History’s Most Prolific Women: Marie Antoinette
The wife of King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette is probably best known for her falsely attributed line of “Let them eat cake.” Crowned the Queen of France in 1774 after her husband ascended the thrown, the French people came to dislike her because of her perceived promiscuity, her affluent lifestyle (which went hand-in-hand with accusations that she was responsible her for the decline of the country’s funds), and for allegedly harboring sympathies to her native Austria.
After the monarchy was abolished in 1792, the royal family was imprisoned and Marie Antoinette and her husband suffered the fatal throes of the guillotine. Even after her death, Marie Antoinette has continued to capture the imaginations of people worldwide as some believe she was wrongly executed.
History’s Most Prolific Women: Marie Curie
Born in Warsaw, Poland on November 7, 1867, Marie Curie became one of the most recognized female names in scientific history. After working as a governess and tutor, Curie turned her talents to her dream of becoming a physicist, an occupation not meant for a woman in the nineteenth century. Despite the overt gender barriers present during this time, she made her way to Paris in 1891 and began work at the lab of physicist Gabriel Lippmann and studied at the Sorbonne, where she met her husband Pierre Curie.
The pair was married in 1895 and became the first husband and wife science team in history, winning Nobel Prizes and making various scientific breakthroughs. Among Marie Curie’s many achievements were her theory on radioactivity, discovery of two elements, being the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in science, the first person to win two Nobel Prizes, and becoming the first female professor at the University of Paris.