Marie-Armande-Jeanne Gacon, born in 1753, was a published author since just before the Revolution. Her first writings had been rather conventional. The epistolary novel L’Homme errant fixé par la raison (1787) told a typical story of conflict between duty and passion, with a heroine whose inspiration was Rousseau’s universally admired Julie. Only between the lines did the novel reveal Gacon’s support for physiocracy (as a policy and as a way of life, especially for the nobility). Her anonymous Mémoire pour le sexe féminin contre le sexe masculin (1787) was a reply to the Chevalier de Feucher’s Réflexions d’un jeune homme (1786), in which she disputed what he had presented as the nefarious effects of a pretended predominant influence of women on society. Gacon’s tone was so guileless that a reader must suspect irony concerning the whole subordinate condition of women: on the surface, she simply argued the utility and solace a married woman could derive in her middle and old age from education and culture.1