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Welcome to Katherine’s Guide to Searching the Web for Badass, Bisexual 17th-Century Swordfighting-Opera Singers.

Badass of the Week: Julie D’Aubigny

This site is probably my favorite site of all the ones I visited. The writing style was . . . unconventional, but despite that it told the most accurate depiction of her story I have yet seen.  I really quite enjoyed this article and you’ll find that many other sites/articles about her quote it.

Rejected Princesses

This site is where I first learned about Madame du Maupin, simply because I was scrolling through the internet and stumbled upon this gem of a website. Dedicated to reporting the women too badass, violent or unknown to have movies made about them, it’s a great article if you want to learn about her.

This site is the most extensive and informative of all the sites I visited. It’s the longest article, with plenty of sources. I quite appreciated the writing style, which was professional yet not boring or plain. If you want to get the most relevant and accurate information, this site would be the best.


This site is dedicated to famous opera singers, so I was really pleased to find Madame du Maupin on it. Again, an unconventional writing style (seems to happen a lot with Julie . .  wonder why.)

The Daily Dot

A really great article which, along with copious illustrations, focuses not only on her life and tales but also on the effect she had on society and the questions about her life/gender/adventures.  It’s handy if you want to know more about the whole ripple affect of her life.

One of the more sophisticated articles written about her.  It’s a good read, and it captures the mystery and enigmas that surrounded her life. Illustrations included.

La Maupin

This is a website entirely dedicated to Madame du Maupin. The article on Eldacur originally led me to this, since the author has a big interest on her life. While it hasn’t been updated in a while, it’s still got valuable info.

Exclamation Point

This little article was something I found while browsing tumblr quite by accident. It’s short, but a lot of condensed information and opinions shoved into five paragraphs.


Ah yes, good ol’ wikipedia. Some teachers will scorn you for using this, but I found it quite helpful. You can also find links to the different operas she acted in and movies/plays done about her.


Learning Center

Greetings, small mammals. Night of the Notables has come and gone, leaving us all in the hangover period. In the aftermath, I wish to explain to you what exactly happened on that fateful night.

My learning center was much better than last years, if I say so myself. As oppose to last years tri-fold and very very interactive lift-the-flaps, I upped the ante. As you can see behind me, in the only picture I have of my learning center, you can see my lovely poster  that announces my title and my amazing food display (note: people really enjoy cheese). I kept the written information to a minimal (hence the three yellow papers on the wall) so people could have SOMETHING to read but still have to talk to me. I had a little opera setup, with mirror and lipstick and music, and the centerpiece of of the evening would be my . . . wait for it . . .  SWORD-FIGHTING RING!!! It was actually pretty cool. I had four nerf swords and a tape rink on the floor, and participants took turns thwacking each other over the head with swords. It really captured her essence, if you ask me. I fought about 5 people. The longest lasted 2 minutes (I won anyway)

I had a surprising amount of people come up and talk to me, much more then last year. The main questions I got were “Why did you choose her?” “Where did you learn about her” and the one guy who asked “Why was she so . . . tense?” (to be fair, she did fight  lot of people). I got  lot better at talking to people and a LOT of compliments on my costume. Which, to be fair, was pretty kicking. (special thanks to the amazing, lovely, talented and perfect Emily van der Velden for her exceeding work in the costuming area)

All in all, this year’s learning center was buckets better then last years.



Eminent Speech: Julie D’Aubigny

Oh, hey. Didn’t see you there. Look, I know what this looks like. I’m not running, I swear. I’m just . . . leaving. It’s not her fault, no. I love her. I became a nun for her. I burned that nunnery to the floor and ran from arson and graverobbing charges for her. But that was then. Now, it’s … Just us.

I don’t even know why I came here with her. It’s not like I’m good for her. Hell, I’m a swordfighting, singing “criminal” who loves men, women and the occasional cross dress. I’m not exactly your  status quo. But I won’t let that stop me. Don’t like what I wear? Fight me. Don’t like who I love? Fight me. Don’t think I can’t beat you to the ground? Fight me, and we’ll see.

Because I’m going to do great things. I’ll show them I’m not just a fighter, but a delicate singer, and a damn good one as well. You don’t think I’m going to stay singing at these bars forever, do you? Someday, it’ll be me up on that center stage.

I live for adventure. My life may be short, but I will live forever in stories. I am famous! I am Madame de Maupin. I am afraid of nothing. I may not have long, but you can be damn sure I’ll leave my mark here before I die.

