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Marguerite De Navarre

Marguerite De Navarre

By Emily Butterworth



A new exploration of the complexities and resolutions at play in the writings of Marguerite de Navarre, offering insights into how her work reflected the turbulence, uncertainties, and assurances of her historical period. Marguerite de Navarre was a Renaissance princess, diplomat, and mystical poet. She is arguably best known for The Heptameron, an answer to Boccaccio's Decameron, a brilliant and open-ended collection of short stories told by a group of men and women stranded in a monastery. The stories explore love, desire, male and female honour, individual salvation, and the iniquity of Franciscan monks, while the discussions between the storytellers enact and embody the tensions, ideologies, and prejudices underlying the stories. Marguerite herself was deeply involved in the debates and conflicts of her time. Her work reflects the turbulence, uncertainties, and assurances of her historical period, as the Renaissance re-imagined the past and the Reformation re-made the church, and represents her original and sometimes provocative position on these questions. This book presents The Heptameron and its investigations into gender relations, the nature of love, and the nature of religious faith in the context of the intellectual, religious, and political questions of the sixteenth century, setting it alongside Marguerite's other writings: her poetry, plays, and diplomatic letters. In chapters on communities, religion, politics, gender relationships, desire, and literary technique, it explores the complexities and resolutions of Marguerite's writing and her world. It aims to offer a guide to the critical tradition on Marguerite's work along with new readings of her texts, revealing both the historical specificity of her writing and its continuing relevance.

ISBN: 9781843846260


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