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26 October 2011

Jenny De Savalette De Lange (1790 - 1858) pensioner.

Jenny, the daughter of a major freemason, lived in Paris and Versailles first on a government pension of 1,000 francs a year granted by Napoleon in 1812 for services rendered by her family, which continued until the fall of the Empire in 1822, and then the salary of a postmistress, although she did not do the associated tasks. Her pension was restored in 1825. She also had rooms in Versailles Palace until 1853 when it was turned into a museum.

She had suitors, and was even engaged, but never went as far as marriage. She was criticized as looking masculine.

She was outed as male-bodied when she was prepared for burial.

There has been speculation over the years that she was Louis XVII Bourbon in hiding after his parents were executed, but this was disproved by DNA testing in the late twentieth century.
  • Hérail. Sur l'homme-femme connu sous le nom de Mademoiselle Savalette de Lange. Versailles: Cerf 1859. Reprinted with a preface by Frederick Prot Paris: Dilecta 2006.
  • Georges Moussoir. L'homme femme Mlle. Savalette de Lange 1786-1858 avec portrait. Paris: Garnet 1902.
  • Oscar Paul Gilbert (translated from the French by Robert B. Douglas). Men in Women's Guise: Some Historical Instances of Female Impersonation. London:John Lane The Bodley Head Limited. New York: Bretano’s, 1926: Chp XII, XIII..
  • C.J.S. Thompson. “The Mystery of Jenny de Savalette de Lange”. The Mysteries of Sex: Women Who Posed as Men and Men Who Impersonated Women. London: Hutchinson. 1938. New York: Causeway Books, 1974. New York: Dorset Press, 1993: 201-7:

1 comment:

  1. This is a fascinating story. Thanks for bringing it to light.


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