Marguerite d'Angoulême, Queen of Navarre
2 volumes, 8vo (6 1/2 x 4 in.; 165 x 102 mm). Woodcut devices on title-pages and on the penultimate page of volume 1, 11 woodcuts after Bernard Salomon in volume 2 (10 for "La Coche"), 13 small white-on-black historiated initials (with some repeats), 2 large white-on-black initials, 4 large headpieces (many repeats, sometimes reversed), small head- and tailpieces; unobtrusive gift inscription in top edge of title in vol. 1. 19th-century red morocco, triple-fillet border with rosette tool in corners, spines gilt in six compartments, edges gilt, dentelles; a few slight scratches on upper covers, tiny signs of wear at corners.
Marguerite d'Angoulême (1492-1549), Queen of Navarre and sister of François I, was sympathetic to Protestants and humanists; she sheltered John Calvin and Clement Marot when they were forced to flee Paris under threat of persecution. However, as she was gradually drawn back to the Catholic fold, her Protestant affinities faded and in 1545 she broke off relations with Calvin.
She was a prolific poet; her early works remained in manuscript until they were rediscovered by scholars in the 19th and 20th centuries. The second edition of her Miroir de l' âme péchereuse, published in 1533, was condemned as unorthodox by the Sorbonne, which condemnation was retracted at the King's insistence. This controversy may have postponed publication of the present work, which was printed by Jean de Tournes on behalf of Simon Silvius (called de La Haye) secretary to the princess. 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.