Did Clément Marot really offer his Trente Pseaulmes to the Emperor Charles V in January 1540?

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT

In both popular and scholarly literature, the offering of an early manuscript of the Trente Pseaulmes by Clément Marot to the Emperor Charles V, passing through France in the winter of 1539–1540, is presented as a matter of fact, often combined with an identification of this manuscript with Ms. Cod. Vind. 2644 (Vienna, Staatsbibliothek). 1 The fact that this story is only known from one source, the so-called Villemadon Letter, dated 1559, is hardly ever taken into account when referring to this event. This article raises questions concerning the historical trustworthiness of the information contained in this letter by sketching the historical background of it (the French Wars of Religion), and the way the reference to the ‘Psalm offering’ functions in the propagandist discourse of the Letter. Finally, the common identification of the presentation copy with the Ms. Cod. Vind. 2644 is discussed.

Keywords: Catherine de Medici; Clément Marot; French Court; Huguenots; Villemadon Letter; metrical Psalms

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1477-4658.2008.00489.x

Publication date: April 1, 2008

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