Clement Marot, 1496-1544

In the reign of Francis I, writes Desmond Seward, the first modern and last medieval poet attended the French court.

Clement Marot is one of the most attractive of French poets. In some ways his troubled career was a courtly version of that of Francois Villon, the underworld poet of the previous century, whose works he edited. An innovator, who brought the sonnet into France and who gave the Huguenots their most beautiful psalms, Marot also had a good deal in common with his English contemporary, Sir Thomas Wyatt. Indeed, it is difficult to decide whether he was France’s first modern or last medieval poet.

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