
Émilie du Châtelet is not only known for her scientific work on mathematics and physics, but also for her personal interests, which included music, theatre, interior design and personal enjoyment9 (p. 14) through lively parties, gambling and intellectual exchange at the famous salons and cafés2 (p. 285). During her life and through her writings, especially in her translation of Bernard Mandeville’s Fable of the Bees, du Châtelet was a committed advocate of the luxury society, to which she belonged, and alongside Voltaire she provided a coherent defence of the bourgeois French class of the 1730s15. Among other interests, du Châtelet loved opera and theatre and, in 1748, she played the leading role in Pastorale Issé, composed by André Cardinnal Destouches, at the Lunéville Château’s theatre, in Stanislas’ Leszczynski honour16. Additionally, her great attention to detail and selective taste are visible in her collection of porcelain, earthenware, silverware, fabrics, paintings and engravings with which she decorated her hotel in Paris or her husband’s Château in Cirey, as well as in her extravagant way of dressing16.
Another important side of her personality is revealed through her multiple prefaces to Fable of the Bees. Firstly, it is crucial to underline that Madame du Châtelet contested her era’s assumptions about women’s education, women’s intelligence and their abilities to acquire the principles of reason11 (p. 1164-1166). However, she should not be considered as a feminist in a modern socio-cultural context1 (p. 620). Du Châtelet was interested specifically in women’s education for her own aristocratic class, yet her fiery discourse informs us about the prejudice and the stereotypes she faced and the different ways she had to develop in order to obtain her own scientific recognition from the French Republic of Letters11 (p. 1156-1166). Secondly, her translation on Mandeville’s Fable presents her own understanding of the role of the translator as a creator of their own version of the text and with the right to add, edit or transform it in order to meet three criteria: “simplicity, clarification and brevity”1 (p. 608-11). Du Châtelet made Mandeville’s text hers and adjusted her translation to better fit the French language, thereby succeeding in providing her own description and interpretation of the civilized and moral society1 (p. 615-16).
Émilie du Châtelet also wrote on ethics, theology, and moral philosophy. Her two-volume study on the Old and New Testaments and her essay on happiness offer precious insights regarding her perspectives on God, institutional church and the source of human happiness. Du Châtelet was suspicious of the Catholic Church and the kings, as she criticised both institutions: she accused the Catholic Church of dogmatism and kings of cruelties17 (17-31).
In conclusion, Madame du Châtelet was a multidimensional person: against all societal restrictions of her time, she established herself as a female scholar, author, translator and philosopher whose passion for education and science made her famous and recognised among her male academic peers.
Lépicié, Bernard-François, Marquise du Châtelet, engraving, Collection of the Baroness N. de Rothschild. This portrait depicts a young Madame du Châtelet; however, there is no concrete information regarding further details. The only source in which there is a description of this portrait is in Union des Ateliers de Femme (1892), Cent chefs-d’uvre des écoles françaises et étrangères …: deuxième exposition, Paris, 28,
<https://archive.org/details/centchefsduvrede00unio> (last accessed 26 Jan. 2017).
Piazzetta, Giambattista (artist) / Marco Aloise Pitteri (engraver) (1737), “Frontispiece”, engraving, 220 x 160 mm, in Francesco Algarotti, Il Newtonianismo per le dame, ovvero Dialoghi sopra la luce, Napoli, <http://expositions.bnf.fr/lumieres/grand/emi_139.htm> (last accessed 10 Feb. 2017).
Dubourg, Louis-Fabricius (artist) / Folkema, Jacob (engraver) (1738), “Frontispiece”, engraving, in Élemens de la Philosophie de Newton, by Voltaire.
De La Tour, Maurice Quentin (1740), Portrait de Gabrielle Emilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, marquise du Châtelet, oil on canvas, 120 × 100 cm, Collection Marquis de Breteuil, Château de Breteuil.
Nattier, Jean-Marc (painter) (1743), “Portrait of the Marquise du Châtelet”, in The Portraits of Madame de Pompadour: Celebrating the Femme Savante, by Elise Goodman (author), Berkeley, Los Angeles, London, University of California Press, 102.
Loir, Marianne (1748), Portrait of Emilie du Châtelet, oil on canvas, 118 × 96 cm, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux.
Voltaire, François-Marie (1879), “Lettre LXXIV. A M. de Cideville”, in Œuvres complètes de Voltaire, vol. 36, Paris, Garnier frères, 80-82,
<https://archive.org/details/uvrescompltesde00beaugoog> (last accessed 6 Feb. 2017).
