Right at the end of the eighteenth century, a famous poet, Ponce-Denis Écouchard Le Brun, denounced women writers and a literary dispute ensued. While it mobilized a number of authors, one poem stands out in accounts of the quarrel: Constance Pipelet’s “Épître aux femmes.” A study of the timeline shows that this was not in fact part of the original exchanges and that its central role is due on the one hand to a retrospective delineation of the events by a woman poet with a vested interest and, on the other, to its ambition and quality. The case poses several questions around authorial identity, gender-based judgments, the role of periodicals, and the literary construction of quarrels both as they occur and after they are over.

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