Teaching French Women Writers of the Renaissance and Reformation

  • Editor: Colette H. Winn
  • Pages: vii & 434 pp.
  • Published: 2011
  • ISBN: 9781603290906 (Paperback)
  • ISBN: 9781603290890 (Cloth)
Teaching French Women Writers of the Renaissance and Reformation Cover

“An excellent volume of essays on an increasingly important topic of research and instruction.”

—Edwin M. Duval, Yale University

Teaching French Women Writers of the Renaissance and Reformation considers the issues critical to teaching recently rediscovered writers, such as Hélisenne de Crenne, Pernette Du Guillet, and Louise Labé, who have enriched the literary canon by offering alternative perspectives on the social, political, and religious issues of early modern France. Addressing topics from law and medicine to motherhood and aesthetics, these women wrote in nearly every genre, and their works include several literary firsts: the first book of Christian emblems ever published by a woman (Georgette de Montenay), the first published collection of private letters between women in French (the Dames Des Roches), and the first full-length memoir by a woman in French (Margaret of Valois).

The volume considers techniques for reading women’s writing alongside the texts of their male contemporaries and offers guidance on incorporating a range of resources into the classroom. Essays in part 1 explore the background and contexts so crucial for helping students understand how these writers negotiated their entry into the public world of writing. In part 2, contributors discuss specific genres. Part 3 describes critical methodologies that are useful in the classroom and demonstrates the benefits of teaching certain pairings of texts and authors. The fourth and final part recommends a range of electronic and print resources.

Cécile Alduy
Jean-Philippe Beaulieu
Edith Joyce Benkov
Laura B. Bergman
Susan Broomhall
Leah Chang
Jane Couchman
Gary Ferguson
Carla Freccero
Nancy Frelick
Zeina Hakim
Karen Simroth James
Ann Rosalind Jones
Carrie F. Klaus
Claude La Charité
Anne R. Larsen
Deborah Lesko Baker
Mary B. McKinley
Leslie Zarker Morgan
Dora E. Polachek
Graziella Postolache
François Rigolot
Brigitte Roussel
Danielle Trudeau
Kathleen Wilson-Chevalier
Diane S. Wood
Carla Zecher

Introduction (1)

Colette H.Winn

Part I: Background and Contexts

Nicole Estienne’s Les misères de la femme mariée and the Marriage Controversy in the Second Half of the Sixteenth Century (25)

Brigitte Roussel

Picturing Great Ladies of the Renaissance Who Helped Pave the Literary Way (34)

Kathleen Wilson-Chevalier

Jeanne de Jussie, the Convent of Saint Clare, and the Reformation of Geneva (56)

Carrie F. Klaus

Humanism and Women’s Writing: The Case of Hélisenne de Crenne (66)

Diane S.Wood and Laura B. Bergman

Production and Reproduction: Contextualizing Women’s Writing as Labor (73)

Susan Broomhall

The Invention of Female Authorship in Early Modern France (84)

François Rigolot

Brantôme’s Women: Revising the Masculine Point of Reference (94)

Dora E. Polachek

Pernette Du Guillet among the Néoplatoniciennes of Her Time: Private Conversation Meant to Be Overheard (105)

Ann Rosalind Jones

Part II: Authors,Works, Genres

Louise Labé’s Elegies; or, The Assuming of a Borrowed Voice (123)

Zeina Hakim

A Case Study in Close Reading: Pernette Du Guillet’s Chanson 7 (132)

Danielle Trudeau

Gender and Genres: Teaching Women and the Epistolary Genre (143)

Jane Couchman

Georgette de Montenay’s Emblemes, ou devises chrestiennes: Material Object, Digital Subject (153)

Carla Zecher

The Pasquin and Political Commentary: The Case of Anne de Marquets (161)

Edith Joyce Benkov

Feminine Authorial Ethos: The Use of Marie de Gournay’s Discours sur ce livre as an Introduction to Her Collected Works (170)

Jean-Philippe Beaulieu

Part III: Critical Concerns

Approaches and Methodologies

Louise Labé and Italian in Sixteenth-Century Lyon (181)

Leslie Zarker Morgan

Reading the Heptameron: Feminist and Queer Approaches (191)

Carla Freccero

Reading Hélisenne with Transference (206)

Nancy Frelick

The Anatomy of Gender: Decoding Petrarchan Lyrics (Labé, Scève, Ronsard) (218)

Cécile Alduy

How Should Sixteenth-Century Feminine Poetry Be Taught? The Exemplary Case of Marie de Romieu (230)

Claude La Charité

The Cross-Dressed Text: Reading Men Writing as Women in Sixteenth-Century France (242)

Leah Chang

Comparative Contexts and Strategies

Teaching the Influence of Renaissance Women Writers on One Another: The Case of Catherine Des Roches (254)

Anne R. Larsen

Women’s Writing, Anne de Marquets, and the Priory of Poissy (264)

Gary Ferguson

Marie Dentière’s Epistle to Marguerite de Navarre and the Heptameron (273)

Mary B. McKinley

Variations on the Same Tune: The Love Lyrics of Louise Labé and Gabrielle de Coignard (285)

Colette H. Winn

Teaching Louise Labé’s Prose in Translation: The Dedicatory Letter and the Debate of Folly and Love (302)

Deborah Lesko Baker

Part IV: Current Resources

Print Resources for Teaching and Further Study (317)

Colette H. Winn

Professional Resources and Activities (339)

Colette H. Winn

Online Resources (349)

Graziella Postolache and Colette H. Winn

Rare Books and Web Pages (363)

Karen Simroth James and Mary B. McKinley

Notes on Contributors (371)

Works Cited (377)

Index of Names (421)