— (1908), “A Mme la Marquise DU CHATELET sur la Calomnie”, in Épitres, stances, et odes de Voltaire, Voltaire, Paris, P. Didot, 56-61,
<https://archive.org/details/pitresstancese00voltuoft> (last accessed 6 Feb. 2017).
E=mc2 : Une biographie de l’équation (2005), dir. Gary Johnstone, Arte, television film. Documentary.
Muzerelle, Danielle (curator) (2006), Madame Du Châtelet. La femme des Lumières, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.
Badinter, Élisabeth (2006), Les passions d’Émilie: La marquise du Châtelet, une femme d’exception, illus. Jacqueline Duhême, Paris, Gallimard Jeunesse. Children’s book.
Artigas-Menant, Geneviève / Mireille Touzery (dir.) (2006), Émilie Du Châtelet (1706-1749) une femme de sciences et de lettres à Créteil, Bibliothèque universitaire de l’Université Paris 12-Val de Marne, France.
Sélignac, Arnaud (dir.) (29 Dec. 2007), Divine Émilie, France 3, television.
Saariaho, Kaija (2008), Émilie, Amin Maalouf (libretto), Chester Music Ltd., monodrama, opera, commissioned by Opera National de Lyon, France.
—(composer) (2012), Émilie (monodrama), Elizabeth Futral (soprano), Lincoln Center Festival, Gerald W. Lynch Theater, New York, USA.
—(composer) (2011), Émilie (monodrama), Elizabeth Futral (soprano), John Kennedy (conductor), Spoleto Festival USA, Memminger Auditorium, Charleston, South Carolina, USA.
Zacarías, Karen (wri.) (2009), Legacy of Light, Molly Smith (dir.), Crystal City, Arena Stage, Arlington, VA, USA. Play.
Gunderson, Lauren (wri.) (2010), Emilie: La Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight, New York, Samuel French, Inc. Full length play, dramatic comedy.
Performances of this play:
Emilie: La Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight (2009), David Emmes (dir.), South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa, USA.
—(2012), Chloe Bronzan (dir.), Symmetry Theatre Company, Berkeley City Club, Berkeley, USA.
—(2013), Kristen Van Ginhoven (dir.), WAM Theatre, Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, Pittsfield, USA.
—(2014), Judy Braha (dir.), Nora Theatre Company, Central Square Theater, Massachusetts, USA.
—(2017), Marta Rainer (dir.), Wellesley Repertory Theatre, Wellesley, USA.
Hilton, Arica (2016), Émilie du Châtelet – A stroll with Voltaire, oil on canvas, 122 x 213 cm, Hilton | Asmus Contemporary, Chicago, USA.
Bonaguro, Jyl (wri.) (2014), Urania: The Life of Emilie du Chatelet, prod. Arica Hilton, Hilton Asmus Contemporary, Chicago, USA. Play.
Szeto, Rebecca (2015), Emilie du Chatelet (2 for Squared), 8”h x 4”w x .5”d, oil on carved paintbrush, <http://rebeccaszeto.com/paintbrush-portraits> (last accessed 10 Feb. 2017).
Seclin, Marion (author) (8 Sep. 2016), “Marion Seclin is Emilie du Châtelet – Scienceuses #01 – String Theory”, Effervescence Label (prod.), Nadja Anane (original concept), YouTube, uploaded by String Theory FR,
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hd2wA9DOzac&index=1&list=PLuJkqpwiyEt-eSKJ7BVwvhZ8Tx2eWpGx0> (last accessed 27 Jan. 2017).
Communauté de Communes du Lunévillois (organisation) (19 Nov. 2016 – Sep. 2017), Cycle Émilie(s), Lunéville and surroundings, France, <http://www.delunevilleabaccarat.fr/cctlb_emilie_s.pdf> (last accessed 13 Feb. 2017). Featuring exhibitions, concerts, conferences, animations, projections.
Badinter, Elisabeth / Danielle Muzerelle (eds.) (2006), Madame Du Chatelet: La Femme des Lumières, Paris, Éditions de la BNF.
De Grafigny, Mme Françoise d’Issembourg d’Happoncourt (1820), Vie privée de Voltaire et de Mme. du Chatelet, pendant un séjour de six mois à Cirey, Paris, Treuttel et Wurtz, <https://archive.org/details/vieprivedevolta01voltgoog> (last accessed 3 Feb. 2017).
Goodman, Elise (2000), The Portraits of Madame de Pompadour: Celebrating the Femme Savante, Berkeley, University of California Press.
Hagengruber, Ruth (ed.) (2012), Emilie du Châtelet between Leibniz and Newton, International Archives of the History of Ideas, Dordrecht, Springer.
