Margaret of Navarre
(1492-1549)
   French writer of poetry and prose, sister of King Francis I, and (after her second marriage in 1527) queen of Navarre. She is sometimes called Margaret (or Mar-guerite) of Angoulême since her brother was duke of Angoulême be-fore he succeeded to the French throne in 1515; sometimes also Mar-garet of Alençon, from the title of her first husband. Margaret was very close to her brother and had even more political influence than was usual for a king's sister. She was deeply religious, but unlike her mother Louise of Savoy, whose piety was conservative, Margaret was sympathetic to the movement to reform the French church along lines suggested by humanist reformers. She sheltered protégés like Lefèvre d'Etaples, Gerard Roussel, and Bishop Guillaume Briçon-net when they came under attack by conservative theologians who accused them of Lutheran sympathies.
   Margaret was active as a writer in French, though only a little of her work was published until after her death. Her long, meditative poem Le miroir de l'âme pécheresse / Mirror of the Sinful Soul was published in 1531 and republished in 1533 along with a second reli-gious poem, Dialogue en forme de vision nocturne / Dialogue in the Form of a Nocturnal Vision; this combined publication was con-demned by the faculty of theology of the University of Paris for its similarities to the doctrines of Martin Luther on grace, faith, and free will. This censure caused her brother to exile the leader of the theologians' attack, Noël Béda, to a remote province. Two years be-fore her death, Margaret published a collection of poems whose title embodied a pun on her name, Les marguerites de la marguerite des princesses / Pearls from the Pearl of Princesses (margarita is the Latin word for pearl). Like most of her work, these poems are deeply religious and provide allegories about the Christian life.
   Her most famous work, however, is a collection of prose tales pub-lished some years after her death, the Heptaméron, which was mod-elled on Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron. It provides both inspiring stories of heroic devotion to Christian faith and scandalous tales of fraud, adultery, and sexual seduction, and the characters who are the storytellers are often identifiable with members of the court society of which she was an intellectual and literary ornament. Her grandson Henry IV in 1589 became the first king of the Bourbon dynasty which occupied the French throne down to the French Revolution.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Margaret of Navarre — [än go͞o lem′] 1492 1549; queen of Navarre (1544 49): writer & patroness of literature: also Margaret of Angoulême [än go͞o lem′] …   English World dictionary

  • Margaret of Navarre — 1492 1549, queen of Navarre 1544 49: patron of literature, author of stories, and poet. Also called Margaret of Angoulême /ahng goo lem /; Fr. /ahonn gooh lem /. * * * …   Universalium

  • Margaret of Navarre — 1492 1549, queen of Navarre 1544 49: patron of literature, author of stories, and poet. Also called Margaret of Angoulême /ahng goo lem /; Fr. /ahonn gooh lem / …   Useful english dictionary

  • Margaret of Navarre — Mar′garet of Navarre′ n. big 1492–1549, queen of Navarre 1544–49 and author. Also calledMar′garet of An•gou•lême′ [[t]ˌɑŋ gʊˈlɛm[/t]] …   From formal English to slang

  • Margaret of Navarre — /nəˈva/ (say nuh vah) noun 1492–1549, queen of Navarre 1544–49, patron of literature, author of stories and poems …   Australian English dictionary

  • Margaret of Navarre (1128–1183) — Margaret of Navarre redirects here. For the 16th century author and queen of Navarre, see Marguerite de Navarre. Margaret of Navarre (French: Marguerite, Spanish: Margarita, Italian: Margherita) (c. 1128 – 12 August 1183) was the queen consort of …   Wikipedia

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  • Margaret of Bourbon (1211–1256) — Seal of Margaret Margaret of Bourbon (1211 – 12 April 1256) was the wife of Theobald I of Navarre, she became Countess of Champagne and Queen of Navarre. Margaret was the daughter of Archambaud VIII of Bourbon and his first wife, Guigone of Forez …   Wikipedia

  • Margaret of Angoulême — or Margaret of Navarra French Marguerite d Angoulême born April 11, 1492, Angoulême, France died Dec. 21, 1549, Odos Bigorre Queen consort of Henry II of Navarra and an outstanding figure of the French Renaissance. She was the daughter of the… …   Universalium

  • Margaret of Valois — Queen consort of France and of Navarre Tenure 1589–1599 …   Wikipedia

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