Marie-Anne had been educated in a convent and acquired facility in Latin and English which was very useful to her husband when he set up a gentleman's hobby laboratory in his home. The Industrial Revolution was smelting away across the Channel in England and practical and curious men were in high demand. Without nailing the fundamentals of physics and chemistry, the bridges [Coalbrookdale], plates [Emma Wedgwood!], textiles, and steam engines wouldn't work safely and efficiently. The reports, by the likes of Richard Kirwan, Henry Cavendish and Joseph Priestley, were written in English and Anne-Marie was able to translate them into French. But she was far more than a dull Google-Translate robot. She was able to critique and evaluate the science and the finished text was peppered with her observations and additions.
Come the Revolution and the Terror and both Marie-Anne's husband and her father were executed on the 8th May 1794 [19 Floréal II in revolutionary time]. She lived on for another 40 years, justifiably bitter about the treatment her family had received and watching her husband's rehabilitation, not to say beatification by the the French government. She played a very active part in that rehabilitation as she prepared for publication Lavoisier's Elementary Treatise on Chemistry - Traité élémentaire de chimie (1789), and the earlier Méthode de nomenclature chimique (1787). Even back then, without publication there is no science: it was she who ensured that the offspring of the father of chi=enistry saw the light of day. She was competent in technical drawing and her illustrations in the Traité and the Méthode greatly facilitated those who followed in Lavoisier's footsteps. Indeed she was formally trained in drawing and painting by no less a luminary than Jacques-Louis David, who was arrested during the Terror but manage to keep his head. The picture at the Mast-head was commissioned of David by the happy couple just before the Revolution and probably shows more of their relationship than has come down in print from contemporary writings.
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