chapter  9
16 Pages

Crossing International Borders: Tutors and the Transmission of Young Women’s Writing

You were born to be a new kind of child prodigy … Jean Dorat on Camille de Morel2

During the sixteenth century, much writing by noble and royal women was circulated in manuscript among the members of their families, coteries, and court circles. In some cases, the women’s writing was also transmitted to foreign circles, and tutors often played an important role in such transmission.3 This particular method of achieving scholarly renown typically relied on the youth and precocity of the students in question and the efforts of their tutors to achieve a broad circulation of their work among influential humanist scholars and poets. The tutors

1 Pierre de Ronsard, “Aux trois Sœurs, Anne, Marguerite, Iane de Seymour, Princesses Angloises,” Annæ, Margaritæ, Ianæ, Sororum Virginum, Heroidum Anglarum, In mortem Divæ Margaritæ Valesiæ, Navarrorum Reginæ, Hecatodistichon, in Printed Writings, 1500-1640: Part 2: Anne, Margaret, and Jane Seymour, selected and introduced by Brenda M. Hosington, The Early Modern Englishwoman: A Facsimile Library of Essential Works, Series I, Volume 6 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000), no page numbers, “… Vierges de renom, / Vrais peintres de la Memoire (of Marguerite de Navarre) … .” Note: translations are mine unless otherwise attributed.