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Les Angoisses douloureuses qui procedent d'amour.

Les Angoisses douloureuses qui procedent d'amour. By HELISENNE DE CRENNE Ed. by JEAN-PHILIPPE BEAULIEU. (La Cite des Dames) Saint-Etienne: Publications de l'Universite de Saint-Etienne. 2005. 381 pp. 10 [euro]. ISBN 2-86272-368-1.

The first work of Marguerite Briet, known as Helisenne de Crenne, was the moralizing prose narrative Les Angoisses douloureuses qui procedent d'amour, and it is, with good reason, recognized as one of the most significant texts of the early French Renaissance. Published first in 1538 (Paris: Denis Janot) and frequently re-edited up to 1560, it is a work on which critical attention has, quite rightly, focused over the last few decades as it is highly significant to an understanding of the narrative genre's development.

The present edition appears in a recently established (and highly promising) collection directed by Eliane Viennot with the aim of facilitating access to important texts by women of the ancien regime. It complements very well the highly scholarly one by Christine de Buzon (Paris: Champion, 1997), which reproduces the first edition of 1538. This latest edition provides us with the 1543 version (Paris: C. Langelier), which purports to have been revised by the author. The complementarity between the two modern editions, the one for the specialist and the one for the non-specialist, is usefully pointed up by Beaulieu in his introduction, where he directs us to the Buzon edition for more ample notes and discussion of the text.

Gratifyingly, the modest price of the book and the fact that it is clearly aimed at non-specialists do not reflect a compromise on academic standards by Beaulieu, a noted scholar of de Crenne: he edited Epistres Familieres et invectives de ma dame Helisenne (Montreal: Presses de l'Universite de Montreal, 1995), and the first collective volume of articles on her, Helisenne de Crenne: l'ecriture et ses doubles (Paris: Champion, 2004).The detailed notes, critical apparatus, and modern punctuation and orthography make it an ideal edition for non-specialists, particularly undergraduates. In this latter respect particularly, this edition will usefully serve to redress a frequent imbalance ensuing from the absence hitherto of such an edition: undergraduates of French Renaissance programmes are usually acquainted with Marguerite de Navarre but not with de Crenne.



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Author:Stacey, Sarah Alyn
Publication:The Modern Language Review
Article Type:Book review
Date:Oct 1, 2006
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