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'Ce petit amas de rymes': Musicality in Jeanne de Marnef's Edition of Pernette du Guillet's Poetry.

In 1545, Lyonnais printer Jean de Tournes published seventy poems of a recently deceased young woman from Lyon, France, named Pernette du Guillet. Virtually all of the information that we have regarding Du Guillet's life and the publication of her poetry comes to us via the paratext of this first edition. (1) Du Guillet's works were re-edited and republished several times in the sixteenth century: Parisian printer Jeanne de Marnef published editions of the work in 1546 and 1547, and Tournes published an emended version of his first edition in 1552. (2) Five of Du Guillet's poems appear in sixteenth-century songbooks as well. (3) After 1552, no complete edition of Pernette du Guillet's Rymes appeared until the nineteenth century. (4)

The first two editions of Pernette du Guillet's verse were published by different editors and present the works in contrasting ways. Jean de Tournes's two editions of Pernette du Guillet's works are the versions scholars consider first, while Jeanne de Marnef's two editions are relegated to a secondary status. It is clear that Marnef was working from the Tournes edition as she included much of its paratext. This essay explores how Marnef'shaped Du Guillet's work to her own vision of how the poetry should be read. Marnef made several changes to Du Guillet's work that change the way readers interact with it. Specifically, Marnef's editorial choices underline the importance of the musical nature of the text. While the Tournes edition has references to music, Marnef's insists on Du Guillet's poetry as lines to be set to music or sung, rather than ones to be read silently.

Twenty-first-century readers have the tendency to refer to Du Guillet's poetry as "iyric" and understand that term to be related to the subjectivity of the poet. The sixteenth-century meaning of "lyric," however, should not be forgotten when we read Du Guillet's verse. In a 2015 essay, Jean Vignes reminds us that when we say "lyric" without referring to music, we marginalize the original meaning:
Mais le succes de cette acception dans la langue critique moderne ne
conduit-il pas a minorer ce que ces poetes de la Renaissance doivent
encore a la conception traditionnelle (c'est-a-dire musicale) de la
lyrique, tournee vers la performance musicale, la seule acception du
terme qui ait cours au XVIe siecle? A l'epoque de Ronsard, un recueil
de vers lyriques rassemble des pieces pour leur forme strophique
destine au chant, avec accompagnement instrumental. (5)

This essay seeks to draw our attention back to the musical nature of Du Guillet's lyric poetry. While we often read poetry silently and solitarily today, sixteenth-century poets conceived of their poetry in musical terms.

Jeanne de Marnef took over the print shop of her husband, Denis Janot, upon his death in 1544 and printed at least seven works either on her own or with other printers. By 1548, she had married another printer, Estienne Groulleau, and she probably continued to work alongside her new husband. (6) Marnef published Rithmes de gentile, et vertueuse dame D. Pernette du Guillet Lyonnoise Avecq' le Triumphe des Muses sur Amour: Et autres nouvelles compositions (henceforth Rithmes) in Paris in 1546, only one year after Jean de Tournes's Rymes de gentile, et vertueuse dame D. Pernette du Guillet Lyonnoise (henceforth Rymes). Marnef followed this previous version closely, but she did not simply reproduce it. In addition to many paratextual changes, she appended ten anonymous poems with the collective title Le Triumphe des Muses sur Amour: Et autres nouvelles compositions (see Fig. 1) to Du Guillet's poetry. (7) These additions alter the way we interact with the book and encourage the reader to receive the work as a songbook.

Scholarship that focuses on Jeanne de Marnef's editions of Du Guillet's verse is scant. To date, only one scholar, Leah Chang, has published research that considers the full 1546 edition. (8) Two other scholars, Beatrice H. Beech and George T. Beech, have jointly published two articles concerning one of the ten poems appended to Du Guillet's work "Les obseques d'amour." (9) All three of these critical works engage with gender studies: Chang reads Marnef's edition as a "gendered publication," while the Beeches were interested in the relationship between the poem and the affaire des Dames de Paris that began in 1529 (Chang, 99; Beech and Beech, "Les obseques," 243). (10) Both arguments are convincing, and these studies offer insight into certain aspects of the edition's genesis and production. No critical work on the Rithmes, however, has addressed the way in which Marnef's edition presents the musicality of Du Guillet's verse. I argue that, in addition to reading the Marnef edition as a "gendered publication," we can read it as a musical one. Paratextual elements including titles and page layout, as well as the inclusion of the ten additional poems, are signs that Marnef's edition harkened back to the first appearance of Du Guillet's poetry in songbooks in the early 1540s. (11)

