- Urfé, Honore d'
- (1568-1625)French author of the late Renais-sance, remembered primarily for his pastoral romance, L'Astrée, of which the first part was published in 1607 and the fourth in 1627, af-ter the author's death. D'Urfé's secretary saw this fourth part through the press and later published a fifth part supposedly based on his notes. The shepherds and shepherdesses who populate the romance are aristocrats who have fled the complications of life at court and in-habit an idealized landscape modeled on the author's native Forez re-gion in east-central France. The action involves the dilemmas caused by the romantic attachments of the characters. Although the author adopts the conventions of Platonic love, the narratives follow the ins and outs of the characters' romances. The work shows the influence of ancient Greek romantic tales but also of Italian pastoral authors such as Jacopo Sannazarro and Torquato Tasso.D'Urfé was born into an aristocratic family and brought up amidst a rich environment of literary and artistic activity. He received his formal education at the Jesuit Collège de Tournon. He was deeply in-volved in the extremist Catholic League during the civil wars of the 1580s. His other works include Epistres morales (1598-1608), a set of philosophical meditations in letter form; a body of pastoral poems; and an unpublished epic poem.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.