In 1673 a decree of the parlement against Cartesian and other unlicensed theories was on the point of being issued, and was only checked in[time by the appearance of a burlesque mandamus against the intruder Reason, composed by Boileau and some of his brother-poets.
La Fontaine dedicated to her his novel Belphegor, and Boileau immortalized her in verse.
She was well versed in mathematics, which she studied at the university of Moscow, and in general literature her favourite authors were Bayle, Montesquieu, Boileau, Voltaire and Helvetius.
In 1691 he was received into the French Academy in spite of the determined efforts of the partisans of the ancients in this quarrel, especially of Racine and Boileau, who on four previous occasions had secured his rejection.
Fontenelle forms a link between two very widely different periods of French literature, that of Corneille, Racine and Boileau on the one hand, and that of Voltaire, D'Alembert and Diderot on the other.