Antoine du Moulin's prefatory letter, present in the Tournes and the Marnef editions, encourages this reading. In his letter addressed Aux Dames Lyonnoises, Du Moulin praises Du Guillet for her talent for and devotion to music:
[V]eu le peu de temps, que les Cieulx l'ont laissee entre nous, il est
quasi incroyable comme elle a peu avoir le loysir, je ne dy seulement
de se rendre si parfaictement asseuree en tous instrumentz musiquaulx,
soit au Luth, Espinette, et autres, lesquelz de soy requierent une bien
longue vie a se y rendre parfaictz, comme elle estoit, et tellement,
que la promptitude, qu'elle y avoit, donnoit cause d'esbahissement aux
plus experimentez. (12)

Du Moulin takes the time to praise Du Guillet's musical expertise before going on to praise her knowledge of other languages, and then finally her writing. In this letter, Du Guillet is presented as a musician first and a writer second. Furthermore, the way in which Du Moulin describes Du Guillet's poetry could also point to a musically inclined work:
[S] on affectionne mary a trouve parmy ses brouillars en asses povre
ordre, comme celle, qui n'estimoit sa facture estre encor digne de
lumiere jusques a ce, que le temps la luy eust par frequent estude et
estendue, et lymee. Et pource en la mesme sorte que luy, et moy avons
trouve Epygrammes, Chansons, et autres diverses matieres de divers
lieux, et plusieurs papiers confusement extraictz, les vous avons icy,
quasi comme pour copie, mis en evidence, tant pour satisfaire a ceulx,
a qui privement en maintes bonnes compaignies elle les recitoit a
propos, comme la plus part faictz a leur occasion, que aussi pour ne
vouloir perdre soubz silence d'eternel oubly chose, qui vous peust non
seulement recreer, mais faire honneur a vous, Dames Lyonnoises
(111-112). (13)

When the 1545 editors found it, the work was in a disorganized, unpolished state. This could have signaled to Marnef that the work should be considered musically. Du Moulin refers to the work's fragmentary state in this passage as "brouillars en asses povre ordre" and "plusieurs papiers confusement extraictz" ["scattered papers" and "numerous pages pulled haphazardly together"]. Earlier in the letter, Du Moulin calls the work "ce petit amas de rymes" ["this little bundle of rhymes"]. This unorganized state would be typical of poetry written to be sung. (14) Indeed, we find evidence of oral performances in Du Moulin's prefatory letter about Du Guillet's previously unpublished work. He states that he is printing the works in part due to requests he has received from Du Guillet's oral audiences--"pour satisfaire a ceulx, a qui privement en maintes bonnes compaignies elle les recitoit a propos" (Du Guillet, 111-112, "to satisfy those to whom she recited them whenever the occasion arose in many a private gathering of good company' ').Du Guillet, like many other poets of her time, would have been performing her works and circulating them orally or in manuscript form for others to sing. I argue that Marnef noticed these references in the preface, as well as the makeup of the poetry and the prior publication of at least three of Du Guillet's poems in songbooks, and decided based on these characteristics that she would market her book by highlighting the musical qualities of the work.

Poets at this time often thought of their works as musical. This musicality is both figurative and literal in French Renaissance verse. Mentions of musical instruments and singing are not merely poetic devices; these references demonstrate strong links between poetic composition and music. (15) We continually see poets who link musical instruments with literary production. We find, for example, in the "Avertissement au Lecteur par 1'imprimeur Ambroise de La Porte," which precedes the Supplement musical to Pierre de Ronsard's 1552 Amours,thefoUowingafnrmation: "[Ronsard] a daigne prendre la peine de les mesurer sur la lyre" [Ronsard deigned to go to the trouble of measuring them on the lyre]. (16) Here, music is part of the conception of poetry. Ronsard would have tried out his lines on a lute. In 1565, Ronsard writes in his Abrege de l'Artpoetique:" [L]a poesie sans les instrumens, ou sans la grace d'une seule ou plusieurs voix, n'est nullement aggreable, non plus que les instruments sans estre animez de la melodie d'une plaisante voix" ("Poetry without instruments, or without the charm of one or several voices, is not at all agreeable, no more than instruments that are not livened up by a pleasant voice," Ronsard, 9). Poetry needed music to be best experienced.

