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The Tales of the Heptameron - Volume 3

Marguerite of Navarre

Book Overview: 

THE HEPTAMERON (here Volume 3 of 5), first published posthumously in 1558, 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: 
. . . are handsome and young, fearing to fall into the same difficulties as others. And since this gentleman is discreet and virtuous, as you yourself know, and tells me nothing that is not honourable and right, what harm can I have done to you and to those that have spoken of the matter, by seeking from him some consolation in my grief?"

The poor old woman, who loved her mistress more than she loved herself, replied—

"I can see, my lady, that you speak the truth, and know that you are not treated by your father and mistress as you deserve to be. Nevertheless, since people are speaking about your honour in this way, you ought to converse with him no longer, even were he your own brother."

"Mother," said Rolandine, "if such be your counsel I will observe it; but 'tis a strange thing to be wholly without consolation in the world."

The Bastard came to talk with her according to his wont, but she told him everything that her gover. . . 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The Heptameron is an extremely important historical document and great work of literature.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

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

Talk about your love triangles.

This is not a fast read at all, there are V (5) long volumes with many sections but completely worth it. It was meant to be 100 stories but Marguerite de Navarre died and ergo there are 72 stories and I shall salute you if you've read them all. The dialogue between the narrators are absolutely hi...more

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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