Sor Juana Inés de la Cruza
Self-taught scholar and student of scientific thought, philosopher, composer, and poet of the Baroque school, and Hieronymite nun of New Spain. After joining a nunnery in 1667, Sor Juana began writing poetry and prose dealing with such topics as love, feminism, and religion. She turned her nun’s quarters into a salon, visited by the city’s intellectual elite. Among them was Countess Maria Luisa de Paredes, vicereine of Mexico. Her criticism of misogyny and the hypocrisy of men led to her condemnation by the Bishop of Puebla, and in 1694 she was forced to sell her collection of books and focus on charity towards the poor. She died the next year, having caught the plague while treating her fellow nuns.