We find this connection between music and poetry in the works of many Renaissance poets, including Louise Labe and Pernette du Guillet. Many of Labe's sonnets and elegies, as well as the poems written in praise of her at the end of the CEuvres, refer to music and singing. Du Guillet also refers to her audible voice and to music-making in her poetry. For example, in the second poem in the collection, she says: "Je me trouvay de liesse si pleine / (Voyant desja la clarte a la ronde) / Que commencay louer a voix haultaine / Celuy qui feit pour moy ce Jour au monde" (["Such joy full suddenly did me amaze / (Seeing how light already round me swirled), / That with exalted voice I began to praise / Him who formed me such a Morn in the World," Du Guillet, 118). In the penultimate line of this dixain, the poet praises her lover out loud ("a voix haultaine"). This praise would be the singing or the reciting of the poem at hand. In the second elegy, the poet casts herself as a Diana figure who will seduce her admirer with lute-playing: "Mais j e vouldrois lors quant, et quant avoir / Mon petit Luth accorde au debvoir, / Duquel ayant cogneu, et pris le son, / J'entonnerois sur luy une chanson" ("Oh, yes, and I should like to have close by / My precious Lute, well tuned to gratify: / Familiar with its sounds, I would erelong / Begin to sing for him a tender song", Du Guillet, 153-154). The paratextual prose framing Du Guillet's poetry endeavors to convince readers of their strong connections to music and of the importance of music to their edification.

Musical education became more and more democratized across the sixteenth century and was an important part of young noblemen and noblewomen's formations. (17) In Baldassare Castiglione's Il libro del cortegiano (1528), a widely read book that was both descriptive and prescriptive of proper behavior for men and women, the Count remarks, "Gentlemen, I must tell you that I am not satisfied with our courtier unless he is also a musician and unless as well as understanding and being able to read music he can play several instruments." (18) The Count's perfect Lady would also have knowledge of music to a certain degree:" [T]he musical instruments that she plays ought to be appropriate.... Consider what an ungainly thing it would be to see a woman playing drums, fifes, trumpets, or other like instruments" (Castiglione, 210). Castiglione's perfect Lady played the lute or the clavichord, instruments that would be played to accompany lyric verse. These two instruments could often be found in sixteenth-century studies (Zecher, 3). Music was an acceptable pastime for sixteenth-century laywomen in France. Sixteenth-century readers may have been more receptive to a female musician than to a female author tout court.

With these societal pressures, it is not surprising that the Jeanne de Marnef edition of Du Guillet's poetry insists on the musicality of the work. Even the change in title compels the reader to consider the poems as songs. The title Rithmes recalls the Greek word pv[theta][mu]o[??] (rhythmos) while at the same time it distances Du Guillet's work from Petrarch's Rime sparse, to which the 1545 title pays homage. Marnef adds "et poesies" to "Rithmes" in the title. This addition leads the reader to think that some of the works would be "poesies" while others would be "rithmes." Perhaps the texts that would be more "poesie" than "rithme" are those for which silent attentive reading would be required--for example, the poems with anagrams of Maurice Sceve's name. (19) This title change sets the tone for the work and marks an important difference from the prior editions.

There are a variety of poetic forms in Du Guillet's ceuvre. As Antoine du Moulin writes in the prefatory letter, "avons trouve Epygrammes, Chansons, et autres matieres de divers lieux..." ("[we] found Epigrams, Songs, and other sundry writings in various places," Du Guillet, 111). In Du Guillet's verse, there are epigrammes, chansons, elegies, epitres marotiques, and other forms, including one coq-a-l'ane. The two Tournes editions do not distinguish among all of the different forms within the text other than this mention in the preface. (20) Marnef, on the other hand, classified the different poetic forms through the use of titles specific to their forms. Marnef titled many of the poems "Chanson," "Chant," and "Huitain." Poems by these titles are often followed by another poem of the same form with the title "Un autre" (see Fig. 2). By titling some of the poems "Chanson" and "Chant," Marnef draws attention to their musicality. The words chanson and chant are polyvalent in the sixteenth century--they can refer either to a poem or a song--but in either case, they are related to music. In Art poetique francois (1548), Thomas Sebillet defines chant lyrique in this way:
Le chant Lyrique, ou Ode (car autant vaut a dire), se faconne ne plus
ne moins que le Cantique, c'est a dire, autant variablement et
inconstamment: sauf que les plus cours et petis vers y sont plus
souvent usites et mieus seants a cause du Luth ou autre instrument
semblable sur lequel l'Ode se doit chanter. (21)

A chant is not a poem to be read silently, but rather must be sung with an accompanying instrument. Sebillet then makes clear that the chanson is able to be sung: "Car encor que nous appelions bien en Francois, Chanson, tout ce que se peut chanter" ("Because still we call anything that can be sung a Song in French," Sebillet, 127). By adding titles like "Chanson" and "Chant" to Du Guillet's poems, Marnef assigns musicality to Du Guillet's verse.

