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Pierre Boaistuau, also known as Pierre Launay or Sieur de Launay (c. 1517, Nantes
Nantes is a city in western France, located on the Loire River, from the Atlantic coast. The city is the 6th largest in France, while its metropolitan area ranks 8th with over 800,000 inhabitants....
- 1566, Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...
) was a French humanist. 'Boaistuau' is the manner of spelling followed by the majority of secondary works in which he has been mentioned. However, in many of his works appear alternate spellings of his surname such as Boistuau, Boiastuau, Boaisteau, Boisteau, Boaystuau, Boysteau, Bouaistuau, Bouesteau, Bouaystuau, Bosteau, Baistuau, or Boiestuau.
Boaistuau was a writer, translator, and compiler. He holds a very special place in literary developments during the middle and second half of the sixteenth century as the importer of two influential literary genres, namely the 'histoire tragique' and the 'histoire prodigieuse'. As a writer, his most successful work in terms of publications was Le Théâtre du Monde, which was first published in Paris in 1558 and became one of early modern Europe's best-sellers. Boaistuau was also the first editor of Marguerite of Navarre's
Marguerite de Navarre , also known as Marguerite of Angoulême and Margaret of Navarre, was the queen consort of Henry II of Navarre...
collection of nouvelles that is known today as Heptameron
The Heptameron is a collection of 72 short stories written in French by Marguerite of Navarre, published in 1558. It has the form of a frame narrative and was inspired by The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio...
- L' Histoire de Chelidonius Tigurinus (Paris, 1556) - A political discourse focusing on the education of the ideal Christian prince and on the qualities he should possess, while proclaiming monarchy as the most profitable political system.
- Les Amants fortunés (Paris, 1558) - A collection of tales of love and betrayal, whose style was similar to Boccaccio’s Decameron. Originally attributed to Marguerite of Navarre, this work was renamed to Heptameron in 1559.
- Le Théâtre du Monde (Paris, 1558) - Divided into three main sections, this philosophical treatise deals with the miseries of man, and the various kinds of adversities (e.g. wars, diseases, famines) that he has to endure during his lifetime.
- Bref Discours de l’Excellence et dignité de l’homme (Paris, 1559) - A discourse on the virtues and abilities of man, which praised both the human body and mind. Soon after its first publication, this book appeared as a supplement of Le Théâtre du Monde.
- Histoires Tragiques (Paris, 1559) - A collection of cautionary tales, taken from Matteo Bandello's
-Biography:Matteo Bandello was born at Castelnuovo Scrivia, near Tortona , c. 1480 or 1485. He received a good education, and entered the church, but does not seem to have been very interested in theology. For many years he lived at Mantua, and superintended the education of the celebrated Lucrezia...
Novelle and translated into French. The third tale entitled 'Histoire troisieme de deux Amants, don't l'un mourut de venin, l'autre de tristesse' influenced William Shakespeare in the writing of his Romeo and Juliet.
- Histoires Prodigieuses (Paris, 1560) - A collection of extraordinary stories of monstrous births, demons, sea-monsters, serpents, creatures half-man and half-animal, precious stones, floods, comets, earthquakes and other natural phenomena.
- Histoire des persecutions de l’ Eglise chrestienne et catholique (Paris, 1572) - A narration of the afflictions of the early Christian Church during the time of the Roman Empire. This work was published posthumously and is most probably a French translation of an earlier work.