Via the Guardian UK:
A few years ago I was researching a book about Einstein when I stumbled on a footnote about an obscure Frenchwoman of the early 18th century. Her name was Emilie du Châtelet; according to the note, she had played a role in developing the modern concept of energy, and had acquired a certain notoriety in her day.
It left me intrigued. And what I discovered, as I tracked down her letters and books over the next few months, astounded me. That footnote had understated her significance entirely. Emilie du Châtelet had played a crucial role in the development of science. What’s more, she had had a wild life.
You can get it as Disc 3 of Brian Greene’s The Elegant Universe.