Jan Miernowski makes a similar observation in a recent essay about Marguerite de Navarre's Chansons spirituelles. He notes that in Jean de Tournes's 1547 edition of the Marguerites de la Marguerite, Tournes titles certain poems "Chanson," reiterating their genre for the reader. Miernowski remarks:
Such insistence on labeling as chansons the texts which follow the
initial "Pensees" and the rondeau seems to indicate some kind of
anxiety on the part of the author or publisher in regards to the
generic and compositional coherence of the Chansons spirituelles
section of the book. (22)

We can note a similar anxiety in Marnef's edition of Du Guillet's work--by inserting titles for individual poems, Marnef attempts to control readers' reception of the work. The editor insists on the poems' genre--that they are chansons and chants and should be read accordingly.

In Marnef's edition, many of the poems that are not titled "Chanson" or "Chant" can also be linked to music due to their prior publication in song-books. The majority of the poems in Du Guillet's Rymes are epigrammes, either huitains (twenty-eight poems) or dizains (twenty-one poems). Most of the huitains follow the rhyme scheme ababbcbc. The poems xii, xiv, and hi in the Moderne songbook ("Le corps ravy," "Le grand desir," and "En lieu du bien") follow this rhyme scheme, while the other huitain set to music in Moderne's edition, xlii ("Je n'oserois le penser veritable"[I would not even dare to think it real]) follows ababbaab. The fact that many of the poems in Du Guillet's work share the same form, rhyme scheme, and syllable count means that it would have been easy for musicians and singers to use one piece of music for multiple songs. Different poems could be sung to one of the pieces in the Moderne or Attaingnant songbooks, substituting the lyrics but maintaining the same musical notation. The titles that Marnef added encourage this reading. The reader immediately understands that if the poem is a huitain, it might pair well with a piece of music for another huitain. The use of the title "Un autre" encourages the reader to read the poem in conjunction with or in reference to the one that precedes it. In this way, Marnef's Rithmes may have functioned more as a repertory of song lyrics than as a work to be read silently and solitarily.

Several other paratextual elements support this reading. The size of the Marnef edition (duodecimo) is small compared to the Tournes edition (octavo). The Marnef edition could have been slipped into a pocket, or even easily held in a hand, and carried to a gathering where there might be musicians playing from one of the songbooks in circulation at the time. No musical notation is in the Marnef edition, but this would not mean that its contents could not be interpreted as songs to be performed orally. Often, a standard musical mold would be used for many pieces of verse. One air or timbre would be used for many songs. We can consider the common practice of contrafactum, where bawdy words are sung to the tune of a spiritual song, or vice versa. (23) Sixteenth-century audiences would have known the tunes to popular songs and would have been accustomed to the practice of plugging new lyrics into standard airs. (24) Poems with repeating lines are common in Du Guillet's chansons, making them easy to sing. One of many examples is poemlvii:
C'est un grand mal se sentir offense,
Et ne s'oser, ou scavoir a qui plaindre:
C'est un grand mal, voire trop incense,
Que d'aspirer, ou Ton ne peut attaindre :
C'est un grand mal que de son cueur contraindre,
Oultre son gre, et a subjection :
C'est un grand mal, qu'ardente affection
Sans esperer de son mal allegeance :
Mais c'est grand bien, quand a sa passion
Un doux languir sert d'honnete vengeance. (25)

The phrase "C'est un grand mal" [It's terrible] and its counterpart "Mais c'est grand bien" [But it's wonderful] anchor the poem rhythmically, making it an appropriate choice for a composer or a singer. Indeed, this very poem was set to music in 1561 by Jean Maillard and published in Quart livre de chansons nouvellement compose en musique a quatreparts. Where would Maillard have come across this poem? Perhaps he found it in Marnef's edition, or perhaps it was one of Du Guillet's poems that were still circulating orally. This 1561 publication shows that Du Guillet's verse was known through music.

