A portrait of Juana during her youth in 1666, which states she was 15 at the time, when she first entered the viceregal court
Juana Inés de la Cruz (12 November 1651 – 17 April 1695), full name Juana Inés de Asbaje y Ramírez de Santillana, was a self-taught scholar and poet of the Baroque school, and nun of New Spain.
In 1664, aged 16, she was sent to live in Mexico City. She asked her mother’s permission to disguise herself as a male student so that she could enter the university. Not being allowed to do this, she continued her studies privately. She came under the tutelage of the Vicereine Leonor Carreto, wife of the Viceroy Antonio Sebastián de Toledo. The viceroy (whom Appletons’ Cyclopædia of American Biography names as the Marquis de Mancera), wishing to test the learning and intelligence of this 17 year old, invited several theologians, jurists, philosophers, and poets to a meeting, during which she had to answer, unprepared, many questions, and explain several difficult points on various scientific and literary subjects. The manner in which she acquitted herself astonished all present, and greatly increased her reputation. Her literary accomplishments garnered her fame throughout New Spain.
i wrote a paper on her at some point in high school.