LABE, Louise

(c. 1520-1566)
One of the finest lyric poets of the French Renaissance, Louise Labe was famous for her passionate love sonnets. Labes was raised in the French city of Lyons, a vibrant hub of artistic, commercial, and publishing activity that was influenced by Italian Renaissance ideas before most other cities, including Paris. Labes's father, Pierre Charly (called Labes), was a prosperous ropemaker; her mother, Etiennette, was his second wife. Labe's father gave her an excellent education; she knew Latin and Italian and probably Spanish and Greek also. In one poem, Labes refers to her skill at horsemanship and arms, as well as nee­dlework, and she may even have participated in a tournament held for Henri II. Around 1543 Labes was married to Ennemond Perrin, a ropemaker at least twenty years her senior. A volume of her works was printed in 1555, containing twenty-four sonnets (one in Italian), three elegies, and a prose dialogue, Le debat de Folie et d'Amour (Debate Between Folly and Love). It is dedicated to Clemence de Bourges, daughter of a Lyonnese nobleman; the dedicatory letter defends women's education and rejects their alleged inferiority. Labe died several years after her husband in 1566.
Although readers still speculate, the identity of the beloved addressed in Labes's sonnets remains unknown. Her poems depart from tradition because they are spoken by an overtly passionate female lover who desires a more mutual love than convention usually provided. She knew or met many celebrated poets of her day, including those of the Pleiade—Joachim Du Bellay,* Pierre de Ron­sard,* and Pontus de Tyard—and Lyonnese poets Pernette Du Guillet* and Oliver de Magny, and had a sort of literary salon at her home. Some critics suggest that Magny is Labe's beloved, as he wrote several poems praising her, used lines from her second sonnet in one of his, and wrote an ode satirizing her husband. Labes drew criticism from some for her renown, public role, and pas­sionate poetry. A scurrilous poem calling Labes "la belle cordiere" (the beautiful ropemaker) and accusing her of sleeping with numerous men circulated in 1557. In a letter, John Calvin* called her a common whore, but modern scholars discount these charges, viewing them as hostile reactions to a talented, uncon­ventional woman.
Bibliography
A. Jones, The Currency ofEros, 1990.
L. Labes, Louise Labe's Complete Works, ed. E. Farrell, 1986.
Gwynne Kennedy

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Labé, Louise — (ca. 1524 1566)    poet    Born in lyon, Louise Labé, a writer of the French Renaissance, was part of the Lyonnais school of poetry. Named la Belle Cordière (she was the daughter and the wife of rope makers), she led a spirited and full life,… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Labé, Louise — ▪ French poet original name  Louise Charly , byname  La Belle Cordière (French: “The Beautiful Rope Maker”)   born c. 1524, Lyon, France died 1566, Parcieux en Dombes  French poet, the daughter of a rope maker (cordier).       Labé was a member… …   Universalium

  • Labé, Louise — (ca. 1524 1566)    The pen name of the poet Louise Charly, born into a well to do family of rope makers at Lyon and given a classical education unusual for any woman of her time. Her collected poems, published in 1555, include three elegies and… …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • LABÉ, LOUISE —    poetess, surnamed La belle Cordière as the wife of a rope maker, born in Lyons; wrote in prose Dialogue d Amour et de Folie, and elegies and sonnets, with a singular approach to the ring of Shakespeare s (1526 1566) …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Labé, Louise — detta Belle Cordière …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Louise Labe — Louise Labé Louise Labé, portrait gravé par Pierre Woeiriot (1555), BNF. Louise Labé (1524 à Lyon 25 avril 1566 à Parcieux en Dombes) est une poétesse française. Surnommée « La Belle Cordière », elle fait partie des poètes en… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Louise Labbé — Louise Labé Louise Labé, portrait gravé par Pierre Woeiriot (1555), BNF. Louise Labé (1524 à Lyon 25 avril 1566 à Parcieux en Dombes) est une poétesse française. Surnommée « La Belle Cordière », elle fait partie des poètes en… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Louise Labé — Louise Labé, (c. 1520 or 1522, Lyon April 25, 1566, Parcieux en Dombes), also identified as La Belle Cordière, was a female French poet of the Renaissance, born at Lyon, the daughter of a rich ropemaker, Pierre Charly, and his second wife,… …   Wikipedia

  • Louise Labé — Louise Labé. Louise Labé, nacida Louise Charly (Lyon, 1525 Parcieux en Dombes, 25 de abril de 1566), poetisa francesa perteneciente a la Escuela Lionesa del Renacimiento, conocida también bajo los sobrenombres de la Safo de Lyon , la Ninfa del… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Louise Labe — Louise Labé Louise Labé (* ca. 1524 in Lyon; † 25. April 1566 in Parcieux en Dombes bei Lyon) war eine französische Autorin. Zu ihren Lebzeiten vor allem als emanzipierte Frau avant la lettre bekannt, gilt sie seit ihrer Wiederentdeckung gegen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia


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