Another element that might be a sign that Marnef published her edition with orality and musicality in mind is the indication of the e muet, known in the sixteenth century as the efeminin, synalephe, or coupe feminine (Sebillet, 42). Since before Du Guillet's time, when reading French poetry aloud, the speaker or singer must not pronounce a final e if the next word begins with a vowel or a non-aspirated h. In this way, the scansion of a verse can remain intact. Sebillet described the practice of drawing a line through silent e's to remind the reader not to pronounce them when reading aloud (Sebillet, 55-56). Indeed, we find just this practice in Marnef's edition of the Rithmes (see examples from Marnef's edition in Fig. 3).

The book instructs the reader on pronunciation and encourages an oral reading or singing. The physical features of the book, its size, and the typographical choices Marnef made show that Marnef designed it to be used in an oral, musical setting.

The poems that Marnef appended to Du Guillet's poetry also seem to have been chosen based on their oral, musical qualities. This is yet another sign that a sixteenth-century reader might receive the text as a book of songs. The "Triumphe des Muses sur Amour: Et autres nouvelles composicions" consists of ten poems that appear after Du Guillet's verse in the Marnef edition. Four of the ten poems had previously been printed in a 1545 Jean de Tournes imprint, Panegyric des damoyselles de Paris sur les neuf muses. This Tournes edition contained seven poems: a preliminary huitain by Jean de Tournes, and six anonymous works. (26) Marnef included four of these poems in her edition of the Rithmes et poesies and added six others: another anonymous poem, "Complainte," and five poems signed with initials. (27) Chang and the Beeches have hypothesized that Marnef's editorial choice to print these poems alongside Du Guillet's may have been a protofeminist one. Chang writes, for example, "the originality of the Rithmes... lies principally in the way in which the entire volume acquires a gendered governing vision, from the title page, to the printer's notice, to the poetry authored by Du Guillet, to the poems compiled as the 'Nouvelles composicions.'" (28) I argue that music is the governing vision in Marnef's edition and that the poems she appended to Du Guillet's work are evidence of this vision. The poems from Tournes's Panegyric that Marnef excluded from her edition are the ones that describe composing poetry as writing instead of singing. Meanwhile, the four poems Marnef includes from the Panegyric all describe poetic composition in oral and musical terms. The "Panegyric," one of the poems that appeared in the Tournes edition but that was not included in Marnef's edition, begins:
Je veulx par escript mettre
En quelque petit metre
La louange & honneur,
Qu'ont de Paris les Dames
Vivantes sans diffames,
Sans estre blasonneur (Panegyric, 3). (29)

The poet puts his praises of these ladies down "par escript." The reference to a text-based, written culture is clear. The physical book, Tournes's Panegyric, is that desire brought to fruition. Similarly, the preliminary huitain by Antoine du Moulin, also not included in Marnef's edition, is about the physical book meant to be read:
Ce livre que Ion peult nommer
Romant des Dames vertueuses,
Se veult faire en brief renommer
Pour ses graces tant precieuses,
Et pour ses veines copieuses.
Lecteur, si l'Autheur tu ignores (Panegyric, 1). (30)

In the first line, the poet defines the work as a "livre," referring to the physical object to be read. The poet then uses the word "lecteur" instead of "auditeur" to signal to his audience how the book should be consumed. The poems that Marnef excluded are those that refer to poetry as written verses to be read.

In contrast, the poems from the Panegyric that Marnef printed in her edition refer explicitly to singing and oral performance. "Triumphe des muses, contre Amour" begins with the following lines:
J'ay paour d'estre desdict,
Ou n'avoir le credit,
O Muses gracieuses,
De pouvoir repeter,
Et icy reciter Voz forces vertueuses (Panegyric, 17). (31)

The word "reciter" in line 5 refers to oral practices, rather than written ones. The other verb, "repeter," in line 4, could also refer to oral production. While these verbs could also indicate spoken verse, other poems point directly to singing. For example, the poem "Les obseques d'Amour," also in Marnef's edition, begins in this way:
Phebus Amy chantez,
En chantant escoutez:
Vostre Muse Thalie
Qui vous veult reciter,
Et en beaulx vers compter
D'Amour la grand folie
Orpheus gracieux,
En chantz melodieux,
Terpsichore vous mande,
De Cupido la mort,
Son dangereux effort,
Et temerite grande. (32)

