chapter  4
24 Pages

The Gender of the Book: Jeanne de Marnef Edits Pernette du Guillet

ByLeah Chang

In 1546, Jeanne de Marnef, widow of the Parisian printer Denys Janot, published a small volume called Les Rithmes et Poésies de gentile, Et vertueuse Dame D. Pernette du Guillet Lyonnoise, Avecq’ le Triumphe des Muses sur Amour: Et autres nouvelles composicions.1 She may have hoped to ride the tide of another printer’s success: as the first half of the title indicates, the Rithmes is a version of the Rymes de Gentile, et Vertueuse Dame D. Pernette Du Guillet Lyonnoise, which the distinguished Lyonnais printer, Jean de Tournes, had published just the previous year in 1545 and would publish again in 1552.2 Marnef’s 1546 Rithmes followed the Tournes edition closely but she chose to supplement Du Guillet’s poetry with ten additional anonymous poems, collectively entitled “Le Triumphe des Muses sur Amour: Et autres nouvelles composicions” (henceforth, “Nouvelles composicions”). Remarkably, Marnef culled four of these poems from another Tournes imprint, also published in 1545: Le Panegyric des Damoyselles de Paris sur les neuf Muses.3 Combining two Tournes publications, then, Marnef created

1 BN Rés. YE. 1342. “The Rhythms and Poetry of Noble and Virtuous Lady D. Pernette du Guillet Lyonnaise, with the Triumph of the Muses over Love; and other new compositions.” Unless otherwise noted, all translations are mine. Marnef also printed another edition of the same book, identical but for the date, in 1547. Except for references to title pages, all textual citations from this volume are taken from Du Guillet, Rymes, ed. Victor Graham (Genève: Droz, 1968). To facilitate reading of citations from original imprints, I have changed the early modern “u” to “v” and “j” to “i” where appropriate, but have otherwise retained sixteenth-century spelling. For a full-length study of Janot, including an extensive bibliography of his imprints with references to Jeanne de Marnef, see Stephen Rawles, “Denis Janot, Parisian Printer and Book-seller (fl. 1529-1544): A Bibliographical Study in Two Volumes” (Thesis, University of Warwick, September 1976).