Marguerite de Navarre (1492–1549) was the sister and wife to kings and a pivotal influence in sixteenth-century France. An astute politician and diligent humanist, she was a champion of gender equality and the evangelical reform movement, which recognized that the clergy was more concerned with maintaining the church’s power than ministering to the faithful. As the years passed and the glitter of life at court waned, however, Marguerite came to realize her true vocation: writing.
Selected Writings brings together a representative sampling of Marguerite’s varied writings, most of it never before translated into English, enabling Anglophone readers to enjoy the full breadth of her work for the first time. From verse letters and fables to mythological-pastoral tales, from spiritual songs to a selection of novellas from the Heptameron, the wide range of works included here will reveal Marguerite de Navarre to be one of the most important writers—male or female—of sixteenth-century France.