Here, references to singing abound. Three words that have "chant" as their root appear in the first eight lines of the poem ("chantez," line 1; "chantant," line 2; "chantz," line 8). The first stanza begins with Phoebus, god of poetry, while the second begins with Orpheus, an accomplished musician in Greek mythology. Both of these refer to an oral, musical culture. The first lines of another poem Marnef culled from Tourne's Panegyric for inclusion in her edition, "Complainte d'une damoyselle fugitive," are as follows:
Si lon peult ouyr ma complainte,
Et le mal dont je suis atainte
Je vous pouvois bien reciter,
Mon dieu je serois heureuse,
Si en voix forte & doloreuse
Je scavois le tout racompter! (33)

Once again, rather than evoking written verses, the "Complainte" is about an oral recitation. The verbs "ouyr" and "reciter" in lines 1 and 3, respectively, as well as the reference to the speaker's "voix forte & douloreuse" in line 5 all indicate this oral framework. We can see Marnef carefully compiling the poetry that suits her musical vision of the work.

Jeanne de Marnef presented a new, more musically inclined Pernette du Guillet to her readers and created a different authorial space from the one provided by Jean de Tournes and Antoine du Moulin in the Lyonnais editions. Marnef manipulated the text and the paratext to change the appearance of the words on the page and, therefore, their reception. She interpreted Tournes's paratext and Du Guillet's poetry in order to present the product to waiting readers and singers. Marnef underscored the musical nature of the poetry, and these qualities shine through in her edition. In a culture still so attuned to the oral, musical quality of lyric poetry, Marnef sought to make an edition appealing to readers eager to use this slim edition as a repertory of more lyrics to put to airs they already knew.

It seems that her vision proved a profitable one, as she reprinted it the following year. At this time in France, reprinting a book involved a complete resetting, so this reprint shows that it must have been economically viable. (34) This musically inclined edition provides a secure place for Du Guillet as a female author. As we noted both in Castiglione and in Antoine du Moulin's preface, Aux Dames Lyonnoises, music was an accepted and encouraged pastime for women in the sixteenth century. The musical qualities of Du Guillet's work would have made sixteenth-century audiences more willing to read--and sing--Pernette du Guillet's verse.

Randolph-Macon College


(1.) Pernette du Guillet, Rymes de gentile, et vertueuse dame D. Pernette Du Guillet, lyonnoise (Lyon: Jean de Tournes, 1545).

(2.) Pernette du Guillet, Les rithmes et poesies de gentile et vertueuse Dame D. Pernette du Guillet, Lyonnoise. Avecq' le triomphe des Muses sur Amour et autres nouvelles composicions (Paris, Jeanne de Marnef, 1545); Pernette Du Guillet, Rymes de gentile, et vertueuse dame D. Pernette Du Guillet, lyonnoise de nouveau augmentees (Lyon: Jean de Tournes, 1552).

(3.) Second livre contenant XXVII chansons nouvelles a quatre parties en ung volume (Paris: Pierre Attaignant and Hubert Juliet, 1540); Parangon des chansons: neufvieme livre contenant XXXI chansons nouvelles (Lyon: Jacques Moderne, 1541); Quart livre de chansons nouvellement compose en musique a quatre parties (Paris: Le Roy et Ballard, 1561).

(4.) Pernette du Guillet, Poesies de Pernette Du Guillet, lyonnaise (Lyon: Peirin, 1830); Pernette du Guillet, Rymes De Gentile Et Vertueuse Dame D. Pernette Du Guillet lyonnoise (Lyon: Perrin, 1856); Pernette Du Guillet. Rymes De Gentile Et Vertueuse Dame D. Pernette Du Guillet lyonnoise, (Lyon: Scheuringand Perrin, 1864). The first twentieth-century edition appeared in 1953: Pernette du Guillet, Rymes degentile et vertueuse Dame D. Pernette Du Guillet Lyonnoise in Poesies du XVIe siecle, ed. Albert-Marie Schmidt (Paris: Bibliotheque de la Pleiade, Gallimard, 1953), 227-268. Schmidt does not include the two Italian epigrams.

(5.) Jean Vignes, "De Ronsard a Louise Labe: Les Amours de poesie et de musique," in Poesie et musique a la Renaissance, eds. O. Millet and A. Tacaille (Paris: Presses de l'universite Paris-Sorbonne, 2015), 45; "But does not the acceptance of this meaning in the modern critical language lead to diminish what these Renaissance poets still owe to the traditional (that is to say, musical) conception of lyric verse, geared towards musical performance, the only meaning of the term that was used in the sixteenth century? In Ronsard's time, a collection of lyric verse gathers pieces according to their strophic form meant to be sung, with instrumental accompaniment" (All English translations are mine unless otherwise noted).

