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The Myth of the Reine Margot

Toward the Elimination of a Legend

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Robert Sealy

The Divorce Satyrique is an anonymous biographical sketch of Marguerite de Valois. Although a proclaimed satire, the document was accepted as historical fact and it single-handedly spawned the myth of the Reine Margot. Despite her political and historical insignificance, this account immortalized Marguerite de Valois as an exceptionally frivolous and hedonistic woman. From manuscript sources, Robert J. Sealy. S.J. proves that a critical incident in the Divorce is purely fictional. By distilling fiction from fact, the author lays the groundwork for future analysis of the text and of its historical impact.