Heptameron of the Tales of Margaret, Queen of Navarre, Volume 4 cover

Heptameron of the Tales of Margaret, Queen of Navarre, Volume 4

Marguerite of Navarre (1492-1549)

1. Fourth Day, Tale XXXI
2. Fourth Day, Tale XXXII
3. Fourth Day, Tale XXXIII
4. Fourth Day, Tale XXXIV
5. Fourth Day, Tale XXXV
6. Fourth Day, Tale XXXVI
7. Fourth Day, Tale XXXVII
8. Fourth Day, Tale XXXVIII
9. Fourth Day, Tale XXXIX
10. Fourth Day, Tale XL
11. Fifth Day, Tale XLI
12. Fifth Day, Tale XLII
13. Fifth Day, Tale XLIII
14. Fifth Day, Tale XLIV
15. Fifth Day, Tale XLV
16. Fifth Day, Tale XLVI
17. Fifth Day, Tale XLVII
18. Fifth Day, Tale XLVIII
19. Fifth Day, Tale XLIX
20. Fifth Day, Tale L
21. Appendix to Volume 4

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THE HEPTAMERON (here Volume 4 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. From an 1892 essay by the translator George Saintsbury: "In so large a number of stories with so great a variety of subjects, it naturally cannot but be the case that there is a considerable diversity of tone. But that peculiarity at which we have glanced more than once, the combination of voluptuous passion with passionate regret and a mystical devotion, is seldom absent for long together...The question, What is the special virtue of the Heptameron? I have myself little hesitation in answering. There is no book, in prose and of so early a date, which shows to me the characteristic of the time as it influenced the two great literary nations of Europe so distinctly as this book of Margaret of Angoulême…"