Hutton, Sarah (2004), “Women, Science, and Newtonianism: Emilie Du Châtelet versus Francesco Algarotti”, in Newton and Newtonianism, J.E. Force and S. Hutton (eds.), Dordrech, Kluwer, 183-203.
— (2011), “Between Newton and Leibniz: Emilie Du Châtelet and Samuel Clarke”, in Émilie Du Châtelet: Between Leibniz and Newton, Ruth Hagengruber (ed.), London, Springer.
Lebrun, Jean (24 Aug. 2015), “Madame du Châtelet”, La marche de l’histoire, France Inter, <https://www.franceinter.fr/emissions/la-marche-de-l-histoire/la-marche-de-l-histoire-24-aout-2015> (last accessed 27 Jan. 2017).
Ogilvie, Marilyn Bailey (1986), Women in Science. Antiquity through the Nineteenth Century, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 76-78.
Touzery, Mireille (2008), “Émilie Du Châtelet, un passeur scientifique au XVIIIe siècle”, La revue pour l’histoire du CNRS, 21, <http://histoire-cnrs.revues.org/7752> (last accessed 13 Feb. 2017).
Wade, Ira (1941), Voltaire and Madame du Châtelet: An Essay on the Intellectual Activity at Cirey, Princeton, Princeton University Press.
— (1947), Studies on Voltaire with some unpublished papers of Madame du Châtelet, Princeton, Princeton University Press.
Zinsser, Judith (2014), “Émilie du Châtelet and the Enlightenment’s Querelles des femmes”, in Challenging Orthodoxies: The Social and Cultural Worlds of Early Modern Women, Melinda S. Zook and Sigrun Haude (eds.), Burlington, Vt, Ashgate.
- Zinsser, Judith P. (2002), “Entrepreneur of the “Republic of Letters”: Emilie de Breteuil, Marquise Du Chatelet, and Bernard Mandeville’s Fable of the Bees”, French Historical Studies, 25 (4), 595-624.
- Terrall, Mary (1995), “Émilie du Châtelet and the Gendering of Science”, History of Science, 33 (3), 283-310.
- Besterman, Theodore (ed.) (1958), Les Lettres de la Marquise Du Châtelet, Geneva, Institut and Musée Voltaire, <http://womeninscience.history.msu.edu/Object/C-46-6/les-lettres-de-la-marquise-du-chatelet–volume-2/> (last accessed 8 Feb. 2017).
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- Alic, Margaret (1986), Hypatia’s Heritage: A History of Women in Science from Antiquity to the Late Nineteenth Century, London, The Women’s Press Ltd., 139-147.
- Hutton, Sarah (2004), “Emilie Du Châtelet’s Institutions de physique as a document in the history of French Newtonianism”, Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science, 35, 515–531.
- Iltis, Carolyn (1977), “Madame Du Châtelet’s Metaphysics and Mechanics”, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 8 (1), 29-48.
- Lascano, Marcy (2011), “Émilie du Châtelet on the Existence and Nature of God: An Examination of Her Arguments in Light of Their Sources”, British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 19(4), 741-58.
- Fara, Patricia (2004), “Emilie du Châtelet: the genius without a beard”, Physics World, 17 (6), 14-15.
- Ogilvie, Marilyn / Joy Harvey (eds.) (2000), The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science, New York and London, Routledge, 770-773.
- Pierse, Siofra (2015), “Marquise Émilie Du Châtelet as “Lady Newton”: Prefatory Nuances and Problematic Ambiguities in the Writing of an Early-Modern Female Scientist”, Women’s Studies, 44 (8), 1156-1177.
- Du Châtelet, Émilie (trans.) (1756), Principes mathématiques de la philosophie naturelle, by Isaac Newton, Paris, Desaint & Saillant and Lambert, <http://www.e-rara.ch/doi/10.3931/e-rara-1743> (last accessed 26 Jan. 2017).
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- Gottmann, Felicia (2012), “Du Châtelet, Voltaire, and the Transformation of Mandeville’s Fable”, History of European Ideas, 38 (2), 218-232.
- Communauté de Communes du Lunévillois (org.) (19 Nov. 2016 – Sept. 2017), Cycle Émilie(s), expositions, concerts, conferences, animations, projections, Lunéville and surroundings, France, <http://www.delunevilleabaccarat.fr/cctlb_emilie_s.pdf> (last accessed 13 Feb. 2017).
- Zinsser, Judith (2013), “Emilie Du Châtelet’s Views on the Pillars of French Society: King, Church and Family,” in Imagining Female Citizenship: Political Ideas of Enlightenment France, Lisa Curtis-Wendtlandt, Paul Gibbard, and Karen Green (eds.), Burlington, VT, Ashgate, 17-31.