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The Sixteenth-Century Blason Poetique

University of Durham

This book - the first full-length study of the blason poétique examines the evolution of this French genre in the course of the sixteenth century, but also traces its earliest heraldic origins and indicates its subsequent development into the seventeenth century. The blason is treated in general but attention is concentrated particularly upon the anatomical blasons and contreblasons written by Clément Marot and his contemporaries in the 1530s and 1540s with a revaluation of their chronology in the light of hitherto «lost» editions, and an examination of the poems themselves and their debt both to the native French tradition and to Italian influences. Parallels are traced with contemporary illustrated verse, and the study attempts to demonstrate how - far from being an ephemeral eccentricity - the genre fits into the overall pattern of sixteenth-century French verse.
Contents: The early blason and the French tradition - Italian influences - the anatomical blason and contreblason allied illustrated literature - development of the blason through the sixteenth century and its evolution and diversification into the early seventeenth century. Appendices: Sixteenth century collected editions of blasons anatomiques - a check list of other blasons.