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Author photo. Portrait of a woman said to be Madeleine de L'Aubespine, Dame de Villeroy, by François Clouet

Portrait of a woman said to be Madeleine de L'Aubespine, Dame de Villeroy, by François Clouet

Madeleine de l'Aubespine (1546–1596)

Author of Selected Poems and Translations: A Bilingual Edition

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Madeleine de l’Aubespine was the daughter of Claude de Brabant de L’Aubespine, seigneur de Châteauneuf, a powerful French statesman, and his wife Jeanne Bochetel. In 1562, she married Nicolas de Neufville, marquis de Villeroy, who later succeeded her father as Secretary of State. Madeleine served at the French court as lady-in-waiting to Catherine de Medici, then the Queen Mother. The worldly and learned marquise was the toast of courtly and literary circles in Paris, and celebrated by her male peers for her work. She and her husband were patrons of several noted writers of the period, such as Pierre de Ronsard, Du Bellay, and Philippe Desportes. A book of essays printed in her lifetime under the name Madame de Rivery is now attributed to her, along with The Cabinet des saines affections, a series of reflections on moral topics formerly attributed to another. She is now believed to be the author of the poetry collection Les chansons de Callianthe, originally thought to be by Desportes, who gave her that nickname. The manuscript of her translation of the work of the Latin poet Ovid, Les Epitres d’Ovide, was kept in the Bibliotheque Nationale for years but then lost. In the modern era, her poems were first published by editor Roger Sorg in 1926, but debate over their origins continued. Selected Poems and Translation By Madeleine de L'Aubespine (2007), edited and translated by Anna Klosowska, brought together most of Madame l'Aubespine's known works, including newly discovered ones.
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