Honoré d'Urfé

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Honoré d'Urfé
Honore d'Urfe 01.jpg
Born11 February 1568
Marseille, France
Died1 June 1625(1625-06-01) (aged 57)
Villefranche-sur-mer, France
Period16th century
Notable works L'Astrée

Honoré d'Urfé, marquis de Valromey, comte de Châteauneuf (11 February 1568 1 June 1625) was a French novelist and miscellaneous writer.

Songieu Part of Haut-Valromey in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Songieu is a former commune in the Ain department in eastern France. On 1 January 2016, it was merged into the new commune Haut-Valromey.

A novelist is an author or writer of novels, though often novelists also write in other genres of both fiction and non-fiction. Some novelists are professional novelists, thus make a living writing novels and other fiction, while others aspire to support themselves in this way or write as an avocation. Most novelists struggle to get their debut novel published, but once published they often continue to be published, although very few become literary celebrities, thus gaining prestige or a considerable income from their work.



He was born at Marseille, the grandson of Claude d'Urfé, and was educated at the Collège de Tournon. A partisan of the League, he was taken prisoner in 1595, and, though soon set free, he was again captured and imprisoned. During his imprisonment he read Ronsard, Petrarch and above all the Diana of Jorge de Montemayor and Tasso's Aminta. After the defeat of the League in 1594, d'Urfé emigrated to Savoy whose duke was a relative of his mother. Here, he wrote the Epîtres morales (1598). [1]

Marseille Second-largest city of France and prefecture of Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur

Marseille is the second-largest city of France. The main city of the historical province of Provence, it nowadays is the prefecture of the department of Bouches-du-Rhône and region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. It is located on France's south coast near the mouth of the Rhône river. The city covers an area of 241 km2 (93 sq mi) and had a population of 852,516 in 2012. Its metropolitan area, which extends over 3,173 km2 (1,225 sq mi) is the third-largest in France after Paris and Lyon, with a population of 1,831,500 as of 2010.

Claude dUrfé French aristocrat (1501-1558)

Claude d'Urfé was a French royal official of the 16th century. He acted as governor and bailiff of Forez after that county became a royal domain. He was a friend and confidant of Francis I and fought alongside him in the Wars of Italy as well as under his son Henry II. He was also governor of the dauphin and the king's other children. He was also a major patron for building works in the Italian Renaissance style in Forez, such as his Italian-style extension to his château of Bastie d'Urfé. His grandson was the author Honoré d'Urfé.

Catholic League (French) organization

The Catholic League of France, sometimes referred to by contemporary Catholics as the Holy League, was a major participant in the French Wars of Religion. Formed by Henry I, Duke of Guise, in 1576, the League intended the eradication of Protestants—mainly Calvinists or Huguenots—out of Catholic France during the Protestant Reformation, as well as the replacement of King Henry III.

Honoré's brother Anne, comte d'Urfé, had married in 1571 the beautiful Diane de Châteaumorand, but the marriage was annulled in 1598 by Clement VIII. Anne d'Urfé was ordained to the priesthood in 1603, and died in 1621 dean of Montbrison. [1]

Pope Clement VIII 17th-century Catholic pope

Pope Clement VIII, born Ippolito Aldobrandini, was Pope from 2 February 1592 to his death in 1605. Born in Fano, Italy to a prominent Florentine family, he initially came to prominence as a canon lawyer before being made a Cardinal-Priest in 1585. In 1592 he was elected Pope and took the name of Clement. During his papacy he effected the reconciliation of Henry IV of France to the Catholic faith and was instrumental in setting up an alliance of Christian nations to oppose the Ottoman Empire in the so-called Long War. He also successfully adjudicated in a bitter dispute between the Dominicans and the Jesuits on the issue of efficacious grace and free will. In 1600 he presided over a jubilee which saw a large number of pilgrimages to Rome. He had little pity for his opponents, presiding over the trial and execution of Giordano Bruno and implementing strict measures against Jewish residents of the Papal States. He may have been the first pope to drink coffee. Clement VIII died at the age of 69 in 1605 and his remains now rest in the Santa Maria Maggiore.

Diane had a great fortune, and to avoid the alienation of the money from the D'Urfé family, Honoré married her in 1600. This marriage also proved unhappy; D'Urfé spent most of his time separated from his wife at the court of Savoy, where he held the charge of chamberlain. The separation of goods arranged later on may have been simply due to money embarrassments. [1]

He died from injuries received by a fall from his horse at Villafranca, [1] during a campaign against the Genoese.

Villafranca Municipality in Navarre, Spain

Villafranca is a town and municipality located in the province and the autonomous community of Navarre, northern Spain.

Genoa Comune in Liguria, Italy

Genoa is the capital of the Italian region of Liguria and the sixth-largest city in Italy. In 2015, 594,733 people lived within the city's administrative limits. As of the 2011 Italian census, the Province of Genoa, which in 2015 became the Metropolitan City of Genoa, counted 855,834 resident persons. Over 1.5 million people live in the wider metropolitan area stretching along the Italian Riviera.


Page de garde d'une edition de L'Astree du XVIIe siecle.jpg

It was in Savoy that he conceived the plan of his novel L'Astrée , the scene of which is laid on the banks of the Lignon in his native province of Forez. It is a leisurely romance in which the loves of Celadon and Astrée are told at immense length with many digressions. The recently discovered circumstances of the marriages of the brothers have disposed of the idea that the romance is autobiographical in its main idea, but some of the episodes are said to be but slightly veiled accounts of the adventures of Henry IV. The shepherds and shepherdesses of the story are of the usual type in pastorals, and they discourse of love with a casuistry and elaborate delicacy that are by no means rustic. [1]

<i>LAstrée</i> novel by Honoré dUrfé

L'Astrée is a pastoral novel by Honoré d'Urfé, published between 1607 and 1627.

Lignon du Forez river in France, tributary of the Loire

The Lignon du Forez is a 58.9 km (36.6 mi) long river in the Loire department, east-central France. Its source is near Chalmazel. It flows generally east. It is a left tributary of the Loire into which it flows near Feurs.


Forez is a former province of France, corresponding approximately to the central part of the modern Loire département and a part of the Haute-Loire and Puy-de-Dôme départements.

The first part of L'Astrée appeared in 1607, the second in 1610, the third in 1619, and in 1627 the fourth part was edited. In 1628 a fifth was added by D'Urfé's secretary Balthazar Baro. L'Astrée set the fashion temporarily in romance narratives, and no tragedy was complete without wire-drawn discussions on love in the manner of Celadon and Astrée. The best edition of L'Astrée is that of 1647. [1]

D'Urfé also wrote the pastoral poem La Sireine (1584) and the pastoral play Sylvanire (1627).

Memory and legacy

In 1757 L'Astrée was sufficiently in the public consciousness, or at any rate "Celadon" had become a byword for amorousness, to be referred to in passing by an Italian guest of Casanova. [2]

In 1908 a bust of D'Urfé was erected at Virieu-le-Grand (Ain), where the greater part of L'Astrée was written.

An adaptation of L'Astrée, by French director Eric Rohmer, was released in 2007 under the title Les Amours d'Astrée et de Céladon (in English-speaking territories its title was The Romance of Astrea and Celadon). It was nominated for a Golden Lion at the 2007 Venice Film Festival, and star Andy Gillet won an Étoile d'Or in 2008 for Best Male Newcomer for his performance as Céladon.


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