Marie de France (actual name unknown) is the name given to a poet believed to have been born in France and living in England in the late 12th century. Her writings, often based on folktales, were in the form of "Breton Lais," or songs of Brittany, a genre which she is almost synonymous -- though other famous tales, including the Middle English "King Orfeo" and even Chaucer's "Franklin's Tale" are regarded as examples of the genre. She was one of the most creative and effective storytellers of the middle ages. Although born in France (some historians believe she was a daughter of King Louis VII), she spent much of her life in the Angevin domains, including England. Her most active period seems to have been around 1165-1175.