Margaret of NavarreIn existographies, Margaret of Navarre (1492-1549), born "Marguerite d’Angouleme" was French princess noted for []

Margarite’s mother, Louise de Savoie, described as a “voracious but sophisticated reader”, saw to it that her daughter read: Sallust, Socrates, Juvenal, Cicero, Virgil, Ovid, Petrarch, Dante, and had studied philosophy.

Margaret was also had read the controversial ideas of Desiderius Erasmus by 1511 at the latest, with the publication in Paris of Moriae Encomium (The Praise of Folly) and of the Adagia as well as Institutio Christiani Principis (The Education of a Christian Prince). Four years later the scholar’s 1516 translation of the New Testament was of particular interest to Marguerite.

In 1509, Margaret, then aged 17, was, not by choice, married to Duke Charles of Alençon, per reason of a stunning “dowry of 60,000 crowns”, and moved into a medieval castle of Alencon, upon which time she, to make her own library, had books sent to her from the libraries of Amboise, Blois, and Cognac, and ordered other books from the printers’ shops in France and other European countries. She also invited scholars and poets to dinners or evenings of music and conversation that became more frequent a few years later during visits from court members; this seems to have been an early intellectual "salon". [3]

Margaret's court was frequented by famous atheist writers, including: Etienne Dolet and Francois Rabelais. [2]

Soul | Experiment
In c.1540, Margaret conducted a soul experiment of sorts; specifically, to test the religious theory, that she had been taught, namely that the “soul left the body at the moment of death”, she stayed by the deathbed of one of her maids for days on end until the last breath to see if she could see or hear the soul departing; this was recounted as follows: [1]

“She never stirred from her bedside, as long as she was agonizing, looking her earnestly in the face, without interruption, till she was dead. Some of her ladies, who were most familiar with her, asked why she looked with so much attention on that poor dying creature: she answered, that having often heard many learned men assert that the soul left the body the moment it died, she was willing to see if there came from it any wind or noise, or sound on the removal and going out of the soul, but that she could perceive nothing like it ... she added, that if she were not well settled in her faith, she should not know what to think of that removal of the soul and its separation from the body, but that she would believe what her god and her church commanded her to believe, without any further inquiry.”


Quotes | On
The following are quotes on Navarre:

“Margaret of Navarre was the first modern women.”
— Samuel Putnam (c.1940)

1. (a) Brantome. (c.1600). The Lives of Illustrious Women (Vies des Dames Illustres) (Ѻ). Publisher.
(b) Bayle, Pierre. (1734). Dictionaire Historique et Critique, Volume IV (5th ed; 5 vols) (pg. 318); in: A General Dictionary, Historical and Critical, Volume VII (10 vols) (pg. 733). Publisher, 1741.
(c) Febvre, Lucien. (1947). The Problem of Unbelief in the Sixteenth Century: the Religion of Rabelias (translator: Beatrice Gottlieb) (Navarre, soul, 5+ pgs; esp. pg. 191-92). Harvard University Press.
(d) Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pg. 278-79). HarperOne.
2. Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pg. 278-79). HarperOne.
3. Marguerite de Navarre –

External links
Marguerite de Navarre – Wikipedia.

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