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The Tales of the Heptameron - Volume 2

Marguerite of Navarre

Book Overview: 

THE HEPTAMERON, is divided into seven complete days containing 10 stories each, and an eighth day containing only 2 stories. The stories, many of which deal with love and infidelity, resulted in "accusations of looseness" by critics of the day. The author, Margaret of Navarre (also known as Margaret of Angoulême) became an influential woman in the intellectual and cultural circles of the French Renaissance.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .observation of those who knew by experience how to distinguish a lover's looks from another man's; for when Florida, thinking no evil, came and spoke familiarly to him, the fire that was hidden in his heart so consumed him that he could not keep the colour from rising to his face or sparks of flame from darting from his eyes. Thus, in order that none might be any the wiser, he began to pay court to a very beautiful lady named Paulina, a woman so famed for beauty in her day that few men who saw her escaped from her toils.

This Paulina had heard how Amadour had made love at Barcelona and Perpignan, insomuch that he had gained the affection of the highest and most beautiful ladies in the land, especially that of a certain Countess of Palamos, who was esteemed the first for beauty among all the ladies of Spain; and she told him that she greatly pitied him, since, after so much good fortune, he had married such an ugly wife. Amadour, who well understood by these wo. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The Heptameron is an extremely important historical document and great work of literature. The author was the Queen of Navarre and mother of Jeanne d'Albret who will become the Queen of France and will play a major role in the success of the Calvinist Reformation in France. From the Heptameron on...more

Well, it turns out that one of my favorite literary forms is what the editor of the Penguin edition of Jan Potocki's novel The Manuscript Found in Saragossa has dubbed "The novel in frames." This form would be a collection of tales recounted (specifically, usually stories bearing traces of an ora...more

Part of my incentive for reading books like these for my own pleasure (this copy of mine, purchased at a library sale, has a sticker from being checked out of a college reserves for a Medieval and Romance class) is encountering this chunk of the canon on my own terms before some future class sink...more

In the early sixteenth century, a group of nobles are gathered in a monastery, awaiting the repair of a bridge so they can return to the French court. They decide to pass the time telling tales, with the caveat that every tale told must be true, and must es with the question of whether women or m...more

Even had Marguerite de Navarre not written The Heptameron, the world of letters would be deeply indebted to her for her patronage of Rabelais and his genius novels about the giants Gargantua and Pantagruel. As it is, we owe her even more for her assemblage of a treasury of bawdy tales; a cycle wh...more

I hope de Navarre is suing the makers of the Tudors. I really do.

Talk about your love triangles.

Ça faisait longtemps que je voulais lire ces histoires écrites sur le modèle du Décaméron de Boccace. Ici seulement sept journées au lieu des dix de l'italien pour Marguerite de Navarre(1492-1549), sœur de François Ier, mais c'est assez. J'ai apprécié la variété comme le piquant des situations, m...more

Marguerite de Navarre was the sister of Francis I of France and so was the grandmother of Henri de Navarre, and the great-aunt of Marguerite, better known as 'la reine Margot' from the Dumas novel and far more fabulous film.

Although her authorship is disputed, the Heptameron is usually attributed...more

оповідання маргарити наваррської трохи втомлюють, але трапляються в них речі, від яких тяжко відірватися (і які в момент написання були непомітні): асиметрія статей – що для чоловіка легкі розваги, те для жінки привід бути довічно ув'язненою в кімнаті зі скелетом свого коханця; виправдання згвалт...more

Marguerite de Navarre was the sister of Francis I of France and so was the grandmother of Henri de Navarre, and the great-aunt of Marguerite, better known as 'la reine Margot' from the Dumas novel.

Although her authorship is disputed, the Heptameron is usually attributed to her, and first appeared...more

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