While 18th-century French scientific institutions such as the Parisian academies and the Jardin du Roi did not accept women among their ranks, the few contributions that women made to Old Regime science have been either forgotten, erased, or attributed to their male counterparts. Mme Dugage de Pommereul's life and work (1733–1782) are a prime example. Although she gained some recognition from 1778–1780, she sank into oblivion in the 19th century when all mentions of her were gradually obliterated. She worked under the supervision of A. Thouin in 1778 and assisted her former professor A.-L. de Jussieu (1748–1836) who entrusted her with the preparation of a study of grasses and a contribution to the Encyclopédie méthodique. Joseph Dombey (1742–1794) dedicated the short-lived Dugagesia margaritifera to her. Ortega Gomez (1741–1818) awarded her a degree from the Royal Academy of Medicine in Madrid, and Linnaeus the Younger named the Pommereulla cornucopiæ in her honor. Piecing together biographical elements with archival evidence, this study provides for the first time a narrative of her life and botanical practice.
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Vol. 23 • No. 1