Clément Marot (1496 – 1544)
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- Ladolescence clémentine. : Ce sont les ouures de Clement Marot, nouuellement imprimees auecques les additions comme verrez en la page tierce .[Lyon] : On les ve[n]d a Lyon en la maison de Francoys Juste, deuant nostre Dame de confort, 1533.
- L'adolescence Clémentine. : Autreme[n]t, Les oeuures de Clement Marot, de Cahors en Quercy, Valet de chambre du Roy, / composees en l'aage de son adolescence. Auec la complaincte sur le trespas de feu messire Florimond Robertet. Et plusieurs autres oeuures faictes par ledict Marot depuis l'aage de sadicte adolesce[n]ce. Le tout reueu, corrigé, & mis en bo[n] ordre.... [Paris] : On les vend a Paris deuant l'eglise saincte Geneuiefue des Arde[n]s, Rue neufue nostre Dame, a l'enseigne du Faulcheur, 1534.
- La suite de l'Adolescence Clémentine, / dont le contenu pourrez veoir a l'autre costé de ce fueillet. [Paris] : On la vend a Paris en la rue neufue nostre Dame deuant l'Eglise saincte Geneuiefue des Ardens a l'enseigne du Faulcheur, 
- Le premier liure de la Metamorphose d'Ouide, / translate de Latin en François par Clement Marot de Cahors en Quercy, Vallet de chambre du Roy. [Paris] : On le vend a Paris sur le pont Sainct Michel, chez Esti*ene Roffet dict le Faucheur a lenseigne de la Rose Blanche, 1534.
- Les oeuures de Clement Marot de Cahors, valet de Chambre du Roy. : Augmentées d'ung grand nombre de ses compositions nouuelles, par cy deuant non imprimées. : Le tout soingneusement par luy mesmes reueu, & mieulx ordonné, comme lon uoyrra cy apres. A Lyon : Chés Estienne Dolet, 1543.
Also in the collection
- Gordon 1543 .B5 — Sensuiuent Les blasons anatomiques du corps fémenin, : ensemble les contreblasons de nouueau composez, & additionez, auec les figures, le tout mis par ordre: / composez par plusieurs poetes contemporains. Auec la table desdictz blasons & contreblasons imprimez en ceste année. [Paris] : Pour Charles Langelier, 1543.
- Gordon 1539 .M37 — Les oeuures de Clement Marot valet de chambre du Roy. / Desquelles le contenu sensuit, L'adolescence Clementine, La suite de l'Adoscence [sic], bien augmentees. Deux liures d'Epigrammes. Le premier liure de la Metamorphose d'Ouide. ; Le tout par luy autrement, & mieulx ordonné, que par cy deuant. ... [Lyon] : On les uend a Lyon chez Francoys Iuste, 1539.
- Gordon 1554 .P65 — Les cent cinquante Psalmes du royal prophete Dauid.
Clément Marot (1496 - 1544)
Born in 1496, Clément Marot lived during a turbulent period of social, technological and religious change. The rediscovery of ancient Greek and Roman texts by Western Christendom sparked a renewed interest in Classical Antiquity, stimulating scholarly activity and an interest in ancient languages like Greek and Hebrew; the invention of the printing press revolutionized the dissemination of written thought; longstanding feelings of discontent toward the Church crystallized into movements for change from within, and later from outside, existing ecclesiastical institutions. While monarchs from the German states generally embraced the new religion—or heresy—France ultimately acted to suppress it. The new art of printing allowed writers the opportunity to reach a larger audience than ever before. This in turn afforded them a measure of independence from the patronage system that had previously supported them and provided an efficient medium for religious propaganda of all kinds. As French society and indeed much of Europe split into increasingly clear-cut and acrimonious camps based on religious belief, Clément Marot attempted to create a life for himself as both a court poet and a religious poet.
At ten years of age, Marot left his native Cahors and followed his father, the rhétoriqueur poet Jean Marot, north to the royal court of Louis XII and Anne de Bretagne. Later, he would describe this event in terms of a departure from an earthly paradise (“L’Enfer,” XX).
At the age of 16, Marot met Jean Lemaire de Belges, a rhétoriqueur poet belonging to the household of Anne de Bretagne. Lemaire offered the young man instruction in poetry and served as his mentor. Marot began writing in earnest, offering his “Temple de Cupido” to François d’Angoulême, the future king Francis I, and his new bride Claude de France. Several years later, Marot joined the household of Francis’ sister, the future Marguerite de Navarre. Marguerite was herself a gifted author with a great interest in spiritual matters. Her circle exposed Marot to reform-minded thinkers as well as a number of important political and literary figures of the day.
Just as the young poet’s career began to gain momentum, Francis was taken prisoner by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. The Sorbonne Faculty of Theology took advantage of the king’s absence to persecute heresy more vigorously, particularly the “new” ideas. It was during this period, in 1526, that Marot was arrested for the first time. Although the precise reason remains obscure, Marot would continue to have trouble with the law from this time forward, for he had become closely identified with behavior that resulted in repeated accusations of being a “Lutheriste”—a heretic.
The return of Francis I from captivity in Spain led to a brief period of good fortune for both Marot and his fellow evangelicals. The poet officially joined the king’s household in 1528. Despite twice falling ill with the plague and experiencing another arrest, Marot succeeded in publishing a collection of his works, the Adolescence clémentine, in 1532. In June of the following year, he traveled with the court to Lyon, where he met François Rabelais. Shortly thereafter, Marot published a second collection of poems, the Suite de l’adolescence clémentine.
In October of 1534, an event took place that brought an abrupt end to this period of good fortune. Although modern historians concur that Marot did not participate in the events known as the Affaire des placards, the poet’s contemporaries believed otherwise. At first, Marot took refuge with Marguerite de Navarre at her home in Nérac. However, in the rapidly deteriorating political climate, even she could not protect him indefinitely. Marot soon went into exile in Ferrara, at the court of Renée de France, and then in Venice. Although a policy of relative tolerance allowed him to return to France, Marot had to submit to the humiliation of a public ceremony of abjuration in Lyon.
He continued to write poetry and spend time with the royal court, much as he had before. He also devoted much energy to completing his translations of the Psalms. In 1542 Marot determined that it was prudent to go into exile again. Although he briefly sought refuge in Calvin’s Geneva, he did not remain there long. It is believed that he incurred disfavor with officials of Calvin’s Reformed Church for playing dice in a tavern. Marot died in Turin in 1544 without having returned to France.
Materials on this page were generously contributed by Sarah Skrainka, Augustana College (2008).