Goddess is based on the life of Julie d’Aubigny (1673 – 1707), also known as Mademoiselle de Maupin: duellist, opera star, vagabond, goddess.
I spent five years researching her life and legend, the cities in which she lived, her performances and opera colleagues, and all the necessary historical details of life in seventeenth century France: fashion, food, buildings and streets, songs, costumes, people, swords and fencing styles, and the life of the court of Louis XIV. I travelled to Paris, Versailles, Marseille, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, D’Uzes and Brussels. I spent many happy hours in the Opera branch of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and days – months – researching online from my desk.
So Goddess is based on as credible a biography of La Maupin as I could create, as well as those legends which now can’t be proved but remain part of her story.
Here is my full Research log (on tumblr).
Goddess isn’t the first version of La Maupin’s life. Far from it. Here’s a list of other interpretations of her story.
Mapping Maupin Places where she lived, worked, fled, performed – or tried to burn down