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Les marguerites de la Marguerite des princesses


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Gordon 1547 .M37

(Click on the call number to view the digital facsimile of the book.)

Marguerites de la Marguerite des princesses tresillustres royne de Nauarre.

A Lyon: Par Iean de Tournes, 1547.
Description: 2 v. in 1: ill.; 18 cm. (octavo)

Published in Lyon by Jean de Tournes in 1547, this first edition of the Marguerites provides a beautiful example of the italic type designed by Robert Granjon. One of the most influential of the Lyonnese printers, Jean de Tournes used Granjon's types with the illustrations and ornaments by Bernard Salomon to produce some of the most beautiful books of the French Renaissance. Salomon's woodcuts illustrate "La Coche" and he designed the arabesque ornaments that grace many pages of the Marguerites and lend elegance and originality to this and other works published by Jean de Tournes.

Le miroir de l'âme pécheresse

The presence of embellished initial letters in print was a carryover from the era of illuminated manuscripts. The first letter in each of the poems of this edition of the Marguerites is treated in this way. For a discussion of the initial and its symbolism in the poetry of Marguerite de Navarre, see pages 99-103 in The Grammar of Silence (Catholic U of America P, 1986) by Robert Cottrell

The marginal annotations here and elsewhere were added by the editor and printer. The notes on this page indicate the text's allusions to the letters of St. Paul.

La Coche

The woodcut illustrations were the work of Bernard Salomon. When making the woodcuts, Salomon reportedly followed the captions provided by Marguerite herself in the unillustrated manuscript copies of the text to indicate what she wanted represented in the illustrations that were to be added later. (For more on this, see Marichal's critical edition of La Coche and Robert Cottrell's discussion of the interplay between text and "graphic encodement" in the Grammar of Silence (Catholic U of America Press, 1986), p. 234-241.

Also in the Gordon Collection at the University of Virginia
Gordon 1558. M28

Marguerites de la marguerite des princesses...

A Paris: Par Iehan Ruelle...,1558.

Description: 394, [5] leaves; 12 cm. (16mo)

This is a smaller, much less elegant edition of the text than the one first published in 1547 by Jean de Tournes, as the sample images below will attest. This later edition (the last of the five sixteenth-century editions), however, does include the same woodcuts for La Coche as appeared in the earlier Lyonnais edition.

Le miroir de l'âme pécheresse
Page 1
Page 2
La coche
Page 1
Page 2

Further Reading

Cottrell, Robert. The Grammar of Silence: a reading of Marguerite de Navarre's poetry . Catholic Universtiy of America Press, 1986.

Sommers, Paula. Celestial ladders : readings in Marguerite de Navarre's poetry of spiritual ascent. Genève : Droz, 1989.

Shell, Marc. Elizabeth's glass : with "The glass of the Sinful Soul" (1544) by Elizabeth I, and "Epistle dedicatory" & "Conclusion" (1548) by John Bale. University of Nebraska Press, c1993. Includes transcription of Elizabeth I's translation of Marguerite of Navarre's Le miroir de l'âme pécheresse. Available online at (through subscribing librairies).

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