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Not much is known about Marie de France except that she is the first identifiable female writer in French. Her name was signed to a number of "lais" or short verse tales, a collection of moral fables containing elements of satire, and some translations of Latin texts into French, as well as the poem/novel, The Legend of the Purgatory of St. Patrick. She was one of the most creative and effective storytellers of the Middle Ages. She's called Marie de France after a line in one of her published works: "Marie ai num, si sui de France" ("My name is Marie and I am from France."). Some historians believe she was a daughter of King Louis VII or the Comte de Meulan. Alternatively, she may have been an illegitimate daughter of Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou, and thus a half-sister of King Henry II of England. She appears to have lived part of her life in England.
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