(6.) For a complete study of Denis Janot's activity that includes some references to Marnef's printing, see Stephen Rawles, Denis Janot, Parisian Printer and Bookseller (fl. 1529-1544): A Bibliographical Study in Two Volumes (Warwick: University of Warwick, 1976). For more on Janot, Marnef and their contemporary printers in Paris, see Lynden Warner, "Booksellers and the Market to the 1550s," in The Ideas of Man and Woman in Renaissance France: Print, Rhetoric, and Law (Burlington: Ash-gate, 2011), especially 33-34.

(7.) The previous year, Jean de Tournes published four of the ten poems in a collection of seven anonymous poems Le Panegyric des Damoyselles de Paris sur les neuf Muses.

(8.) Leah Chang, "The Gender of the Book: Jeanne de Marnef Edits Pernette du Guillet," in Early Modern Women and Transnational Communities of Letters, eds. Julie D. Campbell and Anne R. Larsen (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2009), 97-120.

(9.) Beatrice H. Beech and George T. Beech, "A Painting, a Poem, and a Controversy about Women and Love in Paris in the 1530s" (The Sixteenth Century Journal 34. 3, 2003), 635-652; '"Les Obseques D'Amour,' un poeme de 1546 et une controverse parisienne sur les femmes et l'amour" (Seizieme siecle 1, 2005), 237-256.

(10.) This affaire began with an anonymous satirical poem, "Les gracieux adieux faitz aux Dames de Paris," which circulated in manuscript form in 1529. In this poem, the anonymous author names sixteen Parisian ladies in order to disparage their bodies and supposedly loose morals. When it was rumored that Clement Marot penned the poem, other writings began to appear criticizing him. Marot then responded with his Epitre des excuses de Marot faulsement accuse d'avoir faict certains Adieux au desadvantage des prinicpales Dame de Paris. This incited several other responses in what came to be known as the affaire des Dames de Paris. According to the Beeches, "Les obseques d'amour" was part of this exchange.

(11.) As Chang points out, it is not clear if Marnef was both editor and printer, or if an anonymous editor in fact prepared this edition. The Beeches assume Marnef acted as editor, see Beech and Beech, "Obseques," 246-247. In his edition, Victor Graham assumes that Marnef would have approved of the choices made by an anonymous editor; see Rymes, ed. Graham, vii. Both of these situations are possible. For the purposes of this essay, I will assume that if Marnef did not edit the work herself, she would have still been involved in some way in the editing process, and I will therefore refer to her as both editor and printer until more precision becomes available.

(12.) Pernette du Guillet, Rymes (1545), ed. Elise Rajchenbach (Paris: Droz, 2006), 111. All textual citations from du Guillet's works come from Rajchenbach's edition unless otherwise noted; "Seeing the short time that the Heavens allowed her to remain among us, it is almost impossible to believe that she was able to find the time, not only to become such an accomplished player of all musical instruments, including the Lute, Spinet, and others, which by themselves require a long life at which to become as perfectly proficient as she was (so much so that her quick aptitude for them astonsihed the most experienced of musicians) (translation by Marta Rijn Finch, Complete Poems, a Bilingual Edition, ed. Karen Simroth James (Iter, Toronto, 2010), 83; all translations from Du Guillet's Rymes are Finch's).

(13.) "[H]er devoted husband found in rather poor order among her scattered papers, as of one who did not yet consider her work to be worthy of publication, until time and frequent study would have expanded and polished it. And because he and I, in the same manner, found Epigrams, Songs, and other sundry writings in various places, and numerous pages pulled together haphazardly, we have put them forth here, almost as a copy. We have done so as much to satisfy those to whom she recited them whenever the occasion arose in many a private gathering of good company (for which purpose most were composed), as from a desire not to lose the eternal silence of oblivion something that could not only delight you, but also honor you, Ladies of Lyon," (Complete Poems, 85).

(14.) Kate van Orden uses the words "scattered rhymes" to describe the works of poets Mellin de Saint-Gelais and Clement Marot while their works were being performed orally and before their verse was bound and printed. Van Orden reminds us that Clement Marot would have his lyric poetry printed, "only after it had enjoyed some success in musical performances." Kate Van Orden, Music, Authorship, and the Book in the First Century of Print (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2013), 73.

(15.) See, for example, Carh7&cher,SoundingObjects: Musical Instruments, Poetry, and Art in Renaissance France (University of Toronto Press, 2007), 4-6.

(16.) Pierre de Ronsard, CEuvres completes, vol IV, ed. Paul Laumonier (Paris: Nizet, 1982), 189.