Eminent Speeches

Voila, the speech I wrote in three minutes and turned out much better then previously expected. Any review or improvements are welcome.

Oh hey, I didn’t see you there. I know what is looks like.
I’m not running, I swear. I’m. . . . Seeking.  It’s not her fault, no
I love her. I became a nun for her. I burned that nunnery to the floor and ran from arson for her. But that was then. Now, it’s …  Just us. And I need more.
My whole life has been adventure. My first lover was an murdering swordsman. He taught me how to fight, how to love, and how to kill. Those lessons I have taken on with me forever.

I know I don’t have long here. Hell, I’m a swordfighting, singing criminal who loves men, women and the occasional cross dress. I’m not exactly the status quo.
Still, that won’t stop me. Don’t like what I wear. Fight me. Don’t like who I love? Fight me. Don’t think I can beat you to the ground? Fight me, and we’ll see.

I’m going to do great things. Meet the king. Show them I’m not just a crude fighter, but a delicate singer, and a damn good one as well. Perhaps taunting the men I fight with song is not exactly classy, but, what about me is.

I live for adventure.I may not live long, but I will live forever in stories. I am famous! Je suis Madame de Maupin. I am afraid of nothing. I may not have long, but you can be damn sure I’m going to do as much as I can before I die.

Poetry in Motion (yes, incredibly cliched title, I’m aware.)

So, I’ve been told we are allowed to post non-TALONS related things here, and a new interest of mine happens to be poetry, so voila! Poetry post!

Thanks to Jaime, Emma and Lyle’s wonderful poetry group, I’ve actually started writing a lot more poetry then previously imgained. I’m currently working on two longer ones for the next Youth Slam (which I may post at a later date), but until then, have these lovely haikus. Yes, the last one is sarcastic.

I am the tiger

Scars are the stripes on my skin

Screaming silent roars

Winter’s chill creep in

Cocooning me in blankets

To emerge in spring

Marks on the sidewalk

Each scuff telling a story

Your imprint today

Bird and plane can fly

I cannot fly therefore I

Am not bird or plane

SFU, we meet again.

So, the SFU Library Trip has come and gone. I actually had a much better time then I expected, and while I did not perhaps get the best trip educationally, I did get a pretty good trip bonding and photography-wise. Most of this post will be a gallery of photos, documenting talons documenting for their documents of learning.

Complicated, I know.

How will you capture what you find?

I got my dad’s fancy Panorama camera and I plan to take as many photos as possible.

What are you seeking on the trip?

I know my eminent person isn’t very well known, so I’m not expecting anything too great information wise. I am looking forward to meeting more of the TALONS that I don’t know yet and exploring the SFU campus.

What did you learn?

I learned 3 things:

  1. While not learning about my eminent person directly, I learned about some of the things she believed in, such as gender equality and less heteronormativity.
  2. SFU is a beautiful, if slightly confusing place to go to school
  3. The grade nines this year are absolutely amazing.

What was the theme of the trip?

For me, the theme was bonding. I made a lot of new friends and connections, mostly over ridiculous photos and the on-and-off-rain.

Photo Gallery:







This book is the realest thing I’ve ever seen


Well this was a surprise
Well well well wasn’t this fun
Bad. Let’s move on.



*cough* straight white male


Such dorks.




Zoe had a sick rap going on.


Fanciest computers I have ever had the privilege to use



New beginnings, new eminent, new reasons to procrastinate

Julie D’Aubigny: Opera Singer, Duelist, and lover of adventure – what more could I ask for in an eminent person?

Meet Madame de Maupin: a 17th- century bisexual opera star who could beat the greatest swordsmen in a duel. Born to a lower french aristocrat, she had a colorful childhood, learning to duel and ride. She was briefly engaged and met the King, but her fiance broke it off and sent her away to France, where she had a string of short affairs, including one with a murdering swordsmen, before happening to meet a young woman whom she quickly became enamored with. The woman’s parent’s decidedly did not approve and sent her to a convent. D’Aubigny promptly took the vows at the same convent and spent weeks coming up with an escape plan, before sneaking herself and her lover out and setting the convent on fire as a distraction. This affair ended months later when Julie became bored and left her lover. She escaped her trial for arson and spent the next few years travelling as an opera singer. Upon one such travel, one man made a derogatory comment of her and she instantly challenged him to a duel, which she won, stabbing him in the shoulder. Later, in apology, she stayed with him in the hospital and became his lover instead. She died at the age of 33.

