Anne Ninon de lEnclos (also spelled Ninon de Lenclos and Ninon de Lanclos) was a French author, courtesan and patron of the arts.Starting in the late 1660s she retired from her courtesan lifestyle and concentrated more on her literary friends — from 1667, she hosted her gatherings at lhôtel Sagonne, which was considered the location of the salon of Ninon de lEnclos despite other locales in the past. During this time she was a friend of Jean Racine, the great French playwright. Later she would become a close friend with the devout Françoise dAubigné, better known as Madame de Maintenon, the lady-in-waiting who would later become the second wife of Louis XIV. The lady did not like her to be mentioned in her presence, but dared not disown her, and wrote cordial letters to her from time to time, to the day of her death (Saint-Simon). Ninon eventually died at the age of (at least) 84, a very wealthy woman.At one point in her life, Cardinal Richelieu offered fifty thousand crowns for a night in her bed. Ninon took the money, and sent a friend instead. Ninon made friends among the great in every walk of life, had wit and intelligence enough to keep them, and, what is more, to keep them friendly with one another. (Saint-Simon).Ninon de lEnclos is a relatively obscure figure in the English-speaking world, but is much better known in France where her name is synonymous with wit and beauty.