(17.) Zecher, 8-10.

(18.) Baldassarre Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier, trans. George Bull (London: Penguin, 2004), 94.

(19.) Poem V's anagram of Maurice Sceve's name is often cited as evidence of du Guillet's relationship with Sceve.

(20.) Only six of the poems in Tournes's editions have titles, and only one of these titles, "Coq a lasne," refers to the poem's form. The five other titled poems in de Tournes's editions are "Parfacite amytie," "Conde claros de Adonis," "La nuict," "Desespoir traduict de la prose du Parangon Italien," and "Confort."

(21.) "The lyric song, or Ode (as they mean the same), is neither more or less crafted than the Hymn, that is to say, just as variably and inconsistently: except that the shortest and smallest verses are used more often in them and are better fitting because of the Lute or another similar instrument on which the Ode must be sung," Thomas Sebillet, Art poetique francais in Traites de poetique et de rhetorique a la Renaissance, ed. Francis Goyet (Paris: Livre de poche, 2001), 127.

(22.) Jan Miernowski, "Chansons Spirituelles--Songs for a 'Delightful Transformation'" in A Companion to Marguerite de Navarre, eds. Gary Ferguson and Mary B. McKinley (Leiden: Brill, 2013), 237-279.

(23.) See, for example, Miernowski on Clement Marot and Marguerite de Navarre's two versions of "Jouyissance vous donnerai," 248.

(24.) Jan Miernowski suggests that the practice of using one tune for many texts may have been the case for Marguerite de Navarre's Chansons spirituelles at the compositional level. (Miernowski 246). He also notes that many of the poems in Chansons spirituelles "are built on repetitive structures which lend themselves to rhythmical and melodic arrangements. In many cases, the incipit or a portion of it is repeated throughout the text" (Miernowski 246).

(25.) It's terrible to feel such an offense
And not to dare nor know where to complain;
It's terrible--surely, it makes no sense
To long for something one cannot attain:
It's terrible--the way one's heart must strain
To serve against one's will in full defeat;
It's terrible--affection's ardent heat,
Bereft of hope of pain's alleviation;
But it's wonderful, indeed, when a sweet

Langour serves passion in true vindication, (Du Guillet, 167-168).

(26.) "Panegyric des damoyselles de Paris sur les neuf muses," "A celles qui se sont plaintes," "Le triumphe des muses, contre amour," "Les obseques d'Amour," "Complainte d'une damoyselle fugitive," and "L'amante loyale qui Depuis ha este variable."

(27.) "Autre epistre a une dame qui se plaignoit de n'avoir este assez louee par M. D. S. G," "Autre epistre a une noble et illustre dame, par C. G. P," "Autre epistre a une dame, par le dit C. G. P," "Response de la dame a l'amy dissimule, L. P. A," and "Elegie du semi-dieu faunus demandant aux nymphes pourquoy elles ne le vouloient aimer par V. B." Graham has assigned the initials to the following poets: "M. D. S. G." (Mellin de Saint-Gelais); "C. G. P." (Claude Gruget, Parisien); "L. P. A." (Jean Maugin, known as Le petit Angevin)-, "V. B." (Victor Brodeau, fils). See notes in Graham's edition of Du Guillet.

(28.) Chang, "Gender," 99.

I want to put down in writing
In a few little verses
The praise and honor
That women of Paris have
Living without infamy
Without being a detractor

This book that one can call
Romant of virtuous Ladies,
Is meant to be renowned shortly
For its excellent graces,
And for its copious styles.
Reader, if you do not know the Author...

I am afraid of being forbidden,
or of not having the reputation,
O gracious Muses,
to be able to repeat
And here recite Your virtuous powers.

Phoebus friend, sing,
In singing listen:
Your Muse Thalia
Who wants to recite for you
And in beautiful lines tell
of Love the great madness
Gracious Orpheus.
In melodious songs,
Terpsichore calls to you,
of Cupid's death
His dangerous effort,
and great Temerity.

If one can hear my complaint,
And the pain by which I am struck
I could well recite to you,
My god I would be happy,
If with a strong and painful voice
I knew how to tell it all!

(34.) See Lucien Febvre and Henri-Jean Martin, L'Apparition du livre (Paris: Les Editions Albin Michel, 1958), 167.


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Author:Labadie, Jessie
Publication:The Journal of the Early Book Society for the Study of Manuscripts and Printing History
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Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Jan 1, 2017
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