Jacqueline Hess

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Known to be an acquaintance of Mozart's and possibly other famous people of the late 18th century, some account of her is known by fragments of her diary that have survived.

Known to have been born and raised in the countryside, although her origins remain obscured to history. Accounts say that she was possibly born in the Alsace region but contrasting records indicate Brittany or as far off and unlikely as the Welsh countryside. Little else is known about her, but a portrait of her can be reconstructed from her diary entries:

On the yestereve I was on my habitual journeys to the local grocer's market when I came upon a dispute between two people whom I did not recognize. They seemed to be in consternations over a dispute over the purchase of some item that one of them found to disagreeable upon delivery. Whilst I was passing by, to my surprise, I was called on by one of these gentleman to bear a witness to his offence. Thereupon they both attempted to prevail upon me the faults of the other's case and the subsequent strength's of theirs. I must say that much of what was remarked upon was covered in such a daze that I could help neither gentleman. I was very much perplexed.

— December 13th, 1778

It seems she was also acquainted with some of the academic minds of the 18th century, as evinced by one such entry:

...I was briefly introduced to the works of Messrs Newton and Leibniz and their disputes by my friend, who wrote to me explaining some of their great achievements. I read the letter as someone completely and utterly confused by the situation.

— January 28th, 1781

Nothing certain is known about her status or standing, although it appears that by the 1780s she travelled to many of the great European cities including Paris, Venice, St Petersburg and Vienna, where she seemingly met many famous composers, scientists, politicians and writers of the era. She seems to be particularly familiar with many of the great works of literature of the era and their writers and seems to have been most interested in dream-like imagery and the spirits of nature:

Drifting through the gardens in the central park, I was taken to remember the conversations of myths and poetry I enjoyed some days before. Such were my contemplations that when I looked up and paid heed again to my surroundings, that I had seemingly walked out of this mortal world and somewhere crossed the march to the supernatural, for the sun shone more through me than upon me and bathed the leaves around me in sparks so that if I had dared to touch them I thought that they might blaze anew and break into a myriad pieces, as if they shone like light through crystal. I stood still, afeared that I should mishap walk out of this realm of nature that I had stumbled into. But such was my desire to see more that I soon walked forward again and lo! as I had feared, that world of light faded away before my unblinking eyes and the mortal world suffused back into view. I retraced my steps, but I was to no avail. I looked back and pondered what secret door amongst the ferns I must have found... When I related the strange encounter I had the few days before, those around me suggested many explanations, including one such remark about the colours shifting in the presence of different lights or something alike to this. I imagine now this was meant to divest me of my delusions as they were taken to be. I was much perplexed.

— August 3rd/7th, 1782