There are many more fascinating tales about her, such as how she crashed the ball of king Louis, dressed in men’s clothing and flirted shamelessly with the ladies, beat 7 angry suitors in a duel and got pardoned because the laws against dueling only applied to men. How she defeated men while singing embarrassing songs about them and when people doubted her gender, ripping open her blouse so they could “see for themselves”.

Obviously, I cannot fully understand her point of view, her being a minor french noblewoman and me, as a middle class Canadian. We both, however, share the same sense of adventure and hate of boredom. Both us are bisexual, and understand that sometimes cutting your hair or wearing the wrong clothes won’t make it easier for people to like you. We both are loud, proud, and often overzealous about things we are very passionate about. She, however, was of course an extremely talented singer and swords woman, and I don’t see myself mastering either of those particularly soon.

No matter what, I am super pumped to learn more about her and her story, and the scandalous tales that lie in between.

In=Depth Post #7: Learning Center

Tick, tick, tick . . . IT’S IN-DEPTH NIGHT ALREADY? WHAT?

That’s my general attitude right now. I can’t believe that in-depth is over, when it seems like yesterday I started. I’m amazed at the amount of improvement when technically I have only been doing trapeze for 4 hours and silks for 3.

For my learning center, I was hoping to originally do a demonstration, but getting silks or trapeze into the MPR would be impossible. I am toying with the idea of getting a rope in the gym to climb and teach other to climb, but given gyk space and such, it might be hard.

My plan is to have a computer, which is going to have a video of my on the trapeze on a loop, so people can see how it actually works.  I’m going to decorate a poster board to look like a circus tent, see if I can get some nice gauzy fabric to create a tent effect. I’m going to cover it all with photos of me on silks, trapeze, unicycle and such, and the only words I plan to have on there is instructions on how to juggle,  and some juggling balls on the table so people can practice. I have a diablo, which is the rubber hourglass figure on a string with teo poles, and I plan to bring that out to  complete the effect. I’ll also have my flexibility projects up.

I’ll need a table, but not much else, seeing as I’m not too choosy on location. That’s about it for my elarning center

Madame Tallien: An End to the Madness

22 August 1805

My dear Papa,

Many things have happened since I wrote to you last, but I can say with great relief that the Revolution is over. The overturn of FRance has come to an end, and I can continue with my life.

I was arrested a second time, papa, this time being seen as a threat to the altruistic power of Robespierre, but not all bad came from that event. I found my friend Josephine, married my husband Thermidor Tallien, and together we banded to oust Robespierre. I must admit I had a large part in that papa,  with a certain letter delivered at the right time. I was liberated, and using his power I freed many prisoners, not wanting anyone to suffer through what I suffered. I gained myself the title of “Lady of the Thermidor”, as I was the most likely to intervene on behalf of the detained. Would you believe that you little daughter once had a month named after her? With the horrid Robespierre, my enemy, gone, and Josephine married off to a man most powerful, Tallien’s power waned and I found myself distancing from him. We divorced, papa, and I spent my years gaining reputation and status, evolving into a pinnacle of social grace. (I am still a vain child inside, papa)

Today I marry Francois, the Prince of Chimay, and reclaim my true status. With my enemies dead and my connections to that horrid revolution finally severed, now I can go on with my life, papa. I hope france will remember me for my good works, my intervention for prisoners. France has not seen the last of me yet.

Avec amour,

Theresa, Princess du Chimay.

Madame Tallien: Prison is not a Pleasent Experience

My dear Papa,

You will not believe the outrage that has happened! I, Theresa, have been imprisonned by these foul revolutoinaries! Like a common criminal! That- that horrid man, Rosbipeierre and his gang, have decided that being born an aristocrat is a crime! A crime!. As if it was my choice to be born with a high status (if it was my choice, I would have chosen aristocracy, though. Being a queen is far too dangerous, have you heard of poor Marie Antoinette?). This prison is horrible, much too dirty for someone of my rank, and I’m sure these guards are even reading my letters.

Have you heard the news of the king, papa? As much as I am sympathetic, I must admit he had it coming. Those rumors of the locked chest, papa? In this country, traitors are not welcome. Even if he wasn’t necessarily plotting with them, even a correspondence is dangerous.

Still, I remain hopeful papa. I still remain my childishly vain self as I remark that my looks have not been overlooked here. You did teach me how to use the situation to my advantage. with any luck, I will escape and be more powerful than ever. If I do not, then I fear the guillotine may be my end. If that is to come true, know that I love you, papa.

Your loving daughter,


Le 9 d’Octobre, 1791