Thursday, March 03, 2011

Question from Lauren - Queens publishing books

Catherine Parr published two books. I read that she was the first woman to do something like this, and definitely the first queen. I find this hard to believe, is it true? And if first queen, weren't there even any foreign queens who had published?


kb said...

It would be wise to consider what you mean by 'published'. The book publishing business was in its infancy during the 16th century. The printing press had really only been put into production in the mid-15th century and then almost exclusively in Germany. The printing press spread to other countries but was still a rather rare commodity and the concept of printing anything you wanted was sometimes considered treasonous.

If you mean writing books that were copied and circulated amongst friends or the court - that's something different.

You could look at Marguerite de Navarre who wrote the "Heptameron" and the "Mirror of a Sinful Soul". there is a fascinating book in the Beinecke Library at Yale titled 'Le tombeau de Marguerite de Valois' by 'trois souers princesses'. This is an homage to Marguerute authored by three pupils of Nicolas Denisot, Anne, Margaret and Jane Seymour in 1551.

I don't know where I was going here except to suggest some lines of inquiry.

shtove said...

Can't say much in answer to the query.

Couple of useful links on educated women in the mid tudor period - particularly the Cooke girls:

(click the last entry on the google search):


A few biogs by Ballard, who focused on women writers:

Ballard's book is on google: