Marguerite de Navarre

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Marguerite, Queen of Navarre (1492 - 1549), author of the Heptameron, a major literary landmark in the French Renaissance. Published after her death, The Heptameron features 72 short stories, many of which explore relations between the sexes. However, Marguerite’s life was more eventful than that of many writers. Born into the French nobility, she found herself the sister of the French king when her brother Francis I came to the throne in 1515. At a time of growing religious change, Marguerite was a leading exponent of reform in the Catholic Church and translated an early work of Martin Luther into French. As the Reformation progressed, she was not afraid to take risks to protect other reformers.

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  • Sara Barker No other episodes
    Associate Professor of Early Modern History and Director of the Centre for the Comparative History of Print at the University of Leeds
  • Emily Butterworth No other episodes
    Professor of Early Modern French at King's College London
  • Emma Herdman No other episodes
    Lecturer in French at the University of St Andrews

Reading list

  • The Decameron
    Giovanni Boccaccio (trans. Wayne A. Rebhorn) (Norton, 2013) Google Books →
  • Marguerite de Navarre: A Critical Companion
    Emily Butterworth (Boydell &Brewer, 2022) Google Books →
  • Marguerite de Navarre: Mother of the Renaissance
    Patricia Cholakian and Rouben Cholakian (Columbia University Press, 2006) Google Books →
  • Mirroring Belief: Marguerite de Navarre's Devotional Poetry
    Gary Ferguson (Edinburgh University Press, 1992) Google Books →
  • A Companion to Marguerite de Navarre
    Gary Ferguson and Mary B. McKinley (eds.) (Brill, 2013) Google Books →
  • The French Reformation
    Mark Greengrass (John Wiley & Sons, 1987) Google Books →
  • The Rise and Fall of Renaissance France
    R.J. Knecht (Fontana Press, 2008) Google Books →
  • Renaissance Warrior and Patron: The Reign of Francis I
    R.J. Knecht (Cambridge University Press, 2008) Google Books →
  • Critical Tales: New Studies of the 'Heptameron' and Early Modern Culture
    John D. Lyons and Mary B. McKinley (eds.) (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993) Google Books →
  • The Heptameron
    Marguerite de Navarre (trans. Paul Chilton) (Penguin, 2004) Google Books →
  • Selected Writings: A Bilingual Edition
    Marguerite de Navarre (trans. Rouben Cholakian and Mary Skemp) (University of Chicago Press, 2008) Google Books →
  • The Coach and The Triumph of the Lamb
    Marguerite de Navarre (trans. Hilda Dale) (Elm Press, 1999) Google Books →
  • The Prisons
    Marguerite de Navarre (trans. Hilda Dale) (Whiteknights, 1989) Google Books →
  • L'Heptameron
    Marguerite de Navarre (ed. Gisele Mathieu-Castellani) (Libraririe generale francaise, 1999) Google Books →
  • King's Sister - Queen of Dissent: Marguerite of Navarre (1492-1549) and her Evangelical Network
    Jonathan A. Reid (Brill, 2009) Google Books →
  • 'The Mirror and its Reflections: Marguerite de Navarre's Biblical Feminism'
    Paula Sommers (Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, 5, 1986)
  • Queens and Mistresses of Renaissance France
    Kathleen Wellman (Yale University Press, 2013) Google Books →

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Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In the early 16th century, Marguerite, Queen of Navarre, 1492 to 1549, was the author of the Heptameron, one of the literary jewels of the French Renaissance.