Margaret of Navarre
Her best-known work is the incomplete Heptameron, published in 1558 (Eng.
trans., 1924). Modeled on Boccaccio's Decameron, it contains short stories
told by fictional characters who probably represent Margaret and her circle.
The stories, and especially the conversations between the characters, stress
the frequent unhappiness of women and the joys of chaste love leading to
the love of God.
Margaret of Navarre, along with Margaret
of Valois, is a prototype for the purported ancestor of Margarita.
Margaret of Navarre, also known as Margaret of Angouleme, b. Apr. 11, 1492,
d. Dec. 21, 1549, was a sister of the French king Francis I. An important
protector of John Calvin, the poet Clement Marot, and other early reformers
of the church, she expressed her intensely felt religious views in poetry
The portrait at right is from a 16th Century illuminated manuscript at the Bodleian
Library in Oxford (304K)
Bibliography: Cottrell, R. D., The Grammar of Silence: A Reading of Marguerite
de Navarre's Poetry (1986); Davis, Betty, Marguerite de Navarre (1990);
Freer, M., The Life of Marguerite D'Angouleme, 2 vols. (1986).
From the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, 1997
Marguerite de Navarre was the sister of François I, grandfather
of Marguerite de Valois. She was also herself the grandmother of Henry IV,
whom the later Marguerite married. To add to the confusion, the University
of Angers Library Site (see below) refers to Marguerite de Navarre as "Marguerite
de Valois, reine de Navarre." No wonder Bulgakov conflated them!
There is an edition of her Heptameron at the University of Angers Library Site