Marie-Geneviève-Charlotte d'Arlus (or Darlus) was born in Paris to a wealthy family. At age 14, she was married to Louis-Lazare Thiroux d’Arconville, a magistrate who served as president of one of the chambers of the Parliament of Paris. The couple had three children. Severely scarred by an attack of smallpox at age 23, she withdrew from society to her books and to scientific studies at the Jardin du Roi (now the Jardin des Plantes), where few women were admitted. Among the topics she studied were physics, chemistry -- she conducted pioneering experiments in putrefaction -- medicine, botany, literature, languages, and history. Although much of her writing was originally published anonymously, she is now credited as the author of many works, including novels, history, scientific studies, moral reflections, and translations. These included Essai pour servir a l'histoire de la putref́action (Essay on the History of Putrefaction, 1766) and Traité d'ostéologie, the latter a translation of Alexander Monro's illustrated anatomy work Osteological Tract of 1759, with her addition of descriptions of the female skeleton. She also wrote her memoirs in 13 volumes, which were not published in her lifetime, and believed lost until they resurfaced at the end of the 20th century.