The Heptameron


This page describes the scope and purpose of www. heptameron .info

This site is dedicated to the collection of short stories called the Heptameron, and originally titled les Contes de la Reine de Navarre (Tales of the Queen de Navarre).

This minor masterpiece marks a high point in Renaissance literature and women's fiction. The book is patterned after Boccaccio's Decameron, in that the stories are linked by the plot device of a group of people trapped by circumstances, who pass the time by telling each other stories. However the Heptameron is not a mere imitation, and exhibits considerable originality and artistry.

On this site we have reproduced an illustrated translation of Marguerite de Navarre's work. We feel that the illustrations complement the text nicely by giving a window into the world of the French Renaisance. The illustrations were drawn from a number of different editions of the Heptameron, We hope that you enjoy this undeservedly neglected work of fiction.