Portrait of Émilie du Châtelet, by Nicolas de Largillière c. 1740. (Louvre)
The pairing [of Voltaire and Émilie du Châtelet] was dynamic and productive — together, they would achieve some of the most important Enlightenment writing on science, physics, and philosophy. But as Nancy Mitford explains in her fantastic 1957 biography of the intellectual power couple, Voltaire in Love, they were devoted not just as intellectuals, but as lovers as well as friends. It was an extraordinary bond that lasted for nearly fifteen years.
Enough cynical dark and depressing “love stories” from us. Here’s one that actually earns the title.