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Listening to the “Voix Prescheresse” in Marie Dentière’s Epistre tres utile

Title: Listening to the “Voix Prescheresse” in Marie Dentière’s Epistre tres utile.
Name(s): Low, Merry, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Journal Article
Date Issued: 2019-12-31
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Driven out of France for her conversion to Protestantism, ridiculed by her contemporaries for her scathing criticisms of the Roman Catholic Church as well as the nascent reformed church in Geneva, Marie Dentière emerges as a controversial public female figure whose voice was considered clamorous and intolerable for sixteenth-century authorities immersed in an era fraught with religious upheaval. In her Epistre tres utile (1539) addressed to Marguerite de Navarre, Dentière sets forth a clear agenda: the justification and defense of the reformed faith by all people, and especially women. Not only does she overtly propagate the reformed faith, Dentière also argues that women have the right topreach and teach this faith to others. While Dentière’s Epistre serves as a typical example of epistolary rhetoric written as a means to garner Marguerite de Navarre’s support in the defense for the reformed faith in Geneva and France, I analyze Dentière’s stylistic choices that stage a sermon, albeit in the form of a letter. Moreover, the formal qualities of Dentière’s written text illustrate the notion of dilatio—an opening and abundance of discourse—that provides a gendered lens through which I approach the Epistre. Dentière’s Epistre enhances our current understanding of the prescheresse and its impact on female spiritual identity and community during the Reformation.
Identifier: FSU_libsubv1_scholarship_submission_1578502841_2ec3823d (IID)
Publication Note: Selected essay from the Women in French International Conference 2018
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: Women in French Studies Special Conference Issue.

Choose the citation style.
Low, M. (2019). Listening to the “Voix Prescheresse” in Marie Dentière’s Epistre tres utile. Women In French Studies Special Conference Issue. Retrieved from