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Marie de France entry: Overview screen.
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It is making an assumption to argue that a single individual composed the body of work traditionally attributed to someone whom modern readers have called Marie de France. But one or possibly more women named Marie, writing in the French language in twelfth-century England, composed lais (narrative poems), fables, and a prose saint's life (this last work in translation). Her work was influential for Middle English literature, and her life-story was an inspiration to women writing in the early nineteenth century.
Milestones
It seems that MF must have been born before about 1150, in France, perhaps in the metropolitan region of the Île de France, or else in Brittany.
Before 1189 Marie de France wrote the twelve Lais or Lays for which she is best-known ("short narrative poems of love and marvellous adventure"). Bibliographic Citation link.
1216 If the writer Marie de France was indeed Abbess of Shaftesbury, then she died in this year. Bibliographic Citation link.
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