The New International Encyclopædia/Ninon de l'Enclos

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NINON DE L'ENCLOS, nḗ'nṓN deN'klṓ', or Lenclos (1616-1706). A Parisian courtesan, remarkable for beauty, grace, and intellectual culture, as well as for keen wit. Her career began at sixteen. Among her many lovers were successively the Count de Châtillon, the Marquis de Villarceaux, the Marquis de Sévigné, the Marquis de Gersay, Marshal Condé, the Duc de la Rochefoucauld, Marshal d'Albret, Marshal d'Estrées, Abbé d'Effiat, Gourville, and La Châtre. She counted among her friends Queen Christina of Sweden, Madame Scarron (afterwards Madame de Maintenon), and Madame de La Fayette. Her salon seemed for a time a rival of the Hôtel de Rambouillet. Molière and Scarron are said to have taken literary counsel with her. Her beauty lasted into old age. Consult: Douxmesnil, Mémoires (Rotterdam, 1752); and the Works of Saint-Evremond (Amsterdam, 1706), but especially the contemporary ‘portrait’ in Mlle. de Scudéry's Clélie (Paris, 1556-60), where she figures as ‘Clarisse.’