sophie arnould

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The fictitious sex sorority Club Des Anandrynes was a running joke used to discredit women as ‘tribades’ throughout the latter half of the 18th century. ‘Tribade’ was the period’s term for women who had sex with other women. The actress Mlle Raucourt (pictured left) was the frequently lampooned as being a member of the fictitious Club Des Anandrynes. She was also the target of other obscene verses for her sexual practices.

Raucourt wrote a play with a cross-dressing heroine as protagonist (Henriette, 1782). She also reputedly engaged in relationships with other women, her most famous being with opera singer Sophie Arnould (pictured right).

Later in life Raucourt shared a home and garden in the country with a Marie-Henriette Simonnot-Ponty. While away on a performing tour in Belgium Raucourt wrote heartfelt letters to Ponty. “You are so necessary to my existence that far from you I am nothing but a shadow.” Raucourt also wrote to Pony the following promise: “I will love you until my last day.” They remained together until Raucourt’s death.