Mariana ALCOFORADO Biography

Portuguese nun. Name variations: Mariana Alcoforada. Baptized in the Portuguese city of Beja, April 22, 1640; died July 28, 1723; dau. of Francisco da Costa Alcoforado and Leonor Mendes.

Nun whose love for Noe¨l Bouton, the Marquis of Chamilly, reportedly led her to write 5 love letters, which gained fame as the Lettres portugaises (1669), celebrated examples of amorous correspondence; placed in Our Lady of the Conception convent in Beja (1652); met Noe¨l Bouton de Chamilly when his detachment quartered in and around Beja (mid-1666); after he departed for France (late 1667), allegedly wrote 5 letters to him (Dec 1667–June 1668) which were published as Lettres portugaises in Paris (Jan 4, 1669) and went through 5 editions in 7 months; lost election to serve as abbess of convent (July 30, 1709).
French scholar Jean Francois Boissonade claimed she authored the letters (1810).