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The French Procuress

Her Character in Renaissance Comedies


Catherine Campbell

The theatre of the French Renaissance has been little studied, and the character types appearing in it are even less explored. While the bibliography of other type characters such as the soubrette, the confidente, and the valet is rich, the procuress has not been studied.
This book consists of six chapters. Chapter I studies the sources for this character as found in Classical works as well as contemporary Spanish and Italian ones. Chapters II, III, and IV study the three major incarnations of this character type: Marion in Les Esbahis by Jacques Grévin, Guillemette in Pierre de Larivey's La Veuve, and Odet de Turnèbe's Françoise in Les Contens. Chapter V looks at procuresses of lesser importance. Nine such characters appear in these plays. This chapter also presents some general remarks on the character and the evolution, or lack thereof, of the type. The concluding chapter (VI) explores the future of this character and her disappearance as a stock type for comedies.