Marie de Gournay (6 October 1565, Paris - 13 July 1645) was a French writer, intellectual and early feminist. She was an admirer of Michel de Montaigne, who, having read his works in her teens, traveled to meet him and eventually became his "fille d'alliance" (roughly "adopted daughter"). She receives her name from the Château de Gournay in Gournay-sur-Aronde (in the Ile-de-France Province) that her father, Guillaume Le Jars, bought shortly before dying in 1578.
After Montaigne's death, de Gournay edited the third edition of the Essays in 1595 and it is for this that she is best known. She was, however, also a gifted author in her own right, writing a novel and a number of other literary compositions, including two feminist tracts, The Equality of Men and Women (1622) and The Ladies' Grievance (Les femmes et Grief des dames, 1626). De Gournay could be considered a protofeminist for her views on women's rights. In her novel Le Promenoir de M. de Montaigne qui traite de l’amour dans l’œuvre de Plutarque. she explored the dangers women face when they become dependent on men. She insisted that women should be educated.